Aaron | Māngere, Auckland

“Just like a get-together, family orientation. Family stuff in our upbringing place. Where we all grew up. 

I grew up in Australia, been there for like 17, 18 years. I just got back two years ago. They’ve got this Visa thing called 501. I got deported. So that’s my home over there. I grew up there, and so coming here is the first time. I’ve only been here for a year. I was kind of blessed my family came while I was still there. The last six months I was there they came here. So, when I did come back, I already had family here. Other 501s were less fortunate, but I was in a pretty good position and it’s pretty good over here. We’re entitled to more things. Eligible. We didn’t have that back in Aus. Now that I’m here, I’m just keeping my nose clean and looking for jobs.

I got deported for committing a charge. I did two-and-a-half years. Then after I did my time, they sent me to the immigration centre. I was there for another 10 months. I was there for 10 months trying to fight my case, but I ended up losing, so here I am.

The plan is to settle down and change my life. That’s my hope. Like, I’ve been rocking up to a few agencies, I was working for a bit. I’m trying to look for another job, but just been doing courses, a few courses with MIT. Because when I came, I had no ID. I had to start from scratch. All I had was a travel document in my name, and that travel document only lasted like three months, and that was the only ID that I had. After the three months when it expired I couldn’t use it. But so far, so good. Thought I’d just have a fresh one. Start fresh. Things are looking pretty alright now. It’s just a waiting game at the moment.

To all the young kids, or young fellas, it’s not worth it. It all comes to an end one day. You’re not going to be like this forever. Just go to school and keep on the right path. Keep on the straight path. It’s not worth it. Unless you want to live like this for the rest of your life, but 99 per cent of the time, you will end up stopping one time. You only can go so far. So, don’t even start. Coming from experience being deported, I had to start from scratch. Some of the fellas that were here they had family. They grew up here. They knew the rounds. But us, we just came here with nothing. Just keep your nose clean, stay on the right side of the law, and you’ll have a good life.”

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