NZ Army reservist
turned bikie kicked out of Australia after immigration change
Mehaka Lee Te Puia has been
booted out of Australia.
A New Zealander won his court case
against the Australian government, only to be kicked out of the
country after a last-minute law change.
Mehaka Lee Te Puia arrived back at
Auckland International Airport on Friday night.
He told TVNZ Australian police
tackled him to the ground at his family home shortly after his visa
was cancelled for a second time.
Minister for Immigration and
Border Protection Peter Dutton cancelled Te Puia's visa an
hour after he won a High Court case upholding his visa.
"It's disgusting because at the
end of the day they knew my visa was cancelled. They knew where I
was, I wasn't hiding," Te Puia said.
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"I was pretty much ready to come
back, I just wanted to spend time with my family."
Te Puia won a court case in the
High Court of Australia on September 6 against Peter Dutton, the
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
Dutton cancelled Te Puia's visa on
the grounds that he did not pass a "character test".
The court ruled the minister could
not use "protected information" – information gleaned through
confidential or intelligence sources that could not be
disclosed – to cancel a visa on character grounds.
But moves were already afoot
during Te Puia's court bid to eject him from the country, regardless
of the outcome of the case.
Two days before the court
decision, Australia passed a law validating visa cancellations that
were made using protected information.
Dutton cancelled Te Puia's visa
under the new law an hour after he won his case.
Te Puia, 39, has been many things
in his life, including a New Zealand Army reservist and carpet
But it would be his five-year
membership with the Rebels Motorcycle Club that would see him
become the latest casualty in a crackdown on New Zealand citizens
who commit offences or have ties to 'bikie' gangs.
Another New Zealander, Shane
Martin, was deported in March 2016 for allegedly being a top-ranking
official of the Rebels. Martin is the father of Dustin Martin, a
well-known AFL player.
A law passed in December 2014
allowed immigration authorities to cancel a person's visa if they
had served jail time and failed a 'character test'.
Te Puia told TVNZ he had been
convicted of possessing a steroid, which was a prohibited drug in
His visa was cancelled in 2015 and
he would be shuttled between prisons in Western Australia, including
two maximum-security facilities, until the High Court decision in
During the High Court case the
Australian Immigration Minister said a special taskforce had
determined the Rebels to be "one of Australia's highest criminal
In 2012, the Australian government
setup National Taskforce Attero to target the Rebels MC for being
what it classified as an Organised Motorcycle Criminal Gang. It
would make 3000 arrests.