05 May 2011

Immigration New Zealand comments on deportation of UK entrepreneur

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Immigration New Zealand has faced criticism lately over the case of Martyn Payne, a UK entrepreneur who arrived in New Zealand from the UK and invested more than NZ$700,000 in a business, only to be deported last week due to concerns over his health. Today, Immigration New Zealand provided a statement on the situation.

New Zealand immigration

Immigration New Zealand have provided a statement on their reasons for deporting Martyn Payne.

Martyn Payne first arrived in New Zealand under a Temporary Business New Zealand visa almost seven years ago. He focussed on investing in a garage, Kapiro Auto Services, hiring locals and using his financial resorces to help turn what had been a poorly performing business into a thriving company.

He has been lauded by such companies as the New Zealand Motor Trade Associatio (MTA) for his efforts, only to be deported by Immigration New Zealand last week because of the belief that he may have heart problems in the future.

While Mr Payne says he will pay his own medical expenses if he can stay, but Immigration New Zealand have stood fast in their decision and released the following press release to clarify their position:

"In November 2005, Mr Payne arrived in New Zealand with a work permit valid until August 2006. He was then granted a work permit under the Long Term Business Visa category until November 2008.

Mr Payne was advised in writing that a long term business visa was no guarantee that a subsequent residence application would be approved and that any application would be assessed under the policy applying at that time, including meeting health requirements.

In January 2010, Mr Payne’s residence application under the Entrepreneur category was declined by Immigration New Zealand as he did not have an acceptable standard of health. A medical waiver was carefully considered but declined by Immigration New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand’s decision was upheld by the independent Residence Review Board (RRB) in August 2010. In its decision the RRB noted that although the family otherwise met residence policy, Mr Payne’s heart condition was estimated to cost New Zealand’s health system at least $25,000. The RRB mentioned that this was a “substantial sum for an overburdened health service.”

The RRB also agreed with INZ’s decision to decline a medical waiver. “There is nothing about the appellant, his wife or their son, or the family cumulatively which could be described as compelling, such as to justify a waiver, when weighed against the high probability of significant medical costs at some point in time.”

The RRB has jurisdiction to recommend to the Minister of Immigration that they grant residence as an exception to policy. The RRB declined to recommend this in Mr Payne’s case.

The Associate Minister of Immigration has declined to intervene in the case as it has already been carefully and thoroughly considered by an independent review body which agreed with Immigration New Zealand’s original decision.

The Head of Immigration New Zealand, Nigel Bickle acknowledges the connection Mr Payne has made in Northland.

“There is no doubt he has a lot of support in the community but its impossible to ignore the fact that at some point in the future he’s likely to impose significant costs on New Zealand’s health services.”


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with New Zealand immigration applications.


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