Almost a third of Kiwis deported from Australia in the last two years have reoffended, according to police figures.

The figures showed 218 of the 660 sent home by the Australian Government between January 1 2015 and January 19 this year had gone on to break the law here.

Collectively they have committed 877 offences.

Labour Corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis tonight had a simple response to the figures.


"I told you so. This was always going to happen."

Deportees were arriving home traumatised - from being in detention centres, being separated from their families and finding themselves "dumped" in a country where some had few connections or prospects - and they were not being adequately supported, Davis said.

Some of those deported have not lived in New Zealand since they were children.

Department of Corrections Deputy National Commissioner Rachel Leota tonight told the Herald it was "not a big surprise" to see some of the returning Kiwis reoffend.

"You're talking about people who were in prison in Australia - some have been living over there for most of their lives, and many have few, if any, connections back here in New Zealand."

She said often the offenders have not had their rehabilitation needs met when they are released from prison in Australia.

Several "barriers" also restricted the returning criminals from integrating into New Zealand society, including housing and financial issues, she said.

Leota said Corrections, police, and several other agencies such as Work and Income, and the Salvation Army will met the offenders at the airport before giving them a health assessment and helping a transition back to Aotearoa.


Corrections manages and monitors some, but not all, of the returning criminals, she said.

Justice Minister Amy Adams couldn't be contacted tonight, but earlier told 1 News that reoffending rates had dropped since the introduction of new laws last year.

Those laws provided more monitoring and support for those forced to return home.

The offending rate was now similar to that of the rest of the New Zealand population, Adams said.

The deportees were a difficult group and always a risk of committing crime here, especially since many did not consider New Zealand their home.

A police spokeswoman told the Herald tonight police worked with relevant agencies to manage the arrival of returning offenders.

The Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Act enables information to be required from returning offenders, and the supervision of eligible individuals

"The priority for police is to ensure community safety and assist agencies responsible for facilitating their integration into the community.

"When a person is not eligible under the Act, police still assesses the risk of that individual and puts in place any necessary preventative measures within the current law."