'Con Air' arrives in NZ

Superintendent John Tims (3 News)
Superintendent John Tims (3 News)

The first wave of Kiwi Christmas Island detainees touched down in Auckland this morning.

The group arrived at Auckland Airport on the flight dubbed "Con Air" just after 10am and was met by police and Corrections staff.

Each deportee was individually escorted to a waiting bus. They were handcuffed, and dressed in t-shirts and shorts.

Police described the deportees as "compliant" as they were taken through to immigration processing.

"They are then moved through to the red zone where they are met by a multi-agency response from all our partners," says Superintendent John Tims.

"There's an assessment undertaken, a whole lot of information's obtained from the returning offenders, DNA and fingerprints are obtained – from that, we can then make a risk assessment."

Corrections have not outlined the deportees' criminal histories for privacy reasons.

"Some of the offenders will be issued supervision orders, which will enable Corrections to monitor them closely… as we do other offenders who have come out [of prison] on conditions," says Corrections spokesperson Jeanette Burns.

"We're working very closely with [the Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society]… to get them into the right accommodation.

"We're working [the Ministry of Social Development] to get them benefits and those sorts of things that they will require to set them up in the community."

Most of the deportees were expected to appeal the cancellation of their Australian visas.

3 News