The Rebels MC boss Raymond Elise awaiting deportation to New Zealand says he and his fellow detainees will follow quarantine rules.
Australia has chartered a plane to deport about 30 New Zealand citizens, and the Government has set up a specific ‘‘enhanced security’’ isolation facility for them with many removed for claimed links to “criminal organisations”.
Raymond Elise, a former president of the Rebels motorcycle club’s Victoria branch, told Stuff he and eight others currently being held at a Melbourne detention centre would be on a plane before Thursday.
‘‘The guys here in Melbourne . . . we know that there are rules in quarantine that we have got to follow and we also know that we have got . . . to obey the law there.
‘‘Our boys know that what we do there could potentially slow the process for the boys coming after us.’’
Elise grew up in Mangere, Auckland, and lived in Australia for a decade before being arrested on April 24.
He has not been convicted of a crime in Australia; among the reasons given for his visa being cancelled were his criminal offending from a young age in New Zealand, disregard for Australian laws, and ‘‘extensive network of criminal associates’’.
He has been at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation awaiting deportation for three months. Australia delayed the deportations of the 501s, named after the section of the Migration Act which allows the
country to cancel the visas of noncitizens, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elise said the Australian Border Force had told him he would be flown to Auckland before July 16. He expected others awaiting deportation at other facilities in Australia would be on the flight.
The deportees have not been tested for Covid-19. Elise said anybody entering the detention facilities spent 10 days in isolation before mixing with others, reducing the possibility that anyone had the virus.
Four returnees to New Zealand have absconded from selfisolation in recent weeks, with one breaking a window and another cutting through the wire holding together a fence.
‘‘I know there is going to be a few people who break the rules there but you guys can’t blame every New Zealand citizen that is coming home,’’ Elise said.
‘‘What the New Zealand public has got to understand is, not everyone is a criminal that is coming home. Some of the guys that are coming home, they have never done jail time.
‘‘They were working, they have been here for years, they got their visas cancelled for association with a club that it is not illegal to be part of.’’
Elise was looking forward to rejoining his family, who left managed isolation in Auckland last week after relocating to New Zealand. ‘‘It has been quite stressful, not knowing what your future holds … I want to get home, get my quarantine out of the way.’’
Health Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday said officials had chosen an inner-city Auckland hotel to house the deportees for the mandatory two weeks of isolation.
There would be more police officers at the facility than usual at managed isolation hotels, which had at least one officer tasked with guarding each facility in the past week.
‘‘Obviously, people with a higher risk of potential offending because of their past backgrounds may well be within the cohort, so therefore we are just taking extra precautions to ensure that none of them are prematurely leaving the isolation facilities,’’ Hipkins said.
Source: The Dominion Post by Thomas Manch