Aust criminal heading to NZ for first time

Australia is deporting a convicted criminal to New Zealand who has never set foot in the country.

A decision from Justice Robert Bromwich released by the Federal Court of Australia on Friday dismissed an application from Alex Viane, 40, for a judicial review of his visa cancellation.

Viane was born in American Samoa and moved to Australia as a 14-year-old when he was adopted by an uncle living there. He became a New Zealand citizen as his uncle held New Zealand citizenship.

During the 25 years he has been in Australia he has been convicted and, in some cases, imprisoned for a number of criminal offences.

In July 2016, Australia cancelled Viane's visa. He sought to have that revoked but was denied on character grounds a year later and then sought a judicial review.

In a handwritten submission in August 2016 Viane said he came to Australia for a better life.

"I worked hard at school and have held jobs when I could. I have a 20-year-old daughter who has a child and has never been in trouble. I have a partner who is employed and a young daughter.

"I have had an alcohol dependence that has caused all my troubles and I regret acting in a way that has impacted on the community in a negative way. I have worked hard to address this in custody.

"I have never set foot in New Zealand and I am extremely concerned that if I am sent there I will not be able to contribute to my daughters or partners lives."

The judgment says he has 200 family members in Australia.

Viane said his childhood in Samoa was one of misery and fear.

"There was never an occasion in my life where a father figure did not beat me; whether it was in Samoa or Australia, the men I looked up to - those who were supposed to be role models - would hit me."

The judgment discusses whether Viane would go to Samoa or New Zealand and decided New Zealand was likely and didn't accept there was a "jurisdictional error" in the case.

Justice Bromwich said Viane would have access to similar social services and healthcare support as other citizens of New Zealand and would have an opportunity to establish a lifestyle comparable to that of other citizens of New Zealand.

He concluded Viane represented an unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community and that the protection of the Australian community outweighed the best interests of his child and other family members.