14 November 2012

Kiwi biker gangster gets Australia visa

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A New Zealand man convicted of several violent crimes both in New Zealand and Australia has been granted an Australia visa after convincing a tribunal he faced harm if he was returned.

Australia visa

The 'bikie' managed to convince the tribunal he faced a genuine threat of harm if he was to return to New Zealand.

The unnamed man originally entered Australia in 2005 after entering New Zealand's witness protection program following a vicious attack by fellow 'bikies' - members of criminal biker gangs. He was granted a temporary Australia visa on the condition he did not commit any further crimes.

However, the man quickly went on to commit numerous offences including forgery, drunk driving and weapons and drugs possessions. He was fined in 2006 and again in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 his original Australia visa was cancelled.

Fearing further attacks from gangs in New Zealand, the man returned to Australia last year under a different name and used legislation within Australia's international obligations to be granted protection as a refugee despite his claim falling outside the Refugee Convention.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen appealed the ruling to the Federal Court but the tribunal concluded the man would face a significant chance of harm if returned to New Zealand.

Opposition immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison has criticised the government for allowing the 'absurd farce' to take place, blaming the governing Labor Party's asylum legislation.

"Labor's new asylum laws, opposed by the Coalition, have forced them to grant a convicted criminal from New Zealand asylum from fellow crims and bikies back in New Zealand, who want to settle some scores," said Mr Morrison.

"What's next? An 'underbelly visa'? This absurd farce is just another mess of Labor's own making."

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

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