25 Feb 2014

Deporting Tongan overstayers in NZ to Ha'apai a "death sentence"

10:35 am on 25 February 2014

An advocate for Tongans in New Zealand says deporting overstayers to the area in Tonga ravaged by Cyclone Ian is a death sentence.

The immigration authorities want to deport an overstayer back to Ha'apai, where half the population is homeless.

The woman has been getting treatment in Auckland for a heart condition and her doctors have warned she should not fly.

The Tongan Advisory Council's Melino Maka is asking New Zealand immigration authorities to show some compassion.

"Please have a bit of compassion before you send some of these people to Tonga especially those who go to Tonga and head to Ha'apai, because you're sending them to die."

Melino Maka of the Tongan Advisory Council.