Kiwi criminal at centre of Australian political stoush

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A former New Zealand bikie is at the centre of a political stoush in Australia after he was granted refugee status there and went on to commit further crimes.

The man was in a witness protection programme in New Zealand before flying to Australia in 2005, the Daily Telegraph reported.

He was warned upon arrival that if he committed one offence on his temporary visa he could be deported.

However, he went on to commit numerous crimes including forgery and weapons offences, the newspaper reported.

Despite this, the 36-year-old used legislation which allows protection visas to be granted even if a claim falls outside the Refugee Convention. A tribunal agreed that he faced a threat of significant harm in New Zealand.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Government's new asylum laws have "forced them to grant a convicted criminal from New Zealand asylum from fellow crims and bikies back in New Zealand, who want to settle some scores".

"What's next? An Underbelly visa? This absurd farce is just another mess of Labor's own making," he said.

- APNZ

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