PNG awaits fresh visa bid by deported church employee

10:57 am on 22 June 2017

Papua New Guinea's acting chief Immigration officer Solomon Kantha says he is waiting for a fresh visa application from a New Zealand religious layworker who was deported this month.

His comment comes after the Catholic Church said it was poised to take legal action against Mr Kantha for contempt of court because he ignored a stay order and deported Douglas Tennent.

Mr Tennent was working for the Archbishop of Rabaul, Francesco Panfilo, helping landowners battling a multi-national logger and palm oil company, Rimbunan Hijau.

Douglas Tennent

Douglas Tennent Photo: Supplied / Facebook

Mr Tennent, a New Zealander, was bundled onto a plane and deported despite a stay order being presented to immigration personnel.

The church has said the immigration department broke all the rules and it won't reapply for a new visa for Mr Tennent.

Mr Kantha has told the Post Courier that Mr Tennent can reapply and it will take about two weeks to assess a visa application.

It is not clear how Mr Tennent breached his visa to prompt his deportation.