A Ukranian family who own a successful Auckland restaurant is still facing deportation despite an outpouring of public support and thousands-strong petition
Nataliya Shchetkova, her husband Alex Derecha, and their five children are facing an uncertain future after Immigration New Zealand's decision to deny the family residency because it does not believe their business adds significant benefit to the country.
The family-run restaurant, La Vista, had a turnover of $1.6 million last year and employs 26 staff - 17 of whom are full-time.
Shchetkova told Mike Yardley that despite the petition which has gained over 15,000 signatures, nothing has changed.
"Parliament has received the petition but without any action but we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to submit the petition and to everybody who has supported us."
However, she said the final decision is still being made, which has left the family in limbo.
"We are just waiting. We haven't had any sign or indication when it might be made."
"There are only 10 weeks left for us in New Zealand...which is going by so fast. It's heartbreaking to think that La Vista may have to shut down and we might be made to leave. I feel such a responsibility for our employees as well, it really is heartbreaking for us."
She said the prospect of having to go back to Ukraine is extremely scary for them.
"Our children were almost crying when they hear the decision of parliament because they cannot imagine leaving college or their friends behind."
"We have no idea what else we can do so we are putting all of our hopes in the decision going our way."