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Indian arrivals at Auckland Airport tumble

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/10/2016 Edwin Mitson

Fewer Indians are arriving at Auckland International Airport at a time when Prime Minister John Key is trying to sell New Zealand to the world's largest democracy.

The number of arrivals from India fell 5.6 per cent to 3328 in September from the same month a year earlier, and was down 12 per cent to 8572 since Auckland Airport's financial year started in July, airport figures published on the NZX show.

India is the only country in the airport's top 10 to show a decline in arrivals on either measure.

Figures published by Statistics New Zealand last week showed the number of Indians migrating to New Zealand fell 3000 to 11,100 in the year to September 30.

However, the figures for the month of September 2016 showed the total number of arrivals from India increased 19 per cent to 3600 from the same month a year earlier.

Growth in the number of Indians coming to New Zealand to study has increased sharply in recent years, but this is now being impacted by rows over the quality of the courses, the seemingly fraudulent use of documents by immigration agents in India and a row over the deportation of Indian students whose documents are invalid.

In the September year, 7538 of the 25,597 immigrants who arrived in New Zealand on study visas came from India, though that was 30 per cent lower than the year earlier.

Mr Key is expected to face questions on the issue from Indian media during his visit, which has been shortened due to technical issues with his aircraft.

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