Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Heated protest in Parliament

The protestors lined up outside Parliament after being ejected from the chamber. Photo / Audrey Young
The protestors lined up outside Parliament after being ejected from the chamber. Photo / Audrey Young

Parliament was interrupted by a heated protest in the public gallery this afternoon by a group of people demanding justice on an immigration issue.

A group of around 20 people wearing orange armbands and head-ties forced Question Time to stop for five minutes while security guards attempted to eject them.

The protest was led by two women, Lisa Tupara-Singh and Marua Ashby-Thapar, who believed that their husbands Ranjeet Singh and Yogesh Thapar were wrongly deported.


The protestors yelled "Bring them home" and wore shirts saying "You stole our husband".

Security struggled to remove several of them.

In a statement, the women said they were demanding that the Prime Minister stepped in to order Immigration New Zealand to allow their husbands to return to New Zealand.

After visiting family in India in 2012, Mr Singh was not allowed back into the country on the grounds that he had criminal convictions.

Mrs Singh said that he did not have any convictions, and claimed that Immigration New Zealand said that their marriage was not authentic.

The statement said that Immigration New Zealand also argued that Mrs Ashby and Mr Thapar's marriage was not genuine.

The two women cited the Ombudsman's report, published two weeks ago, which said that Immigration New Zealand may have wrongly declined hundreds of applications for husbands and wives to join their partners in New Zealand.

They said they had approached ministers with their concerns and were met with "disinterested yawns".

"After being forcibly separated from their husbands they are no longer able to sit back," the statement said.

The women were being helped in their cause by former Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamare, now an immigration consultant.

Mr Delamare said: "What has happened to Lisa, Ranjeet, Marua and Yogesh is a typical example of the disgraceful, incompetent and unlawful actions that New Zealand citizens are being subjected to by Immigration New Zealand."

- NZ Herald

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