Assault claims against 'climate change refugee'

  • 23/09/2015
Ioane Teitiota and his wife Angua Erika
Ioane Teitiota and his wife Angua Erika

By Tennessee Mansford and Patrick Gower

RadioLIVE has revealed a self-proclaimed 'climate change refugee' is not the innocent victim he’s been portrayed as.

Ioane Teitiota wants to stay in New Zealand, but he’s deemed an overstayer and has been sent packing without an explanation from the Government.

He's been painted as a victim of climate change by Opposition parties and church leaders but RadioLIVE can reveal that Ioane Teitiota was the subject of an assault complaint.

His former boss, Frank Argent, says the Kiribati national was fired earlier this year after his behaviour became "destructive".

"All these people are sort of saying 'you poor man', but I know another side of the story," he told RadioLIVE.

"A lot of people around here know another side of the story. I've had considerable support myself saying, 'yes, justice has finally been done'."

Mr Argent wrote to Associate Immigration Minister Craig Foss to inform him of Teitiota’s past, but he’s refusing to confirm anything.

"I'm not going to go into the details of his individual circumstances or of the individual case, other than I chose not to intervene in his deportation."

Labour’s Phil Twyford’s been lobbying for the man – but was blindsided by the revelations.

"I don't have any information of that nature. That's certainly not the information that I've been advised in this case.

"I won't be commenting on those elements."

Police didn't take the assault complaint any further and ministers won’t say if police briefed him on Teitiota's past.

Frank Argent police complaint

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