New Zealand Irked By Indian Men Demanding Dowry

New Zealand irked by Indian men demanding dowry

12 Dec, 2006 2352hrs IST

WELLINGTON: The New Zealand government is considering making dowry illegal after the increasing trend of New Zealand born Indian men, or those with residency, travelling to India for arranged marriages and extorting cash from the girl's family.

Women's affairs minister Lianne Dalziel and Immigration Minister David Cunliffe have asked their respective ministries to investigate how widespread the problem is, according to

Dowry cases are on the rise in the country. A New Zealand based women's support group, Shakti migrant services trust, said the men involved demand more money from families once they return to New Zealand with their new wives.

According to the trust, the men usually sponsor their wives into the country on visitor visas and then start demanding more money from their families in India. When the money dries up, or their wives try to escape harassment or abuse surrounding the demands, the men withdraw their sponsorship.

Unfortunately, most marriages are not registered in India, resulting in women having no legal proof of their marriage.

They come to New Zealand on a visitors' visa under the culturally arranged marriage policy.

Last year, 228 women arrived in New Zealand under that category, up from 106 in 2003/2004. Since 2003, 732 women have come into New Zealand under the policy.