Tribunal confirms deportation, citing history of violence and attempt to conceal  his convictions

Feinga'i 'o ma'u 'ene pepa' ka ko 'ene hokohoko houtamaki ki he uaifi mo e fānau' , pea' ne fufuu'i na'e 'osi faihia ki mu'a he taimi ne kole ai 'ene pepa' kuo 'ikai ai tali 'ene tangi ke 'oua 'e tipota'i ia ki Tonga'

The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has refused an appeal against deportation by a Tongan  man.

The man had appealed his deportation on humanitarian grounds that there were exceptional circumstances that should be weighed in his favour.

The Tribunal was told the man had lived in New Zealand as a resident for the past nine years.  He had lived here for most of this time with his wife, a New Zealand resident; their son, a New Zealand citizen aged nearly 10; and three of his wife’s children from a previous relationship, New Zealand residents now aged 21, 19 and

The man’s 21-year-old New Zealand-resident daughter from his previous marriage also lived with him.  He had worked as a casual fruit picker and then as a welder and more recently as a support health worker.

The Tribunal was told that the man had a history of domestic violence against his wife and children.

On one occasion he threatened to kill his wife.

He was convicted and sentenced to three months’ community detention, 80 hours’ community work and 12 months’ supervision.  The supervision involved the completion of a four-month anger management course.

On March 11, 2015, the appellant applied for a permanent resident visa.  In his application he said  he had not been convicted of any offences.  On March 19, 2015, Immigration New Zealand approved the application.

In the years that followed he continued to assault his wife and children and he was again convicted. Included in the sentence conditions was a requirement not to associate with or contact the victims without the prior written approval of a probation office, and the completion of a family violence programme.

On  November 27, 2019, the appellant was issued with a Deportation Liability Notice based on his convictions in 2012 and 2018 and his concealment of relevant information in relation to his application for a permanent resident visa.

His wife told the Tribunal that if he was deported she and the children would not go back to Tonga with him.

Her parents and all her children live in New Zealand.

In a report from a psychologist two of her children said they did not want the man to live in New Zealand or to remain with their mother.

The psychologist said the man attributed his offending mostly to alcohol use, cultural factors, and circumstances.  He reoffended despite having done an anger management/violence prevention programme,

He said he could not say that the man would not re-offend.

“It would not be unjust or unduly harsh for the appellant to be deported from New Zealand,” the Tribunal said.

“His offending is very serious in nature, as indicated by the maximum sentences available, the number of offences involved, the physical violence involved, the fact that it was directed against his wife and her children in their care, and the significant sentence imposed.”

Weighing the appellant’s concealment of information and his offending against his humanitarian circumstances, the Tribunal said it was not satisfied that it would be unjust or unduly harsh for him to be deported.

The Tribunal ordered that the period of prohibition on the man returning to New Zealand be removed so he could see his 21-year old daughter and 10-year-old son in the future.

Any application to re-enter New Zealand would be decided by the  Immigration Department.

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