Mike Tyson’s visa has been cancelled by Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson today.
Ms Wilkinson says the original decision to grant a Special Direction to Mr Tyson was a finely balanced call and a letter of support from the Life Education Trust, that would have been a benefactor from the visit, was a significant factor in approving the application.
“Yesterday evening the Life Education Trust contacted my office and asked for that letter to be withdrawn, making it clear that the Trust no longer wants to have any involvement with Mr Tyson’s visit.
“Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand for the Day of the Champions event.”
Ironically just this morning Tyson said:
Convicted rapist Mike Tyson has brushed off criticism from John Key, saying there is nothing the Prime Minister can do about his entry to New Zealand.
Key had earlier said:
Key today said Immigration officials also let in other people with similar convictions who were in New Zealand for short periods.
“It’s a marginal call and there are always issues that have to be reflected.”
A “fairly liberal” view was taken if the crime was a long time ago and there had been no further offending, he said.
“I don’t have anything personally against Mike Tyson. But I have something deeply personal against people who rape other people and commit crimes against women.”
Key said he turned down “numerous” people for New Year or Queens Birthday honours because they had convictions for violence against women.
“I will not allow them to have that honour. I don’t think that should be bestowed on someone. So it is not specific against Mike Tyson, I’m just not fond of what he’s done.”
Every year the honours list was checked by the police and while speeding tickets and historic drink-driving convictions were normally looked past, violence against women was not, he said.
Tyson made it clear on television that he thinks he was framed for the rape conviction, which is rather different to someone who is remorseful for what they did.