Immigration officials punished for not deporting sex offender

Auckland Airport

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has stripped his department of the power to decide whether criminals on a residency visa can be deported.

The move comes after a man who immigrated from Afghanistan in 2012, and has since been convicted twice for sexual offending - but it was decided he would not be deported if his record stayed clear for five years.

Mr Woodhouse had no ability to repeal the decision, so temporarily took the officials' powers.

He says he wants to see a satisfactory standard implemented, but he is giving those powers back to Immigration Department officials in two weeks.