Deported NZ missionary wants clarity from PNG Immigration

3:58 pm on 14 June 2017

A New Zealand missionary deported from Papua New Guinea says he wants PNG Immigration to spell out to him how he breached his visa.

Despite a court order staying his deportation, Douglas Tennent was forced to leave PNG on Monday after being told on Friday by immigration officials he was abusing the conditions of his religious worker visa.

Douglas Tennent.

Douglas Tennent. Photo: Facebook

Mr Tennent had been working at the Rabaul archdiocese where among his roles was helping local people affected by multi-national Rimbunan Hijau's palm oil operations.

Now back in New Zealand, Mr Tennent said he wants just two things.

"One of them is to return to PNG to continue my work with the archdiocese in helping local people on infrastructure and land issues," he said.

"And the other thing I want is for immigration to spell out to me how I breach my visa and if any groups have got concerns about my actions, set them out so I can respond. I have had no opportunity to respond."

Mr Tennent also said he felt PNG Immigration officials misled him when ushering him out of the country.

After being told of the deportation order, he agreed to accompany immigration officials from East New Britain to Port Moresby on Sunday on the understanding he'd get his phone back so he could communicate with his lawyer and the Archbishop.

Despite receiving repeated assurances from Immigration officials that he'd get his phone back over the weekend, he was eventually relayed a message from the Chief Migration Officer that no communication was allowed.

Mr Tennent said he felt betrayed.

"They didn't give me my phone back until they pushed me through Immigration and Customs yesterday (Monday)," he explained.

"So when I finally got my phone back I rang through to the lawyer and he said look, we've got a stay, you can't leave the country. The response was look, you've already left the country because you've passsed through customs, so we cant stop you leaving the country."