2018 citizenship numbers

The top ten nationalities who got New Zealand citizenship last year:

  • United Kingdom including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – 5471
  • India – 4845
  • Samoa including Western Samoa – 3185
  • Philippines – 3079
  • South Africa  – 2691
  • Fiji – 2542
  • China including Hong Kong, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Macau and Macao – 1175
  • Tonga – 848
  • Australia – 767
  • United States – 756


  • 2017 – 36,450
  • 2018 – 35,737

A small drop.

From ODT who also show for  Dunedin a slight Drop in citizenship numbers but still well up on previous years:

Nationalities becoming citizens in Dunedin in 2018:

  • United Kingdom – 145
  • India – 52
  • Philippines – 43
  • South Africa – 42
  • United States – 28
  • China – 23
  • Australia – 23
  • Sri Lanka – 17
  • Thailand – 15
  • Tonga – 12
  • Other – 153

While featuring in the top ten for New Zealand, Samoans and Fijians are presumably in Other.

New Zealand is the fifth most ethnically diverse country in the OECD, with 25% of the population being born overseas. And the above spread of ethnicities indicate to an extent the spread of ethnicities.


Citizenship confusion for ISIS bride in Syria

Shamima Begum left London as a 15 year old in 2015 to join ISIS in Syria. She was recently found in a refugee camp in Syria after (reportedly) leaving the last stronghold of ISIS. She wants to return to the UK, but her citizenship may determine where she can go – if her citizenship can be determined.

She claims she has only UK citizenship.

BBC – Shamima Begum case: I have one citizenship, says IS bride

Shamima Begum – the teenager who fled London to join Islamic State – has said she only has “one citizenship” and it was wrong for the UK to revoke it without speaking to her first.

The 19-year-old told BBC News she had hoped the UK would understand she made a “very big mistake” by joining IS.

She gave birth to a son at the weekend and now wants to return home.

It is only possible to strip someone of their UK nationality if they are eligible for citizenship elsewhere.

It is thought Ms Begum has Bangladeshi citizenship through her mother. But the Bangladesh foreign ministry said the matter had nothing to do with the country.

Ms Begum’s mother is believed to be a Bangladeshi national which means under Bangladesh law she would be too.

But Ms Begum told the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville: “I wasn’t born in Bangladesh, I’ve never seen Bangladesh and I don’t even speak Bengali properly, so how can they claim I have Bangladeshi citizenship.

“I have one citizenship… and if you take that away from me, I don’t have anything. I don’t think they are allowed to do that.

“I was hoping Britain would understand I made a mistake, a very big mistake, because I was young and naive.”

She said she changed her mind about IS after they imprisoned and tortured her Dutch husband – an armed jihadi.

Escape was impossible, she claimed: “They’d kill you if you tried.”

She added that she understood the anger about her wanting to come home.

“I understand why you don’t want to be sympathetic because of everything IS did… and claiming it’s all for the sake of Islam… it’s really not,” she said.

Her citiizenship is disputed by politicians.

Mr Javid said the power to deprive a person of citizenship was only used “in extreme circumstances”, for example, “when someone turns their back on the fundamental values and supports terror”.

“We must put the safety and security of our country first,” he added.

But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott accused him of breaching the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “no-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of their nationality”.

What is the legal situation on citizenship?

Under the 1981 British Nationality Act, a person can be deprived of their citizenship if the home secretary is satisfied it would be “conducive to the public good” and they would not become stateless as a result.

Ms Begum has the right to challenge the Home Office’s decision either by tribunal or judicial review, said former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Lord Carlile, but would have to prove the home secretary had acted disproportionately.

He said it was a “complex issue” which “could run for a very long time through the courts”, and Ms Begum could stay where she is “for maybe two years at least”.

Lord Carlile said her baby may be entitled to British, Dutch and Bangladeshi nationality.

Is Shamima Begum entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship?

