Kiwi immigration minister gives expat deportee permission to stay

Published:  27 Sep at 6 PM
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In an immigration drama similar to the internationally publicised tale of the Fat Chef, a New Zealand minister has allowed another unfortunate expat to avoid deportation.

Martyn Payne, a garage owner living and working in Kapiro, arrived in New Zealand from the UK almost 10 years ago and soon became a pillar of his rural community for his motor repair shop and service station. Two years ago, well settled and with his children and grandchildren also living in the country, he applied for citizenship and was rejected as a potential burden to the New Zealand health service.

Faced with being forced to leave his business and extended family and return to Britain, he appealed to his community and the Motor Trade Association of which he’s a long-standing, respected member. In spite of everyone’s efforts on his behalf, his appeal was rejected, again on medical grounds, and he was told to leave when his visa expires on 31 October or be deported.

Martin’s family, friends and trade association CEO, Stephen Matthews, took his case to top immigration officials, found specialist immigration lawyers and supported him in business matters for two full years. At the last minute, a combination of a new medical examination result and an appeal to Assistant Immigration Minister Nicky Kaye resulted in permission to stay being granted.

Everyone involved is calling the last minute reprieve and granting of his residency application a victory for common sense, and Martin is grateful for all the help he received. Mr Matthews is thrilled, saying that Martin is exactly the kind of migrant the country desperately needs.
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