12 Jan 2014

NZ authorities to monitor deported man

9:55 pm on 12 January 2014

Justice Minister Judith Collins says New Zealand authorities will monitor the New Zealand-born sex offender who is to be deported from Australia.

The two countries are working on a memorandum of understanding that will give New Zealand authorities the heads up when someone enters this country with a criminal conviction.

The man, who cannot be named, is serving a prison sentence of 8½ years in Melbourne after pleading guilty to five charges of incest and a charge of performing an indecent act on a girl under 16.

Ms Collins says despite the memorandum not yet being in place, New Zealand authorities will be told about the man because the case is high-profile.

"New Zealand authorities get their information from CrimTrac which keeps the criminal history information for all Australian states, what we're trying to do at the moment is to get a memorandum of understanding between New Zealand police and CrimTrac."

Ms Collins says at the moment New Zealand police can get information about Australian criminal records but it is only done through a request through Interpol.

She says the memorandum will mean it is a direct transfer of information and she will be meeting with her counterparts in Australia in February to progress it.

The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal made its decision despite finding the man has a relatively low chance of reoffending.

At a hearing before the tribunal, the man referred to Australia's obligations to refugees. He said he feared for his life because he had left New Zealand in a bid to get away from a gang.

But the tribunal found he had made numerous trips to visit family members since leaving in 1985 and there were no grounds for his concern.

The man's mother, daughters, brothers, sisters, and fiancee all live in Australia. But despite living in Australia since 1985, the man who is now in his forties will be sent back to New Zealand after the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld a decision to revoke his visa.

The tribunal found that despite the man's family ties and the relatively low chance of re-offending, the risk was still there and the potential harm to Australian citizens was unacceptable.