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Woman's refugee sterilisation claim denied

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/09/2016

A family whose mother claimed she would be forcibly sterilised if she was sent back to China have lost a bid to stay in New Zealand.

The High Court at Auckland on Friday ruled the family, made up of a mother, husband and three children - one born in New Zealand - wouldn't be in genuine danger if they were deported and didn't merit refugee status.

The family told the court the Immigration and Protection Tribunal had, in rejecting their claim, failed to recognise a ""well-founded fear" the mother would be forced into using an inter-uterine device if sent back to Fujian province.

They also said they opposed the country's now "two-child policy" and wouldn't pay the fee applied to families with more children by the Chinese government, putting them risk.

The tribunal called this "convenient assertion from a distance" and found the family had embellished to a degree the amount of contact family planning authorities in China had with them - although it accepted there had been some contact.

It found: "Because the husband was not reliant on public sector employment and the couple had available "a sizeable asset base which provides them with income" ... other forms of discrimination potentially available to authorities would not impact on them."

In Friday's ruling Justice Matthew Muir agreed with the tribunal that the dangers had been overstated and said, he could see no reason why the family couldn't pay the social levy for their third child.

"The Tribunal was clearly correct in concluding that the [legal] framework itself did not condone the compulsory sterilisation the appellants claim to fear," he said.

The father of the family had previously been in New Zealand to study and in 2011 bought a house on Auckland's North Shore while on a student visa.

They had two children in China and arrived back in New Zealand in April 2014 as tourists where they had a third child and applied for refugee status - which was rejected.

Justice Muir also awarded the tribunal costs.

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