Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has had his visa to visit New Zealand cancelled. Tyson was due to visit New Zealand in November to stage his one-man show "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" in Auckland.
Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson today said the visa had been cancelled after his sponsor withdrew its support. The visa was originally granted on a "finely balanced call" under a special direction following a letter of support from the Life Education Trust which would have been a benefactor for the visit.
Wilkinson said the letter was a significant factor in approving Tyson's application. There was controversy because New Zealand has a strict law which rejects a visa being granted to any individual who was sentenced to five years or longer for a crime. Tyson has a rape conviction and his sentence was six years, although he was out in three.
"Yesterday evening the Life Education Trust contacted my office and asked for that letter to be withdrawn, making it clear that the Trust no longer wants to have any involvement with Mr Tyson's visit.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."