Deporting Kiwi unjust, says father

By Amy Shanks

17 comments
Marouna Williams hasn't been back to New Zealand since he left when he was two years old.
Marouna Williams hasn't been back to New Zealand since he left when he was two years old.

The Hastings-based father of a New Zealand man being deported from Australia due to a history of violent offending says it is an "unjust" punishment.

Authorities ruled Marouna Williams, 24, should be relocated to Hastings - where his father, Abela, is stationed as minister at the Cook Islands Christian Church.

"I don't agree with a lot of what he's done but I don't think this will help. I think it's unjust, it questions the Anzac [bond]," Mr Williams said.

"He's paid his penalty, he's done 15 months in prison for this last offence, then he was locked up again. It's a bit much that he's now deported. It's upsetting because all of his siblings except one are in Brisbane, Medulla and Melbourne. He's got no one here."

Among Marouna Williams' crimes was a serious assault in Melbourne in October 2008, when he stomped on a man's face, leaving an impression from his shoe, during a home invasion involving other offenders.

He was sentenced to 43 months' imprisonment for five charges relating to the incident in 2011 and was granted parole by November the following year. From there he was detained by Immigration, where he would remain until his deportation later in the month. A list of other charges included theft of a motor vehicle, drink-driving, dishonesty offences and burglary.

Marouna Williams had been in Australia since he was 9 years old. Prior to that he lived in the Cook Islands, but was born in New Zealand and has not returned since leaving with family at the age of 2. His Australian visa was cancelled late last year and he lost an appeal to have it reinstated on December 20.

Both of his parents gained Australian citizenship before they left in 2007, with the intention of returning to serve there. Instead, they have extended their term in Hastings for another four years.

It is an outcome which saddened Mr Williams, who said his son previously contributed to society, working as a concreter and completing one year of a spraypainting scholarship.

"His job was open for him when he was released, he would have gone back into employment," he said. "He just got caught up with the wrong people. I would tell him to stay away but he didn't, he was very young then."

It was not clear to the family whether Marouna Williams would ever be allowed back into Australia.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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