They used to be best mates but now campaigner Grant West despises the murderous actions of his former friend.
West went to Epuni Boys Home in Wellington with Paul Dally who raped, tortured and then buried alive 13-year-old school girl Karla Cardno.
Dally has so far served 27 years for the horrific crime.
Cardno's stepfather Mark Middleton was on Tuesday issued a deportation order out of the blue after Immigration police stormed his work and told him he had living in the country illegally for more than 32 years.
Middleton first arrived in New Zealand, aged 4, with his parents. The only time he's left New Zealand is on a family holiday to Fiji in1986. It's from that time, that Immigration NZ claim he has been living in New Zealand as he did not get himself a residency visa.
Immigration NZ state Middleton was high priority due to his criminal conviction for threatening to kill Karla's murderer.
But West labelled the order "not right".
West is no stranger to the Government. He created a petition which eventually lead to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing a Royal Commission into historical state care abuse.
West told the Herald both he and Dally were the victims of abuse while in Epuni Boys.
Since coming across Middleton's situation today, West said he'd been reading up on Immigration legislation at the time he and his family landed - 1962 - and said he should have received automatic residency as long as he didn't leave the country within his first 20 years of settling.
"I thought hang on, this is just not right. I've been going back through the Immigration laws from 1962 [NZ Immigration Act 1966] which actually don't prevent him from coming into the country and he didn't have to hold a visa because of his age. You're a minor and you come in under your parents' papers."
Although he was friends with Dally at school - when Dally was aged 9, West 8 - after the eight months together in the home, he never heard his name mentioned again until contacted to be interviewed on Nigel Latta's Beyond the Darklands series of convicted murderers and rapists.
He felt sorry for Middleton after everything he'd been through and wanted to help out.
"The poor bloke has been through enough. What with his stepdaughter being killed by Dally, I condemn what he did. He was my best friend at Epuni Boys' Home, but that's it."
West said he would get in touch with Associate Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi and suggest he intervene.
If he doesn't get a response, he said he will launch a petition to help Middleton stay in the country.
Middleton, who today said he'd been overwhelmed by the response and offers of help, has been given a two-week reprieve by Immigration New Zealand so his lawyer Keith Jefferies can organise submissions for an appeal.