Under Bangladesh law, a UK national like Ms Begum who is born to a Bangladeshi parent is automatically a Bangladeshi citizen. That means that such a person would have dual nationality.

However, their Bangladeshi nationality and citizenship lapses when they reach the age of 21, unless they make active efforts to retain it.

So, it is Ms Begum’s age, 19, that is likely – in part – to have given Home Office lawyers and the home secretary reassurance there was a legal basis for stripping her of her UK citizenship.

Her Bangladeshi citizenship remains intact until she reaches 21, even if she has never visited the country or made active efforts to retain her citizenship.

Politics again:

Former Conservative Home Secretary Ken Clarke said refusing Britons who joined IS the right to return would be a “great boost for jihadism” as the “hundreds of foreign jihadis stuck in camps in northern Syria” would be further radicalised.

And MP Joanna Cherry, the SNP’s spokeswoman for justice and home affairs, saidthe home secretary’s actions were “more about his leadership ambitions than security issues or due process”.

Mr Javid told MPs earlier this week that more than 100 dual nationals had already lost their UK citizenship after travelling in support of terrorist groups.

In an interview with the BBC on Monday…

…Ms Begum said she never sought to be an IS “poster girl” and now simply wished to raise her child quietly in the UK.

‘Quietly’ may be difficult for her after all this publicity.

She hasn’t helped her case with comments she has made, especially justifying a terrorist attack in Manchester- see Shamima Begum: Manchester Arena bombing ‘justified’ because of Syria airstrikes, Isis teenager says

But where she ends up living looks likely be determined by lawyers.


Did Australian politicians get lazy?

Hipkins’ ALP colluder has worked for NZ Labour

More details on the Australian Senator’s chief of staff named as the person who colluded with Chris Hipkins over citizenship questions – he was a New Zealander who has worked in Parliament here for Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Phil Goff.

NZH: Citizenship saga: Man who spoke to Hipkins is a Kiwi

A former staffer for former Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Michael Cullen was the Australian Labor Party staffer who spoke to Labour MP Chris Hipkins, prompting questions by Hipkins about citizenship in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported Marcus Ganley, Australian Senator Penny Wong’s chief of staff, was the Australian Labor Party staffer who had spoken to Hipkins – a conversation Hipkins said prompted him to ask questions of Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne on the legal citizenship status of an Australian born to a New Zealand father.

Ganley was an adviser to former PM Clark and former Finance Minister Cullen during the Labour Government until 2008. He then advised Phil Goff as Opposition Leader.

Hipkins worked as a policy adviser to Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark prior to becoming an MP in 2008, initially under Clark’s and then Goff’s leadership.

In a written statement, Wong said a staff member in her office had “informal discussions with New Zealand friends about domestic political issues, including the section 44 debate.”

She said the questions Hipkins asked were not asked on behalf of Australian Labor.

“At no point did [Ganley] make any request to raise the issue of dual citizenship in Parliament, a fact confirmed today by Hipkins and the New Zealand Labour Leader.”

So, prompted by Ganley, Hipkins did some digging on citizenship here, supposedly  having no idea about the interest in Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship status.

Was it general dirt digging by two individuals independent of their parties? If so they have both seriously embarrassed their parties, and raises questions about the way they operate.

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, has said she would find it difficult to work with NZ Labour, prompting a strong response from Ardern.

Hipkins is currently the sixth ranked Labour MP, he is 7th on the party list for this election, and is Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House.

Hipkins’ claims over dirty collusion doubted

Chris Hipkins has already put new Labaour leader in an awkward position over his asking questions on citizenship on behalf of the Australian Labor party. Ardern has publicly reprimanded Hipkins.

This has lead to a political spat with the Austrian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, slamming Labour here for (allegedly) trying to interfere with the Australian government. The coalition that Bishop is a part of has a bare 1 seat majority, and if Barnaby Joyce is forced to resign over a ridiculous constitution technicality a by-election would make things difficult there.

Ardern has snapped back strongly, alleging that Bishop had made false accusations. So far Ardern has appeared to deal with things pretty well – much better than Bishop handled the pronunciation of Ardern’s name.

