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German overstays New Zealand visa by 20 years

The Local · 4 Jan 2011, 14:02

Published: 04 Jan 2011 14:02 GMT+01:00

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The Timaru Herald newspaper reported that Jurgen Karl Ahrens, 72, a keen hiker, climber and kayaker, had been on the run from New Zealand immigration officials for over two decades.

He was arrested last week after his distinctive Mercedes car, which police had been looking for, was reported by other hikers at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.

Ahrens was wanted in connection with an assault at Fox Glacier in 2004. Joe Rush, a police constable who dealt with Ahrens in the nearby town of Twizel, said the long-haired, bearded and unkempt German was relaxed and pleasant.

“If you saw him, you would think, ‘He's a bit of a rough bugger,’” Rush told the paper. “He just constantly talked. He speaks English well, he was very polite and was quite easy to talk to.”

Ahrens’ story remains something of a mystery. He claimed he had come to New Zealand from Australia, where he had worked for 20 years. But his passport showed rather that he had come from the Philippines.

“He didn't really say why he came here,” Rush said. “He claimed he had some investments in the North Island.”

Ahrens had also refused to comment on the assault charge. He said he lived in a flat in Christchurch that was rented from a friend. He had a New Zealand driver’s licence and appeared to be living off a German pension.

Although Ahrens had never had a speeding or parking ticket, police were on the lookout for his car because of his visa overstay. He was to be deported Monday, the Timaru Herald reported. He told police there would be no friends or family waiting for him in Germany.

Story continues below…

Nevertheless, he seemed sanguine about the whole episode, tell Rush: “This is an interesting part of my life.”

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:56 January 4, 2011 by Johnne
Waait a minute!! Are you kidding me?? a German ilegal immigrant in NZ?? I can´t believe this. I want proof!! proof that he seek asylum, he´s not muslim, and how could he be well integrated if he had no papers to live in NZ?? So, a German could be an immigrant in another man´s land? incredible :-))
17:32 January 4, 2011 by Alofat
@Johnne Does you rant have a point or are you just high?
21:56 January 4, 2011 by puisoh
I find it admirable, enviable, living the 'live and let's live' spirit to the fullest! Prost!!
10:18 January 5, 2011 by freechoice
give him a break, he fell in love with NZ!
01:28 January 6, 2011 by Prufrock2010
This is a news story?! Who cares?
02:40 January 6, 2011 by fryintl
Prufrock: You care or you couldn't read it.

Johnne: YOu missed one point, how did he get a NZ Driver's license? Even the MExicans can't get one in California and they practically own it now.

Puiso: is it not live and let live? Or did you mean to butcher the phrase for poetic purposes?

freechoice: Yes he did. NZ is awesome and hte ladies are quite hot....

My concern: What is this car they found, and what is going to happen to it? IS it so cool, a NZ judge deported him so he could get his hands on it?
19:55 January 6, 2011 by Prufrock2010
I read it to see if there was a story there. There wasn't. It was nearly as vapid as your postings. Hence my comment. Besides, I am quite capable of reading things I don't care about, including your mindless comments.
11:17 January 7, 2011 by eleewhm
i just luv it when they mentioned Mercedes,he hasnt lost his roots..
16:21 January 7, 2011 by storymann
This person according to their description wasn't exactly a needle in a hay stack to find.and NZ is not a big country...they should have a statue that if you over stay 20 years and they don't catch you,,,you get to stay as long as you want.
04:47 January 8, 2011 by Prufrock2010
Except in the US. This guy dropped an anchor Mercedes.
08:26 June 24, 2011 by nz101
Speaking as a kiwi here, I think they should have let him be. Obviously he wasn't a drain on our society, as he was living on a German benefit. There are many many more people they should be tracking down instead to kick out, but not this chap.
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