O’Brien’s rocky New Zealand immigration ride over

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 17 August 2010

O'Brien was born in Britain, but emigrated to New Zealand as a 10-year-old in 1952 and lived in Tauranga and Hamilton until he returned to London in 1964.

His siblings Robin Smith and Gillian Page live in Tauranga and his parents lived in the city until they died around four years ago.

O’Brian, 68, wanted to retire in New Zealand with his family, but New Zealand immigration  rules meant he did not quality because of his age.

A campaign to ensure O’Brien could obtain residency and retire in New Zealand generated significant publicity.

Earlier this month Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson relaxed the usual age criteria and granted an exception to the need to have a job offer, but O’Brien still had to pass the standard health and police checks.

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