Family given three month delay in deportation order to allow children to finish school year
The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has ordered a Tongan family to be deported.
The family of two parents and three children have been given a three months’ grace period before leaving New Zealand.
Two of the children were born in New Zealand.
The family had appealed against a deportation order.
The parents and their eldest child entered New Zealand in April 2008 as visitors. They held three-month visitor visas which were renewed until January 2009.
In November 2008, the husband was declined an Essential Skills work visa to enable him to work as a tile-maker.
In February 2009, the appellants were declined further visitor visas. They became unlawfully resident in New Zealand following the expiry of their final visitor visas on 12 January 2009.
The appellants’ second child was born in New Zealand in June 2009 and their third in June 2009.
In the following years the family lodged several requests for different visas and sought ministerial directions on their case.
A third request for a ministerial direction seeking resident or work visas was declined in July 2016.
In May 2018,the Minister ordered the family be granted one-day visitor visas to enable them to lodge an appeal on humanitarian grounds.
In its report on the decision, the Tribunal said it had considered the appellants’circumstances in Tonga and New Zealand, the effects of Cyclone Gita on family members living in Tonga and their ability to offer support to the family on return home and the best
In considering arguments that the children’s education would suffer if deported to Tonga, the Tribunal said: “Being educated in Tonga need not preclude achieving academically. Family support and role models for educational achievement are important contributors to educational success.”
The Tribunal said there were no exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature and that deportation would not be “unjust or unduly harsh.”
The Tribunal ruled that the family’s appeal against an existing deportation order should be declined.
The Tribunal orders that the deportation of the family be delayed for three months so the children can finish the school year and give them time to plan their return to Tonga.
The main points
- The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has ordered a Tongan family to be deported.
- The family of two parents and three children have been given a three months’ grace period before leaving New Zealand.
- The family had appealed against a deportation order.