He enraged Silicon Valley's liberal elite by supporting Donald Trump and funding a lawsuit that led to the demise of news site Gawker. Now Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder, is stoking controversy in New Zealand, where the government is under fire for granting him citizenship despite his case not meeting the usual requirements.
On Wednesday, Wellington published a 145-page file on Mr Thiel's citizenship application in an attempt to address controversy over the decision to grant it secretly in 2011. The file shows the 49-year-old technology entrepreneur's application success was the result of an "exceptional circumstances" clause that enables New Zealand's minister for internal affairs to waive residency rules if it is deemed in the public interest.
"People are deeply uncomfortable with this," Iain Lees-Galloway, a Labor MP and opposition spokesman on immigration, told the Financial Times. "This was all done behind closed doors and most New Zealanders don't think it is appropriate to offer citizenship for money or as some sort of insurance policy in a turbulent world."
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