A couple who left the United States to live on the West Coast were told they were too old to become New Zealand residents.

Lisa White, 58, and Dan Butler, 63, moved to Greymouth from Tennessee in 2015 for a slower pace of life.

White continued her job as a US attorney from Greymouth and Butler opened an audiology clinic on the main street.

The couple were included in a press release by Development West Coast about how new people were moving to the Coast and how it was possible to work anywhere in the world while enjoying the Coast lifestyle.

"My working patterns have changed by working remotely. I have no commute at all, and I practice law at times in my pyjamas," White said.

The pair moved to Greymouth from Tennessee but were told they were too old to become New Zealand residents.

The pair moved to Greymouth from Tennessee but were told they were too old to become New Zealand residents. But their application for permanent residency was instantly rejected by Immigration New Zealand because they were both over 55.

The couple ticked all the boxes in terms of education, experience, character, health and time spent in New Zealand. They could have applied if they had $10 million to bring to New Zealand.

"That to me is so absurd. You can buy your residency," White said.

Lisa White and Dan Butler rallied locals to clean up a Greymouth park.

The couple decided to return to the US even though they had two years left on their five-year work visa. They sold their Greymouth home and were planning to leave when they got a call from West Coast MP Damien O'Connor saying he was willing to advocate on their behalf.

The couple received a letter of support from Associate Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi, which said the age restriction should be waived in their case and he invited them to reapply. The letter is not a guarantee of residency.

The couple have since decided to spend half the year in New Zealand for the two years while they apply for residency.

They put their belongings into storage and left with their dog and cat to return to the US until December.

Development West Coast chief executive Chris Mackenzie said there should be some leeway for people willing to move to the West Coast because the region had an ageing population and needed audiology services.

"We have difficulty recruiting people who work in specialist areas, for example Hokitika is without a dentist meaning people in places like Franz and Fox have to travel to Greymouth."

O'Connor said the Government could not open the doors to the West Coast because people could move on after their residency was secured.

However, the minister could support applications on a case-by-case basis for people who did not fit the criteria.

The age limit was to ensure immigrants worked for at least 10 years before being entitled to superannuation and other benefits.

(Source: Stuff, Joanna Carroll)


IPT Decisions

The quality of decisions from INZ appear to decrease! Please refer to the Annual Report from the IPT for 2017 where on average 33% of Appeals with the IPT is allowed! A news paper article in 1 NEWS NOW dated 21/02/2019 confirms that four out of every ten appeals against INZ are upheld! That is an increase from 33% to now 40% of appeals being allowed or upheld against INZ!

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