Juan Burrows is paying taxes in New Zealand and has a likely job waiting with our police force - yet he's been unable to enter the country to see his pregnant wife.

The Australian's heartbroken partner Amy Burrows now worries she might have to give birth alone and has appealed to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show compassion for families split by Covid-19 border restrictions.

The couple had moved to Auckland from across the Ditch in February after Juan was shortlisted to join NZ Police's April intake of recruits.

Amy and Juan Burrows at Anzac Day Dawn Service last year. Juan served 19 years in the Royal Australian Navy, while wife Amy's dad served more than 20-years in the Royal NZ Navy. Photo / Supplied
Amy and Juan Burrows at Anzac Day Dawn Service last year. Juan served 19 years in the Royal Australian Navy, while wife Amy's dad served more than 20-years in the Royal NZ Navy. Photo / Supplied

But then the Covid-19 lockdown hit and police postponed the training of Juan's batch of recruits until next year.

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To add to the drama, Amy discovered in April she was pregnant.

Facing the prospect of no income and a baby boy on the way, Juan - a former drone pilot with the Royal Australian Navy - secured a one-year work contract with an international peace mission overseas and flew out of New Zealand in June.

However, the couple have now discovered he won't be allowed back into the country during his time off because he doesn't hold a Kiwi visa.

That had left them "shell-shocked", Amy said.

"This is home, we're married - it didn't even cross our minds this would happen," she said.

Juan didn't hold a New Zealand visa because pre-Covid-19 Australians had never needed or been issued with partnership visas, Amy said.

Juan and Amy Burrows in their last picture taken together before he left New Zealand in June. Photo / Supplied
Juan and Amy Burrows in their last picture taken together before he left New Zealand in June. Photo / Supplied

It was a "loophole" that had caught out many other families with Aussie partners, she said.

Lauren Bell, another Kiwi married to an Australian locked out of New Zealand, recently lodged a petition with Parliament that has so far gained more than 1700 signatures.

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It stated that while Immigration NZ (INZ) was granting border exceptions to other people who held partnership visas linked to a Kiwi citizen or resident, Aussie partners were falling through the cracks on a technicality.

Internationally, a movement called Love Is Not Tourism had also sprung up calling on Governments across the globe to amend their travel restrictions to allow partners and families to reunite.

It accepted the closure of international border was - and still is - necessary.

"It is obvious that we must halt tourism to protect us and others," the movement's website said.

"But love is not tourism. This is not just about a summer holiday, it is about mental health and the future of people all around the world."

Amy, likewise, said Ardern had done a wonderful job keeping Kiwis safe during the pandemic.

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But it hurt to hear Ardern talk about putting families first, only to then let Hollywood film crews and America's Cup sailors into country instead of husbands, wives and partners, she said.

She also feared the Government had now hit pause ahead of September's General Election meaning families like hers would be left in the lurch indefinitely.

Juan Burrows is paying taxes in New Zealand and has a likely job lined up with NZ Police but he still isn't allowed into the country to be with pregnant wife Amy. Photo / Supplied
Juan Burrows is paying taxes in New Zealand and has a likely job lined up with NZ Police but he still isn't allowed into the country to be with pregnant wife Amy. Photo / Supplied

She and Juan were willing to pay for his quarantine and follow any protocols necessary to allow him to return home, she said.

The couple moved to New Zealand from Australia, where they were high income earners, to be close to Amy's family.

But when NZ Police postponed Juan's training and the pair found out they were expecting a baby, they were forced to apply for Work and Income payments for the first time in their lives, Amy said.

However, rather than take from the taxpayer, Juan secured his overseas contract on a roster that was eight weeks on and six weeks off - giving him time to return home to visit Amy on his breaks.

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His company had also given him two months off next January for when the couple's baby was due. He still also planned to join NZ Police next year.

"We didn't want to be a financial burden on New Zealand staying on Winz," Amy said in a recent email appeal to Ardern.

"By making this sacrifice by being away from us for short periods of time, Juan is now able to support us and the New Zealand economy."

Juan and Amy Burrows in their last picture taken together before he left New Zealand in June. Photo / Supplied
Juan and Amy Burrows in their last picture taken together before he left New Zealand in June. Photo / Supplied

Juan had planned to make his first visit home next Friday - Amy's birthday - at which point he would go straight into managed isolation.

However, after isolation, they planned to go to pregnancy class together, have the baby's first ultrasound, take a "babymoon" trip to the Bay of Islands, and attend a memorial for Amy's nana, who died during lockdown.

"To allow people in to the country to make a movie and race boats yet deny a new first-time father the right to see his wife and son is not putting human welfare first," Amy said.

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INZ confirmed on Saturday that Juan had made "a number of requests for an exemption to the border restrictions".

Based on the information previously provided to them they had not been approved.

But Jeannie Melville, acting general manager border and visa operations, said: "Following more information being provided, INZ will review Mr Burrows' situation and request for an exception on Monday."

Melville said INZ understood the impact Covid-19 and the border restrictions had had on "some migrants and their loved ones".

The border is New Zealand's best protection in the fight against Covid-19, which is why New Zealand's border remains closed to all but New Zealand citizens and residents. Protecting public health in New Zealand is paramount.

"INZ's advice has been clear that there are a limited number of exceptions for other travellers who should seek approval from INZ before travelling. This includes partners, dependent children and legal guardians of New Zealand citizens and residents, and Australian citizens and permanent resident who normally live in New Zealand."

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