Mike Tyson Visa Application
Life Education Trust (NZ) Inc. became aware yesterday afternoon of a letter supporting Mike Tyson’s Visa application.
The promoter of the Mike Tyson event approached Life Education Trust (NZ) in August seeking whether Life Education Trust (NZ) would like the opportunity to be a charity partner of the event.
The Board of Life Education Trust (NZ) considered the offer at its meeting on August 24 and declined to be involved. The Chief Executive of Life Education Trust (NZ) advised the promoter of our organisation’s decision to decline any involvement, that same day in August.
Yesterday, upon a query from a member of the public and with support from Immigration New Zealand we became aware a letter of support had been submitted by one of our volunteer Trustees on behalf of the organisation. They had sought the opportunity for one of our local Trusts as part of their fundraising activity.
The Board of Life Education Trust (NZ) declined an offer to be associated with the event, because we do not believe Mr Tyson reflects the values of our organisation, what we teach children about the wonder of life, themselves, and other people.
This is a matter which the Life Education Trust takes very seriously and we have worked with Immigration officials to have the letter of support withdrawn. We are now undertaking our own internal process to address what has transpired.
UPDATE: Sean Plunket has been in touch with the Life Education Trust; he tweets:
It seems as though the right decision has been reached, albeit by a circuitous route.
Mike Tyson's visa to visit New Zealand has been cancelled by Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson. According to a breaking news story we've just heard on RadioLive, the Life Education Trust has asked for its letter of support for Tyson's visit to be withdrawn.
The Herald reports:
Mike Tyson's visa has been revoked by Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson.
Ms Wilkinson said the original decision to grant Tyson a visa was a "finely balanced call" and a letter of support from the Life Education Trust was a significant factor.
Her decision to revoke the visa was made after the Trust withdrew its support.
"Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand for the Day of the Champions event."
We listened to Tyson being interviewed on Newstalk ZB yesterday morning. He certainly didn't come across as a motivational speaker, and he continues to protest his innocence over the rape charge that saw him serve three years in prison.
On that basis, we applaud Kate Wilkinson's decision to revoke his visa, and we commend the Life Education Trust for its change of heart over supporting the former champion boxer.