A group of frustrated spouses and partners of foreign nationals are calling on Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to review their processes in granting partnership visas. They took to the main street of Auckland city to protest against INZ they claim, are tearing their families apart.
It's an emotional plea from partners including Nikki Harawira who want their whānau united again.
“It's really hard not having him, like he's missing out on my child's birth, you know these first crucial years,” she said, “yeah it's really hard, it's really hard on me.”
Harawira says despite a positive interview process with INZ officials to prevent her partner from being deported, he is now in India.
“The notes back to our lawyer was yes we found them to be genuine, and that if he goes back we could grant him a special direction and he will return on the basis that he goes to India. So me, my son, and him went back to India and then, yeah, he's still not home.”
INZ declines almost one in 10 of work and residence partnership applications. Immigration Advisor Tuariki Delamere says the government needs to ensure children grow with both parents.
“The Prime Minister before the election said her priority if she gets to government, are our children,” said Delamere.
“The priority is for a fairer, better, kinder society. She has re-emphasised that already this year. Now, how can it be fairer, better and kinder to bust up the families of New Zealanders.”
INZ told Te Kāea, they must be satisfied that a relationship is genuine and stable. Marriage alone is not sufficient evidence. In cases where INZ is not satisfied immigration requirements have been met, additional documentation may be requested and verification may be completed.
Nikki Harawira vows she will continue to fight for her partner to be returned to New Zealand.