Riff Raff Public Arts Trust

Riff Raff Public Arts Trust

Riff Raff gets nod at last

Source: Hamilton Press print edition

15 September 2010

ROCKY Horror creator Richard O'Brien has been granted New Zealand residency.

Dion Smart, Richard's immigration agent, said his client was "very happy with the news".

While he has always considered himself a New Zealander, he sought official citizenship so he could properly "belong". His family have lived in Tauranga since the 1950s.

Hamilton East ward candidate Mark Servian, responsible for initiating the Riff Raff statue, campaigned for the move with a letter-writing push and the Let Richard O'Brien be a New Zealand citizen! Facebook group, which attracted more than 3600 members.
"Hundreds of people have posted that they see Richard O'Brien as a national treasure who should have been welcomed home with a big hug, not put through the immigration hoops," Mr Servian said.

Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson used her discretionary power and waived immigration rules banning family members from sponsoring relatives aged over 55. Mr O'Brien was still required to then pass medical and police tests, which he cleared with ease.

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