This seems wrong

September 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A teenage immigrant is worried about his family’s safety after learning they will be sent back to Fiji from Taranaki because he stood up to domestic violence.

He and his family join others who have left volatile surroundings only to find they effectively became illegal immigrants because they had no independent visa status. …

Late last year, he woke to find his father beating his mother but instead of cowering in a corner he called police.

His father was arrested and jailed last year, and then deported a few months ago.

The wife was attached to her husband’s work visa and was now fighting a losing battle to remain in New Zealand with her two sons.

New Zealand turned down his mother’s application for a work visa because a Kiwi can do her job, and the family could be deported as early as the beginning of next year.

Racked with guilt, Nick now wishes he had gone back to bed and said nothing about the incident.

“If I knew this would all happen, I wouldn’t have called the police. I will never call them again.”

The last thing we want to do is discourage people from reporting domestic violence. I hope the immigration authorities show some common sense, or compassion.

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29 Responses to “This seems wrong”

  1. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Not to mention that the woman has a fulltime job already, which puts lie to the statement by Immigration that “A New Zealander can do her job” cause if that were true they’d already be doing it

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  2. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    She should be allowed to stay, as long as he is never allowed back in the country.

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  3. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    Are we expected to believe that the husband’s attack on his wife in NZ was the very first episode and that it never occurred previously, when the family lived in Fiji? I doubt it.

    And it seems very curious that a school-aged child has the idea to contact the NZ media to get publicity for the case.

    There is more to this story than is being published, for example why would the article starts off by describing the child as an “immigrant” when the whole family where here on the fathers TEMPORARY work visa. Holders of work visas are not immigrants.

    It would appear the family came here on a work visa always with the intention of seeking residency, and now that the father has been booted out they have lost that possibility and are seeking to whip up a storm of sympathy to stay on here, outside policy.

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  4. jcuk (686 comments) says:

    Immigration’s point is that if she returned then a Kiwi could do her job and reduce the unemployment by one. But I do support your position of showing some compassion to a battered woman doing her best for her family.

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  5. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    Why should their problems become one for the New Zealand taxpayer?

    There are literally billions of people with problems the world over,it’s not for the New Zealand taxpayer to solve the world’s problems. We have enough of our own and only borrowed money to fix them.

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  6. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Immigration’s point is that if she returned then a Kiwi could do her job and reduce the unemployment by one.

    I hope no government department would ever be so clueless as to make such a fallacious argument.

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  7. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    kowtow: Why should their problems become one for the New Zealand taxpayer?

    Because the wife is a NZ taxpayer. Had that escaped your notice? Im by no means a socialist (I know people who know some though :) ) but surely this has compassionate grounds writ large all over it?

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    So illegal immigrants who are the victims of crime should be allowed to stay?

    Perverse incentives anybody?

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  9. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    kowtow – thats one of the dumbest comments I’ve read on here – given she is already working full-time and paying tax, and its highly likely she is doing a far better job than a local would (thanks to the sense of entitlement everyone has over here towards employers and jobs) – she should be looked after.

    Its messed up when you expect people to look after bludgers and those who don’t want to work, but want to tell actual tax payers to fuck off.

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  10. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg – they were here legally – the government made them illegal by locking up the husband.

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  11. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg she’s not an illegal immigrant – she came here perfectly legally.

    Her status has changed, in effect because she was a victim of a crime. That’s not right.

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  12. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    To save everyone’s time, this is how it will end….

    The Minister (or the Tribunal) will make an exception, and allow the woman and her family to stay and they will gain residence. Then within about two years of this the wife will write to Immigration saying she and her husband have reconciled and she will plead with them to allow her truly repentant husband to rejoin his family in NZ. Immigration will decline the application because of his NZ criminal record (acquired for beating up his wife) and she and her family will then play the publicity card again to garner sympathy to have Immigration’s decision over-turned.

    Meanwhile, right now, it would be interesting to have the woman produce her telephone account call records to establish whether she is already maintaining contact with her husband in Fiji.

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  13. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    If the family came here on her husband’s temporary work visa, unless she got one in her own right, how can she be legally working. It is not our problem. Send them back to Fiji with rider that the husband is never allowed to set foot here again. We should not be expected to solve every family problem in the world.

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  14. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @Chris2: you’re a cynic.

    I think it’s wrong to have a situation where reporting a crime results in the person reporting that crime being worse off. That creates an incentive to not report crime, I think that’s a bad place to be.

    This woman appears to be working and paying tax, she’s not a burden on the taxpayer. By that measure she’s already a better prospect than about 15% of those who are already kiwis. The kid seems to have some gumption and smarts, and so he’s probably good odds as a citizen too. I don’t see any downside, make the exception.

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  15. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    PaulL @ 10:23am – There is no evidence at all that the family would have been granted residence, even if the husband had not assaulted his wife.

    Everyone (like you) has simply assumed that but for the husband’s offending, the family would have been allowed to stay. You don’t know this, but you have assumed it.

    Oh and incidentally, why would we want to grant residence to a child who has publicly declared that he will never ever call the Police again. Hardly the sort of attitude we want in this country.

