Meet the Kiwi giving jobs to Australia's criminal deportees

An Australian law change in 2014 has now seen more than 800 people deported back to New Zealand, and many have gone on to continue a life of crime. But others are trying to make the most of their new home.

One man found success in business, and he's taking other deportees with him. Anthony Miller has been called a number of things in recent years - convict, deportee, but now entrepreneur.

The 33-year-old Kiwi served 18 months for drug offences across the ditch. On release, he was told he'd be deported back to New Zealand amid a crackdown on foreign criminals.

To start, it wasn't easy going.

"Get off the plane, people escort you, take you to a motel, give you $700 - that's it," Miller explained.

But instead of going back to his old ways, Miller got stuck in, starting a scaffolding business in Auckland and hiring other deportees, known as "501s". He has now got eight on the books.

"I know what it feels like to come back here with nothing, and I see a lot of people making mistakes," he says.

"So it's good to give them the opportunity, and most of them have been pretty good."

And it's rubbing off on his workers, like Phillip Dean, who was deported back after 16 years in jail for a serious crime.

"I've learnt quite a lot," Dean says. "I know a lot of blokes that have been in the game for 10 or so years and they say I'm up there."

This is one of a few deportee success stories. But for many others, it's been a struggle. By September this year, almost 40 percent had reoffended in New Zealand.

While in opposition, now-Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said there wasn't enough support. So what's he planning to do now he's in Government?

"I'll be working with my officials to see the best way we can support these returned offenders, to make sure we keep New Zealanders safe," he says.

"Those discussions are yet to be had, but they are a priority."

But back on the worksite it's about making the most of today.

"If it wasn't for Ant [Miller], I'd be dead," one worker says.

"'Cause I got no one here, no family here, and I lived in Australia for over 40 years."

Miller now wants to grow his business - offering a chance to other deportees, and determined to change the reputation of the 501s.