9 Nov 2011

Boy in overstayer row at centre of IPCA complaint NZ citizen

8:31 pm on 9 November 2011

An immigration row involving a complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority risks leaving a boy with New Zealand citizenship stranded.

Other members of the boy's family, who are overstayers in Te Puke, are being deported.

His mother Pooja Kapila alleges she was assaulted during an attempt to get her thumb print onto a travel document.

Mrs Kapila's immigration adviser, former cabinet minister Tuariki Delamere, says her nine-year-old son is entitled to New Zealand citizenship.

He says he can understand why people would feel upset about overstayers trying to use their son to remain in New Zealand but by law he is a citizen and has the right to stay.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has referred the alleged assault back to the police for further investigation before deciding whether to carry out an inquiry of its own.

Police say they are disappointed about the emotive language and nature of the claim against them but are taking it seriously.