Tyson NZ visit may be derailed by rape conviction
Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson may be refused entry to New Zealand to headline the Day of the Champions on account of his US rape conviction.
The boxer was slated to head up the motivational event on 15 November by giving an educational, motivational and inspirations talk at Vector Arena. However, Immigration New Zealand rules prevent those who have been convicted of a serious crime from entering the country.
The Immigration Act denies a visa to anyone who has received a sentence of more than five years in jail. In 1992, Tyson was given a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of the rape of an 18-year old woman.
According to INZ, the former champion boxer will need to declare his conviction and sentence when applying for an entry visa. INZ stated that discretion can be used in individual cases by immigration officers, with special circumstances being weighed against immigration instructions.
Director of Rape Prevention Education Kim McGregor, however, stated that Tyson should not be granted an exception to immigration rules. She added that the many NZ victims of sexual abuse would be less than happy about an exception being made for Tyson simply because he is famous as a world champion boxer.
She also stated that he is not an appropriate person to deliver a talk on motivation and inspiration as he is hardly a good role model for society.The one-day event is to feature several other speakers apart from Tyson, who has revealed he will give unknown facts about his life and struggle to succeed in his sport, and also promised to tell his story of triumph and survival after a tragedy, a possible reference to his rape conviction.
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