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|October 3, 2012|
New Zealand cancels Mike Tyson's entry visa
New York: Authorities in New Zealand have reportedly cancelled
the entry visa of retired American boxer Mike Tyson, after he claimed that a facial tattoo was inspired by Kiwis' indigenous Maori people. Tyson's 1992 rape conviction
would have normally made him ineligible to enter the country, but he had earlier
been granted an exemption by the New Zealand immigration authorities, to enable
him to speak at the November charitable event called "Day of the Champions."
However, a week before his visa was cancelled, Tyson had said his tattoo was inspired by
New Zealand 's indigenous Maori culture, following which New Zealand Prime Minister
John Key spoke against his planned visit to the nation, questioning the decision
by immigration authorities, Fox News reports. "Fortunately, I am coming to New
Zealand and there's nothing they can do about it and I'm so sorry, I'm sorry they
feel disappointed and I'm just living my life," Tyson had said. "Other than that
I've never heard of Maori people so I'm looking forward to come down there and
see them," he had added.
According to the report, in pre-European times, many
Maori wore elaborate facial tattoos as a sign of their status in their tribe.
Some Maori even today who identify strongly with their traditional culture get
similar tattoos. Later, Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said in
a statement that the original decision to let Tyson enter was actually "a finely
balanced call", but the charity that would have benefited from his visit had now
withdrawn its support, the report said.
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