NZ confirms Tyson visa ban
Wellington - The New Zealand government on Friday blocked former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson from entering the country for a second time in as many weeks.
A visa allowing Tyson to attend a charity event in November was cancelled earlier this month after the show's sponsor, the Life Education Trust, withdrew its support for the ex-fighter's visit.
Another charitable group, the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, then backed Tyson and lodged a second visa application. But Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said Friday that the bid had been unsuccessful.
"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," she said in a statement.
Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for raping an 18-year-old woman. Under New Zealand law anyone sentenced to more than five years in jail is denied a visa, although this can be waived in certain circumstances.
Anti-sexual violence group Stop Demand hailed the decision.
"New Zealand might be a small country but today it has spoken with a loud voice, in standing against sexual violence and denigration of women," founder Denise Ritchie said.
Australia this week granted Tyson a visa but warned him he must behave while in the country on a speaking tour.