Man ordered to leave NZ dies awaiting transplant

Last updated 17:57 26/05/2014
Sanil Kumar and family
Monica Tischler
FAMILY: Sanil Kumar, flanked by cousins Asheelta Kumar, left, and Ashika Aujla.

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A man who was ordered to leave New Zealand while waiting for a kidney transplant has died in Fiji.

Sanil Kumar died this morning after contracting an infection, Labour MP Rajen Prasad said.

The 30-year-old Kumar had been living in Auckland and left New Zealand on April 24, when faced with a deportation order and five-year ban.

He was originally from Fiji and moved to New Zealand in 2010. His work visa was declined last July after he developed renal disease.

Kumar's family had raised more than $120,000 of the $130,000 needed for a transplant, through fundraisers, raffles and donations. His cousins had agreed to be donors.

Kumar was on peritoneal dialysis in New Zealand but could only access haemodialysis in Fiji.

His family said in an interview in January that most patients on haemodialysis died because of uncontrollably high infection rates.

Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye said that prior to making the decision that Kumar should leave, she received advice from the Ministry of Health that appropriate dialysis services were available in Fiji.

"Immigration decisions, particularly those that involve health conditions such as in Mr Kumar’s case, are complex and involve consideration of a range of factors. I am very conscious when considering immigration cases of the potential impact to people’s lives,” said Kaye, who extended her condolences to Kumar's family and friends.

Prasad said Kumar's death was a "tragedy".

"I am particularly sad that New Zealand could not extend compassion to Sanil in his hour of need," Prasad said.

"I can't see what would have been the harm to New Zealand if Sanil had been allowed to go through his procedure here."

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