Kent Andrew Garrett, an IT professional also known as Orson Kent, admitted 29 counts, including accessing and soliciting child abuse material in 2014. Photo / Provided
Some of New Zealand’s new residents are deportees from Australia with experience in methamphetamine trafficking, violence and child sex offenses online.
Despite continued irritation from Australia dropping its unwanted inhabitants across Tasmania, a migration expert says there is little New Zealand can do to stop the flooding.
More than two dozen criminals were deported from Australia last week, barely a fortnight after the deportation of 28 other men, including two with outlaw biker ties.
One of the new deportees is a pedophile jailed for impersonating pop star Justin Bieber in order to deceive girls as young as 12 by sending them sexually explicit photos.
According to News Corp, it is Kent Andrew Garrett, a Melbourne man in his late forties.
Australian court documents show IT professional Garrett, also known as Orson Kent, admitted 29 charges, including accessing and soliciting child abuse material in 2014.
He emigrated from New Zealand in 2007 to pursue opportunities in IT, The Age newspaper previously reported.
Most of the new deportees are known as 501s, having obtained visa revocation for failing the character test under Section 501 of Australia’s Migration Act.
Migration expert Professor Paul Spoonley said the deportation of Kiwi-born criminals saved Australian authorities huge amounts of money.
But New Zealand society and Trans-Tasman relations have paid the price.
Spoonley, of Massey University, said the 501s had often lived in Australia for many years and arrived in New Zealand without a support network.
Sometimes the only networks were criminal fraternities.
“Australia exports its criminals, but also its gangs to New Zealand,” Spoonley said.
“Then the Comancheros and others start to appear in New Zealand.”
“New Zealand governments of various persuasions have tried to persuade the Australian government to take a different line, and this has failed miserably.”
Prior to 2001, New Zealand citizens in Australia with special category visas could access Social Security and obtain Australian citizenship without becoming permanent residents.
“The different treatment of New Zealanders started in 2001 and then of course the 501s really added insult to injury,” said Spoonley.
“It is both disappointing and a major threat to bilateral relations.”
But he said outside of attempts at diplomacy or persuasion, it was difficult to avoid picking up unwanted convicts from Australia.
“All countries have the right to expel citizens of other countries if they commit criminal offenses – but the numbers here are significant.”
More than 1,000 people were deported in the two years to March 2018 alone.
Deportations have stopped for no pandemic, with several 501s flights landing in Auckland this year.
A spokeswoman for Managed Isolation and Quarantine said that since mid-July, deportee flights have arrived with deportees completing their fortnight’s isolation at a dedicated facility in central Auckland.
The agency wouldn’t say which location was used, but some 501 are known to have stayed at the Ramada on Auckland Federal Street.
The agency said more than 75,000 returnees had passed through MIQ facilities and only a small number were deported.
It was not immediately clear when the next deportee plane was due to land.