09 January 2012

Kiwi 'giant' has Australian visa cancelled and faces deportation

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Hayden Harlem Tewao who is 2.1 metres tall and weighs 200kg faces deportation to his native New Zealand because, as Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen puts it, Tewao's "exceptionally large" size makes him a risk factor.

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The size of Hayden Harlem Tewao has given Australian immigration authorities cause for concern.

Tewao, known by his friends as 'Tiny' had his Australian visa cancelled in 2010 after he committed an armed robbery. However, despite a successful appeal to the Australian Administrative Appeals Board which overturned his deportation, the Immigration Minister has overridden the decision, a move which has been supported by the Federal Court of Australia.

Tewao and his cousin were convicted of armed robbery after robbing a man while intoxicated who had sold them cannabis. During the robbery, Tewao broke several bones in the man's face including his nose. Despite his lawyer arguing that his size should not be held against him, the Federal Court ruled that Tewao's size was "patently not irrelevant" and sentenced Tewao to three years and three months in prison and cancelled his Australian visa.

The Australian Administrative Appeals Board overturned the decision to deport Tewao, claiming that Tewao had a low risk of reoffending and had expressed remorse for his crime. The board cited his love for opera, his painting and "soft...insightful" manner despite his overbearing stature for the decision, stating "Mr Tewao, or Tiny as he is known, seems for all his mountainous bulk a gentle man."

However, the Immigration Minister said that the brutality of Tewao's crime combined with his role as an enforcer made the results of any future crimes he may commit "potentially very serious".

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.

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