NZ Minister New of Assault Charge
By REBECCA WALSH
Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel will review a decision to grant an
overstayer a permit to stay in New Zealand and receive life-saving
dialysis treatment if it is found he has undeclared criminal
It has been revealed that Senee Niusila, of Tuvalu, was charged with
assaulting his wife in March.
Yesterday, the 30-year-old's family said he did not have a criminal
record here or overseas.
Ms Dalziel said she was aware of the assault charge against Mr Niusila
when she made the decision to cancel the removal order served on him
last month. She did not know if he had been convicted.
Ms Dalziel said she had taken into account an affidavit and letter
written by Mr Niusila's wife in support of her husband after the
incident and was "highly unlikely" to review her decision on that basis.
"If there's nothing else to it, I would exercise the waiver in his
favour," Ms Dalziel said.
In the letter, Mr Niusila's wife, Teremoana Nga, said she was angry when
she gave her statement to police on March 20 and had said things she did
"I really want my husband back. I humbly plead to the authorities to
please give me and my husband another chance to raise our family
together," the letter said.
"During our marriage relationship, I have found my husband to be a
supportive, hard-working, caring and very much a loving father to me and
my two children.
"We now have a 1-month-old son together, whom we both cherish and adore.
We love our little family very dearly and believe that we can both work
closely together to achieve a long-lasting and happy family
Last week, Ms Dalziel granted Mr Niusila a two-year temporary work
permit, enabling him to continue to receive life-saving dialysis at
He had faced the possibility of treatment being withdrawn under tough
new cost-cutting measures limiting the number of overseas patients who
use the health system.
Doctors said that without treatment he would die within weeks.
Yesterday, Ms Dalziel said the two-year work permit granted to Mr
Niusila, who was eligible for residency on the grounds that he had
married a New Zealand citizen in 2001 and had a New Zealand-born child,
was issued subject to character checks and he would have to provide a
police clearance certificate from Tuvalu.
The New Zealand Immigration Service would "take care of the New Zealand
"It was certainly my intention to have my special directions subject to
character. I waived the health grounds given the circumstances ... all
the advice I have from the wife and others is there are no other
Ms Dalziel said if it turned out Mr Niusila, who came to New Zealand in
1998, had convictions that he had not declared, she would need to review
Teremoana Nga told the Herald yesterday that her husband did not have
any convictions. The pair had fought over a family matter and Mr Niusila,
who was tired after returning from work, had punched her. It was the
first time he had hit her.
"He's a caring man ... From my point of view I got married for better or
Teremoana Nga believed her husband had earned his treatment and said the
family wanted to concentrate on him getting better. "We want to move on.
We want to live our lives, that's what we want to do."