Labour Party immigration spokesman Rajen Prasad says he would
be concerned if British television cook Nigella Lawson was
given an exemption to come to New Zealand solely because of
her celebrity status, while other people in more need were
Immigration New Zealand has given Lawson permission to visit
next month even though the United States refused to let her
travel there this year because she had admitted during the
fraud trial of two former staff that she had taken cocaine.
Although she had no convictions, Lawson was ineligible for a
New Zealand visa because the United States had refused her
entry, so a discretionary "special direction" was required
for her to enter New Zealand next month to film another
advertisement for Whittaker's chocolate.
Dr Prasad said that as a general rule he did not believe
people who abused drugs should be given entry, but there
should be discretion to allow it in special circumstances and
he assumed Immigration New Zealand gave Lawson's case careful
"I hope it's not simply been given because Nigella is a
celebrity, and she was subject to the same rules as others
are. But if special circumstances are present, I accept
However, he said, he was concerned about consistency.
Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye said ministers were
not involved in the decision on Nigella Lawson.
It was made by officials because it involved only a temporary