MP joins fight for family to stay here

UNDER DEADLINE: Rachel Yerbury-Wilson, Lewis Wilson, 5 months, and Steve Wilson in Pottering About.
UNDER DEADLINE: Rachel Yerbury-Wilson, Lewis Wilson, 5 months, and Steve Wilson in Pottering About.

Nelson MP Nick Smith says he will "pull out all the stops" to help a Scottish family stay in New Zealand.

Steve Wilson and Rachel Yerbury-Wilson emigrated to Nelson from Scotland in 2011 to start their Pottering About cafe in Buxton Square.

However, their immigration adviser Glen Standing grossly misled them as to what was required of them to get residency.

He had since had his licence revoked for providing incorrect advice and charging excessive fees to a number of clients.

In November last year the couple applied for residency, just after their baby Lewis was born.

However, they found out last week this had been denied on the grounds the business was not making enough profit and they did not meet the self-employed criteria. They had been given six months to leave.

Dr Smith said he was "very sympathetic" to their case.

"They have had the rough end of the stick with the sloppy dealings involving the immigration advisor Glen Standing. Not receiving any of the damages they were awarded has exacerbated their challenge.

"It's not just that I think they are nice people that would make good New Zealand migrants, but their business adds values to Nelson's character as an arts centre."

He had met with the couple twice this year over the issue.

He said he was "putting together the strongest possible case" to Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye, who was responsible for considering residency appeals.

"It will be a minister's decision, but I am doing this in the role as MP for Nelson. I will be doing all I can to pull out all stops to enable them to have residency.

"I don't want to pre-empt any considerations the minster may have; she has to make a careful consideration looking at all the facts as well as get advice from her officials. All I can say, is I will be putting the strongest possible case forward, on behalf of Steve, Rachel and young Lewis."

The couple have asked the Nelson public to help them by signing a petition in their cafe. The petition would be included in their appeal and was to show the government the benefit the couple had added to the Nelson community, they said.

After the Nelson Mail revealed the couple's battle yesterday, the store was flooded with well-wishers who signed the petitions.

Store employee Fay Vaughan said they were "really busy" yesterday and at one point there was a long line of people who especially wanted to sign the petition.

The Nelson Mail