Google co-founder Larry Page’s emergency visit to New Zealand meant he was put into managed isolation for two weeks.
But not even his billionaire status could get him a hotel upgrade, after officials declined a request for preferential treatment, Stuff reported.
The request is said to have been made by New Zealand-based staff, working for Page, when he arrived in January – after a medical evacuation was granted to him.
Page, reportedly living with his family on an island in Fiji, travelled to New Zealand seeking hospital treatment for his child. The youngster was subsequently treated at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.
Officials working in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which is taking care of all things to do with MIQ, “strongly resisted” the pressure for special treatment of the billionaire and no such treatment was given.
The MIQ hotel which Page stayed at is not known, but it is understood to have been a facility in downtown Auckland, close to the hospital.
Revelations that the internet billionaire was granted a way into New Zealand has stirred up some controversy this week, given Page is not a Kiwi citizen.
However, it is understood he now has New Zealand residency status.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media yesterday that she was not made aware of the billionaire’s emergency visit.
She acknowledged that her being told about such a medevac visit was not necessarily normal procedure.
“We have, in any given year, roughly 100 medevacs into New Zealand. The decision for a patient to be part of a medevac is made by clinicians.
“I’m not advised of every single individual … at any given time – because politicians do not make those decisions, nor should they.”
Ardern said she trusted clinicians to make decisions between those in the host country and receiving country around what is best for a particular patient.
“It happens for all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons,” she said.
She said she was not sure if she should have been told of the world’s sixth-richest person request to come into New Zealand.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily important for me to know the private medical details of someone, a family member or their family situation.”
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