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October 3, 2012

New Zealand cancels Mike Tyson's entry visa

     New York: Authorities in New Zealand have reportedly cancelled the entry visa of retired American boxer Mike Tyson, after he claimed that a facial tattoo was inspired by Kiwis' indigenous Maori people. Tyson's 1992 rape conviction would have normally made him ineligible to enter the country, but he had earlier been granted an exemption by the New Zealand immigration authorities, to enable him to speak at the November charitable event called "Day of the Champions."

However, a week before his visa was cancelled, Tyson had said his tattoo was inspired by New Zealand 's indigenous Maori culture, following which New Zealand Prime Minister John Key spoke against his planned visit to the nation, questioning the decision by immigration authorities, Fox News reports. "Fortunately, I am coming to New Zealand and there's nothing they can do about it and I'm so sorry, I'm sorry they feel disappointed and I'm just living my life," Tyson had said. "Other than that I've never heard of Maori people so I'm looking forward to come down there and see them," he had added.

According to the report, in pre-European times, many Maori wore elaborate facial tattoos as a sign of their status in their tribe. Some Maori even today who identify strongly with their traditional culture get similar tattoos. Later, Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a statement that the original decision to let Tyson enter was actually "a finely balanced call", but the charity that would have benefited from his visit had now withdrawn its support, the report said.

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