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  16. david (2,557 comments) says:

    PaulL said “This woman appears to be working and paying tax, she’s not a burden on the taxpayer.” WFF anyone?

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  17. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “I think it’s wrong to have a situation where reporting a crime results in the person reporting that crime being worse off.”

    So you think watching his mother get beaten is somehow better than risking being sent back to his home?

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  18. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    There is a dedicated category for residence for victims of domestic violence although I don’t think there is an equivalent for work permits as the idea of them is that they are a temporary stay for a limited purpose.
    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/i42635.htm
    The domestic violence policy was brought in after lobbying primarily from the Shakti Ethnic Womens refuge who were concerned about women who often came to NZ,often under an arranged marriage to an NZ resident, and faced abuse but felt unable to leave safely because they would be socially and financially ruined and probably deported.
    Shakti were also involved in the successful lobbying for a limit on the number of partners a New Zealander can sponsor for residence (two in your entire life) after instances of NZ men repeatedly sponsoring wives for residence, receiving a dowry from her family and then abandoning them and sponsoring another wife.
    Partnership is a very complicated area – if policy is too harsh and inflexible it causes massive suffering to innocent couples – if it is too soft it it wide open to abuse. Chris2’s scenario above where the husband and wife reconcile later and she petitions for him to be granted residence may not be true in this instance but is not so far fetched – rorting of the system like that has happened before.
    Immigration is the poisoned chalice of Ministerial Portfolios, one of the thousands of ministerial decisions made on incomplete information will inevitably backfire – scandal waits around every corner. It’s the one that the PM gives either to somebody they don’t like or to somebody who they think has potential and wants to test.

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  19. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    So presumably he was doing a job that a NZer couldn’t?

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  20. Dave Stringer (188 comments) says:

    The sins of the father should NOT result in punishment for the son!

    This family were here legally, the boy probably was impacted by some of the “it’s not alright” advertising that has been done over the last year. He did EXACTLY what he was told was expected of him when his mother was assaulted by his father. As a result he is being deported because his father has been thereby changing his residence status.

    This is a classic case of a bureaucracy being bureaucratic, or someone doing a “jobsworth” (as in ‘its more than my jobsworth not to apply this rule, irrespective of what other rules might be found this is the one I have arrived at first and I will apply it’).

    Enough stupidity! This should be put right within the existing statutes and rules – this mother and son should never have had to look for public sympathy to achieve a clearly equitable solution.

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  21. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    And once she is given residency how many more will she sponsor to come over?

    Compassion is a wonderful thing. The shores of Indonesia are packed with it all trying to get to Oz…….and then here.

    She’s a taxpayer? Yep,anyone who buys a packet of apples is a taxpayer,does that mean they’re contributing to NZ?

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  22. Scott1 (552 comments) says:

    I think KiwiGreg is right,

    To have a systematic exemption for victims of crime might be to encourage immigrants to falsely or frivilously claim victimhood.
    For example an immigrant might accuse their partner of abuse as part of a messy break up in order to get permanent residency.

    there may be ways around that, but it seems any policy made here could have unintended concequences.

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  23. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “This family were here legally”

    Until the father was deported, maybe.

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  24. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    Dave Stringer @ 1:19pm – the only reason the boy (and his brother – who you do not mention) and his Mother, are here at in NZ is because they came as dependents of the Father. He is gone, now they must go.

    And for those who talk about the woman being a taxpayer as if she is making a fabulous net contribution, ponder this: how much has this family cost the taxpayer – Police involvement, Court involvement, the cost of locking up the husband, his deportation, and now Immigration’s involvement in having to force the family to comply with the terms of an agreement they entered into when they were given a work visa to come here temporarily. Time this family left, they have already costs the taxpayer tens and tens of thousands of dollars.

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  25. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    And the definition of domestic violence is changing in the UK. To include “controlling” behaviour. How long before that becomes the case here?
    Then it will be the women being deported. Yeah right.

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  26. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Immigration New Zealands argument is absolute lies. They allowed Burger King to recruit hundreds of foreign managers after stating BK could not find enough Kiwi managers. Look at all the unemployed uni grads. Sickening. We should actually all boycott BK and create a boycott BK Face Book page

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  27. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    @hinamanu – Not me. I get 2c a litre off my gas when I by a burger there.

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  28. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    LOL could you be any lazier hinamanu. Go and set up your “boycott BK” FB page; that’ll take you, what, 3 seconds. Then you’ll be a fully paid up activist!

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  29. veronicavv (1 comment) says:

    I recently had a terrible experience with Immigration New Zealand

    Dear all,

    My name is Veronica and 2 months ago I started considering studying in New Zealand.

    One month ago I was accepted at one university in New Zealand for a Graduate Diploma and qualified for the same program at another institute. I was more interested in the second program, school told me I qualify but I needed to come to New Zealand asap as classes start at the end of October. I email Immigration NZ asking them if I can come as a tourist and apply for my student visa from inside the country and they confirmed yes, I can. .

    On 22 september I arrived at Auckland Airport with my husband very excited for visiting and going to school in New Zealand. I was given a 3 month tourist visa which I asked for in order to arrange with the school details for my program, pay the fees and visit the great outdoors new Zealand has.

