MP to fight for family to stay in NZ
New NZ First MP Mark Patterson will present the case of a Sri Lankan family living in Queenstown to the Immigration Minister, if the family’s attempts to stay in New Zealand fail.
Dinesha Amarasinghe, her husband, Sam, and their three sons are facing deportation on November 21 after living in New Zealand for eight years due to Amarasinghe, the primary visa holder, developing multiple sclerosis three years ago.
Immigration advocate Shane Robinson plans to appeal the Immigration NZ decision and file an appeal on humanitarian grounds. ‘‘If both of those options fail, then the family’s only hope is intervention by the minister of immigration,’’ he says.
Patterson, who lives in the Clutha-Southland electorate that includes Queenstown, has met the family at the request of the local community and Queenstown Primary School, where the boys, aged 11, 10 and 8, are pupils.
‘‘The school is quite distressed with the situation. It is pretty unfortunate circumstances they are in,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously there’s a lot of emotion but with these things there’s also a lot of rules.’’
He had been further briefed on their situation and would not intervene with a plea to the Immigration Minister Iain LeesGalloway unless the appeals failed, he said.
‘‘I’m not giving any indication whether it will be successful or not but there’s no doubt than no one can be failed to be moved by their personal circumstances.’’
Sam said they had had offers of assistance and support from many people in the community, including an offer to cover their legal fees. ‘‘I know everybody around town but they didn’t know our situation previously. Now they know everything and they are happy to help.’’
The family have an appointment to meet with CluthaSouthland MP and National Party representative Hamish Walker next week.