25 Jan 2017

Langdon arrest warrant: 'I can't afford to travel'

6:18 pm on 25 January 2017

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Alan Langdon for failing to appear in court, but he says he could not afford to leave Australia and has not been served with a summons.

Alan Langdon left Kawhia Harbour on a tiny catamaran with his daughter Que on 17 December.

Alan Langdon and his six-year-old daughter, Que, travelled to Australia on this catamaran. He has said they were originally heading for the Bay of Islands, but were forced to change their plans. Photo: AFP

Mr Langdon was due to appear at Te Awamutu District Court today, after he took his daughter out of the country.

Mr Langdon and the six-year-old, Que, were the subject of a large police search after they left Kawhia in a small yacht before Christmas, turning up three weeks later in Australia.

An arrest warrant was issued after police said they had made efforts to serve a summons.

Mr Langdon said he had other obligations in Australia, and had not been served with a court summons.

"I am busy in Australia with quarantine for our boat. I have a legal obligation to take our vessel to Port Kembla ... I have very little money and can't afford to travel."

He said he had completed repairs to his rudder, and he was now trying to get funds for stores, saying the "weather is in charge of my departure".

Que has been reunited with her mother, Ariane Wyler, and the pair arrived back in New Zealand on 19 January.

Police claim Mr Langdon took his daughter without leave of the court, knowing proceedings were pending under the Care of Children Act.

However, they said they would not be seeking his extradition, as the charge did not meet extradition requirements.

Ms Wyler told Checkpoint to be reunited with Que was "beautiful".

"The not knowing has been really quite stressful… where were they?

"She told me it was always boiling hot [on the sailing trip]."

The Tasman was a challenging sea. The family had sailed it on a boat about twice the size, she said.

She and Que would move to a home in the South Island and Que would be enrolled in school.

Mr Langdon told Checkpoint he could not afford to return to New Zealand. He had not heard from New Zealand officials, he said.

"I did take that child to Australia, with the full knowledge she wasn't to be removed. The fact is I did that ... The Bay of Islands was where we were going."

He has previously said the wind took the boat to Australia after a rudder broke. Safety was his main concern and Australia was home to him, he told Checkpoint.

"She [Que] loved the trip. She was never on the deck without me."

He missed Que and hoped they would be reunited in the future. Que had an Australian passport, he said, which expired in 2015.

"I want Que to come home to Australia. She's an Australian.

"I don't have any money... I've got to take the boat [north].

"There is no point returning to New Zealand to hang around for the courts to decide if I can talk to my daughter... I hope she is playing and laughing."