The Kiwi father of star AFL footballer Dustin Martin says he and lawyers are awaiting a likely change of Australian Federal Government in coming months as an opportunity to re-enter the country after his deportation three years ago.
In April 2016, Shane Martin was deported to New Zealand under Australia's Immigration Act on the grounds of bad character, as the country launched a fresh crackdown on bikie gangs.
Martin, 52, was a top-ranking member of Australia's Rebels motorcycle gang and had lived in New South Wales since he was 20, after moving from Huntly in 1989.
His life is now based in Mount Maunganui and Auckland and over the past three years he has been consumed with ongoing legal challenges to previous Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's rejection of his visa applications on publicly unavailable information.
In February last year, Dutton's legal team conceded in the Federal Court in Sydney they had made a legal error in the case - allowing Martin to technically overturn his ban.
Despite "no legal impediment" currently existing, Martin's lawyers still expect he would be detained either at either New Zealand or Australian airports if he attempted to fly. Dutton himself stated that Martin's application to return to Australia would be rejected.
But with a likely Australian Federal Election in May, and polls strongly indicating the incumbent Liberal Government will be replaced, the Martin camp has fresh hope.
"I'm waiting on advice from my legal team, but it is based on a change of Government," Martin - whose life story is told in the new book, A Rebel in Exile, told the Herald on Sunday.
"I'm still going for it, I'm not going to fold up. They've picked the wrong bloke to be honest, I'm going to fight it all the way."
Martin's Melbourne lawyer, John Kotsifas, said they were awaiting the Australian Liberal Government to "disappear in May" and they will asses the situation with the potential new Government.
Martin has spent the past year living in an apartment in Auckland's CBD, running his Sydney trucking company from afar.
His said his initial years of depression in New Zealand have cleared somewhat, but he still desperately misses his three grown sons and two young step-daughters living in Australia.
"I was depressed and angry for a while and took it out on my wife a bit. It wasn't her fault but she stood strong. Now we're living together. We'd just got married, two weeks after that I got deported, separated for nearly three years."
Martin said he is even thinking of settling in New Zealand, and has come to "love" the country of his birth, but still yearns for the ability to return to Australia to see his kids and watch Dustin play footy.
"I thought oh I've gone backwards, because it's so slow. I've since then had to eat my words about New Zealand," he said.
"It's the most amazing country in the world - beautiful, untouched, and the people are so hearty and kind. You don't notice it until you've been elsewhere.
"My wife loves it, and my kids love coming here. But I still want the freedom to come back to Australia."
Martin had his visa cancelled under section 501 of the Australian Immigration Act, which states people can be deported if they have a "substantial" criminal record.
Martin's rap sheet stretches back in 1990, and includes a charge in 2004 of aiding and abetting in ecstasy trafficking and drug possession.
But he claims in Rebel In Exile that police sent a couple of undercover officers to the club he was working at as a bouncer - before he was a member of the gang - "to try to trick me into selling them some pills". He pointed toward the dance floor and the police found a man who sold them some pills.
They then raided his house and found two ecstasy tablets in a bag inside a jacket pocket which he'd picked up off a club floor.
Martin said he no longer is part of the Rebels and doesn't talk to his old friends affiliated to the group in Australia.
"They respect what I'm fighting for and vice versa. It s**** me that you can't keep in contact with people who have been a big part of your life," Martin said.
"I met some really good, respectful people, I don't regret it. It sort of annoys me how people look down on bikies, or clubbies. They do have morals, respect and loyalty."
Martin has written the book with Kiwi gang expert and University of Canterbury lecturer Jarrod Gilbert, detailing much of this past in the Rebels, and a violent upbringing in Huntly.
Gilbert himself has described Martin's case an "abuse of state power".
A Rebel in Exile
By Shane Martin and Jarrod Gilbert
Published by Hardie Grant.