Five Kiwis caught up in Christmas Island riots

Five Kiwis caught up in Christmas Island riots

Five New Zealanders removed from Australia's Christmas Island detention centre are expected to be charged following the riot that caused millions of dollars worth of damage. 

The Kiwis were flown out overnight and are now in a prison in Perth.

Guards lined the route as the handcuffed detainees were loaded onto a charter plane.

As well as the five Kiwis, there is one Tongan and one Afghani.

They're accused of leaving behind smashed windows, scorched equipment, and rooms turned upside down.

On Monday night, at the height of the unrest, a drone was sent up by the Immigration Department to get an overview of the damage.

Fires can be seen in at least two buildings, including the education centre and the activity centre.

A closer view shows two men with what appears to be a Molotov cocktail.

The detention centre is home to 199 detainees. More than 50 of them are New Zealanders.

Their families haven't been able to get in touch since the riot started.

Jarrad Pura’s brother Jason was sentenced to four years in jail for assault, then moved into the detention centre.

I've tried about 10 times to ring him and his phone is always off," says Mr Pura. "I've gone on Facebook and I've messaged people in that detention centre and asked if my brother is alright and I've got no reply.

"He's been pretty much living there in fear. During all the riots he's been trying to stay away from it. He's just focusing on fighting his case to stay in Australia (for his son)."

The blame is falling on a small group who held out against the guards.

Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton,  maintains those on the island are the worst of the worst.

"I think people need to recognise that we're dealing with outlaw motorcycle members. People involved with extortion and other serious criminal offences," says Mr Dutton.

But not all Kiwis being held in Australia can be tarred with the same brush.

Last night we brought you the story of decorated New Zealand war hero Ko Haapu. He's locked in a maximum security prison, despite never committing a crime.

He is part of a bikie gang, and under the new hardline laws his visa can be cancelled.

"We want him back. He doesn't deserve to be where he is and he should be with us. He's an innocent man," says his partner Teresa Mariner.

Despite Mr Haapu acting as John Key's bodyguard when he visited Afghanistan in 2010, the Prime Minister isn't going to champion his case.

"I actually remembered his face when I saw the picture, yes I remember him. He was part of a team of people who looked after me," says Mr Key. 

He admits there's nothing he can do for him.

"My preference would be for people to not be subjected to what the Australians are doing, I mean that's been our position, but we can't stop that," says Mr Key.

Mr Haapu's partner, who has the three medals he won whilst serving overseas, says that's not good enough.

"He fought so you can stand where you're standing, and he should be free," says Ms Mariner.

Mr Haapu has been in some tight spots before and known his country had his back - but not this time.

Some of the New Zealanders in Australia's detention centres and prisons are in there for minor criminal offences like shoplifting, but others have convictions ranging all the way to murder and rape.

But just how has the Government been protecting Kiwis? Since the deportations began in December last year there have been:

585 Kiwi criminals are awaiting deportation but 167 are already here.

Mr Key admits he doesn’t know if murderers and rapists are among those back here.

"I don't know precisely, we might be able to get that information, but if they do, they are covered under the public protection orders or the extended supervision orders."

3News checked, and there are no public protection orders at all. There are no extended supervision orders either.

3 News