Immigration New Zealand has lost track of someone due to be deported to the Pacific, as the number of criminal deportees to the Pacific is banking up.
Since the border closure, 32 people are on the list to be deported to the Pacific, with the majority for violent offences.
As of this week, 27 remain in detention and three have been deported. One is in the community and is being monitored.
Immigration NZ say they’re working with police to track the missing deportee down.
Pacific Policy fellow Jose Sousa-Santos said it would not be very neighbourly of New Zealand to send deportees back during this time,
“To deport such a number of deportees back to their countries of origin will only put countries that are already under duress at further risk.”
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi declined to be interviewed and said in a statement “agencies work closely together to monitor those individuals who are released into the community.”
National’s immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford said the Government should at least keep an accurate tab on where violent offenders are.
“Deportations have been backing up for a number of years under this government, this is not a new problem and we are dealing with violent offenders, the very least they could do is keep an accurate tab on where they are,” she said.
The Immigration Minister is overseeing a department that is completely broken right now.”
According to a Cabinet paper, another issue is getting police escorts because of the long MIQ stays.
Immigration New Zealand said the main barrier is lack of flights.
In 2019, 509 people were deported to their country of origin.
Last year, it was less than half that and this year only 142.
Sousa-Santos says once we un-pause we'll need to do it slowly because many don't have connections to the Pacific anymore.