Charter flights remove 30 New Zealand citizens from Australia

A total of 30 New Zealand citizens were removed from Australia last week on two charter flights departing from Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

The men had been convicted of a range of serious criminal activities including sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 14, domestic violence against minors,assault and drug offences, aggravated robbery and stalk and intimidate, aggravated break and enter, assault and larceny.

ABF Commander Field Operations, Ben Biddington, said the removal of these people to New Zealand highlighted the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) continued resolve to remove non-citizens who pose a threat to the Australian community.

“These non-citizens have been convicted of very serious crimes. Non-citizens who are found not to meet character requirements, and whose visas are cancelled, are not entitled to remain in Australia,” Commander Biddington said.

“The Australian Government is responsible for protecting the community from the risk of harm arising from foreign nationals who choose to engage in criminal activity. The majority of those removed had their visas cancelled under s501 of the Migration Act.”

“Since the rules around mandatory visa cancellation were strengthened in December 2014, a total of 2926 New Zealand citizens have had their visas cancelled under s501 of the Migration Act.” Commander Biddington said.

There are provisions under the Migration Act 1958 that allow the Minister for Home Affairs to cancel a visa if a person is considered to not be of good character. A person can fail the character test for a number of reasons, including but not limited to circumstances where a non-citizen has a substantial criminal record.

The flights departed on 25 and 26 August 2020.