Nationals 2012 changes to migration breaking up families. – A human story.

Below is a copy and pasted Facebook post from the father of my friend Kimberley.

Her father married an Italian woman with prior children, and through changes to the migration laws put through by national in 2012, his family cannot stay together.

Is this the New Zealand we want?

He’s not asking much, not any more than any of us would expect. He just wants to keep his family together.

Words below are of Ken Patterson:


I would like to share our story.

I am a Kiwi who fell hopelessly in love with Alice an Italian lady 25 years ago.

She had two children at the time, Fillipo aged 7 and Serena 6, they have grown up calling me “Pappa” and have always treated them as my own.

Fillipo and Serena have been Joined by another two children, Kimberly in 1994 and Gabriel in 2005 who are dual citizens having a kiwi father.

In 2010 we returned to live in NZ with our youngest children Kimberly and Gabriel and I sponsored my partner Alice for a partnership visa.

Filippo and Serena where young adults in relationships and did not want to follow us at that time and by remaining in Italy they became involuntarily excluded​ from their right to live with their now kiwi based family because of a change of policy by New Zealand Immigration in 2012 
(old links referring to this are missing in NZ Immigration web site but I did find this )

NZ Residency – changes to the Family Stream
Important changes to the Parent and Sibling/Adult Child categories of New Zealand’s Residency Programme will come into almost immediate effect.

This article covers the details of these change…

Filippo’s relationship in Italy didn’t last so he decided to visit us here in NZ for a month in summer 2012, he loved it and soon returned on a working holiday visa for 12 months, He ended up working at Poderi Crisci and at the end of the twelve months Antonio Crisci sponsored him for his first work visa, and then we sponsored him for his second work visa in 2015 to work in our lawn mowing business Clean Green Lawnmowing.

He then secured a job with Auckland city parks Waiheke last December and was very happy in his new job with the track maintenance team. He had the remaining months of his work visa transferred to his new employer and with the full support of his new employer who assured him that they would support him for a renewal of his work visa when it expired this April.

Unfortunately the new management at Auckland city parks where unable to follow New Zealand immigration guidelines for the work visa process, in particular the requirement by NZIS for the offed position to be advertised for 4 week nationally. 

Filippo’s current work visa has expired, his new work visa that Filippo has payed for was declined due to missing documents that need to be supplied by his employer.

He has payed the fee to have his application reconsidered but it it almost certain that it will be declined again without recourse and a request to depart from NZ territory within 48 hours

What is worse is that even should have this latest visa been granted this would have only given a temporary reprieve to an assured end of forced departure from NZ as all that he has done till now does not lead to NZ Residency, A right that he had removed from him in 2012.

A basic human right to have and be part of a Family.

Upon contacting the human right commission in regards they shrugged it off and said they can’t do anything and suggested talking to our local MP. 
The Greens party were contacted and their response was to go and do paid tuition on a student visa to up skill, I’m sure Filippo has ambitions and I know that he has his eye set on furthering his career and upskilling but not everyone has a budget to commute to Auckland for study and to maintain them self.

I feel my country has failed me, made me a traitor to my loved ones, for I always told my stepchildren that they could join us if one day we should leave Italy to live in NZ.

My partner daily busts into tears with the thought of been separated from her eldest son.

My defacto relationship came with children and I have taken care of them as a responsible father.

My country of birth needs to show its love towards families, the key fabric of a civil society and not just the current criteria driven by money and/or skill of new immigrants.



One comment

  • Michael,
    We seem to be seeing a ‘two tier’ response to ‘families’, along US Immigration lines – despite NZ law giving de facto relationships the same standing in law as registered marriages.
    It might be worth following that up with DIA – is this family experiencing discrimination because of de facto status, and step-children not being legally adopted?
    I worked at DIA in 2000. Rules around ‘families’ have been tightened, not long after a whole bunch of clauses specifically about Muslim migrants were added to the paperwork for residency (which I saw in 2008), work visas & citizenship applications.
    Extended family groups are now seen as dubious, where once we prioritised reunification of families.
    I could speculate about why these rules have been brought in, but that would shed no further light.
    Suffice to say I smell racism, and fundamentalist Christian biases being brought into (secular) public service practice.
    [MSD using Vision College/Apostolic Church of NZ to supply courses that Jobseekers must attend is a well-known example. I’ve been told that the teachers in these courses use videos that attendees have to watch, that preach gospel fundamentals to them, as part of a 13-week job seeker course.]


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