Hulking New Zealander expelled from Australia
A towering New Zealand man with "shoulders like buttresses and legs like pylons" was awaiting deportation from Australia Monday after his visa was revoked on grounds partly related to his size.
Hayden Harlem Tewao, 26, was ordered to return to New Zealand on character grounds after he acted as an "enforcer" in a 2010 robbery of a drug dealer, battering his face and causing serious injuries.
He was also charged with resisting arrest over the incident and assaulting police, and damaging property after he accidentally pulled a stair rail from the wall during a fight with nightclub bouncers.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen cancelled Tewao's visa on community protection grounds partly related to his "exceptionally large" stature -- he stands seven feet (2.1 metres) tall and weighs about 200 kilos (440 pounds).
"It is plain that what the minister had in mind when he referred to Mr. Tewao’s size was that it played a role in the commission of the offence and contributed to the brutality of the attack," the Federal Court said.
Tewao, also known as "Tiny", suffers from gigantism, a hereditary disease caused by abnormal hormone levels.
He won an initial challenge to the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) but the Federal Court upheld Bowen's ruling, the minister's spokesman said.
"Mr Tewao is currently being held in immigration detention pending his removal to New Zealand," the spokesman told AFP Monday.
In its May 2011 ruling the AAT had described Tewao as, "for all his mountainous bulk, a gentle man," who had left New Zealand to try to escape the family gang culture into which he had been born.
"He is a huge man... with shoulders like buttresses and legs like pylons. His hands, as fists, resemble demolition balls," the tribunal said, recommending his visa be reinstated.
"He stands as if in apology for the space he takes up. His head is often bowed as he holds his massive hands clasped loosely in front of him. His speech is tentative and his voice soft."
In its lyrical ruling, the tribunal questioned "what it must be like to continually face the fearful response of those he meets and to keep that massive piece of human machinery running every day."
"It is sometimes hard to see the person inhabiting it and one imagines a smaller, more articulate man struggling to break out from inside the bulk, throwing bright glimpses of himself out to the world."