19 Nov 2013

Protesters removed from Parliament

10:25 pm on 19 November 2013

In extraordinary scenes in Parliament on Tuesday, more than a dozen members of a family were ejected after holding a rowdy protest over an immigration dispute.

They were protesting about the decision by Immigration New Zealand to revoke the visa of Lisa Singh's husband, Ranjeet Singh, more than a year ago.

Lisa Singh with a photo of her family.

Lisa Singh with a photo of her family. Photo: RNZ

At one point, there were a dozen security guards in the gallery trying to end the protest. One man hung on to the rail at the edge of the gallery as guards tried to remove him. After about five minutes, he and the others followed the guards out.

An emotional Mrs Singh said she has done everything possible to get her husband back from India. She said Mr Singh's visa was revoked because, despite being married six years and having a young son, Immigration New Zealand does not regard the marriage as legitimate.

"Today I came to Parliament with my whanau (family) supporting me, because I do not know where else to go. I have come to Parliament because it is a house that belongs to all New Zealanders. I've come to this house to seek the support and the help of all the people in my fight."

Mrs Singh said all her efforts to be reunited with her husband have been ignored.

Marua Ashby-Thapar was also at Parliament highlighting the fact that her husband, Yogesh, has been in India for two-and-a-half years after his visa was revoked for the same reason.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has offered the Singh family support and called for Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye to look at the case.

A spokesperson for Ms Kaye said on Tuesday that she is considering Mr Singh's case, while Mr Thapar's case is still being looked at by Immigration New Zealand.