Fijian man who faced drink-driving and assault charges dodges deportation to undergo IVF treatment

The man and his wife are currently receiving  IVF treatment.
The man and his wife are currently receiving IVF treatment. Photo credit: Getty

A Fijian man who has been convicted of drink driving and assault charges in New Zealand has dodged deportation so he and his wife can access publicly-funded IVF.

The 41-year-old man won an appeal to stay in New Zealand because he and his wife are currently receiving  IVF treatment - a procedure they cannot access in Fiji - according to Immigration and Protection documents.

The man had also undergone successful brain surgery in February 2020 - and is due for a follow up MRI scan in February 2021, so the tribunal said it was an "exceptional circumstance" that made it unjust for them to be deported.

In June 2018, the 41-year-old committed the offence of driving with excess breath alcohol. 

He was convicted and ordered to pay a fine of $370 and court costs in August 2018 and was disqualified from driving for six months.

Shortly following the drink driving offense, the man was arrested for assaulting a female (not his wife) in September 2018. He was sentenced to three months' community detention, 100 hours' community work and was ordered to pay $250.

The man and his wife, aged 41 and 33, were given deportation liability notices in August 2020 and they won the appeal in December 2020.

But because the couple are currently receiving publicly-funded fertility treatment in New Zealand, the tribunal decided it was "unjust" for them to be deported at this time.

"The husband says that he and his wife have been waiting 12 years to be able to conceive. They want to be able to 'fulfil [their] dreams of having a baby'," the document wrote.

"It is clear that they are emotionally invested in the treatment process, and so it would be distressing to them for this process to abruptly stop," tribunal member Matthew Martin said.

"The tribunal finds that the appellants have exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature which would make it unjust or unduly harsh for them to be deported from New Zealand at this present time."

The husband currently holds an Essential Skills work visa, which was granted on the basis of his employment as a painter and plasterer. His wife holds an open work visa on the basis of their partnership.

The couple can remain in New Zealand until their visas expire on June 6 2021.