Minister Michael Woodhouse has stripped Immigration New Zealand of its deportation power in cases involving residence-class visa holders convicted of crimes.
The move comes after a New Zealand Herald story revealed that Sultan Ali Abdul Ali Akbari, an Afghan immigrant who has been convicted twice of sex crimes, was allowed by the agency to stay in the country.
“I have made my expectations very clear when it comes to deportation decisions involving offending of this nature, and those expectations are not being met,” Woodhouse said. “So I am temporarily suspending Immigration NZ’s decision making authority until I have confidence that the decisions being made are consistent with my expectations.”
“It’s important we take the time to review the decision-making process to ensure the right decisions are being made,” Woodhouse said. “I expect to be able to return the decision-making authority to Immigration NZ within a fortnight, provided I can be assured the decision-making process aligns with my expectations.”
Akbari, who has been sentenced to two years’ jail time for five counts of indecent acts with a girl under 12 and one count of indecent assault of a woman, was released on parole two months ago. He was also convicted for indecent assault in 2013.
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