Christmas Island detainees among offenders being returned to NZ today

  • Australia

Around twelve people with criminal convictions will arrive in New Zealand from Australia today on a charter flight.

According to Justice Minister Amy Adams, most of the individuals on the flight will be coming from Christmas Island.

A joint statement from the New Zealand Police and Corrections Department says the flight will be met by staff from their agencies.

Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess says, “The priority for Police is to ensure community safety and assist agencies responsible for facilitating their reintegration into the community.”

The Returned Offenders (Management and Information) Act which passed its third reading in Parliament yesterday will be used to manage the reintegration of those being returned to New Zealand.

The Justice Minister says “This regime strikes a careful balance between offenders’ rights and public safety,”

“Some of these returning offenders are serious and violent criminals. While we can never remove all risk of them re-offending, this legislation is an important part of reducing that risk for law-abiding New Zealanders.”

Under the new Act those returning will be required to provide Police with identifying particulars including name, date of birth, address and fingerprints.

DNA samples will also be sought and Police will interview each person individually for Offender Management Plans, the implementation of prevention tactics, and to assist with reintegration.

Corrections is responsible for the management of the supervision regime once each individual has been processed at the airport.  

A further group is expected to arrive next week.