    1 hours later I find myself at the immigration office my passport being withheld , not allowed to leave the airport and having the most traumatizing experience of my life. What I mean by that is hearing a customs officer walking in the immigration office and saying: NO MORE ROMANIANS. My husband and I are both Romanians.. Clearly that comment was made about us..

    At Immigration office in Auckland Airport 3 people out of 5 held there were Romanians. The other two were held because they brought more cigarettes than allowed by customs. Consequences for holding romanian passports: 10 hours of interrogation , part of my documents withheld by immigration, sleep deprived for another 24 hours ( after a 36 hour long flight) . during the interrogation I showed immigration all my documents and explained why I should be let into the country: I had the acceptance letter from school, I had correspondence back and forth with another school which I was interested in ,email from Immigration that I can come as a visitor first, proof of funds to pay for school which costs 17 000, money to support ourselves while in New Zealand, hotel reservation made and places I wanted to visit as a tourist.

    My husband was interrogated separately by another officer and part of his interview was asked questions like: where he has worked 8 years ago, why he left the job, who lives now in the accommodation we used to rent, if our parents approved our marriage and other questions that had nothing to do with my studies in my opinion. This may sound weird to you but I have all our interviews taped and transcripts.

    Firstly we were told that we have the right to have a copy of the recording and the transcripts. later immigration supervisor changed her mind and wanted to give us only the transcripts. we managed to get both transcripts and tapes and I’m amazed how parts of my declaration are cut from the transcripts and relevant information is misinterpreted. . My english is not perfect but I can make myself understood even after 2 days of traveling and 24 more hours spent at immigration. the supervisor ‘s decision was made based solely on the transcript

    There are a few facts that I would like to make public from this experience which I consider to be traumatizing . When we arrived at the airport the officer who made the comment : NO MORE ROMANIANS is the officer who pulled my husband aside. We were brought in front of another officer for a short interview. after explaining our reason to be in New Zealand he declared: I am satisfied, sounds good to me but I don’t understand what do they want from you ( referring to customs and immigration).

    We were taken at immigration office for some checks that “would last about 10 minutes” 12 hours later I am answering the same questions , i am fingerprinted videotaped and recorded. We were not allowed to leave the airport and could go eat only after asking for permission. while in the airport we had to wear a sticker on our body so security would know we are referred at immigration. sarcastic enough, people working in duty free shops would refer to us as: hey, you are being sent back home. That is humiliating. being looked at as criminals. but that’s not exactly what happened.

    I was being sent back to Russia not home, because that ‘s all Immigration could arrange for.Russia was the first stop on my way to New Zealand. from here I had to arrange tickets to my home country. We were informed about this 5 minutes before our flight departed from Auckland. If I were to refuse this flight, I would be in custody and escorted with handcuffs to Romania. I am talking here about two people with no criminal record, who have travelled to many places around the world and never had any problems but treated as criminals by Immigration New Zealand. I think a major abuse was made, I would like to make my story public and share documents that I have. Immigration New Zealand was kind enough to let us call our embassy but provided us with the wrong number. We eventually managed to get the right number and put in a complaint. But I would like to go further and share this with other institutions and newspapers tv channels too.
    Our visa was cancelled and could come back to New Zealand only with permission.

    I strongly believe that our refusal to entry the country was based on racism. Immigration apologized ( Sorry you had to hear that”) and explained to us that the officer who made the comment ” NO MORE ROMANIANS” is from another department. To me is much the same as they work hand in hand : Immigration and Customs. And it was the first impact that I had with New Zealand: discrimination. Even if they tried to absolve themselves from this matter and put the blame on another department my question is: would you share such a harsh comment with someone who wouldn’t have the same views? Would you say : “NO MORE ROMANIANS” to an entire department who should be impartial if they wouldn’t agree with you? I think not. I think the comment made a clear impact on my refusal , especially in the way it was made: on an imperative tone.

    When we asked for a lawyer they told us Immigration can’t arrange for one because basically we are not in New Zealand and we are not allowed to make “personal calls”.

    Again, I can backup what I have written above with documentation and I am hoping to put a stop on this discriminatory behavior from authorities.
    Again, I came to New Zealand to study, to spend 17000 NZD from my own pocket to pay for school, had a letter of acceptance, Ielts test , return paid airfare, hotel booking and knowledge of New Zealand points of interested I wanted to visit.

    Today is September 25 and I finally reached home.We spent the last 2 nights at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport and at Seoul Incheon Airport. Our passports were given back to us in Seoul and Korean Air was kind enough to arrange for our flight from Moscow to Budapest.

    At the gate of departure from New Zealand the officer told us that we can’t basically sue them because we are not in New Zealand and that we will receive information about our file only at the discretion of the department. “sensitive” information will be deleted.I know he was trying to discourage us. We already contacted the press, put in a complaint at Customs and Human Rights Commission. If anyone has experience with this matter and has advice on what I could do next please contact me.

    I hope my experience will get around the world and reach the right people so others won’t have to experience this
    You can contact me on this email address if you require further information.

    Sincerely,

    Veronica

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