A South African family who has lived in New Zealand for nine years may soon be kicked out of this country.
Steven and Joan von Metzinger and their children, Travis (18) and Ethan (15), emigrated to New Zealand almost a decade ago and currently live in Dunedin. However, after a nine-year battle with the local immigration authorities, the family received a notice of government’s intention to portray them to South Africa.
The reason for the deportation is a chronic renal condition with which Ethan is born and for which he receives medical treatment and may undergo surgery. The family’s application for citizenship was denied because New Zealand regards Ethan’s condition as a burden on the country’s health system.
According to the Stuff website, many appeals against the decision to deport the family were unsuccessful. Travis, Ethan’s brother, said to the website that the family has always been honest about the kidney disease with which Ethan was born and is now penalized for their honesty.
He also said his father, who works as a business consultant in New Zealand, already paid $ 300 000 tax during the family’s stay in New Zealand and is also willing to pay off his bag for Ethan’s operation, which $ 200,000 can cost. According to the family, they should be allowed to stay in the country if they are willing to pay for Ethan’s medical expenses.
“My family is integrated into New Zealand society; this is our home. I and Ethan grew up as Kiwis and spent most of our lives here. My mother is actively involved in charity organizations and my father is a lead project consultant and works at Dunedin City Council, Allied Press and the University of Otago. In every way possible, except legally, we are New Zealanders, “Travis said.
Travis has compiled an online petition inviting people to add their signatures in support of the family’s continued stay in New Zealand. By Friday afternoon, more than 14 800 people signed the petition.
As is the case, the family must leave the country by 27 January.