Immigration NZ had apologised to a Whangārei teacher and will now let her husband work and live here after initially refusing the Canadian man entry because he had multiple sclerosis.
Juanita Craig, who teaches English, English as a second language, and French at Kamo High School, and is also fluent in te reo Māori and tikanga, moved to Whangārei from Canada, where she has lived for about nine years, in June last year with her two children, Etienne, 5, and Phoebe, 3.
The plan was for her Canadian husband, Jimmy Lambert, to also move over and work in Whangārei for the 12 to 18 months the family planned on staying.
But Lambert has multiple sclerosis and the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa he applied for was denied.
"I think it's inhumane, it's ridiculous because the fact is [the medicine] is going to be paid for. They're treating him like he's a criminal," Craig said yesterday.
Craig, who also has an honours degree in Māori Studies, said considering there was a teacher shortage it was "preposterous" that she may have to leave the country to be with her husband, if he is not allowed in.
"He has this idea he can do anything but he's being treated like he has a huge handicap."
Craig wanted INZ to grant her husband a waiver so the family could be together again. But last night, after media inquiries, Immigration NZ (INZ) reversed its decision and apologised to Craig.
Peter Elms, INZ assistant general manager, said Immigration has reviewed Lambert's case and determined a medical waiver and a partnership work visa should have been granted.
"We are taking steps to put this matter right. INZ has now offered to grant a 12 month partnership work visa to Mr Lambert," Elms said.
"I have contacted Ms Craig and have apologised for the distress caused to her family. INZ has offered to facilitate Mr Lambert's flights to New Zealand to see his family."
He said INZ was an organisation that believed in owning and fixing mistakes when they happened and ensuring it put things right.