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Monday, May 07, 2007

The Gravity of the Situation

Derek Bourner moved from Britain to New Zealand a few years ago to live near his daughter. Now immigration authorities are kicking him out because his family's "centre of gravity" is in the wrong place.

Immigration officials say because he has two daughters in Britain and only one in New Zealand, the family's "centre of gravity" is considered to be Britain.
The immigration policy states that parents of New Zealand residents will be given residence only if they have "an equal or greater number of adult children living lawfully and permanently in New Zealand than any other single country". [Link]
This is a useful concept. Giving each family member equal weight, one can figure out the center of gravity of a clan, and then hold a family reunion at that location. Most of my immediate family lives in Maine, but I have a brother who lives in Florida, which would shift our reunion spot to the south.

The folks in New Zealand have made the mistake of allowing only two possible residences for Derek. If they really wanted to teach him a lesson, they would deport him to the true "centre of gravity" of his family—a place half as far from Britain as from New Zealand. Pakistan, I think.

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