New Zealand Soldier in Perth Maximum Security Prison
Former Lance Corporal Ngati Kanohi Te Eke Haapu, known as Ko Haapu or Ko Rutene
A Kiwi soldier has been held in solitary confinement in a high-security prison across the Tasman – despite not committing a crime.
Former Lance Corporal Ngati Kanohi Te Eke Haapu, known as Ko, had his visa revoked on the grounds he was a member of a motorcycle club.
A law change in Australia means foreign-born nationals can have their visas revoked by the Minister of Immigration on character grounds.
A senior Rebels bikie has become the first person in WA to be hit with a deportation order solely because they are a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang.
New Zealand-born Joel Royston Makaea, 34, was arrested and taken into immigration detention in Perth on Monday after the Immigration Minister revoked his visa on ‘character’ grounds.
Under changes to the Migration Act introduced in December, the minister has the power to cancel the visa of anyone involved in an organisation or gang that was reasonably suspected of being involved in criminal activity.
The person targeted for deportation does not have to be convicted of a serious offence, or even charged with one.
Mr Makaea, who is believed to be a father of six, is the sergeant-at-arms of the Rebels’ Bentley-based chapter and has lived in Perth since March 2005.
The judgement opens the way for Canberra to send 267 people – including 37 babies who were born in Australia, 54 other children, women who were sexually abused and a five-year-old boy who was allegedly raped at the centre – back to Nauru.
The case was taken to the High Court by the Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of the asylum seekers who had been transferred to Australia for medical treatment or to give birth.
It argued that offshore detention infringed constitutional limits on power, and that there was no law that gave the Australian government the authority to facilitate offshore arrangements.
But the court’s decision, announced by a full bench today, and unable to be appealed, found the federal government’s conduct was authorised by both the law and the Australian constitution.