A passenger who arrived on last week’s flight and currently in COVID-19 isolation is causing concern with the locals because of his previous criminal history and his intentions to live in Niue.
Sources from within government have confirmed that this person arrived in Niue on Monday 21st September accompanied by his wife and children. According to the source, this man is a convicted felon who has served time in prison abroad and has never lived in Niue. The Niue authorities were alerted to the passenger’s criminal history after the flight had departed Auckland.
Officials from Immigration Niue say that they are still investigating the situation and will not be making a statement until they have completed their investigation with the Niue Police department.
Local residents contacted BCN news concerned that someone with a criminal history who has never lived in Niue before is allowed to enter the country in the first place.
It’s understood that Cabinet is aware of the situation but are waiting on the investigation to be completed and for a report before making the final decision.
Concerns as to how an individual with a criminal history was able to get through given that one of the requirements of the government’s travel advisories is that all those, not residing in Niue must apply to travel to Niue through the Office of the Secretary to Government with the latest travel advisory issued on the 2nd of September.
Hon. Crossley Tatui Minister of Immigration said that he and Cabinet will not comment at this time until they have received the full report on the investigations into this matter, however he asked the people on the island to please respect the sensitive work undertaken by the Niue and New Zealand authorities and officials.
The Immigration Act 2011 stipulates that prohibited persons are unable to travel to or remain in Niue if they are a person who at any time has been convicted of any offence for which that person has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment; whether served or not; for an in indeterminate period or for a period of 12 months or more. Any person who has been removed or deported from any country including Niue or a person in the opinion of the Cabinet, Minister or the Chief Immigration Officer threatens national security and threatens the public order or public interest.
The law also says that Cabinet may grant such prohibited person a visa or permit to enter Niue.
Meanwhile, the Air New Zealand flight which normally arrives today carrying cargo did not arrive because of insufficient cargo to warrant a flight. The flight next week is the passenger-carrying flight and is expected to arrive as normal.