Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Visit with seriously ill partner turned down: NZ detainee

Visit with seriously ill partner turned down, says NZ detainee

Edward Gay, Reporter

A New Zealand woman being held in an Australian detention centre says authorities won't let her visit her partner who has been in a coma and undergone emergency heart surgery.

The mother of three and grandmother of two is being held in the Villawood detention centre, a 20-minute drive from Liverpool Hospital in Sydney where her sick partner is being cared for.

The woman, who RNZ has agreed to call Miriam, was born in New Zealand but has been living in Australia for nearly 30 years. She has spent two and a-half years in prison and a further six months in the Villawood detention centre in Sydney.

Miriam has been with her Australian partner for more than 20 years. They have three children together and two grandchildren, all Australian.

Her partner has been in hospital since May, has been in and out of a coma and has undergone emergency heart surgery.

Miriam said she applied to the authorities in May to get escorted leave to visit her partner in hospital.

After three months she was turned down.

Miriam said she finally got a response earlier this month. The authorities said the only escorted leave that would be granted was if she had a medical appointment for her own health or she was attending the tribunal that hears deportation appeals.

She said she had now been asked to put in a fresh request but did not see much point.

At one point during his stay in hospital, her partner tried to visit her in the detention centre, but authorities would not allow the visit because he still had a drip in his arm.

Before his health deteriorated, her partner would visit her every day. She describes him as her best friend.

Miriam said she even offered to pay the guards' salary while she visited but that was also turned down.

She is getting updates from her children about her partner when they visit but they have got their own lives.

Authorities have asked her if she needed counselling, but her reply was: 'No, she needed to get to hospital'.

She said she would not sign her papers to be deported to New Zealand because her family was in Australia and they could not all pack up and leave their lives.

In 2015, New Zealander Ra Fowell, being held at Villawood, said authorities had made it difficult for him to see his terminally ill wife. He was eventually let out to visit her and she died in his arms.

Villawood has repeatedly said it would not comment on individual cases.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Commercial Scoop User? Help Scoop Survive (and Thrive!)

The ScoopPro licensing terms require that commercial users of pay a reasonable fee in order to access the Scoop site so that this same information remains free and accessible to the wider public regardless of their disposable income. More>>

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’. More>>


Scoop 3.0: Saving The News

Scoop Co-Founder Alastair Thompson - One of the saddest aspects of the decline of the news industry, not just here in NZ - but everywhere, is that it often seems invisible, in large part because news is a confidence business... More>>


UK Cabinet Backs Deal: Gordon Campbell On The Latest Roll Of The Brexit Dice

Brexit has left the British public looking like a nation of Wellington bus commuters. In both cases, the unholy mess bears no resemblance to what people were promised or the spin being used to justify it. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Democratic Leadership And Trump

On the big picture, the poll predictions were dead right. In the end, the Democratic Party won a clear victory in the House, and lost as expected in the Senate, where it had been defending at least 10 seats in regions that had voted heavily for Trump in 2016. More>>