27 Feb 2014

Man who needs kidney transplant told he must leave country

4:08 pm on 27 February 2014

Immigration New Zealand says a man from Fiji who is seriously ill must leave the country on Friday because there are New Zealanders who could do his job.

Sanil Kumar, a sheet-metal worker based in Auckland, needs a kidney transplant. He says his dialysis treatment is not available in Fiji, and what is available is very expensive and three hours away from his family home.

"I'not asking for any taxpayers' money or government money," he says. "I'm just asking them for a visa so I can stay back and have my treatment. If I go back to Fiji it's like a death sentence for me."

The Labour Party is backing his request to remain and says the Government is being heartless.

Mr Kumar has a kidney donor ready and waiting and his family is raising money for the operation.

Immigration New Zealand says it acknowledges that money is being raised, but says Mr Kumar has already incurred significant health debts here.

A spokesperson, Natalie Gardiner, says potential immigrants must also have an acceptable standard of health.

She says Mr Kumar's application to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on humanitarian grounds was not accepted as it was received out of time.