NZ extends Zimbabwe travel sanctions

  • Winston Peters
Foreign Affairs

New Zealand has extended its travel ban on associates of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe by denying student visas and permits to their adult children, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove announced today.

“New Zealand remains deeply concerned by the continuing destructive conduct of Robert Mugabe’s government. Our decision to deny student visas is designed to put extra pressure on senior members of the regime to change their policies and start helping their own people,” Mr Peters said.

“Mugabe’s government is continuing to violently suppress political opposition, and it is driving the country toward economic ruin. It is wrong that amid the chaos and suffering they have imposed, the regime’s leaders are able to send their children abroad to study so they can escape such conditions.”

Mr Cosgrove said he had been advised that checks by Immigration officials had not identified any Zimbabwean passport holders currently in New Zealand on student permits who appeared related to anyone on the banned list.

“This new policy is designed to ensure that the children of any regime members subject to a travel ban cannot study here in future unless positive change occurs in Zimbabwe.

“It also supports similar restrictions imposed by Australia and the United States in recent months,” he said.

For the purposes of the policy, adult children are defined as children who are 18 years or older at the date they file an application.