Radio NZ is reporting the third Con Air flight from Australia has landed in New Zealand.
The latest charter flight, carrying 15 deportees, landed at Auckland International Airport earlier today.
The flights began on 19 November 2015 after the New Zealand government introduced a new law under urgency to impose ‘parole-like’ monitoring on criminal offenders repatriated from Australia.
The deportees getting a free trip home are New Zealand citizens living in Australia, made persona non grata due to their criminal activities. They include high risk offenders such as murders, child sex offenders, rapists and gang members.
The charter flights started after a group of detainees, including New Zealanders, rioted at the Christmas Island detention centre causing $10 million dollars worth of damage.
Legislation to monitor the deportees in New Zealand wasn’t due due until the end of 2015 but was pushed through under urgency on 18 November 2015, eight days after Kiwi detainees were involved in the 3-day riot on Christmas Island.
There has been a push to improve monitoring of criminals deported from Australia to New Zealand since the murder of Christchurch schoolgirl Jade Bayliss in November 2011. The 13-year-old was strangled in her home by her mother’s ex-boyfriend Jeremy McLaughlin – a man who spent time in jail for the killing of a teenager in Australia before he was deported in 2001.
Convicted murderer Michael Heron was deported from Australia late last year and is understood to be living in Christchurch.
Because the New Zealand government dragged its heals for the last year, criminals who returned to New Zealand before 19 November are exempt from monitoring provisions and are under no obligation to co-operate with authorities.
Before the law change, deportees arrived in New Zealand and mixed freely into the general population with little or no monitoring. Unfortunately, some ex-offenders may have continued their criminal careers and have been charged with fresh offences.
No sex offenders register
Despite the Con Air legislation going from bill to law in 2 successive days, New Zealand still doesn’t have a law to establish a sex offenders register.
Burden on NZ’s criminal justice system
Up to 150 people could require monitoring and will vie for the Dept. of Corrections’ attention with the 2,000 releases from Zealand’s prison system every year. Their monitoring and supervision is likely to cost the New Zealand tax payer $7.4 million dollars, although this a conservative estimate of prisoners based on prisoners already in Australia’s correction’s system. There could potentially be thousands more with spent/no convictions who may be deported for failing Australia’s strict new character test.
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