Kiwi man deported after Australian murder allegedly kills again
A Kiwi expat deported from Australia after serving his sentence for a violent murder has allegedly killed again.
The man's case puts the spotlight on Prime Minister John Key's trip to Australia for talks with Malcolm Turnbull where the rights of Kiwi expats and deportees looks set to dominate.
The deportee has been back in New Zealand for a number of years. He was sent back before Australia's hardline new stance on detaining and deporting Kiwis with even minor criminal convictions, or who fail a good character test.
His case is still before the courts which is why he cannot be named.
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Latest figures show expats, including former criminals, are being deported to New Zealand at the rate of more than one a day since the introduction of Australia's controversial visa cancellation rules.
Prior to law changes rushed through Parliament last year, there was no way to monitor or supervise criminal deportees on their return to New Zealand from Australia.
The regime introduced in November includes automatic supervision in the case of those who have served prison sentences, and the ability to impose supervision orders on those who were either deported on character grounds or who had served less than one year in prison.
The new regime also gives New Zealand authorities the power to take identifying particulars and DNA samples. None of those powers were available at the time of the deportation involving the man currently before the courts.
Justice Minister Amy Adams released figures on Tuesday showing there had been 105 deportations since the act came into force. It is understood none of those returned under the new regime have reoffended.
'ALWAYS A RISK'
Adams said there was always a risk of reoffending, as with any offender who left prison, but the law change went a long way to mitigating that risk.
"Early indications show the law is working as intended."
The New Zealand Government was caught on the backfoot by Australia's tough new regime, which dumped serious and violent offenders back in New Zealand, in many cases without any prior warning.
Key has raised the plight of expat detainees with Turnbull on the various occasions they have met, but the Australian prime minister has to deal with a hardline faction in his caucus who would oppose any relaxing of the rules.
But it appears Turnbull may be quietly making a difference anyway, with figures suggesting discretion available to Australia's immigration minister has been used far more liberally since he was installed.
As many as 50 per cent of detainees are understood to have won their appeals against deportation from Australia, suggesting Turnbull has been leaning on his minister to be more flexible in the way the rules are interpreted.
More formal concessions are unlikely, however, given Turnbull's problems controlling a divided caucus, and the looming election, during which any softening of the hardline policy would become a political football given that it had bipartisan support across the Tasman.