Richard O'Brien as Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show film.
06 June 2010
The Kiwi-raised creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show has made an emotional plea to be allowed to return to New Zealand to die.
Richard O'Brien migrated here in 1952 when he was 10 and grew up in Tauranga and Hamilton, where he got the idea for the cult musical.
He owns land in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty, but lives in London and doesn't meet New Zealand citizenship criteria.
The 68-year-old and his immigration adviser Dion Smart are appealing to Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman to make an exception.
"I just want to die in New Zealand. It's my home; it always has been and it always will be," says O'Brien.
"[New Zealand] has always given me a great deal of strength and comfort and I have my brother and sister and more family there. It's just home."
O'Brien's siblings, Robin Smith and Gillian Page, live in Tauranga, as did his late parents.
Smart says O'Brien doesn't fit the criteria for one of his family members to sponsor him.
"... So we're going to be asking the minister to grant an exception to the policy because he is who he is."
A statue of Riff-Raff, O'Brien's character from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was put up in 2004 on the site of the Hamilton barber shop where he worked and got the idea for the film.