'Violent giant' deported to NZ
A GIANT seven-foot tall New Zealand citizen convicted of a violent armed robbery will be deported from Australia this week after his extraordinary size was ruled "a threat to the national interest".
Hayden Harlem Tewao, known as Tiny, had his Australian visa cancelled after a savage attack which left his victim with several fractured bones in his face.
Now, the seven-foot (2.1m) tall Tewao who weighs a reported 200kg, has been left "devastated" by a decision to deport him this week and leave behind his family in Perth, which he now calls home.
Tewao told WA Today that it was "unfair" for his stature to affect the government's decision, and described himself as a "teddy bear."
"Most people judge a book by its cover, that's the human way. But once they get to know me, I'm a little man in a big man's body... I'm a big teddy bear," he told the paper.
Despite the Australian Administrative Appeals Board overturning an appeal last year, ruling that he was at a low risk of re-offending, Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen used ministerial powers to override the decision in December.
Bowen cited the New Zealander's "exceptionally large" stature as being a risk factor that made it not in the national interest for him to remain.
Tewao has been in the Perth Immigration Detention Centre for the past seven months, which he told WA Today was "awful" and vowed to fight the decision once he returned to New Zealand.
He said: "The judges were going to let me go, they did let me go. It's rough, it's the hardest thing anyone should have to do - leave their immediate family.
"I can appeal it, but I don't want to sit in here for another seven or eight months... it's been pretty awful. It's like me versus the world."
Tewao moved to Perth from Auckland in 2007, to escape from gang culture.
He planned to return to Christchurch instead of his home city to stay aware from the bad influences.
Tewao and his cousin robbed a Perth man in 2010 after a day of drinking, smoking marijuana and taking ecstasy.
The 26-year-old broke the man's nose and several bones in his face and was sentenced to three years and three months in prison with a non-parole period of 16 months and his visa cancelled.
The Appeals Board described Tewao as "a huge man ... with shoulders like buttresses and legs like pylons. His hands, as fists, resemble demolition balls."
"Yet ... for all his mountainous bulk a gentle man."
But the immigration minister was unimpressed, reported WA Today, saying the brutality of his crime and role as an enforcer made any future offending "potentially very serious".