While the Government has rightly offered residence to those directly impacted by the Christchurch terrorist attack, thousands of parents remain in immigration limbo, says Epsom MP and ACT Leader David Seymour.
“It’s appropriate the Government will grant residence to people who were at the Masjid Al Noor or Linwood mosques on 15 March and their immediate families.
“But the Prime Minister and her Government have failed to show any urgency or compassion towards the almost 6000 parents waiting to hear whether they can join their children in New Zealand.
Mr Seymour today asked the Prime Minister in Parliament whether she would re-open the Parent Category, but she refused to answer.
“The Parent Category moratorium is having a harrowing effect on families and will mean that valuable migrants take their talents elsewhere. It also takes no account of families who are able to fully support their parents, and who will be no burden on the taxpayer.
“A review was supposed to have been completed last year, but the Government continues to drag its heels.
“Many of my constituents have asked me to support an end to this moratorium.
“For example, Auckland University Professor Deborah Levy has been in New Zealand for more than 30 years ago, and is married with three children. Her 84-year-old mother is widowed and living alone in London. There is absolutely no need to keep families like this apart.
“If the Government is serious about being compassionate, it will end the Parent Category moratorium and provide certainty to the almost 6000 parents waiting for news about whether they can permanently join their families in New Zealand.”