Julien and Sophie Debord (center) with staff welcome granting the right to reside in New Zealand, allowing them to stay in New Zealand while running the Napier Café. Photo / Supplied

French diner owners Napier CBD Cafe Tennyson have been granted permanent residency in the fight for permission to stay in the country in which they made their home.

Julien and Sophie Debord, along with two young children who arrived in New Zealand in late 2018, had a business visa awaiting the abolition of the New Zealand Immigration Service due to the fact that the Debordes did not follow their business plan and goals. before the pandemic.

They got the good news on Friday and will be able to stay in New Zealand and continue their business on Tennyson Street.

They were affected by people such as Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise, Napier MP Stuart Nash, National Party Hawke’s Bay oversight MP Louise Upston and Napier City Business General Manager Pip Thompson, who said the Deborahs were loyal to David. for their loyal locals and remained open, facing a clear, severe decline in income and a huge shortage of staff.

The mayor, lawmakers and Thompson were among those who wrote letters to the immigration minister, with data showing declining pedestrian traffic and revenue in Naples related to cafes and hospitality turnover in Naples over the past two years. Thompson says these were exceptionally difficult conditions in which it was possible to achieve fluidity levels before Covid.

Thompson says the CBD has suffered from many home-based business services, as well as from the reality and fear of Covid-19 and Omicron. Although working from home is more “here to stay”, she hoped that when the current wave peaked, more people would find a good balance between working from home and spending a few days a week at an office in the city.

According to a Napier City Business press release, local business owner and regular coffee shop fan Catherine McGarvey said Debordes are good, friendly, hardworking people and just want them to be honest.

She created an online petition with more than 7,300 signatures, which she presented to Green Party MP Dr. Elizabeth Kerecker, who later submitted the document to parliament.

Nash, also the tourism minister, said the delays in achieving the result were due to the fact that the cafe owners had not fulfilled all obligations under the specific rules and needed to complete the process before they could apply for release and make a decision.

He said one of his staff has extensive experience in immigration services, and seeing that the effects of the Covid crisis were good reasons, the office conducted a campaign – “perhaps more than for any other component I remember” – to get the family could continue to live. in New Zealand.

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