Justice Minister Amy Adams is going to rush a Bill through Parliament that will impose a supervision regime on criminals deported by Australia or any other country.
The legislation is being drafted and she's talking to Opposition parties about putting it on the fast track.
Ms Adams says she wants the law in place "as soon as possible" because Australia has already deported 167 New Zealanders and nearly 600 more are waiting to be processed.
Labour says it's "staggering" that she's just woken up to the fact that criminal deportees need monitoring.
"Australia deemed some of them so dangerous it chartered private aircraft to avoid the risk of them travelling on commercial airlines," said David Shearer.
Ms Adams says Australia didn't give advance notice of its immigration rule change and she's been working on the issue since the beginning of the year.
The new regime will mean that when the deportees arrive they'll come under the same oversight conditions as they would have if they'd served their sentences in New Zealand.
Ms Adams says she wants a fair system.
"We're not looking to impose a bunch of conditions on people just because they had their visas cancelled and were returned," she said yesterday.
"Some of these offenders are pretty nasty sods, others are people who at least on the face of it have been caught up in a reasonably tough Australian system."
The laws will apply to criminals sent back from any country, but Ms Adams says the vast majority are coming from Australia since the government there brought in new immigration rules last December.
The regime will automatically apply to deported offenders who were sentenced to more than a year in prison, return within six months of their release, or were imprisoned for behaviour that would result in a jail term in New Zealand.
Authorities will be able to take DNA samples, fingerprints and other information depending on the nature of the crimes they've committed.
The legislation won't be retrospective, but Ms Adams says the Department of Corrections has the power to take out extended supervision orders or public protection orders against any of the 167 already here.
She didn't know whether that had happened.
New Zealanders are being sent back under tough Australia immigration rules that allow the deportation of any non-citizen who has served a sentence of 12 months or more, regardless of when it was served.