PNG prepared for NZ lay missionary to return

2:15 pm on 16 June 2017

The Papua New Guinea Immigration Department is reviewing its decision to deport Catholic lay missionary Douglas Tennent earlier this week.

Douglas Tennent.

Douglas Tennent. Photo: Facebook

Mr Tennent, who is a New Zealand citizen, had been working for the Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul.

As a qualified lawyer he was giving advice to landowners at West Pomio who were involved in a contractual wrangle with palm oil multi national Rimbunan Hijau.

Mr Tennent's removal sparked an outcry from Catholic leaders in PNG, calling it a sign of corruption.

Now immigration services said Mr Tennent, who arrived back in New Zealand on Tuesday, has been invited to lodge a fresh visa application.

The general secretary of the Catholic Bishop's Conference, Father Victor Roche, said the church is keen for him to return and that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has been reported in local media saying Mr Tennent can come back to PNG.