Auckland aunt Loasi Latu granted visa after deportation battle

A family fighting to keep their aunt in New Zealand has been granted a reprieve.

Loasi Latu and her husband have lived in New Zealand for decades as overstayers and were told they had to leave the country voluntarily.

However, Latu is a carer for her brother Viliami, who is a New Zealand resident and needs 24/7 support for his intellectual disability and epilepsy.

Associate minister of immigration Chris Penk has now granted a five-year temporary visa for them.

The family said while it was not the permanent residence they were hoping for, it gave them a chance to work towards a long-term solution.

“This temporary visa gives us the chance to work towards a long term solution, while our family can remain in New Zealand.

“Our fight has been about keeping our family together and protecting the life of our Uncle Viliami, and our Aunty Loasi.

“We are so grateful for all the community support and for leaders like Phil Twyford and Dave Letele coming out to support us! It’s because we had such strong backing that we have this outcome today.”

Latu’s niece, Karina Kaufusi, said the temporary visa had come as a huge relief.

“My aunty, she’s really exhausted but she’s also full of gratitude and super humbled by all of the public support we’ve received,” she said.

“She feels safe and is just happy that she’s able to remain here and continue to look after her brother.”

Kaufusi said the process had been a nightmare.

“Honestly it’s been so exhausting and so stressful, I wouldn’t wish this on any family,” she said.

“Everyone’s super fatigued, the last few weeks I think we’ve just been running on adrenaline.”

She said her family would enjoy some much-needed rest this weekend.

“We’ve lost a lot of sleep, so we’ll definitely be sleeping,” she said.

“We’re ready to just go to church and have a feast, but we don’t want to leave it too long. There’s still work to be done.”

She said the family would continue to work with Immigration NZ and their lawyers to make Latu a permanent resident.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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