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Mike Tyson again denied a visa to visit New Zealand

Published: 10:24AM Friday October 12, 2012 Source: ONE News

Mike Tyson has again been denied a visa to visit New Zealand.

The former heavyweight champion boxer and convicted rapist had been offered a second opportunity to visit the country after his initial visa was revoked.

The Manukau Urban Maori Authority had invited Tyson to come to the country, on condition he visit a South Auckland marae during his stay.

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Tyson's initial visa was revoked last week after the Government said the children's charity, Life Education Trust, had withdrawn its support for his visit.

"The original decision in respect of Mr Tyson was a finely balanced call based on the letter of support from a board member of the Life Education Trust," Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said.
 
"When the Trust withdrew its support I received another application from Mr Tyson's representatives with the support of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority.
 
"This new application was not enough to get the application over the line and as such, I have declined to grant Mr Tyson a new visa under the Immigration Act 2009.
 
"I have nothing more to add and therefore will not be making any further comment on this matter."

Willie Jackson from the Manukau Urban Maori Authority spoke to TV ONE's Breakfast earlier this morning, before the Immigration Minister's decision had been announced.

He said Tyson was the sort of figure that could inspire young Maori men.

"We're in the game of changing people's lives so sometimes you can't bring Richie McCaw and put him in front of youth who have been in gangs, sometimes you've got to have someone who's walked the same road as them," he said.

"They can sometimes turn around lives, yes we have positive role models, yes we use them, but sometimes some of these negative buggers who have been bad buggers in their life can make a change."

However Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says Jackson and John Tamihere, who also supports Tyson's visit, have been misled.

"I think they should really re-look at things. What can he give our young people," he told ONE News.

"Why not use the beautiful role models we have here. From the Olympics, from rugby, the All Blacks."

"We don't want Tyson here. He doesn't stand for anything real. He hasn't changed his attitude," says Sharples.

Tyson has this week been granted a visa from the Australian government allowing him to proceed with a whirlwind speaking tour spanning five cities in six days.

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