British family to be deported because Dad has brain tumour

An Anglican parish in Onewhero, Tuakau, has been seeking support for a British family who have been living in New Zealand for seven years, but face being deported because the father has a brain tumour and cannot work.

Immigration NZ acting general manager Bruce Burrows said their application for residence was rejected because Paul Crystal was no longer actively in business and was “likely to impose significant cost or demands on New Zealand’s health services”.

Paul and Sarah Crystal and their three children, aged 17 to 7, were also refused welfare assistance because they do not have permanent residence.

But after inquiries from the local media Work and Income head Debbie Power has reviewed the case and decided it was appropriate to grant the family an emergency benefit while the Immigration and Protection Tribunal considers their appeal.

Crystal, from Evesham, who has been given a 20 per cent chance of surviving the next three years, said the family was now “stuck” between Britain and New Zealand. They cannot afford air travel back to Britain but cannot stay in New Zealand without access to welfare benefits, he said.

The immigration department says Crystal and his wife could apply for temporary visas or seek support from their family abroad.

A spokesman for the department said, “If Mr Crystal, his wife and three children wish to continue staying in New Zealand they should apply for further visas in good time.”

“We note that both Mr and Mrs Crystal have immediate family living outside New Zealand. As British citizens it would be appropriate for the family to approach the British High Commission for any support they require.”

Rev Alan Rowe of the Onewhero Anglican Church said news of the family’s plight spread quickly and many people stepped in to help.

They have received monetary donations as well as food and grocery vouchers from the community. The community has helped to pay for tuition fees for the oldest daughter, Claire, 17, and a son, Max, as well as providing $550 for the family’s appeal on their residence application.



Donations for the Crystals can be sent c/o Rev Alan Rowe, St Stephen’s Church, PO Box 64, Tuakau, or paid into an account Mr Rowe has set up at the ASB in Pukekohe: 123023074765300.

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