22 Jan 2019

Tongan with failing kidney fighting to stay in New Zealand

2:37 pm on 22 January 2019

A man receiving critical kidney treatment in New Zealand plans to continue fighting deportation back to Tonga.

Sosefo Lakalaka

Sosefo Lakalaka Photo: Facebook

A tribunal has ordered Sosefo Lakalaka to leave New Zealand by 16 May.

Mr Lakalaka said he and his family were very sad that his appeal to stay in New Zealand was rejected.

The 53-year-old received a kidney transplant in New Zealand a decade ago but it's now failing and he wants to stay because Tonga can't provide the treatment he needs.

In November last year New Zealand's Immigration and Protection Tribunal denied Mr Lakalaka's appeal against deportation.

The tribunal found the burden on New Zealand's public health system outweighed the exceptional humanitarian circumstances of Mr Lakalaka's case.

Mr Lakalaka is paying off a $US10,768 medical bill and his ongoing treatment is costing the taxpayer $US13,463 a year

The Tribunal acknowledged that deporting Mr Lakalaka to a country where no treatment for his condition exists would effectively kill him.

It gave him six months to get his affairs together and return home to Tonga.