Over 400 foreign students have been kicked out of New Zealand in the past four years for crimes or indiscretions, and many others have been caught trying to use forged certificates and degrees.
According to a report in stuff.co.nz, about 750,000 dollars of taxpayers'' money was spent forcibly removing the errant students, nearly 300 of whom required police escorts back to their home countries after being assessed as security or safety risks.
The foreigners most commonly from China, India and South Korea had breached permit conditions, worked illegally, dropped out of courses or committed crimes, such as driving, drug and firearms offences. Hundreds of others tried to pass off dodgy degrees or certificates with faked details or non-existent honours from institutions they did not attend.
The most expensive removal was a student from Britain who needed two police escorts back to London at a cost of 13,209 dollars. He had been working illegally and faced police charges for assault and threatening grievous bodily harm. The Labour Department is playing down the figures.
Border security support manager Peter Elms said the department took any breach of immigration law seriously, but the number of forcible removals each year was relatively small. Nearly 300 students required police escorts, for security, on their flights home.