8 Jul 2009

Pacific people the bulk of New Zealand overstayers

10:21 am on 8 July 2009

A South Auckland MP says people whose family members are overstayers in New Zealand must know where to ask for help.

The Immigration Service says Pacific Islanders form the bulk of more than 16-thousand overstayers in New Zealand, with Samoans and Tongans making up almost half that number.

The figures have been released prior to a meeting between Immigration officials and Pacific Island leaders in Manukau City later today.

The Mangere MP Su'a William Sio says given the numbers, the community must put its views to officials.

"I think it's timely for them to voice those concerns, particularly when Prime Minister John Key is visiting the islands, and taking a delegation of MPs who are reviewing the relationship of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands."