A convicted criminal is set to be deported from Australia to New Zealand despite claiming he has never even visited Aotearoa.

Alex Viane, 40, was born in American Samoa and though he has never been to this country became a New Zealand citizen as a youngster, Fairfax reported.

He reportedly went to Australia as a teenager on a temporary visa and has racked up several convictions and jail stints since then.

Australia's minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, cancelled Viane's visa on character grounds in July last year.


A decision from Justice Robert Bromwich, released by the Federal Court of Australia last week, dismissed an application from Viane for a judicial review of his visa cancellation, Fairfax reported.

The decision, which did specify what Viane had been convicted of, included a handwritten application by Viane to revoke his visa cancellation.

"My parents are Australian citizens and I came to Australia with them in 1990 from Samoa," he wrote.

"I have no family or supportive networks in New Zealand. I have never been to New Zealand, I have no immediate family or support. I will have no hope of contributing positively to their society."

Viane has an Australian partner and a baby daughter, according to the decision.

Justice Bromwich found that Viane "has no support network in New Zealand and will be separated from his children, partner and family", Fairfax reported.

However, Viane "will have access to similar social services and healthcare support as other citizens of New Zealand".

"I also find that after some initial difficulty, Mr Viane will have the opportunity to establish a lifestyle comparable to that of other citizens of New Zealand," the judge found.

He added that Viane represented "an unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community" and the protection of the Australian community "outweighed the best interests of his child and other minor family members", Fairfax reported.

Viane told the judge alcohol addiction had "caused all his troubles".

"I have never set foot in New Zealand and I am extremely concerned that if I am sent there I will not be able to contribute to my daughters or partners lives."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously said Australia should only deport convicted criminals with genuine links to New Zealand.

She told Fairfax that deportees with strong links to New Zealand were less likely to offend than those without established support networks.

"The point that we've always made is ... about making sure those who were only genuinely affiliated, and had roots here in New Zealand, were being deported," she said.

"There are a number of contested cases where it is very clear that those individuals who are being deported actually have very firm connections, very firm roots in Australia."