Register to keep track of NZ criminals

  • 15/07/2015
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong)
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong)

Kiwi criminals deported home from Australia are less likely to slip through the cracks thanks to a new register set up to keep tabs on them.

A register of deported offenders who've been sent back to New Zealand from Australia is now up and running, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today.

The register - which can be used by New Zealand Government agencies - lists people who have been or are about to be sent back to New Zealand after being found guilty of a crime, serving time behind bars or having their visa cancelled on character grounds.

"We need the ability to impose similar monitoring and other conditions to those that would have applied if the sentence had been served in a New Zealand prison," Ms Adams said.

New Zealand authorities have been caught unawares in the past when some Kiwi deportees have landed back home and the issue gained attention two years ago when it was revealed that Jeremy McLaughlin, who murdered 13-year-old Christchurch schoolgirl Jade Bayliss in 2011, had been convicted of killing Perth 14-year-old Phillip Vidot, years earlier.

The then corrections minister Judith Collins pledged to improve information sharing with Australia, but progress had been slow.

The Government is also working to develop a law that supervises deported offenders and is working on creating an information sharing agreement to allow New Zealand and Australia to monitor deportations.

Prime Minister John Key and Australian counterpart Tony Abbott also agreed in February to share criminal history information - with the job applicant's consent - so potential employers are fully informed.