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Whistle-blower to speak in NZ, but not Australia [UPDATED]

[UPDATED] American activist, politician, former US Army Solider and court-martialled whistle-blower Chelsea Manning has been granted a work visa to enter New Zealand.

Photo by Tim Henning

[UPDATED] A spokesperson for the company bringing Chelsea Manning to New Zealand said a work visa for the whistle-blower was received overnight, allowing her to speak here. She will also appear in Australia via video link from Auckland, as she has not been allowed to enter that country.

Earlier story:

Immigration New Zealand General Manager Steve Stuart said today that Manning will be allowed to apply for a working visa for her speaking events in Auckland and Wellington next week.

Manning was found guilty of espionage and theft for leaking government secrets, and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. This would normally disqualify her from entry into New Zealand under the “good character” provisions of the Immigration Act.

But Stuart noted that Manning had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017, and that she had not reoffended since being released. The chances of her offending while in New Zealand were judged to be low.

In Australia, tour organiser Think Inc has received a notice of intention from the Australian government to deny Manning entry.

Think Inc is calling on Manning’s supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister David Coleman to allow her into Australia, but an appeal is unlikely to succeed, given past precedent.

The one Wellington presentation of An Evening With Chelsea Manning is on Sunday 9 September at The Embassy Theatre (doors open 6:00pm for the 7:00pm). Manning will discuss her time in prison, transgender issues, privacy and Wikileaks. Tickets from Eventfinda.