American-raised, Kiwi based photographer Todd Henry produced this documentary for Vice, after meeting deportee 'Ila Mo'unga while visiting Tonga. Mo'unga was drawn to Henry after hearing his familiar American accent. Tonga is now home to hundreds of deportees — permanent residents of New Zealand, Australia or the United States who committed serious crimes and did jailtime, then were put on a plane to start a new life in an unfamiliar culture. The lucky ones have family land, or a place to stay. But many start from scratch and without institutional support, old bad habits can kick in.
It ain't a place to live when you're barely making ends meet. It's like crabs being stuck in a bucket, scratching, trying to get out.– Kiwi deportee Sione Moli, on trying to make his life in Tonga work
Made with funding from NZ On Air
Music courtesy of Audio Network and Jingle Punks