Terminally ill's immigration appeal still unheard
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 6:23p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
A tribunal set up less than two years ago to streamline immigration appeals has run up a huge backlog of cases.
Lawyers say it's unacceptable and are demanding more staff to cut the year-long wait faced by hundreds of people.
Terminally ill Elize Liebenberg has 10 days before she's supposed to leave the country. The South African lodged an appeal when her residency application was turned down, but it'll be nearly a year before it's considered.
“I'm not going to live in 12 months,” she says. “I won't be here any more. All I'm asking is just to give me my residency so I can have a bit of peace.”
Her family live here and want to nurse her during her final months – a time, they say, should be spent without worrying about deportation.
She's not alone. A document supplied under the Official Information Act showed 1094 others were waiting 310 days for their appeals to be heard.
The Ministry of Justice says it's getting the numbers under control.
"While delays will be frustrating, in general appellants cannot be deported while the appeal process is underway," it says in a statement.
That hasn't stopped 361 people leaving the country while their cases were mired in the paper jam. Five had received deportation orders and the rest left before it came to that.
When the Immigration and Protection Tribunal began, the Government said it had a critical role to play in New Zealand fulfilling its international obligations – a role that's under scrutiny.
“In an ideal world, yes, they should perhaps increase the number of members by 50 percent in order to cut through the old case work because of the fact that it really does create hardship for certain classes of people,” says Simon Laurent of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment.
It has created hardship for Elize Liebenberg, who says she is losing faith in the country she calls home.
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21/08/2012 9:38:10 a.m.
Janet Bailey wrote:
We are a british family being seperated by NZ Immigration rules, what ever happened to the British Soverenty in NZ, Immigration is a disgrace, we had to wait 3 years for a reply to my daughters residency status which would have only took a day or too if they had the staff in place, now we are left with less than two weeks, to fight her case, she has a psyciatric disorder, and has tried to take her own life, I am her main support person, but Immigration still refuse her residency we have been in NZ 7 years.
21/08/2012 8:47:44 a.m.
Mike B wrote:
Dealing with Immigration New Zealand must be the most frustrating experience anyone can ever encounter. I agree with Petro that it seems that it is a money making racket and nothing more. I have encountered endless delays and obstacles for some of my personnel. This country has a shortage of skills in certain areas and Immigration is making it a huge task to get the necessary skills from abroad. I lost an Injection molding specialist due to delays from Immigration and their pedantic and moronic requests and delays. It was recently pointed out to me that a Parental scheme was recently opened for current residence to bring their parents to live here. An expression of interest form is needed and according to the Immigration dept web site, this then takes anything from 18 months to three years for an applicant to be invited to apply!!! They then say a further 3 years wait until the residence is approved. So up to six years to make a decision on an application! And we want to be seen as a first world country! Time to wake up New Zealand, we are losing our own skilled people as well as not being able to attract these necessary skills from abroad. Just check out our Medical doctor shortage and that is enough to start looking at a future across the ditch!
21/08/2012 7:31:00 a.m.
this is disgusting and unacceptable as they are quick to accept payment for services and once they have payments you have to wait forever for anything to be done- a shame and utterly disgusting
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