Woman visiting sick mother in New Zealand arrested at border over student loan debt

The woman appeared in court on Monday.
The woman appeared in court on Monday. Photo credit: Getty

A woman has been arrested at the New Zealand border over her student loan debt.

She had travelled from the US to Auckland to visit her sick mother but was stopped as she attempted to return on Friday, reports NZME.

It's understood the woman spent the night in jail before staying in a hotel for the weekend. She appeared in court on Monday.

An Inland Revenue spokesperson told Newshub a person had been arrested, but due to tax secrecy provisions, further details could not be shared.

"While Inland Revenue has the authority to apply for arrest warrants for student loan defaulters leaving the country, this is very much an action of last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted." 

The spokesperson said overseas borrowers should pay all outstanding amounts. 

"If that is not possible, we encourage borrowers to talk with us about their situation. Our staff are always willing to help and we have various relief options available to help manage repayments."

In 2014 a law change allowed for student loan defaulters to be arrested. Since then there have been nine arrests.