The Plight of Martyn Payne

They've taken your money

Thinking about emigrating to New Zealand as an investor?

On May 6 Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman announced that over $560 million in potential capital investment is poised to flow into the NZ economy and planned changes to the Government’s business migration scheme will increase investment further. source

The Government’s business migration scheme offers two investment categories:

Investor Plus – minimum investment of $10 million for at least three years

Investor – minimum investment of $1.5 million for at least four years.

Some of the key changes to the business migration scheme includes:

• Reducing the residence requirements for Investor Plus migrants during the three year investment period from 73 days to 44 days per annum.

• Investment opportunities will be expanded by allowing migrants to invest in entities established by parent organisations to raise funds. Migrants will also be allowed to invest in bank bonds and equities.

• More flexibility is being provided around the requirement for business experience. Instead of previously having to meet both conditions, business migrants only need to meet one of the following criteria – to have owned or managed a business with five full time employees or to have owned or managed a business with a minimum $1m in annual turnover.

• Migrants will be allowed to transfer funds through foreign exchange companies which recognises the emerging international trend in funds transfer.

• Residential property is to be included as an acceptable investment. Safeguards are required so that residential property investments create economic growth and increase the total housing stock available to New Zealanders.

NZ Prime Minister John Key: “we’re pro immigration” “issue for NZ is whether people can bring skills or bring capital”

From the BBC Hardtalk interview conducted with Stephen Sackur.

Before you reach for the visa application form and cheque book you may like to read about a British investor who has just been made to leave after establishing a North Island business with a turnover of $2 million a year. Why should you? because although New Zealand likes the wealth he generates they don’t like the chance that his (resolved) health condition may place undue strain on the country’s health service.

This could so easily be you.

Martyn Payne has been forced to leave New Zealand, his family, staff and business as a result of an unjust decision. Visit the Facebook page set-up to support him

Martyn Payne moved to New Zealand from the UK nearly seven years ago.

He invested his life savings of $700,000 and six years of his life into turning a struggling Northland garage into what has become a thriving business and centre of the local community.

Martyn’s business employs seven staff and turns over $2 million a year, providing vital employment and income for his small town which has been hit hard by the recession.

The Immigration department agrees that Martyn was providing a ‘valuable service’ and a ‘worthwhile contribution’ but has decided his health will potentially cause a drain on the NZ health service despite a doctor’s report stating otherwise.

Martyn lodged an appeal with Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson asking her to intervene in this case and allow him to stay, however this request was declined on April 20th. The Associate Minister stated that no new information has been put forward and unless there is a significant change in Martyn’s case and circumstances his appeal will not be looked at again.

This despite new information being sent after the original decision in the form of a second doctor’s report and a specialists report both confirming Martyn is not expected to be a drain on the health service as is suggested.

Martyn Payne was forced to leave New Zealand on 23rd April, leaving behind his business, staff, daughter and grandchildren. He will not be allowed back into New Zealand for at least 6 months, and then only if sponsored. His family are fighting to bring him back. source

Mr Payne is now holed-up in Brisbane, Australia whilst a decision is made on his application for a temporary 12 month NZ work visa and even that may be refused. Under the circumstances why should he bother staying, why not just pack up, sell the business and call it quits on a country that puts its own interests before his? There are many struggling migrants that would quite happily trade places with him.

Immigration New Zealand took the the unusual step of publishing a press release in an effort to “clarify the facts” of Mr Payne’s case. It makes the Long Term Business visa look even less attractive, if such a thing is possible

“Immigration New Zealand wishes to clarify the facts around the case involving Martyn Payne.

In November 2005, Mr Payne arrived in New Zealand with a work permit valid until August 2006. He was then granted a work permit under the Long Term Business Visa category until November 2008.

Mr Payne was advised in writing that a long term business visa was no guarantee that a subsequent residence application would be approved and that any application would be assessed under the policy applying at that time, including meeting health requirements.

In January 2010, Mr Payne’s residence application under the Entrepreneur category was declined by Immigration New Zealand as he did not have an acceptable standard of health. A medical waiver was carefully considered but declined by Immigration New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand’s decision was upheld by the independent Residence Review Board (RRB) in August 2010. In its decision the RRB noted that although the family otherwise met residence policy, Mr Payne’s heart condition was estimated to cost New Zealand’s health system at least $25,000. The RRB mentioned that this was a “substantial sum for an overburdened health service.”

 The RRB also agreed with INZ’s decision to decline a medical waiver. “There is nothing about the appellant, his wife or their son, or the family cumulatively which could be described as compelling, such as to justify a waiver, when weighed against the high probability of significant medical costs at some point in time.”

The RRB has jurisdiction to recommend to the Minister of Immigration that they grant residence as an exception to policy. The RRB declined to recommend this in Mr Payne’s case.

