Couple denied residency on a 'technicality' plead to stay in NZ

A couple denied New Zealand residency is pleading with the Associate Minister of Immigration to let them stay.

Derek Alexander told The AM show he applied for residency with his wife Melissa in May 2017, and after nearly a year in limbo he was told the application had been declined, and they needed to leave by July 12.

They haven't told their two daughters yet, and a visibly upset Ms Alexander said she can't think of how to tell the kids they have to go back to a country they probably barely remember.

"[My daughter] said to me on Saturday, 'I want to get a job so that I can save up and go on the history trip next year.' Well, how do I say, 'We're not going to be here next year?'"

The couple arrived in New Zealand from the UK eight years ago on a long-term business visa and set up a successful flooring company. Since then the rules have changed, and they're now in the business entrepreneur category.

Mr Alexander says their application was declined due to a technicality on investing in the business - a technicality that did not exist when they arrived.

"When we first came we took the LTBV which is long-term business visa - there was no criteria in that to invest money into the company," he said.

"Over the next few years Immigration, what they've done, they've changed the rules without notifying us whatsoever, so we're not aware of this up until now.

"The figure we're talking about invest investment is $5000 - that is the deficit in shareholder account."

There's more than $5000 in the shareholder account now, but Mr Alexander says the technicality relates to one point back in 2016 that was a "minor situation".

They're now hoping Associate Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi personally looks into their case and lets them stay, and AM Show host Duncan Garner is on their side.

"If the minister is watching [or] listening, I urge you to get in touch with the programme," he said.

"Hopefully he can see it within himself to do the right thing."