Stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Karla Cardno fighting deportation notice

The stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Karla Cardno is heading to the Immigration Minister to avoid being deported.

Mark Middleton was served an unexpected deportation notice last week after he was arrested by Immigration New Zealand and police.

Mr Middleton has called New Zealand home for the last 56 years, and says he's "looking at the complete destruction of [his] family" after being served the notice.

In 1989, Middleton's step-daughter Karla was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Lower Hutt. Her killer Paul Dally was jailed for life.

In 1999, Mr Middleton was charged and later convicted of threatening to kill Dally - leading to nationwide protests.

He said that with the deportation threat on top of all of that, it's like an "endless nightmare".

Mr Middleton was arrested at work last week, with officials claiming he'd been overstaying since returning from a holiday in Fiji in 1986.

He was kept in police cells for 40 hours and told he'd have to leave the country in just four days.

"You know, they've had had 30 years [to deport me] and I haven't been hiding anywhere," he said.

Mr Middleton moved to New Zealand with his family in 1962 - aged just five. His lawyer Keith Jeffries has records showing when he was enrolled at school.

Mr Middleton has been sacked from his job teaching carpentry at Capital Training. His 16-year-old son and his partner Veronica, who is sick, depend on his income.

"This is really attacking my family isn't it - this will kill Veronica, I tell you right now," he said.

Mr Jeffries is asking for officials - or the Minister - to stop the deportation.

"It's constitutionally perverse and it's something that the Minister should intervene in."

Immigration New Zealand says Mr Middleton came to their attention as he was listed in a pool of historic clients who could be living in the Wellington area.

He has two weeks before a final decision is made, but he isn't going down without a fight. He says he's a Kiwi through and through.