A rural medical centre that pleaded with the Immigration Minister to help retain their young migrant GP is baffled to see residency reportedly granted to convicted criminals.
Ōtaki GP Dr Harding Richards, originally from Wales, left New Zealand in June after a year waiting in limbo to lodge a residency application.
Because of Covid’s impact on the immigration office, the Government suspended Expressions of Interest (EOI) selections for the skilled migrant category (SMC) last year, closing a pathway to residency for many migrants.
Reeling from the loss of the young doctor – who had 1354 patients registered to him – Ōtaki Medical Practice was forced to close its doors to new patients over a busy winter.
Last week Newshub reported Associate Immigration minister Phil Twyford had granted residency to three convicted criminals – with 10 convictions between them – since December.
An email chain shared with the Herald from the same period shows Ōtaki Medical Centre pleading with Twyford for a chance to make the case for an intervention in person.
The Ōtaki Medical Centre are not the only ones confused.