Crackdown on Kiwi criminals in Australia leads to reoffending

A Newshub exclusive report reveals that Australia's crackdown on Kiwi criminals has seen almost 40 percent commit an offence after coming back.

Hundreds of Kiwis have been forced home since a law change in 2014 allowed foreign visas to be cancelled at the discretion of Australian officials.

Anthony Moana is one man whose life changed for the worse in 2015. He was deported to New Zealand from Christmas Island for character-based reasons.

"They say, 'Look, you'll be able to do exactly the same here but you've got your freedom, and you've got lots of help back there,'" he explained to Newshub. 

But on arrival, he says he felt lost and at times was living in his car.

"We just went through hell out on 501 on Christmas Island and we come back here, and they're not giving us a chance." 

He says since arriving back he's tried to avoid trouble, but was once caught drink driving.

He's not the only one struggling. Between January 1, 2015 and August this year, 891 people were deported back to New Zealand.

Three-hundred-and-forty-nine have committed a crime or an offence - that's almost 40 percent - and as a group, they've committed almost 1600 offences. They most commonly involve dishonesty, violence and drugs or antisocial behaviour.

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Kelvin Davis says the results are "not surprising". 

"I've always said when these guys come back there's very little support. There's organisations such as PARS that come back with limited resources, guided by information provided by Australia. The courts here determine which deportees should be monitored." 

That's done by Corrections, and since the law was introduced more than 500 people have been watched at some point.

Moana admits he wasn't a model citizen across the ditch. He spent 10 of his 26 years there in prison for a range of offences. He says he's turned his life around, but can see why others continue to cause trouble.

"We're not getting a chance. No one's helping us." 

Police Minister Paula Bennett says plans to recruit more than 1000 new officers should help reduce reoffending, and Corrections isn't ruling out "more" funding for reintegration programmes to help those like Moana.