Larry Page is one of the world’s richest men and Google’s co-founder. Recently he has been granted New Zealand’s residency under the wealthy investors’ category.
To gain the residency under this category applicants are required to invest at least NZ$10m ($7m, £5m) in New Zealand over three years.
In January, Mr Page arrived in New Zealand. It was a time when its borders were closed due to the pandemic.
But according to the government, he was only allowed in because of a medical emergency involving his son.
48-year-old Larry Page applied for residency in November. But his application was not processed as he was offshore at the time.
Nevertheless, in January, the US tech billionaire was permitted to reside in New Zealand so that his son could get the required medical treatment.
Hence, his son was evacuated from Fiji – the government confirmed on Thursday. Then his application was approved in February.
Also, Health Minister Andrew Little defended the decision to grant him entry in a parliament session this week.
“[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 critics of the decision highlighted its apparent unfairness.
“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.
Larry Page is among one of the richest people in the world with a reported wealth of more than $116 bn. In 2019, he stepped down as the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. But he is still a board member and controlling shareholder of the company.
He is not the first Silicon Valley tech billionaire to have taken a particular interest in New Zealand.
Located more than 6,000 miles (10,000km) from the US mainland, New Zealand was recently identified as a country more buoyant than most to the threat of climate change.
The temperate, mountainous country is well-placed to deal with threats such as rising sea levels.