No NZ work visa because of sickness? Whangārei mother wants answers.

By Raniera Harrison

Standing on the porch of her ancestral house asking when her love will return to her?

"Keep on asking, "Am I doing the right thing?" Because I see my husband suffering and my kids too, and I am too - for what? You know? For what?" asks Juanita Craig (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hau)

It's been 8 and a half months since Juanita Craig, her two children and their Canadian father, Jimmy Lambert have been together as a family. She says Immigration NZ have advised them Mr. Lambert does not qualify for a work visa or any permit - because he suffers from multiple sclerosis.

"This is destroying the family. It's soul destructive, it's soul destroying, for so many people that are involved here and in Canada and it needs to be sorted" says Craig.

Te Ao approached Immigration NZ for comment on the issue. They say they are currently working on responding to the matter, however, have yet to formally make a statement.

"It's costing more as us a whānau to our kids that they've been severed in such a fundamental stage in their lives. They're three and they're five. How do you explain that? Pāpā you see on a screen and there's a 16 to 18 hours difference" adds Craig.

In a statement to Te Ao Māori News, Multiple Sclerosis NZ Vice President, Neil Woodhams said "the government decision to deny... visa entry to this country is both unreasonable and unfair" and continued to say the decision is "short-sighted" and "non-sensical."

"Just the fact that he can't come in to the country, can't give us a kihi, can't give us a hug. That's unreal" she adds.

Ms. Craig says she just wants the Minister of Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway to remember one thing

"I'd say this "He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata" So bring that back again"

Immigration NZ say they are currently investigating.