The Associate Minister of Immigration has declined to intervene in the case as it has already been carefully and thoroughly considered by an independent review body which agreed with Immigration New Zealand’s original decision.

The Head of Immigration New Zealand, Nigel Bickle acknowledges the connection Mr Payne has made in Northland.

“There is no doubt he has a lot of support in the community but its impossible to ignore the fact that at some point in the future he’s likely to impose significant costs on New Zealand’s health services.”

Not out of the woods yet

Update: Mr Payne was eventually allowed to re-enter NZ on a temporary work visa, where he will eventually be able to apply for permanent residency. Of course there’s no guarantee that he will be permitted to remain permanently but it does give him time to put his affairs in order should he be refused a second time. We wish him well.

From 3 News:

Martyn Payne’s family say they miss him very much, but today they have found out that he will be able to return to New Zealand on an eight month work visa.

His daughter and grandchildren – as well as the small community of Kapiro – have been anxiously awaiting an immigration decision that will allow Mr Payne, who is originally from England, back into New Zealand.

A statement from New Zealand Immigration today says this decision will allow Mr Payne to “get up to date medical assessments from his specialists in New Zealand so that he can lodge a new residence application”…more here




10 thoughts on “The Plight of Martyn Payne

  1. If they kick Martyn Payne out of NZ they are heartless. Lets ban ALL NZ migrants access to the UK if they have any health problems and see if th NZ government like that. I bet there would be a response from the NZ Government condemning Britain then.

    I wonder how the NZ health minister would feel if whilst visiting GB and taken ill was asked to leave! I bet this decision would be challenged strongly.

    Rob. UK Citizen, well off and who would have considered a move to NZ. Healthy one too!!!

    Not now!

  2. Well, the news today was they finally let him back in, after succumbing to pressure. Hurray for Martyn, if he’s daft enough to want to live here.

  3. New Zealand has no right to kick out a nice and hardworking bloke like Martyn. They should reconsider and let him stay with his loved ones rather than ask him to leave.

  4. “Or that they see many others merely as “stepping-stones” and not friends? They’ll be there for you, if they can derive a benefit from their association – either through name dropping, favours or a monetary return – without too much trouble to themselves.”

    Yes, their concepts of friendship are utilitarian in the extreme, agree, Mr. or Ms. Ray! If not directly getting money or service out of you, then using you as a stepping stone in a broader network. Making a connection out of you. They are blatant about it. Not all of them do this, but way too many of them. Friendship is not about liking you, here. We found that they tend to milk the favour-for-favour ratio as well, or try to. They will persist in attempting to wangle favours until you dig your heels in. Then they will do some small thing, with some thought as to how little they can get away with spending. They are like children who need to have boundaries and consequences defined very firmly for them, on a regular basis.

  5. And yet they had no problems opening the doors to Malcolm Webster. Of course, he had no health problems himself. He did give them to others.

  6. This case is an utter disgrace. The Minister, and her Associate Minister have the delegated authority to make an exception to immigration policy, without it setting any precedent.

    The poster above mentioned Immigration Consultants. Last year we approached a Consultant to ask for assistance in having a friend’s work permit renewed (Immigration had declined to renew it). The “Consultant” wanted $3,500 to file the papers. I researched the Immigration Operations Manual (viewable online) and submitted the papers myself. Our friend got her work permit.

    These consultants are the biggest rip-off. When I needed to clarify a point about my friend’s work permit application I called the Immigration 0800 help-line and received very helpful advice. The call-taker told me that “Immigration Consultants” were their most frequent callers to the help-line. So they get the info for free from Immigration and then charge extortionate fees to pass on this information to their clients. What a rort.

    • They are extremely capable at making sure that you are either misinformed or ignored when you put forth questions with the purpose of building yourself up in their country, if you are not considered “one of them”.
      A small, close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, and many share the same mindset… is ideal for exploiting or using the labour of newcomers without letting them stay on to build themselves up and possibly threaten the existing hierarchy, which was built on people who are less qualified, yet demand the world of those who enter their sphere of influence – while keeping down these newcomers.
      Did I forget to mention that many of these people leave with the high-school mindset? Or that they see many others merely as “stepping-stones” and not friends? They’ll be there for you, if they can derive a benefit from their association – either through name dropping, favours or a monetary return – without too much trouble to themselves.

  7. He is a most personable, helpful and friendly bloke who offered an outlet for local produce sales at his station. He went out of his way for people, always there with a smile, and if you wished a wee natter.

    “His position had not been improved by the fact that his immigration consultant had failed to tell him that he had closed his business, leaving him to rely on a letter of support from a heart specialist”.

    The problem is the can of worms the government would open by changing their decision. If perceived as a precedent, this would lead to appeals by other less desirable applicants. In my opinion.

Comments are closed.