Tongan immigrant deportation order quashed, tribunal told to reconsider decision

    A deportation order against a Tongan immigrant was quashed by the Supreme Court in Auckland on March 26 saying the immigration tribunal failed to take into account his age and New Zealand identity.

    But it ordered that Immigration Tribunal has to review the deportation order.

    Samuela Faletalavai Helu ,24, has lived in New Zealand since he arrived from Tonga in December 1996 at the age of six.

    In April 2003, he and his family were granted residence permits.

    When he was 17 years old, the appellant committed the aggravated robbery of a convenience store in Auckland and on 20 May 2009 he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

    As the aggravated robbery had taken place less than five years after the granting of his residence permit, conviction of the offence made the appellant eligible for deportation in the discretion of the Minister of Immigration under s 91(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1987. The Minister ordered his deportation on 17 March 2010.

    Helu appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal but the Tribunal upheld the minister’s decision. The Tribunal found that, while it would be unduly harsh to deport Mr Helu, it was not persuaded that it would not be contrary to the public interest for him to remain in the New Zealand.

    The appellant has sought judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision. In the Court of Appeal and High Court, the decision of the Tribunal was upheld. The Supreme Court gave the appellant leave to appeal.

    The appellant submitted that the Tribunal had failed to take into account article 12(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees that no-one will be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter their own country, and that the Tribunal failed properly to take into account his age.

    The court therefore quashed the Tribunal’s decision but said it has to take further consideration of its decision.

    Helu and his lawyer Mele Tu’ilotolava could not be reached for comments.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Ne tu’utu’uni ‘a e Fakamaauʻanga Lahi ʻi ʻAokalaní ʻaneafi ʻaho 26 ʻo Māʻasí ke taʻe ʻaonga e tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e ʻimikuleisini ʻa Nuʻu Sila ke fakafoki fakapuleʻanga ʻa matāpule Tonga ki Tonga ʻo ne pehē ne ʻikai fakakaukauʻi lelei ʻa hono taʻú mo hono ʻaitenititī ko e tangata kuo nofo Nuʻu Sila.

      Ka ko e feinga ko ‘eni pea ʻi he hili e tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e Fakamaauʻanga Lahí ‘oku te’eki pe mahino kuo lava pea ikuna kakato he kuo toe tu’utu’uni atu ‘a e Fakamaau’angá ki he tulaipiunolo ‘a e ‘Imikuleisini ke toe fai foʻou e tuʻutuʻuni ni ‘o pehe na’e iai e fehalaaki ‘i he’ene ‘uluaki tu’utu’uni tipooti ne fai ma’a Helu.

      Na’e fanau’i pe ‘a Samuela Faletalavai Helu ‘i Tonga pea ne ha’u ki Nu’u Sila ni mo ‘ene ongo mātuʻá pehē ki hono tuofefine ʻi hono taʻu 6. Tukukehe ange ʻene foki ʻo ako nofomaʻu ʻi Tonga ʻi ha māhina ʻe ono peá ne toe foki mai ki Nuʻu Sila ní ʻoku ʻikai hano toe fāmili ʻi Tonga.

      ʻI Sānuali 2008 ʻa ia ko e taʻu 17 ia ʻo Helú, naʻá ne kau ai ʻi ha foʻi kaihaʻa ʻo ha fale koloa. Naʻá fakahanga holo ai mo fanaʻi ha meʻafana hangē ha meʻafana vaʻingá. ʻI he foʻi kaihaʻá ni ne kaihaʻasi ai ʻa e sikaleti, chips mo e sanifalaoa.

      Lolotonga hano totongi maluʻi ia ki tuʻa ne ta tikite ia ki he ngaahi hia kehekehe pe kau ai ʻa e tōʻonga taʻemaau, fakamanamana mo e ʻohofi taumuʻa ke kaihaʻa.

      Ne tautea ʻa Helu ke ngāue pōpula taʻu ʻe ua. ʻI heʻene ʻatā mai ki tuʻá ne pau ke fakafoki fakapuleʻanga ia ki Tonga ʻo fakatatau ki he lao ʻa Nuʻu Sila ʻImikuleisiní 1987.

      ʻOku tuʻutuʻuni ʻe he lao ko ʻení ka ʻi ai ha taha ne ne fai ha hia pea tautea tuku pōpula ʻo laka hake ʻi he māhina ʻe 12 pea hoko ia ʻi loto he vahaʻa taʻu ʻe nima talu hono maʻu ʻene pepa nofo fonuá ʻe tipooti ʻa e tokotaha ko iá.

      Naʻe toki maʻu pe pepa ʻene ongomātuʻá kuo taʻu 12 ʻa Helú. ʻI he 2010 pe ne ʻoatu ai ʻa e tuʻutuʻuni tipooti ka ne ne tangi ai ki he tulaipiunoló ke fakataʻeʻaongaʻi.

      Naʻe ʻikai tali ʻe he tulaipiunolo e tangi ʻa Helú ʻo ne pehē lolotonga ʻoku fuʻu mamafa e tuʻutuʻuni tipōtí kia Helu, ne ʻikai haʻane ongoʻi ko e lelei taha ia ki he kakaí ke ne kei nofo mai ʻi Nuʻu Silá ni. Ne hoko atu leva ʻa Helu iaʻ o tangi ki he Fakamaauʻanga Māʻolunga mo e Fakamaauʻanga Tangí.

      Naʻe toe pehē ʻe he ongo fakamaauʻanga ia ko ʻeni ʻoku tonu pe tuʻutuʻuni ia ke tipooti ʻa Helú.

      Ne hoko atu leva ʻa Helu ki he Fakamaauʻanga Lahí ʻo tuʻutuʻuni ai e fakamaauʻanga ia ko ʻení naʻe ʻi ai e fehalaaki ʻi he founga ne fakahokoʻaki e tuʻutuʻuní pea ne tuʻutuʻuni ai ke toe fakakaukauʻi foʻou ʻene tuʻutuʻuni tipooti.

      ʻA ia kuo fakataʻeʻaongaʻi ʻa e tuʻutuʻuni tipōtí kae toe fai hano ʻai foʻou.

      ʻI he tuʻutuʻuni ʻa Fakamaau Dame Sian ʻaneafí ne ne pehē naʻe tō nounou e tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e tulaipiunoló ʻi he ʻuhinga ne ʻikai ke ne tokanga ki he ngaahi makatuʻunga ʻo e kaungāmamahi pe manavaʻofa ʻi he vā ʻo Helu mo hono fāmilí.

      Pehē ʻe he fakamaau ʻoku ne tui ne tō nounou e aofangatuku ʻa e tulaipiunoló ke fakakaukauʻi ʻa e ngaahi meʻapau naʻe totonu ke fakakaukauʻi tautefito ki hono maumauʻi e ʻiuniti ʻo e fāmilí, toʻu ʻo Helú mo hono ʻaitenititī ʻi Nuʻu Silá.

      Naʻe ʻikai lava ke maʻu ʻa Helu mo ʻene loeá Mele Tuʻilotolava ke fai haʻana lau he ongoongó ni.

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