Immigration

Hanson asked to 'please explain' in NZ

New Zealand immigration officers asked Pauline Hanson to "please explain" her jail time when she flew across the ditch for a hiking holiday.

New Zealand immigration officers asked Pauline Hanson to "please explain" her jail time when she flew across the ditch for a hiking holiday.

"I don't like it," the former One Nation leader told Woman's Day of her airport experience. "I need to have this cleared up. I am not a criminal."

Ms Hanson was flying to New Zealand earlier this month to join friends for a three-day hike through the Hump Ridge Track, in the South Island, when she was quizzed about her criminal conviction.

The former politician served 11 weeks in jail for electoral fraud in 2003 before being acquitted.

"They have a card that asks if you've had a criminal conviction of more than 12 months, so of course I had to tick yes," she told the magazine.

'Political prisoner' claim

"It didn't ask whether the conviction had been quashed.

"I was then asked what I had been in prison for. I explained I was Australia's first political prisoner."

The 55-year-old said she felt "terribly embarrassed" about the ordeal.

"I basically felt like a criminal."

Ms Hanson was permitted to enter the country but said she would ensure her quashed convictions did not dog her through immigration zones in the future.

She said she would like to move to New Zealand for a couple of months in the future.

Ms Hanson's hardline views on race sparked a national debate over immigration policy and Aboriginal disadvantage from the time she entered federal parliament in 1996.

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