Exit ultimatum issued
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Desperately ill Sanil Kumar and his family are sickened by the uncertainty of what their future holds.
Kumar, 30, had his work visa declined last July after developing renal disease.
He is originally from Fiji and moved to New Zealand in 2010.
The resident of the Auckland suburb of Glendene is battling Immigration New Zealand whose staff say there are New Zealanders suitable or able to be trained to take over his job as a metal trades worker.
But Kumar's former boss Mark Eade, owner of Avondale's Copper Rainwater Products, says the position hasn't been filled yet because it's hard to get people into the industry.
Immigration New Zealand has threatened deportation and a five-year ban from the country, giving Kumar until February 28 to leave.
But the Kumar family hopes to reach a compromise.
Loved ones are trying to raise $130,000 for a kidney transplant and Kumar will go back to Fiji once the funds are available.
Meanwhile he needs to remain in New Zealand for eight-hour peritoneal dialysis every night - treatment that's not available in his homeland as it is too expensive.
He could only get haemodialysis in Fiji and the family says most patients using it die because of uncontrollably high infection rates.
Kumar needs a $30,000 operation before he can undergo haemodialysis and would have to travel six hours from his home in Ba to Suva for four-hour treatment three times a week.
The procedure costs $350 a session, more than $1000 a week.
Kumar's family say maintaining ongoing costs is unrealistic.
"We know there will be a time when people say they can't help us any more, " cousin Ashika Aujla says.
Aujla, 27, and her sister Asheelta Kumar, 26, have agreed to be kidney donors if the money is raised.
Kumar's uncle Ashok Kumar is paying the peritoneal dialysis costs of $46 a day or $350 a week and says Immigration New Zealand's decision is a death sentence.
Kumar says there's not much hope for his future at this stage but he is hoping people can help.
"I'm really disappointed with Immigration New Zealand.
"I'm doing dialysis every night and I feel like a normal, healthy person," he says.
About $30,000 has been raised for the transplant so far through donations, food sales and raffle tickets.
Kumar already owes $30,000 to the Waitemata District Health Board after initial operation and medical costs. His family is paying off the debt.
Immigration New Zealand's acting compliance operations manager Natalie Gardiner says all migrants must have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services.
"Mr Kumar has already incurred significant health debts and his ongoing dialysis treatment is costing the health board $1500 a month," she says.
HOW TO HELP
Call family friend Pradeep Chand on 021 736 850 or Kamata Prasad on 021 120 7465 for a $5 raffle ticket.
Tickets contain up to 10 prizes including two return airfares to Fiji and beauty vouchers.
People can donate directly to ANZ bank account, 01 0721 0106892 55 or through givealittle.co.nz.
- Western Leader
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