Deportation from Australia life-changing for Kiwi man

Deportation from Australia life-changing for Kiwi man

It has been one year since Australia began deporting Kiwi ex-pat criminals back to New Zealand.

Almost 370 Kiwis have been forcibly returned to New Zealand and for quite a few, the transition has not been easy.

Plenty have ended up back in prison here but for one man, the move back to New Zealand proved life-changing.

Raymond Pedrana arrived with $350, no family, no friends and no job. He was born in Dunedin and lived in Sydney for 48 years.

He led a life of crime in Australia, but for the past eight months he has been working an honest six days a week for a concrete company and hasn't been tempted to commit a single crime.

"With the support I've got I just haven't looked back or abused it. I'm just so grateful for every day that I'm over here."

But other Kiwis haven't been so lucky and since then, 78 have gone on to face criminal charges, 13 are in prison with two serving prison sentences and 11 remanded in custody.

Mr Pedrana isn't surprised and says it's not easy in a new country after being in prison where you're fed and have a bed.

But his advice is simple - stay strong and don't give in.

"They've got to have a little more faith in themselves. This is the country where you get a fair go."

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