Most bankrupts find the process relatively smooth and wish they had done it sooner. Unfortunately a small minority end up crossing the line and becoming bankruptcy criminals. Bankruptcy criminality can attract severe punishment, including prison time. There are a number of ways that a bankruptcy can become criminalised, mostly revolving around dishonest information or dealing with assets, however, the most common one may be leaving New Zealand without prior permission. It is a criminal offence to leave New Zealand without permission if you are a New Zealand bankrupt. It is an offence that can be easily detected by the Official Assignee and which could cause serious consequences for you during the bankruptcy, or many years later. There is no need to be in this situation as the permission application process is straight forward, and bankrupts who live overseas, but wish to visit New Zealand, are rarely declined. It is best to apply for permission before you travel to New Zealand, but if you've had to come here urgently because a family member is sick you can apply while you are here.
Bankruptcy is an effective remedy that can resolve overwhelming debt stress and give you a fresh start. Don't let it become a problem.