But there could be more problems for Ardern, for NZ Labour, and especially for Hipkins.

Journalists don’t believe his denial he knew what was behind the request from Australia ask questions here about Joyce’s citizenship.

Hipkins appears to want us to believe he asked questions on behalf of Australian Labour acquaintances without knowing it had anything to do with Joyce.

It is questionable enough that Hipkins tried to stir up dirt against a bare majority government. It is very difficult to believe he would do this without knowing what was behind it.


I don’t think this story is done yet.

RNZ:  Barnaby Joyce renounces NZ citizenship as spat builds

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he’s been told New Zealand has accepted his request to renounce his citizenship, as trans-Tasman tension over the situation builds.

Australian media inquiries led to the dual citizenship of Mr Joyce being revealed, but Labour MP Chris Hipkins had also asked similar questions to the Internal Affairs Minister, following discussions with a friend linked to the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Hipkins’ involvement has now led to a diplomatic spat between the Australian government and the New Zealand Labour Party.

In federal parliament in Canberra this afternoon, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused the Australian Labor Party and its New Zealand counterpart of collusion.

“No one’s ever doubted the loyalty of the Deputy Prime Minister to Australia, but what about the leader of the opposition, conspiring with the Labour Party of New Zealand to undermine the government of Australia?”

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she had reprimanded her MP, but Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said this afternoon it would be difficult to trust a Labour-led New Zealand government.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Mrs Bishop said she was disappointed.

“New Zealand is facing an election, should there be a change of government I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia.”

She said Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten used a foreign political party to raise questions which were deliberately designed to undermine the Australian government.

Ms Ardern came out swinging in response, saying in a statement it was “highly regrettable” that Ms Bishop had “chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party”.

“I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I knew absolutely nothing about the Barnaby Joyce case until it broke in the media yesterday afternoon,” Ms Ardern said.

She said she had no knowledge that Mr Hipkins had lodged his question.

Ms Ardern said Mr Hipkins exercised a lack of judgement.

“We were asked a question about a point of law, but as I’ve said, regardless of the circumstances it was not appropriate for us to be involved in any circumstances.”

Ardern has clearly distanced herself from Hipkins and from what he did.

Mr Hipkins insisted his friend did not ask him to lodge the question, he had no idea it was related to Mr Joyce, and he was just interested in the topic.

“Had I known that was where things were going to land up, I wouldn’t have got involved in it.

I’m sure he wouldn’t have, but it’s too late to not do it.

“There has been absolutely no collusion between the New Zealand Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party when it comes to the situation the Australian deputy Prime Minister has found himself in.”

But the question of collusion between a NZ Labour MP and someone involved in the Australian Labor Party is unlikely to be left at this.

Labour’s opponents are not letting it rest either.

Australian constitution could be an ass

The third Australian MP to fall foul of their constitution on citizenship is deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, although he is contesting it in court without resigning like the other two.

RNZ: NZ govt says Australia’s Joyce is NZ citizen

New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has confirmed Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is considered a New Zealand citizen.

Mr Joyce is the latest politician to be caught in a dual citizenship controversy across the Tasman.

Several senators have resigned, or are facing scrutiny, over their citizenship status.

Under the Australian constitution, anyone with dual citizenship cannot stand for federal election.Mr Dunne said Mr Joyce’s father was a New Zealand citizen and he passed citizenship on to his son.

His father emigrated to New Zealand and became a citizen here, then moved to Australia and had a child (Barnaby) with an Australian woman. That automatically makes Barnaby a New Zealand citizen. There must be a lot of dual citizens in Australia.

“It’s automatically passed on, I don’t know whether he (Mr Joyce) knew or not,” Mr Dunne said.

“He says he didn’t know, he says he was under the belief his father had renounced the New Zealand citizenship.

“But the fact is it is all irrelevant – if he was eligible to receive the citizenship at the time, under our legislation he does, regardless of his subsequent circumstances,” Mr Dunne said.

