23 Apr 2014

Fijian to be sent home for treatment

7:47 pm on 23 April 2014

Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye has defended her decision not to intervene to allow a Fijian man with kidney failure to stay in New Zealand for treatment.

Nikki Kaye.

Nikki Kaye. Photo: SUPPLIED

Sanil Kumar, 30, has been told to return to Fiji on Thursday, where he says he will have to pay triple the amount for the dialysis he has been receiving in New Zealand.

Labour immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad says Mr Kumar's relatives are paying for his treatment, and the minister should show compassion for the man's plight.

Dr Prasad cited the case of a visa granted to television celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, despite her admitting to cocaine use.

Ms Kaye says she's disappointed Dr Prasad has made an inaccurate comparison by referring to Ms Lawson's case, and his comments could affect the integrity of the country's immigration system.

Dr Prasad says it will be known in May whether a family member is a suitable donor for Mr Kumar. The family has raised the funds needed to pay for the transplant.

Dr Prasad says the Government has refused to intervene because the Ministry of Health says Mr Kumar can have dialysis in Fiji.

However, he says Ms Kaye should exercise special consideration, as Mr Kumar is not a cost to the state, and show some compassion.