24 Jul 2015

Call to reverse deportation of six-year-old

1:41 pm on 24 July 2015

Former immigration minister Tuariki Delamere is calling on the Government to reverse the deportation of a six-year-old indecently assaulted by her teen neighbour.

Tuariki Delamere.

Tuariki Delamere. Photo: RNZ

The six-year-old and her mother were deported to Fiji last month after the mother overstayed her student visa.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal refused their plea to stay in Auckland with the girl's father, who is a New Zealander, so the girl could receive counselling.

The couple have two young sons who have also travelled to Fiji.

A tribunal member said the family failed to show the girl had been affected in a significant way, but Mr Delamere, who is helping the family, said the girl was assaulted four times.

"The tribunal member, he decided it was only minor. Now, I need to tell that tribunal member, and I need to tell my successor as Immigration Minister, there is no such thing of a minor sexual assault, irrespective of gender, irrespective of age.

"Sexual assualts are serious, no matter how you look at it."