The ''pay or stay'' campaign that stops people with unpaid
fines at Customs when travelling internationally has been
deemed a success by the Ministry of Justice, although few
travellers have been stopped at southern international
Figures released by the ministry under the Official
Information Act revealed that 743 people had been stopped by
Customs in New Zealand up to last November. The campaign
began in October 2006. Of those, 10 people were stopped at
Dunedin International Airport, seven at arrivals and three at
departures. One person was stopped at Queenstown Airport, at
Of those stopped at Customs for unpaid fines in New Zealand,
70% were at arrivals and 29% were at departures. The location
when stopped of the remainder was unknown.
A ministry spokesman said when an ''intercept alert'' was
triggered at Customs, they notified police at the airport,
who then connected them, by phone, to a court officer. If the
court officer could not obtain full payment, or agree a
suitable payment arrangement, police could arrest the person
and prevent them travelling.
The ministry could not say how many people stopped had been
prevented by arrest from travelling.
The 175 people who triggered alerts at Customs in the 2011-12
financial year had paid $442,722 in fines and reparation and
$938,244 in fines were placed under arrangement.
In the past four years, the 500 people that triggered an
intercept alert, paid $2.55 million in fines and reparation
and placed $5.86 million under arrangement.