A violent Kiwi thief convicted of more than 70 crimes is free to stay in Australia after a bid to deport him failed.

An order to send John Ropiha, 31, back to New Zealand was overturned on the grounds he has eight Australian-born children.

Ropiha, who arrived in Australia as a baby in 1981, has spent more than seven years in prison after being convicted of more than 70 offences since 1994.

Those include assault, theft, burglary, escaping custody, assaulting police and a home invasion.


Ropiha told the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney he had turned a new leaf and was about to start a new job.