6 Apr 2011

British mechanic forced to leave NZ

10:06 pm on 6 April 2011

A British mechanic who invested his life savings in a Northland business says he is sad that the Immigration Service is forcing him to leave New Zealand.

Martyn Payne, 62, was accepted into the country on a Long Term Business Visa in 2005 after having heart valve surgery in his homeland.

He spent more than $800,000 turning a run-down garage near Kerikeri into an award-winning business.

Mr Payne applied for permanent residence as an entrepreneur two years ago, but was turned down by the Immigration Service on health grounds.

Immigration has rejected three appeals supported by Northland MP John Carter and told Mr Payne to leave by the end of April.

Mr Payne says he feels a little bitter that he was allowed to spend his money in New Zealand, settle down and make friends, but is now unwanted.

He says he will sell up and try his luck in Australia.