Nataliya Shchetkova, the owner of La Vista, is facing deportation back to Ukraine, along with her husband and their five children. After being in New Zealand for six years on a long-term business visa, Shchetkova and her family are looking are facing deportation come the 1st of July. Yesterday, Shchetkova appeared in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee to appeal the possibility, making her final plea for her family to stay in New Zealand.
According to Immigration New Zealand, the business does not add significant benefit to the country by creating sustained and on-going employment over and above the existing level of employment. On top of concerns for their employees, there is speculation that the kids’ lives will be disrupted, as well as forcing the family to return to a war zone. Despite their pleas, and although the restaurant has grown in capacity and profits, the future is in the air for the family.
A petition has been created for the Shchetkova family to gain New Zealand residence, and it has acquired over 14,000 signatures.