Larry Page, one of the founders of Google and a very rich man, was granted residency in New Zealand. He had to invest at least $10 million there over three years. Mr Page entered New Zealand when its borders were closed because of Covid-19. But the government let him in as a medical emergency involving his son.
Mr Page’s application was not processed because he was overseas at the time. But in January, he was allowed to come back to New Zealand for his son who had a problem with their health while they were in Fiji. His application got approved in February.
In parliament this week, the Health Minister defended his decision to allow him entry.
“[His entry] met all the standard conditions of a medical emergency requiring a medical evacuation from the islands, and every requirement and regulation that was in place… was complied with,” Mr Little said, according to a transcript on the parliament’s website.
Some people who do not like the decision said that it is unfair.
“We have got these GPs or nurses who are stuck in an interminable waiting room to get their residence, whereas Larry [Page] comes in and boom, straight away can become a resident,” immigration adviser Katy Armstrong told Radio New Zealand.
Mr. Page is one of the richest people in the world. He has more than $116 billion dollars that he earned by working at Google. He stepped down as chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, but is still an important person in the company and has a lot of money.
He is not the first person from Silicon Valley who is a tech billionaire and has taken an interest in New Zealand.
Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, once described the South Pacific island nation as “the future” and became a citizen back in 2011. He has since invested heavily there.
New Zealand is far from the US. It’s more than 6,000 miles (10,000km). New Zealand was recently identified as a country that could survive climate change better than most other countries.
Some people say that New Zealand is good because if something bad happens then it will be the best for surviving. A group of scientists said this last month.
The country has many mountains. The country is well-placed and can handle the problems of rising seas.