02 April 2009
Dalai Lama's New Zealand visa safe-guarded by PM
The New Zealand visa for the Dalai Lama has been pre-emptively approved by the New Zealand Prime Minister John Keys after pressure from a local Chinese organisation called for it to be refused.
The New Zealand visa for the Tibetan leader was under question after the United Chinese Association wrote to Parliament to have his New Zealand visa cancelled. The Dalai Lama is due to visit New Zealand to speak at the Vector Arena in Auckland on 6 December.
Last month, the South African Government refused him a visa to visit a Nobel laureates peace conference because, according to the New Zealand Herald, the Government did not want to disrupt relations with China.
According to Radio New Zealand, the Government has confirmed his New Zealand visa application would be processed in the usual way, and that he would have no troubles having his New Zealand visa granted.
Chinese New Zealanders are the fifth largest ethnic group in New Zealand, and the largest Asian ethnic group in the country, according to Statistics New Zealand.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.