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Nelson firefighter 'very upset' over deportation

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 February 2019, 11:21AM
Steve Webster.

An online petition is pushing for a firefighter fighting the Nelson blaze to be spared deportation.

The petition 'Stop the Deportation of Steve Webster from NZ' was set up on Change.org yesterday by friend and former volunteer firefighter Ken Mahon.

Steve and Gail Webster moved to Nelson from the United Kingdom in 2012 with their two teenage daughters.

As well as being a volunteer firefighter, the couple own Earthbloom Flower Shop in Nelson and Steve is a car salesman.

However, Ken Mahon told Mike Hosking Webster is a "top bloke" and deserves to stay in the country.

"If you met the man you would instantly like the guy. He's just one of those really good buggers, who would make a real good Kiwi bloke."

Mahon said he met him three years ago when Webster started volunteering for the Nelson and Stoke Fire Brigades.

He said the family's was struggling but they managed to turn it around. 

"It was basically broken, had no customers and it almost sounds like it was a bit fraudulent and the [previous] owner took the money and disappeared."

However, he said they have invested a lot of money and are upset that they are being kicked out.

"They have spent a lot of money over the last couple of years, dealing with the Immigration Department, it's cots them thousands."

"As well as rebuilding the business, running a business and being tied up in all the community events through the Fire Brigade. So yeah, they are pretty upset."

He said they have turned the business around and are contributing to New Zealand and their community.

"They are working hard and just the effort they are putting into the community."

Lastly, Mahon thanked everyone for supporting the family through the petition.

The petition has so far received more than 5000 signatures, in less than 24 hours, and is addressed to Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway.

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