Sanil Kumar has a week to leave the country. Photo / Richard Robinson
A Fijian migrant who needs a life-saving kidney transplant
says he has been given a "death sentence" by immigration
officials who will deport him if he does not leave New
The Labour Party has warned the Government that "heartlessly"
deporting Sanil Kumar, 30, to Fiji - where dialysis
facilities are scarce, costly and risky - could be fatal.
Mr Kumar wants to remain in the country, on dialysis, until
he has raised $130,000 for a transplant. Family members have
offered him a kidney and have helped to amass $43,000 in
three months by holding fundraisers.
But he has reached an impasse with Immigration New Zealand,
which refused to renew his visa in July because his tradesman
skills were not in demand.
After several appeals he was given a 28-day grace period. The
deadline was today, but officials have extended it for a week
to allow him to make travel arrangements.
Immigration New Zealand compliance operations manager Natalie
Gardiner said yesterday that if Mr Kumar left voluntarily he
would be able to return on a temporary visa for a transplant
once he had raised the funds for an operation. But if he was
deported, he would be banned from returning to New Zealand
for five years.
Mr Kumar, who lives in Glendene, undergoes eight hours of
peritoneal dialysis sessions each night. He says the same
treatment would be unaffordable in Fiji at around $1050 for
each of three weekly sessions.
"It would be a death sentence if I leave," he told the
Herald. "And how would I raise any money for a transplant?"
He appealed to Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye, who
was advised that he could switch to haemodialysis if his
current treatment was not available in Fiji.
An operation to switch to haemodialysis costs around $30,000
and he would have to drive for six hours from his home in Ba
to the clinic in Suva.
Immigration New Zealand refused to renew his visa last year
because a labour market test found there were New Zealanders
suitable for his job as a metal tradesman. But at Avondale
Copper Rainwater Products, where Mr Kumar worked, no one has
taken his job in eight months.
Labour Party immigration spokesman Raken Prasad urged the
Government to be humane to a migrant who was costing the
- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald