We were saddened to read that 59 per cent of our community (those partaking in the Northland Age online poll) were not supportive of the attempts being made to reverse the Department of Immigration decision to decline residency to a highly-valued, long- term Switzer healthcare worker and her family.

The health sector workforce in the Far North, as in other rural settings, has been heavily reliant on immigration to provide essential services to our area of deprivation and high need. Juliet is one such person.

She has a proven 11-year record of dedicated service to our frail elderly.

Unfortunately for her and others, the criteria for residency keep changing at the whim of successive governments.

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Our aged care sector is already heavily dependent on immigrant nurses. This situation is likely to worsen as registered nurses move to better- paid hospital positions.

Our community cannot afford to lose skilled and committed health care workers who have demonstrated a willingness to live and work in the Far North.

We strongly support all efforts to reverse this highly questionable residency decision.

DOUGLAS AND PAM MEARNS
Kaitaia