HUNDREDS OF SAMOANS APPLY TO LIVE IN NEW ZEALAND

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APIA, Samoa (June 5, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Hundreds of Samoans wanting to leave for New Zealand swamped New Zealand's immigration office in the capital, Apia, Friday. Police had to be called to control the crowd.

Many of the people slept outside the office over night to get an early start on applying for New Zealand residency.

During the day, several people collapsed from the crush of bodies, but there were no injuries.

Within hours of the office's opening, the annual quota system that allows 1,100 Samoans to take up permanent residence in New Zealand was filled, said chief immigration officer Kerry Ridway.

A better standard of living and better education for their children are the main reasons given by applicants wanting to reside in New Zealand, where up to 80,000 Samoans now live.

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