Ian Glover with his wife Aurora in Alexandra earlier this
year. Mr Glover hopes a petition will turn the tide in his
battle to gain a New Zealand residence visa for his wife of
five years. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
An Alexandra man who has tried unsuccessfully for nearly
five years to gain New Zealand residency for his wife is now
asking the Minister of Immigration for an independent review of
Ian Glover (89) gathered more than 130 signatures in a few
days on a petition backing his case and delivered the
petition to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean this week. Mrs Dean will
present the petition to the minister, Nathan Guy.
Mr Glover and his wife Aurora (67) have been separated since
March. Mrs Glover, who has diabetes, returned to her home
country, the Philippines, to sort out her mother's estate.
Since returning to the Philippines, her condition has
worsened and she is now on dialysis once a week.
The cost of dialysis in this country, as a non-resident, is
prohibitive, so she has remained in her home country for
treatment. Her applications for a New Zealand residence visa,
and subsequent appeals, have been turned down because of her
The couple met in New Zealand and have been married for
nearly five years. Mr Glover has never been overseas before
but has applied for a passport and is planning to visit his
wife at the end of this month.
''I'll go to Manila for a month to see if I can cope with
humidity at my age, and if I can, I'll consider selling my
home in Alexandra and going to live in Manila, to be with my
He and his wife would prefer to be able to live in this
country together so they are pinning their hopes on a plea to
the Minister of Immigration for a review of the residency
decision, either on the basis the original decision was
flawed or on humanitarian grounds.
''We're asking for it to be reviewed, as the reports the
immigration officer based the earlier decisions on contained
a number of errors about our marital state and my wife's
health,'' Mr Glover said.
The couple had to get letters from friends and neighbours to
prove it was a legitimate marriage and they were living
together at his home, which was embarrassing, he said.
As well, they had to pay for extra medical tests for Mrs
Glover to prove she had not had a stroke, after a medical
report before immigration suggested that was the case.
Mr Glover said he had paid about $25,000 so far in lawyers'
fees and medical expenses to try to acquire a residency visa
for his wife. A friend of the couple, Robin O'Brien, said it
was unfair that Mr Glover, at the age of 89, should have to
move overseas to be with his wife, because she needed
''Quite frankly, it's not good enough. I understand the
country needs immigration laws but there should be allowances
made, particularly for people who have lived here all their
lives. Surely the minister has some discretion.''
Mrs Dean said her office had been working with Mr Glover for
more than a year to try to gain residency for his wife.
''It's been very frustrating for him, and on his behalf we've
made several representations to the minister, but haven't
Mrs Dean said she understood it was a ''difficult and
heart-wrenching'' time for Mr Glover but while she supported
him, she was ''not the decision-maker in this case''.