Scottish family celebrate visas

01:00, Jun 16 2014
NIGHTMARE OVER: Steve Wilson and Rachel Yerbury-Wilson with eight-and-a 1/2-half-month old Lewis hosted friends in their Pottering About studio yesterday to celebrate their new New Zealand residency.

The family behind Buxton Square's Pottering About store have popped the champagne and thanked their supporters as they are now the proud owners of their residency visas.

Scottish couple Steve Wilson and Rachel Yerbury-Wilson, with baby son Lewis, were surrounded by supportive friends and customers in their store yesterday where they celebrated receiving the new visas in their passports.

The couple emigrated to Nelson from Scotland in 2011 to start their Pottering About cafe but there was soon uncertainty about their future in New Zealand after their immigration adviser Glen Standing had his immigration licence revoked soon after they opened their business.

Standing was fined for providing incorrect advice and charging excessive fees to several clients.

He had told the couple they would "100 per cent" get residency in New Zealand but in February Immigration New Zealand told them their residency application was denied. They were given a six-month deadline to leave the country.

In response, the couple started petitions to show the support they had from the Nelson community, and got more than 1500 signatures.


The Nelson Mail highlighted their plight and Nelson MP Nick Smith took on their cause and asked Associate Immigration minister Nikki Kaye to grant them residency.

The bid was successful and they were given a letter in late March stating they would be able to stay, though they were waiting for proof of this in their passports until last week.

Yerbury-Wilson said the realisation of the successful campaign was only "fully 100 per cent" when they received their passports.

Yesterday the family celebrated with champagne for the adults and face painting for the children.

On Saturday they also buried Lewis' placenta in a ceremony behind the Centre of New Zealand.

"Lewis is now part of the land," Yerbury-Wilson said.

The visas were for two years and then after that they would be able to get permanent residency.

Yerbury-Wilson said the visas meant they could go back to following their plans for the future.

They were unsure about investing further in the shop while they were waiting on the immigration outcome.

"It was a real halt to everything that happened."

They would bind the petitions and Nelson Mail articles, as well as cards and letters they received and display them in the shop.

‘We are really humbled that people have taken us into their community, being an outsider anywhere is hard."

The Nelson Mail