Kiwi boxing mentor nearly deported

  • 14/09/2015
Kiwi boxing mentor nearly deported

By Heather du Plessis-Allan

Latu Talu is a man you will be proud to call a Kiwi. He wasn't born here, but still he spends his time helping down-and-out Kiwi kids, and he might even wear our colours at the Olympics.

But we nearly deported him once.

"These guys have taught me to smile more and to talk to people and look them in the eyes," says boxer Evan Beaumont.

They're Kiwi kids who might not have had the best start.

"Those kids want to be happy," says Mr Talu. "Sometimes they're at home and they're not happy. They come to the gym, they're over the moon."

But all of it almost didn't happen. Four years ago Mr Latu nearly got deported.

Born in Tuvalu, he grew up in New Zealand thinking he was a resident. But a simple mix-up with his paperwork made Mr Latu an overstayer.

It went on for years until Mr Latu's boss, boxing all-round-good-guy Billy Graham stepped in.

The paperwork was fixed. We narrowly avoided a huge loss.

Watch the video for the full Story report.