Family to be deported from New Zealand is British, not Irish

Group linked to several incidents had originally been reported as bring from Ireland

New Zealand’s immigration authority said the four individuals served with deportation orders were travelling on British passports. Photograph: Getty Images

New Zealand’s immigration authority said the four individuals served with deportation orders were travelling on British passports. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A family at the centre of a media storm in New Zealand over a series of incidents while on holidays are British nationals, immigration officials have said.

Police had believed the group, which caused several high profile disturbances in recent days, were from either Ireland or the United Kingdom. Originally the family had widely been reported as Irish in the New Zealand media.

On Tuesday, immigration officials in New Zealand issued four deportation orders to members of the family.

The group has been linked to disruptions in several fast food restaurants, and a video of the family arguing with an Auckland resident about a large amount of litter they allegedly left on a beach has been shared widely on social media.

Police officers had spoken to a number of members of the group, who are currently staying in Hamilton, a city located about an hour-and-a-half’s drive outside Auckland.

A 26-year-old woman involved with the group had also been arrested and charged with theft, a police spokeswoman said.

The theft charge related to an incident that took place in the north shore area of Auckland, and the woman appeared before Hamilton District Court on Wednesday.

The woman pleaded guilty to theft of a small number of items from a petrol station, according to an Auckland police spokeswoman. The woman had stolen a pair of sunglasses, some wire rope, and four cans of energy drink, the spokeswoman said.

The woman was one of the four family members who had been served a deportation notice the previous day.

On Tuesday, Peter Devoy, assistant general manager of Immigration New Zealand (INZ), the Government body responsible for border control and travel visas, said: “INZ can confirm that two immigration officials accompanied NZ police to an incident at Burger King in Hamilton”.

“Deportation Liability Notices were served on individuals involved in the incident at Burger King in Hamilton,” he said.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the immigration authority said “Immigration NZ can confirm that the four individuals served with DLNs were all travelling on British passports.”

The deportation orders to leave the country were made under Section 157(5) of the Immigration Act 2009, which gives immigration officials the power to issue orders against temporary visa holders on several grounds, including matters relating to character.

The individuals can appeal the order, and have 28 days to do so from the date the notices were issued.