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WATCH: Timeline of events leading to 2019 scrapping of NZ’s 'Racist' refugee policy

An overturning of a controversial but little-known policy that stopped some of the world’s most desperate refugees from coming to New Zealand was dropped by the Government this year.

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After almost a year of probing by media and advocates, the Government finally backtracked on the policy. Source: Sunday

It came after months of probing by media after a Sunday investigation found the policy discriminated against vulnerable people from Africa and the Middle East.

In 2009, the then-National Government introduced the "family link" policy, that explicitly prevented refugees from Africa and the Middle East coming to New Zealand, unless they already had family living here.

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Amnesty International and World Vision both criticised the policy, which did not apply to refugees from the Asia-Pacific or the Americas.

But in October this year, the Labour Government finally scrapped the rule.

Watch the video above to look back at this year's coverage of the issue by TVNZ.