Chloe Phillips-Harris ran in to an unusual problem when she landed in Kazakhstan – the immigration officials at the airport reportedly refused to believe New Zealand was a country and would not let her enter the country. The officials insisted New Zealand is a state in Australia and put her on a plane back to China. The situation was eventually resolved after a day and a half when people she knew got a new visa for her and ‘paid the right people’.

From the Telegraph

Tourist claims she was detained in Kazakhstan because ‘officials refused to believe New Zealand was a country

A 28-year-old tourist says she was detained at an airport in Kazakhstan after immigration officials refused to believe that New Zealand was a country and insisted it was a state of Australia.

Chloe Phillips-Harris, who holds a New Zealand passport, said she was interrogated for hours and held in a guard room at Almaty Airport for a day and a half.

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From Stuff

Kiwi detained in Kazakhstan after officials refuse to recognise New Zealand as country

Further complicating matters, the room she was interrogated in had a large map of the world tacked on the wall – but the map didn’t include New Zealand.

Phillips-Harris said plain-clothes policemen, immigration police and airport officials were involved, meaning bribery – the usual course of action in such situations – was not a viable option.

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