Anti-government news journalist Avi Yemini has been barred from entering New Zealand to cover thousands of violent anti-government protests

Australian journalist Avi Yemini was denied entry into New Zealand by immigration authorities while reporting on protests in the New Zealand capital on August 23.

Immigration NZ told 1 news Yemini did not meet the immigration requirement’s “good character” test due to his past criminal record.

A spokeswoman said: “It is the person’s responsibility to convince the NZ immigrant that he meets all the visa and entry requirements for New Zealand, including being of good character.”

according to immigration websiteconvicted, deported from another country, or have reason to believe that the organization is a risk to that country’s security, public order, or the public interest, does not meet the requirements.

“If an individual does not meet the character requirements, they will need to apply through the normal visa application process,” said Immigration NZ.

However, Yemini said that Australian citizens unnecessary To obtain a visa to visit, work and live in New Zealand.

“I have not broken any rules to enter the country. As an Australian citizen, I do not need a visa waiver,” he told the Epoch Times.

Epoch Times photo
Avi Yemini addresses protesters in Melbourne, Australia, September 17, 2017. (Photo by Darien Trainor/Getty Images)

Australians may be denied entry if they have been convicted of a criminal offense within the last 10 years and have served at least one year in prison.

“The conviction they were referring to was a fine. It’s the lowest form of any kind. [penalty]’ said Yemini. “Does not meet the criteria for refusal of entry”

Yemini said she was told by an immigration officer in a phone call that she had exercised her power to refuse entry because she was deemed unwell.

Officer told Yemini he made the decision after reading NZ Herald articlehe described it as a “defamation campaign.”

“I asked them in writing to give it to me,” he said, explaining that a phone call was not enough to appeal. ”

Australian freelance journalist Rukshan Fernando, known as The Real Rukshan, also had his passport flagged, but was eventually cleared to board a flight to New Zealand.

Epoch Times photo
Anti-government demonstrators march at Lambton Quay in Wellington, New Zealand on August 23, 2022. (Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)
Epoch Times photo
Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki (C), members and supporters lead an anti-government march down Lambton Quay in Wellington, New Zealand, August 23, 2022. (Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there was no further information on the matter beyond what has been released in the public domain.

“I want to be clear, as I understand it, this is not going to be a ministerial level decision,” she told reporters.

Yemini believes one of the reasons he was denied entry was that his job was a “threat” to the Ardern government.

“Is that information he’s putting out bad for our PR? … In short, [the answer is] Yes,’ he said.

“Yeah, in the short term we might win. increase.”

Thousands protest in Wellington

Meanwhile, thousands of Kiwis staged an organized demonstration around the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington (known locally as Beehive) to criticize the Ardern government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wellington police cordoned off the streets around the Houses of Parliament and closely monitored the protests.

Wellington District Police said they were “proactively monitoring this event to ensure the protest was conducted in a safe manner for all involved, including the general public, and that disruption was minimized. can be reassured,” he said. Facebook.

Protesters gathered in Civic Square before marching to Beehive.

Protesters also staged a mock trial outside parliament, which found the government guilty of “crimes against humanity.”

Destiny Church leader and protest organizer Brian Tamaki told demonstrators he saw his country “going binge.”

Wellington police believe there were about 1,500 people in the protest, but another source for Wellington City Council told that there were at least 2,000 protesters.

Police also said they were “extremely happy” with people’s behavior after the event.

“This group is being closely monitored by police and there have been no reported issues,” they wrote on another Facebook page. Position.

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on the national politics of Australia and New Zealand. Any tips? Please contact her at [email protected]