7 Nov 2009

Thai tiler in MP Taito Phillip Field trial allowed to stay in NZ

11:57 am on 7 November 2009

The Thai tiler who was a key witness in the high-profile trial against the former MP Taito Phillip Field has had his request to stay in New Zealand granted.

Sunan Siriwan and his wife Aumporn Phanngarm worked for Field in Samoa, and gave evidence at his trial at the High Court in Auckland.

In a letter to Mr Siriwan's lawyer, the Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson says the couple did not help their situation by the way they have used the New Zealand Immigration system and abused the refugee determination process.

But she says she's prepared to offer them residence subject to a number of conditions, and is granting them 2 year open work permits while they attempt to meet them.

Mr Siriwan's lawyer Olinda Woodroofe says the couple is over the moon, and the conditions are very fair.

"I am pleased these conditions are given not only for their improvement of the applicants but also it's good for New Zealand to have people who are qualified, pay taxes, honest and are willing to learn English so we can all communicate."

Olinda Woodroofe says the couple will continue working in Auckland, where their 7 year old son is also going to school.