Twelve foreign nationals are under investigation by the New Zealand immigration authority amid growing scare of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the country. The suspects mostly comprise students from nations that have not yet signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaties
Twelve foreign nationals looking to study or work in New Zealand are under investigation by the New Zealand immigration authority. The investigation is a result of stricter security measures against citizens belonging to countries that have not yet signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaties and/or have access to Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Current suspects belong to nations that have not yet signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaties like Pakistan, India and Israel. However, foreign nationals from countries that have access to WMD like North Korea, China, the United States and Russia, are likely to be put through similar investigations prior to entering New Zealand.
The country’s 36th Parallel Assessments Director, Paul Buchanan clarified that the stricter security measures were a result of New Zealand being viewed as a soft target. Referring to foreign national who may enter the country with the intention of gaining knowledge about creating WMD, the Director said, “By coming here they get an equally good quality education, but they don’t raise the attention of security authorities in the Northern Hemisphere”.
Otago University Professor, Kevin Clements countered the strict measures restricting the entry of students. He said “If you were really interested in developing weapons of mass destruction, you wouldn’t come to New Zealand”. The Founding Director of the New Zealand National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies further expressed concerns over students being discriminated against based on their nationality.
New Zealand’s Immigration Profiling Branch revealed that the investigation was based on the applicant’s CV, country of origin, background information, all previous residential addresses, reason(s) behind selecting New Zealand as the location for study, and in some cases their PhD research proposal.