New Zealand Needs To Deport Foreign Criminals

Dieuwe de Boer

For many years the Australian “returning offender 501” legislation has had a significant strain on the New Zealand justice, welfare, and corrections systems. Over 2,000 convicted criminals have been deported from Australia to New Zealand since 2015, and the numbers are increasing every year. Rapists, violent armed robbers, and child sex offenders have been returned to this country, and new gang chapters previously unheard of are now flourishing and growing in strength all over the country.

Meanwhile, consecutive governments have demonstrated little desire to enforce the Immigration Act 2009 to its fullest extent. New Zealand has been hamstrung by a statute of limitations in the Act, which prevents deportation of criminals who have held a resident visa for longer than 10 years.

In a recent example, two Australian brothers sentenced to 17 years in prison for committing for nearly 70 crimes, including drugging, sexual abuse, and rape, could not be deported. Immigration NZ said it can't remove them because of the length of time they have lived in this country.

In addition to the burden of returned offenders from Australia, New Zealand citizens also have to deal with heinous crimes committed by those who are here on resident visas. As it stands, these criminals are being kept here at our expense, will likely remain unemployable because of their offending, and they receive disproportionate levels of state assistance for little or no positive return.

Serious criminals who are not New Zealand citizens must be returned to their country of origin. Being a resident in this country is a privilege. Citizens should have the right to feel safe and secure in the country of their birth, and not have to pay extra for it.

The solution is simple.

The government needs to introduce an amendment to Section 161 of the Immigration Act 2009 that would enable authorities to deport any non-citizen sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more, and also to deport non-citizens if they receive 2 or more terms of imprisonment where the total of those terms is 12 months or more.

This would bring our Immigration Act in line with our closest neighbour Australia.

In addition it would be good to introduce a more stringent character test to the Immigration Act, and to deport people on resident visas who join a known criminal organisation, such as a recognised NZ gang or overseas terrorist organisation.

These changes to our laws would also make it easier for the government to negotiate a compromise with Australia on its deportation policy, which continues to cause political tensions between our two nations.

About the author

Dieuwe de Boer

Editor of Right Minds NZ, host of The Dialogue on RCR, and columnist at The BFD. Follow me on Telegram and Twitter. In addition to writing about conservative politics and reactionary thought, I like books, gardening, biking, tech, reformed theology, beauty, and tradition.

Leave a comment