An Indian national who was jailed for raping a 14-year-old girl in the bush behind his local temple will not be deported because of "exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature".
The 22-year-old, who was 14 at the time of the rape, was in 2013 jailed for three and a half years for rape.
However, he was released on parole just over a year later because he found prison "frightening" and had become severely depressed.
He appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal after learning he would be sent back to India at the end of his sentence on the grounds his deportation would be devastating.
After the rape in 2008, the girl's father agreed with the boy's mother not to report it to police as long as the boy returned to India indefinitely.
He had moved to New Zealand with his mother and siblings when he was nine and struggled to resettle in India. He could not handle the heat and became sick from food poisoning.
He was eventually kicked out of his uncle's home by his aunt who had two children of her own to look after.
He begged his mother to come back to New Zealand and eventually returned in 2010, which was noticed by the victim's family who complained to police.
After his release from prison, the man continued a relationship he had started with a Fijian Indian woman in 2012. She suffered a miscarriage only weeks after he went to prison and became depressed while he was inside.
In his evidence the man said he had proposed to his girlfriend of several years, who was a New Zealand citizen, but if he was deported she would not go with him as she had never been to India and didn't have any family or connections there.
He completed sexual offending counselling in prison and a Corrections-employed clinical psychologist found he had a low risk of sexual reoffending.
The tribunal considered the "significant emotional distress" the man's deportation would cause his fiance, the fact he was 14 at the time of offending and "lacked the necessary mental or cognitive development to act differently", and his low risk of sexual reoffending.
"Notwithstanding the seriousness of the appellant's offending (inherently serious, but at the lower end of the spectrum and committed by a child too young to make decisions), the tribunal is satisfied that this is outweighed by his exceptional humanitarian circumstances and that it would be unjust or unduly harsh to deport the appellant from New Zealand."