Former Christmas Island detainees back on NZ soil

(3 News)
(3 News)

Twelve Kiwi detainees from Christmas Island have touched down in New Zealand.

The group arrived at Auckland Airport this morning, where they were assessed as to the risk they pose to the community.

He’s arrived with just jandals and a plastic bag of clothes - but former detainee Jason Branks wants to be here.

"I am heading back to Christchurch for a better life and hopefully I will get my family over from Australia."

The detainees came in on a chartered flight from Christmas Island and were greeted by police.

The handcuffed New Zealanders were then put on a bus to take them for processing by a raft of Government agencies.

Many of them have been in Australia for decades; they've served time there and have been depicted as violent offenders. But Branks says he was jailed for drugs and breaking and entering.

"We were very upset with the category we got put into because 90 percent of us were in for minor crimes."

Still, the Government rushed through laws to monitor the deportees, restricting them to parole-like conditions.

Eight of today's group will be under supervision orders.

The deportees are getting help with transport, accommodation and benefits.

This group of former detainees - while large – will definitely not be the last.

Australia is maintaining its controversial policy, and New Zealand authorities are expecting another plane load of deportees next week.

3 News