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'We don't have any rights' - Kiwi in Aussie detention centre worried about future

A Kiwi who has spent 14 years in Australia says "we don't have any rights" as he awaits his possible deportation back to New Zealand.

Duncan Poroa has been held at the infamous Christmas Island detention centre for five weeks, having served eight years in prison for dealing ecstasy.

He was looking forward to release, but immigration officials moved in, took him to Villawood detention centre in Sydney before moving him 3000km to Christmas Island.

Under recently introduced law, anyone who has been jailed for two years or more can have their visa cancelled and be deported.

The prime minister has expressed his concern with low-level offenders with little link to New Zealand being deported. Source: 1 NEWS

Many of them end up on Christmas Island while waiting to be kicked out, including, it has been claimed, increasing numbers of New Zealanders.

"We dont know... I don't know anything... my partner doesn't know anything," he told ONE News via phone.

"My partner is very stressed about it, we don't know anything, we're in limbo."

I think the NZ government ought to be very concerned about the treatment of its own citizens - Greg Barns, lawyer

John Key says close to 200 New Zealanders are on Christmas Island, and that he thinks it "doesn't make sense" for low-level offenders with little link to this country to be deported

Poroa says he has struggled to get any information from authorities about his case, and says he's been told they are eight months behind on paperwork.

"We don't have any rights."

The Prime Minister said today he was concerned to hear allegations that some Kiwis in custody were being denied basic rights.

He also questioned whether the threshold for deportation was being set in the right place.

"There are many people who are deported back to New Zealand who left New Zealand as a baby who may have no family here, no community of interest here," he told reporters.

"I can understand why the Australians may want to make a case that the person should come back to New Zealand but given the fact they may have lived in Australia for all of their lives, paid taxes, been involved in their society."

Mr Key said his concerns did not apply to serious offenders, but "at some lower levels it doesn't make sense to me". 

Greg Barns of the Australian Lawyers Alliance says the conditions on Christmas Island amount to "torture", and that people who may have spent their entire life in Australia but were born to Kiwi parents were being swept up in the rule change. 

"I think the NZ government ought to be very concerned about the treatment of its own citizens."

New Zealanders are the second largest group to be sent to Australian immigration detention centres in the last year. Source: 1 NEWS