A cancer-stricken mother of eight is terrified her eight children will be left as orphans in New Zealand if she dies and her husband is deported.

Sauiluma Mulitalo broke down as she talked about her "biggest worry", as she believes she doesn't have long left to live after the cancer spread to her liver.

Her husband, Aminiasi Lomu, 32, has been declined an interim visa despite an Immigration and Protection Tribunal finding that there were exceptional humanitarian circumstances for him to remain in New Zealand.

Lomu, the father of the couple's youngest child, has been the primary caregiver for Mulitalo,