A New Zealand-born teenager has been released after nearly four months in detention in Australia following an appeal to win back his visa.
The 17-year-old, who has a string of criminal offences, had been held in an adult immigration detention centre in Melbourne after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton revoked his visa.
He had lived in New South Wales with his family for the last seven years and was to have been deported under Section 116 of the Migration Act, which provides for deportation where someone on a visa is deemed a potential risk to the community.
The youth had a closed hearing in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal last week to appeal against Dutton's decision.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed today that the youth had been released.
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His lawyer, Greg Barns, told the Herald yesterday it was deeply concerning that Dutton had revoked the youth's visa.
Acting Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters weighed in on the case recently, saying Australia was breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He said today the release was good news. The youth was released yesterday and was being taken back to his family.
"I hope he uses this chance to turn his life around," Peters told Radio NZ.
Dutton has remained unapologetic, saying if New Zealand wanted the youth back he was welcome to get on the first flight out.
"We will make sure that he's deported at the first available opportunity but at the moment he's delaying his return to New Zealand," Dutton said.