UK & World News
Mike Tyson: No New Zealand Visa For Boxer
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has been refused entry to New Zealand because of his previous rape conviction.
The refusal overturns an earlier decision to allow the American into the country for a charity event in November despite his criminal record.
Immigration minister Kate Wilkinson said the visa was cancelled because the show's sponsor, the Life Education Trust, made clear it "no longer wants to have any involvement" with Mr Tyson.
"Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa," she said.
Under New Zealand law anyone sentenced to more than five years in jail is denied an automatic visa, but this can be waived in certain circumstances.
Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant in an Indianapolis hotel room.
Promoter Max Markson said the former champion was "disappointed" and would reapply for a visa.
"He is quite down about it," Markson told TV ONE's Close Up programme. "He's clean, he sober, he's a vegan, he's coming with his wife, his two children under four and his mother-in-law, he can't possibly do anything wrong in 20 hours."
Tyson had said he was looking forward to meeting New Zealand's indigenous Maori people, the inspiration for his notorious facial tattoo.