It has been alleged that New Zealand (NZ) police have directly contacted Australian authorities for information that enabled Immigration NZ to deny Australian Rebel News journalist Avi Yemini entry to NZ to report on a protest critical of the Labour government.

While attempting to board a plane to New Zealand on Aug. 22, Yemini’s passport was flagged due to the failure to meet the “good character test” due to a past criminal conviction, a spokesperson for Immigration NZ told 1News.

Fellow Australian independent journalist Rukshan Fernando, known as The Real Rukshan, also had his passport flagged but was eventually allowed to board the plane to New Zealand.

According to an email obtained by The BFD, Interpol Wellington contacted their counterparts in Australia urgently seeking “any information regarding criminal convictions or any information tending to show they are individuals of bad character.”

“NZ Police would like to stop the two from entering NZ,” the email allegedly said.

The Epoch Times has not been able to verify if the email obtained by the BFD is legitimate.

Epoch Times Photo
Avi Yemini leaves the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, on March 16, 2022. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

The alleged NZ Interpol email further quoted information from an article written by the NZ Herald, published three days before the protest, that described Yemini as a social media personality known for “extremist far-right ideology” who said in a 2018 protest that he was the “world’s proudest Jewish Nazi.”

Yemini has previously told The Epoch Times that the article presented the quote out of context, as it was a tongue-in-cheek statement made while in front of a large crowd, wearing a kippah, with Antifa standing behind him.

The article also cited Australian media sources and called Fernando a misinformation superspreader who became a hero of people who supported the Melbourne anti-mandate protests.

Questions for Immigration NZ Decision

Yemini said he didn’t break any regulations to enter New Zealand as an Australian citizen.

Australians do not require a visa to visit, work, or live in New Zealand but can be refused entry if they have been convicted of a criminal offence and served at least one year in jail within the last 10 years.

“The conviction that they were referring to was a fine. It’s the lowest form of any sort of [penalty],” Yemini said. “It doesn’t meet the threshold of refusing entry.”

He also believes that blocking his entry to New Zealand would only end up backfiring on the government.

“Yeah, they maybe won in the short-term. But in the long-term, I think there’s a lot of New Zealanders that are very interested in what we’re doing now because they blocked us.”

The Epoch Times contacted NZ authorities to confirm the validity of the email but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Rebecca Zhu


Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australian and New Zealand national affairs. Got a tip? Contact her at




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