CBD support for Cafe Tennyson Owners

By   Pip   -  March 23 / 2022

The momentum is reaching national levels. Immigration New Zealand is about to decline the Debords Entrepreneur Work Visa based on not reaching a 20% increase year on year for the past 3 years all whilst everyone else in the business is suffering the financial impacts of Covd-19.

Julien & Sophie Debord have been running Cafe Tennyson & Bistro in Napier for three years. As well as contributing to the local economy by creating jobs and paying taxes, they contribute to the vibrancy of the CBD and have developed Cafe Tennyson into one of the leading cafes in Napier. 

Napier City Business Inc lodged a formal letter to Immigration supporting the Debords.

As follows:

I write on behalf of  Napier City Business Inc, a membership organisation representing 450 businesses that employ 2000 plus employees in the Napier CBD.

Cafe Tennyson owners, Julien and Sophie Debord along with their two young children arrived in NZ late in 2018 and were granted an entrepreneur visa which is now pending cancellation by Immigration New Zealand on Monday 21st March 2022 due to the Debord’s not meeting their business plan and targets which were set prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Debords’ ownership, the cafe quickly became a Napier City icon,  An institution, bustling daily with local business people,  families, and visitors.  Their clean, fresh french flair added to the vibrant cafe culture Napier is so well known for now and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


During the hardest of COVID-19 times, a number of cafes surrounding them made the decision to close however the Debords were committed to riding the COVID storm for their loyal locals and stayed open facing the obvious, a major decline in revenue and huge staff shortages. 

We urge you to intervene and accept their Entrepreneur Resident Visa application based on the following grounds which were taken completely out of the Debord’s control:

Once the rules relax and domestic travel becomes more comfortable, international borders open and we welcome cruise ships passengers to our iconic Art Deco city, we absolutely need cafes like the Debords to be open and trading so please, with respect we ask you to reconsider your decision and grant the Debord’s an extension of current visa entitlement or grant them their Entrepreneur residence visa and the right to stay in New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Pip Thompson 
General Manager

Napier City Business Inc

The following local people also provided letters of support and a petittion with 6000 signatures. 

Mayor Kirsten Wise – Napier City Council

Councillor Sally Crown – Napier City Council

Napier City Business Inc members

National MP for Taupo Louise Upston 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank NCBI member Kathryn Mcgarvey from the Meaningful Marketing Company,

for all her hard work implementing the on-line petition which has now reach nearly 6000 signatures. We beleive this will make a huge impact on the decision immigration NZ and the Governments will make. We will be tabling the petition to parliament on Thursday.

Related News

Innovate Napier

Innovate Napier

By   Pip   -  June 14 / 2024
Innovate Napier

Innovate Napier

By   Pip   -  May 23 / 2024
Innovate Napier

Innovate Napier

By   Pip   -  March 26 / 2024
Napier CBD Runway & Market Day

Napier CBD Runway & Market Day

By   Arlene Crispin   -  March 21 / 2024

Membership registration

Own your own business within the CBD?   To have access to all the membership benefits, register today.