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Family of disabled SA girl (5) weigh options after NZ court deportation ruling

Immigration New Zealand argued that the South African girl's condition would place a burden on the country's health services.

Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - Family members of a blind, disabled five-year-old girl are considering their options after a court in New Zealand ruled in favour of authorities who want her to be deported back to South Africa.

In a high court judgment released last week, Justice Gerald Nation ruled that Caitlyn Davies be sent back to South Africa after the girl’s family appealed the move.

Immigration New Zealand argued that her condition would place a burden on the country's health services.

Davies, along with her two-year-old brother and her parents, moved to the small Canterbury town of Geraldine in
2015 when her father took a job as a farm manager.

While her relatives’ visas have been extended, New Zealand authorities say she cannot stay in the country because of the burden her condition places on the health system.

Last week a high court judge ruled that authorities had acted correctly.

The family's lawyer Andrew Riches said, “This has been a significant blow to them, they are awfully devastated. They came to New Zealand to set up a new life and they are distraught that they may have to return.”

Davies's parents believe their daughter should remain in New Zealand because of the limited facilities for children with disabilities in South Africa, as well as the high crime rate here.