He told the ABC that he would be surprised if New Zealand did not take him back, although he expected he’d be spending a couple of years in jail back home.
“I’m sorry for causing too much trouble and being a bit hot-headed and flamboyant in my approach. I don’t know if I can go back to New Zealand, but at the end of the day it’s really something I have to live with for the rest of my life.”
Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said that Taylor’s actions in joining Islamic State and traveling to Syria created potential legal consequences for him if he does manage to return.
She said New Zealand had plans in place for any Islamic State fighters that might return.
“The safety of New Zealand and New Zealanders is our priority,” she said.
In 2015, Taylor posted a video calling on Islamic State supporters in New Zealand and Australia to commit terrorist acts at home, “even if it means you have to stab a few police officers or soldiers.”
The Department of Internal Affairs said Taylor does not appear to have a valid New Zealand passport or travel documents, and Ardern noted that obtaining the documents “in his current situation will be difficult to do.” But, she added, Taylor remained a New Zealand citizen and had rights under international law.