FIJI NEWS

NZ Labour slams ‘inconsistencies’

Wellington: Labour is slamming inconsistencies in deportation decisions, saying it is “extremely unfair” that a convicted fraudster was given a four-year stay from deportation while a young man needing a
07 Mar 2014 14:33

Wellington: Labour is slamming inconsistencies in deportation decisions, saying it is “extremely unfair” that a convicted fraudster was given a four-year stay from deportation while a young man needing a crucial surgery has been given just a week.
Sanil Kumar, a young Fijian immigrant, requires a kidney transplant, but failed to get his visa renewed and was given a week to make necessary arrangements to leave New Zealand.
But a former Auckland City Council employee, Hendrik Pieter Jooste, who stole $350,000 of ratepayers’ money, won a four-year stay on being deported after telling a deportation tribunal that deporting him would be unfair on his children.
Figures obtained by the Herald under the Official Information Act revealed the cost of deporting immigrants who breached visa conditions over the last five years had cost taxpayers over $7.1 million.
Annual deportation figures have remained fairly constant since 2009, ranging from between 720 and 792, bringing the total number deported to 4525.
Labour immigration spokesman Rajen Prasad said the ongoing threat to deport Mr Kumar was “cruel and heartless” because kidney transplants could not be done in Fiji.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the decision on Jooste was made by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and not Immigration NZ, which was fighting the delayed deportation of the South African.
Being unlawfully in New Zealand was the reason for deporting 1621 migrants, followed by 69 whose circumstances no longer met visa rules and 43 for criminal offending.
Those who leave voluntarily would have to pay their own costs but did not face a ban from returning to New Zealand.
Migrant Action Trust manager Agnes Granada said many deportation decisions “seemed unfair” and immigrants from some countries appeared to be favoured more than others.
Deportation (over the last five years)
n $7,167,815 – deportation cost to Nov 2013
n 4525 – deportations
n 13,151 – overstayers in NZ today
n Facing deportation:
n Sanil Kumar, from Fiji: needs urgent kidney transplant, but given one week to make arrangements to depart.
n Hendrik Pieter Jooste, from South Africa: former Auckland City Council employee who stole $350,000 of ratepayers’ money but won a four-year stay after a tribunal appeal – which is being challenged by INZ.
– www.newstalkzb.co.nz




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