A South African national arrested in Hastings this week for immigration breaches and ordered to be deported has been released so he can apply to stay in New Zealand.
The release of Guilliam Stephanus (Steve) Haywood was granted at a special Hastings District Court sitting before Judge Eddie Paul, via video link from a courtroom in Gisborne.
Haywood has been living and working in New Zealand since 2004, but became an illegal alien four years ago through failing to keep up with immigration and residency credentials.
He was apprehended by immigration officials on Tuesday and detained, but was released at the hearing of an Immigration Service application for a deportation Committal Warrant late yesterday afternoon.
There were supporting letters from family members, who include a teenaged daughter at high school, and his bosses at Tumu Timbers. Also in the public gallery were the girls' mother, and the man's partner and her son.
Haywood won't be able to return to work without new Immigration Service authority, and faces other strict conditions pending an appeal against the order or other applications.
Other conditions include a curfew requiring him to remain at a specified address in Hastings between 7pm and 7am, reporting to Hastings Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and surrendering to the Immigration Service if required.
His partner, fellow South African national Natasha Diedericks, had said earlier in the day she feared he would be deported immediately but she was relieved by the reprieve enabling time for proper applications to be made.
He was represented by lawyer Eric Forster and Jo Reilly appeared for the Immigration Service, saying it was "greatly concerned" that Haywood had failed to deal with his obligations but it didn't feel he was a "flight risk" if released on conditions.
The judge said he was able to allow the release on the basis unless it wasn't in the public interest.
"As a minimum he needs an opportunity to put his affairs in order in this country," the judge said, adding it would be difficult if Haywood was in custody.