The government confirmed this week that German-born billionaire Thiel was granted citizenship in June 2011, just two months after donating NZ$1.0 million (US$730,000) to an official Christchurch quake disaster fund.
English acknowledged Thiel did not meet the usual requirements -- living at least 70 percent of the previous five years in New Zealand -- but said he was granted citizenship due to exceptional circumstances. . . .
The opposition Labour Party's immigration spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said the case raised questions about whether the rich were receiving special treatment.
"I don't think that fits very well with New Zealand's egalitarian values," he said.
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