I’m from NZ, and I 100% support the arrest of people who default on NZ student loans. All student loans in NZ are from the government. So long as you remain in NZ, student loans are interest free, and the payment is deducted from your wages, just like tax (and only if you earn over ~$19k). So if you’re in NZ and unemployed, you don’t have to make payments and you’re not being charged interest. If you leave NZ for six consecutive months, you are charged interest and are supposed to start making payments. If you don’t make payments, despite being contacted lots (they will let you sort out payment plans) and then come back to NZ, you are arrested. I can imagine scenarios where people have legitimate reasons to stay overseas and also not be able to pay back loans (unexpected parenthood comes to mind, or unable to afford the ticket home) but JUST TALK TO THE IRD and also in 90% of situations I have zero sympathy because if you’re struggling so much overseas that you can’t pay your bills, come home and live on the benefit for a while, duh.