Trev Ponting is dying of brain cancer overseas - and all he wants is to get home to his mum.
It is a final wish his family here in New Zealand and friends in Japan, where he lives, are trying desperately to fulfill.
But it is one that appears to be too much of an ask of officials; after an application for emergency spots in managed isolation for the 46-year-old, his wife Aiko and their two young children, aged 3 years old and 18 months old, was denied yesterday.
Sister Yvonne Ponting said the family, of Christchurch, could not understand how a dying New Zealander trying to get home did not warrant an acceptance of an emergency spot in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
It was even more unfathomable when news broke that children's entertainment group The Wiggles had hurriedly been granted MIQ spots for 12 of their crew ahead of a nationwide tour.
"I couldn't believe it. This is New Zealand - we care about each other in this country," she said.
'I just want to be with my mum'
She acknowledged that her children loved The Wiggles growing up and appreciated that many people around the country were looking forward to seeing them.
"But my brother is dying and he's got a young family who really need our support.
"We'd just like to fulfill his dying wish - and that's to be with his mum. He has said to us: 'I just want to be with my mum'."
Trev Ponting has been living in Japan for the past few years, where he works as a ski instructor.
In 2019, around Christmas time, he received devastating news that several tumours had been found in his brain.
He underwent surgery to remove the tumours and spent 72 days in hospital that year.
A long recovery process awaited him and the family sought to try to move to New Zealand after new tumours were found about September last year - but then of course the world had turned upside down due to Covid-19.
His doctors have now told him he will only have a few months to live.
Access to emergency managed isolation denied
Yvonne said it was a devastating blow for the family and friends involved in preparing paper work - including letters from their brother's doctor in Japan, hospital staff in Japan and critical purpose visitor visas for Trev's wife and two children, Mia and Toa.
Everything was set and Trev and his little family were packed and ready to get on a flight as soon as the word dropped.
"I thought the visas were hard enough and that this part wouldn't be as hard. I just couldn't believe it when they were denied.
"There just didn't seem to be any compassion or anywhere we could ask for them to reconsider."
A letter sent to the family said the application was denied as it did not fit under the "serious risk to health" category.
There are currently two categories for applications for emergency allocation the MIQ offers New Zealand residents or citizens trying to fly home.
Category 1 includes those with a serious risk to health that therefore requires urgent travel to New Zealand.
Mum and dad 'beside themselves'
Category 2, however, includes anyone trying to enter New Zealand to visit a close relative who is dying and where timely travel is unlikely to be possible if the person books through the normal channels.
In this case, the latter is reversed - in that the citizen trying to get home is dying.
Yvonne said their parents - mum Linda, 71, and dad John, 74 - were "besides themselves" and she and her older brother and their families were trying to keep them positive.
"We're just a family trying to get our dying brother home. There's aren't many of us here, but we are doing all we can to get Trev, Aiko and the kids.
"They're our family and we need to help them."