A Hastings father is battling authorities to unite his family in New Zealand.

Razos Engineering director Steve Razos met Krystel Galos while he was on holiday in the Philippines in October 2013. They maintained correspondence and he visited again in February and April 2014.

In May 2014 an application for a New Zealand visitor visa was granted, followed by a one-year work visa with the family business Razos Engineering in Hastings.

It was renewed for another year but the couple split "over minor issues". She made accusations of domestic violence but now says a medical condition was behind her complaint. That same medical condition masked her pregnancy until she was five months pregnant.

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She returned to the Philippines, assuming her work visa remained intact, but when she tried to board a flight to resume their relationship and give birth to their son in New Zealand she was told her visa was cancelled.

Subsequent applications for a New Zealand visitor visa for her and son Johnny Kieran have been declined.

Immigration New Zealand said the applications were declined "because of concerns the relationship is not genuine and credible" and it was concerned about the risk of domestic violence and its negative effect on their son.

Johnny Kieran is not yet a New Zealand citizen, despite DNA testing proving Mr Razos is his father.

Mr Razos said New Zealand authorities were not interested in progressing an application for family unification "until my name is on the birth certificate".

Because he was not present at the birth and they were not married, he must prove to Philippine authorities their relationship is legitimate "before they will consider putting my name on his birth certificate".

The couple were engaged in November "but that doesn't mean a great deal at the moment - we are forced to be apart".

Mr Razos has a 9-year-old son by a previous relationship. The family chat online but Johnny Kieran has difficulty understanding the separation, his father said.

"He doesn't understand why he can't meet his older brother. It is hard to deal with that."

There is no right of appeal over a visitor visa denial and Associate Minister of Immigration Scott Simpson said he was not prepared to intervene.

Steve Razos and his father John met with Tukituki MP Craig Foss, who subsequently discussed the matter with Mr Simpson.

"Apparently he put up a strong case, but as I said to him, apparently it wasn't strong enough," Steve Razos said.

He said living in the Philippines was not an option because of his New Zealand son and business commitments.

"Obviously when you have been in limbo for so long, living worlds apart, it is quite difficult. We believe we have done enough and suffered enough for long enough for them to show some compassion, but clearly not in this case. We are in love with each other. It is not the norm to feel like this for somebody and pursue this for as long as I have."

He is exploring legal avenues to overturn the minister's decision. If his lawyers are unsuccessful there is an option neither he nor Krystel have previously experienced.

"If we have to, we'll get married earlier than planned overseas."