Convicted wife murderer Colin Bouwer’s $10,000 travel bill
By Hamish McNeilly
December 2, 2017
“I have been away from South Africa for 20 years,” he wrote to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. “Since being in prison I have developed Stage 4 chronic disease of kidneys.”
But the 67-year-old’s appeal to stay in New Zealand on humanitarian grounds was declined and he was deported to South Africa on October 9.
Bouwer served 15 years in prison for murdering his wife, Annette Bouwer, in Dunedin in January 2000.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has now released documents, under the Official Information Act, concerning Bouwer’s deportation, including travel costs and a copy of his emergency passport.
One letter from INZ to South African authorities before Bouwer left New Zealand said: “Due to the nature of his offending, the airline he will be travelling with required him to be escorted by a minimum of two police officers.”
A breakdown of the costs revealed three police officers accompanied Bouwer, one as far as Singapore and the other two to Johannesburg, South Africa.
INZ assistant general manager Peter Devoy said the length of the flight had a bearing on the number of escorts required.
Before his travel, Bouwer was sent an invoice from the New Zealand Government for $10,174.40.
The bill included his one-way ticket, and return tickets and accommodation for his three escorts.
He was yet to pay, but remained liable for the invoice.
One of the police officers who escorted Bouwer to South Africa stayed on to visit family, while another went sight-seeing, both at their own cost.
Bouwer was arrested on September 15, 2000, after a lengthy police investigation that included surveillance of his phone calls.
The former University of Otago head of psychiatry committed the crime within two years of being granted a New Zealand residence permit.
In November 2001, a jury took less than three hours to find Bouwer guilty of murdering his wife.
He was sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch to life imprisonment and served his non-parole period of 15 years most recently at Rolleston Prison.
He was served a deportation order signed by then-Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel in 2002, which he opposed.
In June, Bouwer, through his Dunedin-based legal team, appealed against deportation, but was rejected on the grounds it was lodged out of time.
“Deportation looms if I am granted parole”, Bouwer wrote. “My medical condition is so bad I need to stay in New Zealand.”
The last Parole Board report noted Bouwer had acknowledged that while he disagreed with official information – particularly relating to his motives in causing the death of his wife – he had intentionally taken her life, which was a criminal act.
New Zealand Psych Colin Bouwer
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