Weekend Herald

Griev­ing mum: ‘ One rule for them’

UK fam­ily stranded on their yacht re­fused en­try into NZ af­ter son’s tragic death, up­set su­pery­achts have been let in, Tom Dil­lane re­ports

- Oceania News · United Kingdom · French Polynesia · New Zealand · West Sussex · Iceland · United Kingdom Department of Health · Ministry of Health · Auckland Region · Malta · United States of America · Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia) · Ashley

We live on a boat that re­minds us of him ev­ery day. Mum Bar­bara Genda on son Ed­die, be­low

Bar­bara Genda and Harry Jar­man sold their house, bought a yacht and set off from Bri­tain on a round- the­world trip which they hoped would make ev­er­last­ing mem­o­ries for their chil­dren.

But tragedy struck when their 14- year- old son Ed­die was struck by a jet­boat and killed while check­ing the an­chor.

Grief- stricken and un­able to con­tinue their jour­ney, they say they are now stuck in French Poly­ne­sia af­ter be­ing de­nied en­try to New Zealand to try to sell their boat so they can re­turn home to West Sus­sex and try to restart their lives.

It was a bit­ter de­ci­sion to swal­low for the fam­ily who have watched as a stream of su­pery­achts are given ex­emp­tions to en­ter New Zealand pro­vided they spend at least $ 50,000 each in re­pair work at marine shops.

Genda said she be­lieves en­try into New Zealand is a door opened by money.

“I feel it’s one rule for them and one rule for us. Why have all the su­pery­achts been ap­proved and none of the yachts? It’s for eco­nomic rea­sons.”

The fam­ily set sail in their 17m yacht in Jan­uary last year.

On Au­gust 9 this year, their son Ed­die died in an accident off Moorea Is­land, near Tahiti. The tragedy is the sub­ject of a man­slaugh­ter in­quiry.

The heart­bro­ken fam­ily now floats in­def­i­nitely in French Poly­ne­sia on the boat which ev­ery day re­minds them of their lost boy.

They are try­ing to sell their $ 1 mil­lion yacht — the only home they have — in or­der to re­turn home to the UK and buy a house.

But with cy­clone sea­son bear­ing down, the fam­ily was on Oc­to­ber 2 re­fused an ex­emp­tion to en­ter New Zealand’s mar­itime bor­der for hu­man­i­tar­ian rea­sons.

“In the whole un­cer­tainty of our life ahead of us with­out Ed­die, at least one cer­tainty was we could go to New Zealand and very likely sell the boat and move on,” Genda said.

“Be­cause of that re­jec­tion we will live in that un­cer­tainty, and we live on a boat that re­minds us of him ev­ery day.

“Ev­ery time I go out in the cock­pit and look over I re­mem­ber the scene, see­ing my son float­ing in the water un­con­scious and prob­a­bly dead by that time, be­ing dragged by a woman who re­cov­ered him.”

The Min­istry of Health’s re­fusal let­ter to the fam­ily’s bor­der en­try ap­pli­ca­tion said direc­tor gen­eral of health Ash­ley Bloom­field took into con­sid­er­a­tion the fact they had al­ready man­aged to repa­tri­ate Ed­die’s body to the UK.

The fam­ily flew back to Sus­sex to bury Ed­die in Au­gust, but had to re­turn to their yacht, Septem­ber AM, with their daugh­ter to nav­i­gate cy­clone sea­son and try to sell it.

The min­istry ex­tended their con­do­lences to the fam­ily for their loss and said “due con­sid­er­a­tion was given to their cir­cum­stances”.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion did not meet the high thresh­old of a hu­man­i­tar­ian ex­emp­tion,” the min­istry said. “For clar­ity, hu­man­i­tar­ian rea­sons or other com­pelling needs would be un­likely to in­clude sit­u­a­tions re­lat­ing solely to fi­nan­cial loss, or to ves­sels trav­el­ling pri­mar­ily for plea­sure or con­ve­nience.”

Genda said it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to sell their yacht in French Poly­ne­sia.

Auck­land yacht bro­kers 36 de­grees had urged the fam­ily to make the “ut­most ef­fort” to bring Septem­ber AM to New Zealand be­cause there were prospec­tive buy­ers here — but none that could fly to Tahiti to view their yacht.

The fam­ily ob­tained a let­ter of sup­port from the Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion as­sur­ing the

MOH Genda and her daugh­ter could re­turn to the UK within days of ar­riv­ing in New Zealand.

What is par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing to Genda i s the num­ber of su­pery­achts that have been given ex­emp­tions since the mar­itime bor­der was closed on June 30.

The min­istry said 13 ves­sels had been granted ex­emp­tion to dock, eight of them un­der a re­fit and re­pair cri­te­ria.

The for­eign ves­sels and crew can be ex­empted pro­vided they spend at least $ 50,000 on re­fit and re­pair work at marine out­fit­ters. In re­al­ity, the money be­ing spent is far greater.

One 55m su­pery­acht i s un­der­go­ing a $ 7m re­fit at Auck­land Orams Marine Ser­vices boat­yard.

The 81m AIR su­pery­acht from Malta entered Auck­land on Oc­to­ber 7, and the 55m Senses su­pery­acht from the US will ar­rive on Oc­to­ber 15

“That i s what hurts me. It i s an eco­nomic trans­ac­tion,” Genda said.

“I be­lieve there are 20 [ su­pery­achts] that ap­plied, and they’re just stag­ger­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion so they don’t turn up all at the same time. You’d change the light bulbs for $ 50,000 on su­pery­achts. So why are they all go­ing there [ NZ]. I tell you why — be­cause of the Amer­ica’s Cup.”

The min­istry said only three ex­emp­tions for for­eign ves­sels and crew had been for hu­man­i­tar­ian rea­sons, and all be­cause “they had New Zealand cit­i­zens on board”.

Genda said the fam­ily would soon have to sail their yacht from Tahiti for over a week to the French Poly­ne­sian is­land of Mar­que­sas to be safe dur­ing the sum­mer cy­clone sea­son.

“Hope­fully next year New Zealand will open up and then we can even­tu­ally sail the boat there for a sale. But that is gut­ting. It is ter­ri­bly, hor­ri­bly stress­ful.

“We’re not do­ing this be­cause we want to get to New Zealand and live in a coun­try Covid- free. No, we need to put our daugh­ter back into school [ in the UK] so she can be in a nor­mal en­vi­ron­ment with her friends.

“We rely on the cap­i­tal of the sale of the boat to be able to go back.

“We know that’s best for her, rather than be­ing on the boat and be­ing lonely and re­minded ev­ery day of Ed­die, and her lack of a brother.”

The fam­ily have launched a cam­paign to raise £ 100,000 to set up a char­ity for young mu­si­cians in mem­ory of Ed­die, who was a tal­ented vi­o­lin­ist.

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 ??  ?? The Jar­man fam­ily — Ed­die, 14, Harry, Bar­bara and Amelie, 13 — were on the trip of a life­time on their yacht.
The Jar­man fam­ily — Ed­die, 14, Harry, Bar­bara and Amelie, 13 — were on the trip of a life­time on their yacht.

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