Auditor-General won't be investigating Peter Thiel's NZ citizenship

Peter Thiel was granted citizenship under the "exceptional circumstances" provisions

The Auditor-General won't be conducting an inquiry into the decision to grant citizenship to San Francisco-based billionaire investor Peter Thiel, said deputy controller and auditor-general Greg Schollum in response to a request from Green Party MP Denise Roche.

Roche called on the auditor-general to look into the decision after it came to light that in June 2011 then Minister of Internal Affairs Nathan Guy, approved Thiel's application for citizenship under the "exceptional circumstances" provisions of the Citizenship Act.

According to Schollum, the provisions allow the minister to grant citizenship to someone who may not satisfy the normal criteria for citizenship, but where granting citizenship "would be in the public interest because of exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature relating to the applicant".

He noted act gives the minister "broad discretion" and the section does not specify what these terms mean or how the minister's discretion should be exercised. "This means the legislation allows for considerable flexibility on a case-by-case basis," he said.

He said the issues largely come down to policy questions - for example, whether the legislation strikes the right balance for citizen decisions - or legal questions such as whether the provisions were applied correctly. "These are not questions that the Auditor-General generally has authority to answer," said Schollum.

Thiel is a member of US President Donald Trump's transition team, having donated to his campaign, and is a long-time libertarian who has in the past invested in the exploration of seasteading, the development of a floating city in international waters which could serve as a politically autonomous settlement.

(BusinessDesk)


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This is my lack of surprise

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Good call by A-G.

He has put $1m in to Chrstchurch, bought in to Xero and Vend, okay he has sold some of his stake in Xero and $15m in to NZVIF so I think he meets the criteria.

What was the conditions of the entrepreneurial residency? far less than what he has put in.

Besides I cannot see him in a local DHB with his family asking for an interpreter.........

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He had already invested in Xero. Not sure re Vend. The deal with NZVIF cost taxpayers a lot of money.

He did not meet the criteria - that is the issue.

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And the $1m to Christchurch.

Please answer in full.

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I think from memory given before he applied for citizenship. But $1m to buy citizenship, when you have not intention to live in the country seems very cheap.

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So did JK trade kiwi rights in NZ for the new title or is that Q in poor form?

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On this sort of charade, I see Australia is now honouring John Key for his amiable stance during the period that saw Kiwis' rights in Australia massively eroded.

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As far as I know Australia have the right to make their own policies, including how they treat Kiwis and in honouring who they see fit. They gave the same honour to Geoffrey Palmer as well, no one complained then.

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What surprised me, was how surprised JK said he was when he first heard he had received the Ozzie Honor. In fact, he sounded even more surprised than he did when Bill English surprised him with the Knighthood. Certainly sounds like JK's life has been *full* of surprises since he stepped down as PM.....

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