21 May 2016

Tongan man's deportation overturned

6:18 pm on 21 May 2016

A Tongan man who punched his young nephew so hard in the head the boy ended up with brain damage has been allowed to remain in New Zealand.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal has overturned Max Siaosi Kolopeaua's deportation on humanitarian grounds, because of the adverse consequences for his wife and six children.

Kolopeaua was convicted and imprisoned for four years in 2011 for assaulting his nephew, who was four-years-old at the time.

The tribunal said Kolopeaua's offending was serious, and if it only had to consider his humanitarian circumstances, it would uphold his deportation.

However, it said his wife and children would likely remain in New Zealand for health and education reasons, and the effect of separation would have significant adverse consequences for them.

It has suspended his liability for deportation for five years - meaning he will be allowed to stay permanently as long as he does not commit another violent offence.