Dublin: 13°C Sunday 22 May 2022

Mike Tyson refused visa to New Zealand due to prior rape conviction

Kiwi Prime Minister John Keys says he has ‘something deeply personal against people who rape other people’.

Mike Tyson, pictured in Mexico City this summer, has been denied a visa to enter New Zealand.
Mike Tyson, pictured in Mexico City this summer, has been denied a visa to enter New Zealand.
Image: AP Photo/Christian Palma

FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING champion of the world, Mike Tyson looks set to cancel a planned, one-day trip to Auckland after New Zealand government officials cancelled his visitor’s visa.

Tyson was due to headline the ‘Day of Champions’ speaking tour on 15 November, after being granted special permission to enter the country despite his conviction for rape in 1992.

However Associate Immigration Minister, Kate Wilkinson, said a children’s charity, Life Education Trust, had withdrawn its support for his visit after a mix-up involving one of its trustees.

Max Markson, who is promoting the event, told One News in New Zealand that Tyson is ‘quite down’ about the latest developments. He confirmed that he would re-lodge a visa application.

Highest office

The controversy has drawn in New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who commented on the ongoing visa wrangle on Tuesday.

He explained that a number of factors are taken into consideration regarding the granting of visas to individuals with prior convictions.

Prime Minister Key commented, ”If it has been a long time ago, there has been no re-offending, if it is for a short period of time, generally we take a fairly liberal view.” He added:

I don’t have anything personally against Mike Tyson but I have something deeply personal against people who rape other people and who commit crimes against women.

Markson argued that Tyson had ‘rebuilt his life’ since his conviction, and six-year jail sentence.

He pointed out that the boxer was a ‘”walking ambassador for New Zealand when you look at his Maori tattoo’.


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

YouTube credit:

Tyson is scheduled to visit five Australian cities in November as part of his speaking tour.

A spokesperson for the Australian leg of the tour commented, “We’re waiting patiently (on the visa decision) and are quietly confident that they will come to a positive decision.

“The good news is we’ve not had a knock-back as yet.”

Read: ESPN 30 for 30 returned last night with ‘Broke’, a documentary on pro athletes going bankrupt

Read: Ireland down two in latest FIFA rankings

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next: