PNG govt MP disappointed with NZer's deportation

3:41 pm on 16 June 2017

The Papua New Guinea Immigration Department is reviewing its decision to deport Catholic lay missionary Douglas Tennent earlier this week.

Patrick Pruaitch of the National Alliance party said he's disappointed that Mr Tennent was deported when the court had ordered a stay order.

"He has got an appropriate legal document to prevent people from deporting him," said Mr Pruaitch.

"Why is the Immigration Department coming out to do what they did when they know that a proper court order has been put in place?"

Douglas Tennent.

Douglas Tennent. Photo: Facebook

Mr Tennent, who is a New Zealand citizen, had been working for the Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul.

As a qualified lawyer he was giving advice to landowners at West Pomio who were involved in a contractual wrangle with palm oil multi national Rimbunan Hijau.

Mr Tennent's removal sparked an outcry from Catholic leaders in PNG, calling it a sign of corruption.

Now immigration services said Mr Tennent, who arrived back in New Zealand on Tuesday, has been invited to lodge a fresh visa application.

The general secretary of the Catholic Bishop's Conference, Father Victor Roche, said the church is keen for him to return and that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has been reported in local media saying Mr Tennent can come back to PNG.