Google co-founder Larry Page was allowed to enter New Zealand despite the closed border so that his son could receive emergency medical care, the government admitted today.
The billionaire lived off grid in Fiji for most of the pandemic, but requested special permission to fly to New Zealand with the child, who is about 12 years old.
Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces backlash for letting Page and the boy in while strict border controls are in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Ardern denied having any knowledge of the 2,600-mile round trip that has infuriated New Zealanders living abroad who have not been able to see their families for months.
The country’s chief of immigration, Kris Faafoi, told reporters that Page had applied for an exemption “to ensure his son receives the treatment he needs.”
It doesn’t appear that Page, 48, was accompanied by his media-shy wife Lucinda Southworth, 42, or their other child, who is about 10 years old.
Larry Page, 48, with his media-shy wife Lucinda Southworth, 42. The couple have two children together, a boy born in 2009 and another child born in 2011. Southworth is a researcher and is the sister of actress Carrie Southworth.
Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces backlash for letting Page and boy in amid strict border controls
Page has spent months in Fiji during the pandemic — mostly on the island of Tavarua — and the billionaire is rumored to have bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca archipelago.
Health Minister Andrew Little was questioned about the visit to parliament and said an application had been approved in January for a child, accompanied by an adult, to be transferred from Fiji.
He said anyone accepted for treatment needs immediate care and cannot be treated locally.
“I’ve heard all the normal steps have taken place in this case,” Little said.
Ardern said she was unaware when Page was in New Zealand.
New Zealand immigration border and visa operations general manager Nicola Hogg told AFP that Page “met the relevant requirements” for approval.
“Mr. Page is not a permanent resident. Citizenship is a matter for the Ministry of the Interior. For privacy reasons, we cannot comment further without a privacy statement.’
Hogg declined to comment on whether Page spent two weeks in quarantine, as required for people entering New Zealand.
New Zealand’s opposition ACT party called on Ardern’s government to be more open about his visit.
“The government has questions to answer as to why Larry Page, the co-founder of billionaire Google, was let into New Zealand while desperate Kiwis and divorced families cannot cross the border,” said ACT leader David Seymour.
Seymour said that while he was sympathetic to Page’s situation, there were many people with similar issues who couldn’t get in.
“I’ve had to tell them ‘sorry, but there’s no way to get through the border, government policy doesn’t allow it,'” he added.
“New Zealanders stranded abroad and desperate to get home deserve answers.”
Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in the 1990s and is listed by Bloomberg as the sixth richest person in the world with a reported net worth of $121 billion.
Page has reportedly become reclusive in recent years — avoiding being photographed except a handful of times since he stepped down as CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc in 2019.
He has spent months in Fiji during the coronavirus pandemic — mostly on the island of Tavarua — and the billionaire is rumored to have bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca archipelago, sources said. Insider.
Page, pictured with his wife, requested special permission to enter New Zealand so that his son, who is about 12 years old, could receive medical treatment
An aerial view of Tavarua, where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic. The heart-shaped island is located in the Mamanuca Archipelago of Fiji
Another look at Tavarua Island, where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic
Page has also been spotted on a smaller island called Namotu — which a sailor claimed Page bought in August in a blog post.
He had taken his private jet to donate medical supplies for COVID-19 to Fiji in June when a second wave of the pandemic hit the country – as reported by Fijian Broadcasting Company News on June 19, according to Insider.
However, that story has since disappeared from the state’s news site — and sources told Insider that health officials in Fiji had asked for it to be taken down, claiming the information should not have been made public.
A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that the article had been removed after health officials asked for the story to be removed because “they didn’t want the donation to be publicized.”
The article also appears to have been scrubbed from Google since then.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Fijian Broadcasting Company News for more information and additional comments.
According to Insider, the story had reported that Page had flown from Hawaii to Fiji’s Nadi International Airport to supply the country with medical supplies, including masks, gowns and gloves.
A photo of Page’s jet was posted to Twitter on June 19 by a Fiji journalist, who captioned the post: “One of Google co-founders Larry Page donated boxes of COVID-19 supplies to Fiji as the country battles its second wave.” of the virus.’
The aircraft’s call sign 813QS, depicted on one of its engines, is licensed to Blue City Holdings, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
One of the Mamanuca Islands sticks out of the ocean in this file photo. Rumor has it that Page has bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca Archipelago, Insider reported.
From a file photo in 2008 is a photo of Larry Page’s old yacht, called Senses. Business Insider reports that it has been scaled down to at least one smaller yacht now in Fiji. is moored
Blue City Holdings manages a fleet for Page and its co-founder Sergey Brin, as well as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Insider reported.
Sources said Page and his wife Southworth have been spotted riding traditional and electronic surfboards near the country’s islands, and that “he’s good at it too.”
Southworth is a research scientist and is the sister of actress Carrie Southworth.
The couple are very private and have not disclosed the names of their two children who were born in 2009 and 2011.
The co-founders of Google Page and Brin, who still have incredible control over the company despite both of them leaving, have largely avoided scrutiny while stepping out of the limelight.
In recent months, Google and companies like Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon have been hit by high-profile lawsuits and had to testify in congressional hearings.
As the new CEO of Alphabet Inc. Pichai appeared before Congress in May, although Insider noted that he and Page chat regularly.
Pichai testified on a wide range of topics, including extremism such as the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot, misinformation, cyberbullying, climate change and the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported.
Nell Minow, vice chairman of consulting firm ValueEdge Advisors, called Page’s relationship with the company he co-founded “unusual” in comments to Insider.
“It’s certainly unusual, and it’s certainly not good corporate governance,” Minow said. “Usually you see someone who is still involved with the company hangs a ‘gone fishing’ sign on the door and disappears.”