Mr Joyce said this afternoon he was asking the High Court to rule on his citizenship status and whether he was eligible to be in Parliament, the ABC reported.

He said legal advice suggested he has not breached the constitution, but the court should consider the matter.

If Joyce is ruled ineligible to be an Australian elected representative then their constitution is an ass.

Section 44 of the Australian Constitution lists the grounds for disqualification on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia.

44. Any person who –

(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

But sub-section iv. does not apply to the office of any of the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen’s Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen’s navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

Almost every part of section 44 has proved difficult to interpret and apply. Its replacement or revision has been frequently considered, particularly by a Constitutional Commission in 1988 and by a parliamentary committee in 1997, but their proposals have not been pursued.

(i) Allegiance to a foreign power

Subsection 44(i) has generally been interpreted by the High Court of Australia as meaning that persons with dual citizenship are not permitted to stand for election and that a person must take “reasonable steps” to renounce their citizenship of the other country. Its interpretation has been difficult. There is the preliminary awkwardness that the Constitution itself does not require a member of the Parliament to be an Australian Citizen, although Constitution s 42 does require members to swear an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the monarch; however, Australian citizenship has been made a statutory condition of eligibility for election.


So this will go to court for a decision to see if Joyce can remain.


Thiel appeal or squeal

The Government has defended it’s decision to grant Peter Thiel New Zealand citizenship saying he is a great ambassador for new Zealand, while others have slammed it, saying citizenship should not be able to be bought.

It was revealed yesterday that Thiel had spent just 12 days in New Zealand before being granted citizenship.

The Thiel issue seemed to become more prominent when his support of Donald Trump was publicised here.

It was revealed that Thiel was a New Zealand citizen in January of this year.

Stuff: Peter Thiel a ‘great ambassador’ for NZ

The minister who gave US billionaire Peter Thiel citizenship says he’s been a “great ambassador” for the country ever since – despite the fact Thiel kept it secret for six years.

The 12 days in the five years were spread over four trips.

What I find curious is why Thiel would seek citizenship here. Did he make the first approach or was he encouraged to apply?

The PayPal co-founder and Trump backer has never lived in New Zealand long-term and made clear in his application he didn’t plan to any time soon.

Thiel’s citizenship appealed to the Minister of Internal Affairs when the citizenship was granted, Nathan Guy, who…

…gave Thiel a special grant in the “public interest”.

Guy said he stood by his decision in 2011.

“This guy has made a significant investment here in New Zealand. If you think back to 2011, at the time we were coming through a GFC, we were rebuilding Christchurch, and this individual had stepped up and said ‘yes I want to be a part of the rebuild,'” Guy said.

“He’s a great ambassador and salesperson for New Zealand.

Thiel’s application noted his considerable investments in New Zealand technology companies such as Xero and Pacific Fibre. There was also discussion of a $1 million donation to the Canterbury rebuild.

The exact amount of time that Thiel spent in New Zealand before gaining citizenship was redacted by the Department of Internal Affairs when they released documents relating to the application as they ruled it would infringe on his privacy.

There is a provision for a shorter period of presence in the law, where a resident only has to spend 450 days in a 20 month period before applying – but Thiel only spent nine days in New Zealand during that period.

“He’s promoting New Zealand all the time, to people in the US, it’s a very important market.”

Guy had signed 833 special citizenship grants in his time as internal affairs minister, but he couldn’t recall whether any other citizens had been granted citizenship after so little time in the country.

“I back the decision in 2011, I back the decision now.”

Prime Minister Bill English…

…said Thiel had been committed to New Zealand and he was happy with the contribution he had made to the country.

English has defended the Government’s decision to grant him citizenship, saying Thiel had “demonstrated his commitment to New Zealand” over the last 11 years after becoming a resident in 2006.

“There’s 200 to 300 cases a year where they don’t quite fit the criteria or there’s some overriding public interest, and the minister acts on the advice of officials as to whether it is generally appropriate for that person to become a citizen.”

