Tongan overstayers being deported to cyclone damaged homes

A lawyer representing overstayers from Tonga claims New Zealand is deporting people to some of the most cyclone-damaged areas of the island nation.

The immigration lawyer, Richard Small, says the New Zealand authorities are wanting to send Tongan overstayers back to the area, and he has 30 such cases on his books.

He described deporting people with medical conditions to an area devastated by a cyclone as perverse.

He says New Zealand has a role to play as a neighbour and a responsible member of the Pacific Forum, and should introduce a two-month moratorium on deporting people to Ha’apai, on humanitarian grounds.

Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesman Su’a William Sio has called on the Government to call a temporary halt on Immigration New Zealand deporting people to Ha’apai

Sio says, “Immigration New Zealand’s decision to deport overstayers back to the islands of Ha’apai where 5000 people were displaced and 800 homes destroyed was described by lawyer Richard Small as ‘perverse”

He has called on Pacific Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to call a temporary halt on Immigration New Zealand deporting people to Ha’apai.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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