After shaping Australia's political debate for years, Kurdish-Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani now appears set to play a role in New Zealand's election.
Unlike his deliberate contributions to Australian debate, made from detention in Papua New Guinea, Mr Boochani's very presence in New Zealand has sparked questions from right-wing parties, struggling in the polls.
Mr Boochani, 37, was accepted as a refugee by New Zealand's immigration program last week, after entering the country last year for a writers festival and seeking asylum.
The novelist and journalist was caught up in Australia's offshore detention regime for over six years after attempting to reach Christmas Island by boat in 2013.
After receiving his one-year work visa, Mr Boochani has accepted a job as an academic at the University of Canterbury and plans to become a Kiwi citizen.
However, the conservative opposition National party, led by Judith Collins, and Labour's right-wing government partners New Zealand First have both raised the newly admitted refugee in their campaigning for the September 19 election.
Both National and New Zealand First are polling at near-record lows for their party according to the most recent survey published on Sunday.
Ms Collins said her constituents held "a lot of concern in New Zealand around what they see as queue-jumping" by Mr Boochani, and downplayed his 2269-day stay in offshore detention, saying "there's a lot of people waiting even longer".
"We do have people who are refugees, obviously, and many people want to know that their families or others have been treated the same as him," she said.
"I am absolutely pro-refugees coming to New Zealand, because I know that refugees, like every other human being, want to have a life that is worthwhile.
"There is a list, a long list of people who are in refugee settlement camps and things all around the world, and many would like to come to New Zealand. We have a limit."
Ms Collins denied race-baiting or dog-whistling in her line of questioning.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was adamant there had not been political interference.
"I've heard it from a number of parties, including the opposition, and it would be absolutely wrong to imply that was the case," she said.
New Zealand First appears to oppose Immigration New Zealand's decision, with the party's Twitter account posting "This is why New Zealand First must provide the Minister of Immigration", attaching a link to a Radio NZ news story on Mr Boochani's refugee status.
Mr Boochani has kept a low profile since his arrival in New Zealand last year, but has attacked the opposition's questioning.
"It is a problem when they say that 'he's here illegally, he came here illegally, he got special treatment'. They try to dehumanise me," he told Radio NZ.