Hopes Doug Tennent can soon to return to PNG


The archbishop  of Rabaul, Francesco Panfilo, says the church has agreed to drop legal action over the deportation of Doug Tennent from Papua New Guinea (PNG) in exchange for Mr Tennent promptly getting a new visa.

Mr Tennent, who is a New Zealand lawyer, was removed nearly two months ago despite a court order stopping it.

Panfilo said some had advised the church not to let the PNG government off the hook.

“But we are not after blood, we are not vindictive, we just want Doug to be back and to be back as quick as possible.”

The PNG court ordered immigration services to issue Tennent a new visa last month which would see him return by August 8.

Tennent is scheduled to fly out on Friday, but is not confident his visa will come together in time.

“It doesn’t look like that’s happening,” he said.

Despite criticisms he should be suing immigration for damages, Tennent is just looking forward to returning to work.

“The Archbishop and I have decided we’re not into that. We just want to get back, carry on with the job.”

But Tennent will be making submissions to the Ombudsman, Constitutional Law Reform Commission and immigration calling for a change in the deportation process.

“I don’t want this sort of thing to happen again. If you’ve got a concern about somebody, you go to them firstly and you let them respond. That was not done at all.

“I think we’ve got a moral obligation to try and address that.”

Tennent had been working with Panfilo on the concerns people in one district of East New Britain had over their relationship with a multi national company involved in logging and oil palm, Rimbunan Hijau.



News category: Asia Pacific.

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