Google’s Founder Made Emergency Trip To Closed Nation

( New Zealand has been locked up tighter than a drum due to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s COVID pandemic panic. So naturally when billionaire Larry Page, co-founder of Google, was permitted to enter New Zealand from Fiji despite the closed border policy imposed by Ardern, not everybody was happy about it.

New Zealanders living abroad, who have been unable to travel home to visit family in months, were especially enraged.

The outrage seems a bit misplaced, however. It isn’t as though Larry Page was traveling to New Zealand for vacation. Page sought special permission to fly to New Zealand so his young son could receive urgent medical attention.

According to New Zealand’s immigration chief Kris Faafoi, Page had requested an exemption to make sure his son received the treatment required.

Neither Page’s wife Lucinda Southworth, nor their other child accompany him on this trip.

When New Zealand’s health minister Andrew Little got an earful in parliament about Page’s visit, he said that the application was approved in January for one child, accompanied by one adult, to be medically evacuated from Fiji. Little explained that an exemption for medical treatment is considered if there is a need for immediate care that cannot be treated locally.

According to Nicola Hogg, general manager of border and visa operations with Immigration New Zealand Page met the relevant requirements necessary to approve entry. Due to privacy reasons, Hogg would not go into any further details. Nor did she address whether Page spent two weeks in quarantine as is required for anyone entering New Zealand.

New Zealand’s opposition party is exploiting Page’s visit for all the political mileage they can. ACT Party demanded that Ardern’s government be more open about Page’s visit. ACT also cited that a billionaire like Page was allowed in when “desperate Kiwis and separated families” are unable to do so.

Page stepped down from Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2019 and is listed by Bloomberg as the sixth-richest person in the world. He has been living in Fiji during the coronavirus pandemic – primarily on the island of Tavarua.