The New Zealand Herald

Men­tally ill stu­dent told to leave

Univer­sity and INZ give over­seas stu­dent al­legedly raped in health unit or­ders to go

- Lin­coln Tan

Awoman who says she was raped in a men­tal health unit had her en­rol­ment ter­mi­nated at the Univer­sity of Auck­land and was told she could face de­por­ta­tion.

The 21-year-old woman from China suf­fers from chronic men­tal health is­sues. She was placed in Auck­land Hos­pi­tal’s men­tal health unit in late Oc­to­ber.

There, she was al­legedly raped by an­other pa­tient and a month later tried to take her own life.

In a let­ter dated De­cem­ber 11, the woman, a fourth-year Univer­sity of Auck­land stu­dent pur­su­ing a dou­ble de­gree in science and health science, was told her en­rol­ment was end­ing.

Not­ing that the stu­dent had to be ad­mit­ted af­ter she needed life-sav­ing med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion in Auck­land

Hos­pi­tal, deputy vice-chan­cel­lor Adri­enne Cle­land said the ter­mi­na­tion was for a breach of en­rol­ment con­di­tions.

“It is clear that there has been a change to the state of your men­tal health . . . and you did not promptly in­form the In­ter­na­tional Of­fice as you were re­quired to do un­der your En­rol­ment Con­di­tions,” Cle­land said in the let­ter.

“The Univer­sity has can­celled your Stu­dent Agree­ment for your breach of en­rol­ment con­di­tions, thereby ter­mi­nat­ing your en­rol­ment.”

Two days later, Im­mi­gra­tion New Zealand (INZ) in­formed the stu­dent in an email the ter­mi­na­tion meant she no longer met the cri­te­ria for her stu­dent visa and gave her five days to leave New Zealand.

“This is be­cause your visa con­di­tions state that you may study at Auck­land Univer­sity and today that was ter­mi­nated,” the email said. “You are there­fore li­able to be served with a de­por­ta­tion li­a­bil­ity no­tice.”

The woman, who can­not be iden­ti­fied for le­gal rea­sons, said her ex­pe­ri­ence in New Zealand has been “one night­mare af­ter an­other”.

Shortly af­ter ar­riv­ing here in 2015, she said, she met an older man who took in­ti­mate pho­tos of her and black­mailed her into hav­ing sex with him.

A po­lice re­port was made, but she said she with­drew the com­plaint af­ter the man agreed to delete the im­ages.

The woman did not tell the univer­sity about this or the al­leged hos­pi­tal rape be­cause she was ashamed.

“I be­lieve I am fit to study and can grad­u­ate this year if I am al­lowed to con­tinue. My fam­ily has spent over $100,000 in fees.

“What I needed was sup­port but in­stead Univer­sity of Auck­land chose the easy way out.”

But she said even if the univer­sity over­turned its de­ci­sion, it would be “too toxic” for her to con­tinue her stud­ies there.

Auck­land City De­tec­tive Sergeant Mark Greaves, con­firmed an on­go­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into “a com­plaint in­volv­ing al­le­ga­tions of a sex­ual na­ture”.

He said it re­port­edly hap­pened at a health fa­cil­ity in Auck­land City on Oc­to­ber 24 last year.

An Auck­land Dis­trict Health Board spokes­woman said it was un­able to com­ment as there was an on­go­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Univer­sity of Auck­land spokesman Todd Somerville said the univer­sity did not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases in­volv­ing a stu­dent’s health and wel­fare.

How­ever, he said the stu­dent in this case had re­ceived “an ex­cep­tional level of care and sup­port” from the univer­sity.

“The de­ci­sion to ter­mi­nate her en­rol­ment was based on ex­pert advice of her own med­i­cal team, who felt that it was not in her best in­ter­ests to re­main as a stu­dent at the univer­sity,” Somerville said.

INZ gen­eral man­ager ver­i­fi­ca­tion and com­pli­ance Stephen Vaughan said the email to the woman that threat­ened de­por­ta­tion was sent be­fore the agency had been in­formed of the cir­cum­stances around her rea­sons for not com­plet­ing her stud­ies.

“[She] has been ad­vised that INZ will not take any fur­ther ac­tion in her case un­til she has had the op­por­tu­nity to seek advice on her im­mi­gra­tion op­tions,” Vaughan said.

 ??  ?? The woman says the Univer­sity of Auck­land is now “too toxic” for her to stay.
The woman says the Univer­sity of Auck­land is now “too toxic” for her to stay.

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