Tribunal says Tongan family must go home, says economic differences no basis for appeal

    The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has turned down an appeal by a Tongan couple against deportation.

    The Tribunal said they did not meet the exceptional requirements for being allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds.

    The couple and two of their children arrived  in New Zealand with the two older children on visitor visas on October 18, 2017.

    After a first extension of their visa was granted a second was refused and they became liable for deportation in July last year.

    A third child as born to the couple while they were in New Zealand.

    The couple relied on the difference in economic conditions and opportunities for them and their children as a reason for they and their children to be allowed to stay in New Zealand, the Tribunal said in its report on the case.

    The Tribunal said economic disparity was a motive for many people looking for better opportunities in New Zealand.

    However, the fact that they would be able provide a better standard of   living for themselves and their children in New Zealand is not, in itself, exceptional

    “The Tribunal accepts that the standard of living available to the appellants will be lower in Tonga than in New Zealand,” the report said.

    “However, the appellants will have the opportunity to work and to support their children. There is no evidence that they do not have adequate accommodation to return to and their children will have available to them the same level of primary and secondary schooling that they had.

    “While the appellants submit that the level of healthcare available to them in Tonga is inferior to that in New Zealand, that is not, in isolation, exceptional and, in any event, there is no evidence that either appellant or any of the three children have particular healthcare needs.”

    The Tribunal said it had considered the circumstances of both appellants and of  each of their children. 

    The main points

    • The New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal has turned down an appeal by a Tongan couple against deportation.
    • The Tribunal said they did not meet the exceptional requirements for being allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds.

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