British family face NZ deportation as father has cancer

Published:  18 Dec at 6 PM
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A British couple and their three children who emigrated to New Zealand some six years ago are facing deportation after being refused residency as the father has a brain tumour.

Paul and Sarah Crystal, originally from Evesham, and their three children aged 7, 15 and 17, have lived in New Zealand since 2006, when Paul took on a job in the country. From 2009, Paul was self-employed as a painter and decorator and also ran a business installing amusement machines.

Tragically, in 2010, he underwent an operation to remove a cancerous growth in his brain and was given a 20 per cent chance of survival over the following three years, At the time, the family were beginning their application for permanent residency, which has now been rejected.

The reason given for the rejection was the supposedly high cost to the NZ Health Service of further treatment for Paul, which placed him outside the relevant residency qualifications. According to the Daily Telegraph, the family cannot afford the cost of returning to the UK and have no legal access to New Zealand’s welfare benefits system.

Paul is devastated, believing it’s his fault the family is stranded between two countries, and his wife is concerned over the effect the rejection has had on her children, especially as their visas are about to expire. An appeal has been lodged with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, supported by a medical assessment stating the reasonable cost of Paul’s ongoing treatment.

Their local community is saving the day on the financial front, with food and grocery vouchers and thousands of NZ$ in donations coming in, as well as financial assistance with education fees for the two oldest children. As a result of local media involvement, emergency welfare benefits are now being given, although the only suggestion from the Immigration department is that the family should beg the British High Commission for support.
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