Asked if Thiel had “bought” the citizenship, English said “it’s just someone who is able to contribute, that includes investment, and we are happy with the result of that.

But there’s been sqealing as well.

Labour leader Andrew Little…

…said the government needed to explain why they gave him the citizenship.

“It doesn’t look like exceptional circumstances. It looks pretty dodgy,” he said.

Labour immigration spokesperson Iain Lee-Galloway…

…said it was clear that Thiel wanted citizenship in New Zealand so he could have a “bolthole” in the South Pacific.

“It’s extraordinarily unusual, it goes way beyond exceptional circumstances,” he said.

It does seem an odd case of citizenship granted, but has any harm been done by this?

How much has it benefited New Zealand?

Is all the publicity good transparency?

Will the publicity affect what Thiel has to do with New Zealand from now on?

Will that change if the Government changes in September?

If Thiel visits new Zealand will media harass him?

Kiwi citizenship in Australia

A big announcement came from John Key’s meeting with Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney – it will be easier for a large number of (but far from all) New Zealanders to get citizenship in Australia.

While some opposition reaction has been “not enough” this is a significant change that has been mostly received praise, on this side of the Tasman at least.

Audrey Young at NZ Herald: Brave concession a real boost for NZers

Yesterday’s move by Turnbull is a courageous one in election year.

He was clearly convinced that it was unfair to make it harder for that cohort of Kiwis to get citizenship than others from around the world.

Sydney Morning Herald: Malcolm Turnbull announces new path for Kiwis to become Australian citizens

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders living in Australia will be able to apply for Australian citizenship under a deal announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his New Zealand counterpart John Key on Friday.

Mr Turnbull said that New Zealanders on special category visas who have lived in Australia for five years or more, and who earn above $54,000, would now be able to apply for citizenship.

“I think this is a very important recognition of the very close ties between Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Turnbull said.

Tracey Watkins reports at Stuff: Acknowledging the ‘special relationship’ between two nations at last

Turnbull’s announcement on Friday of a “pathway to citizenship” for as many as 100,000 Kiwis living in Australia was already being dismissed as grudging at best by some of the Government’s opponents.

But that denies the huge significance of the win, despite Australia’s very large caveats.

Those caveats include the fact that it is a one-off gesture – an amnesty if you like, for the tens of thousands of Kiwis who have arrived across the Tasman since 2001, the date when the Howard government announced a clamp down on welfare entitlements for Kiwis crossing the ditch under the historic right to freedom of travel between the two countries.

The other glaring caveat is that there are hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who still won’t qualify for Australian citizenship even under the amnesty announced on Friday – they either lack the skills, or don’t earn enough, to be valued by Australia.

But for the estimated 60,000-to-100,000 Kiwis likely to qualify for citizenship under the deal, Australia’s back down will be life changing.


Dotcom and citizenship

During yesterday’s Internet Party the Candidate selection Kim Dotcom announced that he would seek New Zealand citizenship and stand for Parliament in 2017.

Dotcom to stand for Parliament in 2017

The German internet mogul said he would definitely considering running for Parliament if he gained citizenship, ideally before the 2017 general election.

“I would love to but this is not the time. Maybe at some time in the future when I have citizenship.”

I don’t know what the chances are of Dotcom getting citizenship but it seems unlikely it would be granted with the extradition and US legal action still pending.

Requirements for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship

You may be eligible for a grant of New Zealand citizenship if you:

Good Character

You need to be of good character. 

How is the requirement assessed?
To determine whether you are of good character the Minister will consider the answers you have given in your application. We will also complete background checks with the New Zealand Police and other agencies. Things that are taken into account include:

  • criminal convictions;
  • infringements;
  • having an active protection order against you;
  • any other information received from other agencies.

