Why have other celebrities with convictions been allowed in New Zealand?

Chris Brown's assault conviction from 2009 has put his upcoming Australasian concerts in jeopardy.

Chris Brown's assault conviction from 2009 has put his upcoming Australasian concerts in jeopardy.

Chris Brown's violent past has hampered his entry to New Zealand, but why have other celebrities with comparable skeletons in their closets had free passage?

Under New Zealand immigration law, the American R&B singer is ineligible for a New Zealand visa because he has been excluded from another country. 

In 2009, Brown was sentenced to five years probation and more than 1400 hours of community service for assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.

Immigration New Zealand confirmed on Monday Brown had not applied for a special direction, which grants access to those otherwise denied entry. 


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But musicians with similarly chequered criminal histories have toured New Zealand  recently.

Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, received a six-month jail sentence in 1998 for beating his then-wife Pamela Anderson. Lee performed at Auckland's Vector Arena in February

One-armed drummer Rick Allen, of Def Leppard, took the stage in 2011,  despite pleading guilty to spousal abuse in 1995. 

Other woman-bashers to perform in New Zealand include Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, who was arrested for attacking his wife in 2001, and Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash, who was arrested for beating his live-in girlfriend in 1999. Both were released after posting bail.  

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A spokesman for Immigration NZ said the artists' visa eligibility depended on the circumstances of their case and the nature of their offending.

"In all the cases you mentioned, a visa was granted taking into account all the circumstances."  

The spokesman referred Stuff to the Immigration Act, which stipulates: "any person sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years or more, or to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more in the last 10 years... may not be granted a visa unless granted a special direction."  

Despite Brown's visa woes, tickets for his New Zealand concert scheduled for December went on sale on Monday morning. 

In a statement released on Monday, concert promoter Castor and Ford said it had no updates on the American R&B singer's visa application.

However, if Brown's December concert at Auckland's Vector arena did not go ahead, tickets sold would be fully refunded "as with any other show".

Brown's Australian concerts are also in  jeopardy,  after government officials issued the singer with a notice of intent to refuse him a visa on character grounds.

Brown has rejected claims he has been denied entry to Australia. 

In a post on Brown's Instagram account, the singer declared his visa request was under consideration by the office of the Immigration Minister.

"We respect their right to review this request and have faith that a decision will be made with the full consideration of his continued personal growth, ongoing philanthropic endeavors and desire to perform for his fans."

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