The Czech drug-smuggler at the centre of a political controversy was married, under his assumed name, in Queenstown in 2016.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway is under fire for cancelling Karel Sroubek's deportation order and reconfirming his New Zealand residency.

Sroubek was married in a civil ceremony at a Lake Hayes wedding venue, Stoneridge Estate, months before he was jailed for smuggling $375,000 worth of MDMA into New Zealand.

He married under the false name Jan Antolik, which he adopted when entering the country in 2003.


Queenstown marriage celebrant Peter Doyle, who performed the honours, said ''it was all legit'' because ''Mr Antolik'' had produced a marriage licence.

''You would think that the court had done all the checks.''

Doyle recalled it as ''an ordinary wedding'' with about 50 guests present at Stoneridge.

''He was actually a nice bloke.

''I think he told me he was the New Zealand kickboxing champion 'cos he was built like a tank. He was an amazing-looking bloke.''

Antolik was also well dressed - he had won a Fashion Week experience with NZ Weddings magazine and suit-maker Crane Brothers.

Queenstown wedding photographer Dawn Thomson recalled she was under ''a little bit of extra pressure'' because her photos were going to be published, ''but I always do my best anyway''.

''The couple were really lovely, and there were beautifully well-dressed women'', she says.


''It was quite a beautiful wedding.''

She remembered the bride was ''really disappointed'' it was raining.

It is understood Sroubek, who is still in prison, has since split up with his wife.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered an investigation into the immigration furore.