Except in very rare circumstances, you will be disqualified from meeting the good character requirement if:

  • you have been in prison for five years or more; or
  • you have been sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment capable of running for five years or more; or
  • within the previous seven years you were subject to a sentence of imprisonment of less than five years; or
  • within the previous three years you were convicted of an offence but did not receive a sentence of imprisonment.

Pending charges
If you have committed any offence against the law of New Zealand or another country for which you have not yet been sentenced in court you may not meet the good character requirement. 

Overseas police clearance
You may be asked to provide a police clearance from overseas if you have spent a long time outside New Zealand in the past twelve years. Generally, clearances may be requested if you have been settled in a place outside New Zealand for:

  • four or more months during the previous three years; or
  • twelve or more months during the previous four to twelve year period (with New Zealand residency); or
  • four months or more during the processing of your citizenship application; or
  • four months or more after approval and before attending a ceremony.

However, overseas police clearances may still be requested from you even if your situation does not meet the general guidelines above. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Please Note: The Clean Slate scheme only applies to convictions in New Zealand. Any conviction you may have received outside New Zealand must be disclosed.


According to Die Welt on Kim Schmitz/Dotcom:

After 9/11, Schmitz offered a $10-million reward on the Internet to anyone who provided information leading to the capture of Osama Bin Laden. That initiative did not meet with success, but the same year Schmitz promised the ailing firm letsbuyit.com 50 million euros to get it back on its feet. As news of this spread, it ended up resulting in the biggest turnover ever registered in a single day in the history of the Frankfurt stock exchange. He then sold his shares in the company for a record sum. When the district attorney’s office started investigations for insider trading, Schmitz legged it to Thailand.

He was arrested in Bangkok in January 2002 after he announced he would be committing suicide live on the Internet. He was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to a year and eight months of prison.


He was deported back to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and, after five months in jail awaiting trial, again received a suspended sentence (of 20 months). After avoiding a prison sentence for a second time, he left Germany and moved to Hong Kong in late 2003.

That would appear to be outside the twelve year limit, especially if it’s a year or two before he applies, so may not be taken into account.

There was a further seemingly minor conviction in Hong Kong 2011, just after he was granted New Zealand residency.

On Oct. 26, 2010, an immigration manager, Gareth Grigg, sent a memo to a colleague saying that he’d been advised by Cooper that “Mr. Dotcom wants a decision on his application by 1 November 2010 or he will walk away” and consider his residency options in Australia or Canada.

He noted Dotcom’s charitable contributions, but also noted in a section titled “Risks” that: “Mr. Dotcom may be seen to be controlling the processing of his application;” that he may “attract ‘buying residence’ criticism;” and that proceeding with the application without all the outstanding information “may amount to Mr. Dotcom being afforded special treatment because of his wealth.”

Nevertheless, six days later — on Dotcom’s November 1 deadline — New Zealand immigration officials decided to grant him residency.

Two months after he was granted residency, Dotcom was convicted in Hong Kong on several counts of failing to disclose his shareholding levels to the Securities and Futures Commission, and was fined 8000 Hong Kong dollars. New Zealand immigration authorities decided the convictions were too minor to consider deporting Dotcom.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

Before that comes into consideration Dotcom has to deal with his extradition to the US.

Update: Further to this, Dotcom has convictions for insider trading in Kong Kong.

Dotcom had been previously convicted of insider trading and computer hacking in Germany, but these convictions were wiped under Germany’s clean slate legislation.

However, in official documents from Immigration New Zealand released yesterday, it has been revealed that in December 2010, Dotcom was facing eight charges relating to the purchase of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Immigration New Zealand was advised a month later that Dotcom had been convicted on the charges and fined HK$8000 (NZ$1250), Radio New Zealand reports.

The documents show that under the Immigration Act, because of his convictions, the default position is that Dotcom would not have been eligible for residency.

However, this position can be overridden by a special direction from a senior official, which is what happened in Dotcom’s case.

Immigration New Zealand stood by its decision to grant residency, saying Dotcom’s character issues were outweighed by the benefit of his financial investments in New Zealand.