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Billionaire Google co-founder Larry Page was allowed to enter New Zealand from Fijian island

Google co-founder Larry Page was allowed into New Zealand despite its closed border so his son could receive urgent medical attention, the government admitted today.

The billionaire has been living off the grid in Fiji for most of the pandemic but sought special permission to fly to New Zealand with the child, who is around 12-years-old.

Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is facing backlash for allowing Page and the boy to enter while there are strict border controls to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Ardern denied knowledge of the 2,600-mile round trip which has incensed New Zealanders living abroad who haven’t been able to see their families in months.

The country’s immigration chief Kris Faafoi told reporters that Page had requested an exemption ‘to make sure his son got the treatment that was required.’ 

It does not appear that Page, 48, was accompanied by his media-shy wife Lucinda Southworth, 42, or their other child, who is around 10-years-old. 

Larry Page, 48, with his media-shy wife Lucinda Southworth, 42. The couple have two children together, a boy born in 2009 and another child born in 2011. Southworth is a research scientist and is the sister of actress Carrie Southworth.

Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is facing backlash for allowing Page and the boy to enter while there are strict border controls

Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is facing backlash for allowing Page and the boy to enter while there are strict border controls

The distance from the island of Tavarua, Fiji, where Page has been staying to Auckland, New Zealand, is around 1,300 miles

Page has spent months in Fiji during the pandemic - mostly on the island of Tavarua - and it has been rumoured the billionaire has bought at least one island in the country's Mamanuca archipelago

Page has spent months in Fiji during the pandemic – mostly on the island of Tavarua – and it has been rumoured the billionaire has bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca archipelago

Health minister Andrew Little was interrogated about the visit in parliament, saying that an application was approved in January for a child, accompanied by an adult, to be medically evacuated from Fiji.

He said anyone accepted for treatment is considered to require immediate care and could not be treated locally.

‘I’m advised all of the normal steps occurred in this case,’ Little said.

Ardern said she was not briefed at the time Page was in New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand general manager of border and visa operations, Nicola Hogg, told AFP that Page ‘met relevant requirements’ to be approved entry.

‘Mr Page is not a permanent resident. Citizenship is a matter for the Department of Internal Affairs. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to comment further without a privacy waiver.’

Hogg did not address the question of whether Page spent two weeks in quarantine, as required of people entering New Zealand.

New Zealand’s opposition ACT Party called on Ardern’s government to be more open about his visit.

‘The Government has questions to answer about why billionaire Google co-founder Larry Page was allowed into New Zealand when desperate Kiwis and separated families can’t get through the border,’ ACT leader David Seymour said.

Seymour said while he had sympathy for Page’s situation, there were numerous people with similar issues who could not get in.

‘I have had to tell them, ‘sorry, but there is no way you can get through the border, government policy will not allow it’,’ he added.

‘New Zealanders stranded overseas who are desperate to get home deserve answers.’

Page founded Google with Sergey Brin in the 1990s and is listed by Bloomberg as the sixth-richest person in the world with a reported wealth of $121 billion. 

Page has reportedly become become reclusive over the past several years – avoiding being photographed except for a handful of times since stepping down as CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. in 2019.  

He has spent months in Fiji during the coronavirus pandemic – mostly on the island of Tavarua – and  it has been rumored the billionaire has bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca archipelago, sources told Insider. 

Page, pictured with his wife, requested special permission to enter New Zealand so that his son, who is around 12-years-old, could receive medical treatment

Page, pictured with his wife, requested special permission to enter New Zealand so that his son, who is around 12-years-old, could receive medical treatment

An aerial view of Tavarua, where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic. The heart-shaped island is in Fiji's Mamanuca archipelago

An aerial view of Tavarua, where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic. The heart-shaped island is in Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago 

Another view of Tavarua Island, which is where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic

Another view of Tavarua Island, which is where Page is said to have spent most of the pandemic

Page has also been spotted an a smaller island called Namotu – which a sailor claimed Page had bought in a blog post in August. 

He had taken his private jet to donate COVID-19 medical supplies to Fiji in June as a second wave of the pandemic hit the country – which was reported by Fijian Broadcasting Company News on June 19, according to Insider.

However, that story has since disappeared from the state-owned news site – and sources told Insider that health officials in Fiji asked for it to come down, claiming that the information should not have been made public.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that the article had been removed after health officials asked for the story to be taken down because ‘they didn’t want the donation highlighted.’

The article appears to have also since been scrubbed from Google.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Fijian Broadcasting Company News for more information and additional comment.

According to Insider, the story had reported that Page flew from Hawaii to Fiji’s Nadi International Airport to provide the country with medical supplies including masks, gowns and gloves.  

A photo of Page’s jet was posted to Twitter on June 19 by a Fijian journalist, who captioned the post: ‘One of the Co-Founders of Google Larry Page donated cartons of COVID-19 supplies to Fiji as the country battles its second wave of the virus.’

The plane’s call sign 813QS, pictured on one of its engines, is licensed to Blue City Holdings, according to the Federal Communications Commission .

One of the Mamanuca islands juts out of the ocean in this file photo. It has been rumored Page has bought at least one island in the country's Mamanuca archipelago, Insider reported

One of the Mamanuca islands juts out of the ocean in this file photo. It has been rumored Page has bought at least one island in the country’s Mamanuca archipelago, Insider reported

From a file photo in 2008 is a picture of Larry Page's old yacht, named Senses. Business Insider reports that he's downsized to at least one smaller yacht that is now moored in Fiji

From a file photo in 2008 is a picture of Larry Page’s old yacht, named Senses. Business Insider reports that he’s downsized to at least one smaller yacht that is now moored in Fiji

Blue City Holdings manages a fleet for Page and his co-founder Sergey Brin, as well as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Insider reported. 

Sources said that Page and his wife Southworth have been seen surfing on traditional and electronic surfboards near the country’s islands, and that ‘he’s good at it, too.’

Southworth is a research scientist and is the sister of actress Carrie Southworth.

The couple are very private and have not revealed the names of their two children who were born in 2009 and 2011. 

Google’s co-founders Page and Brin, who still hold incredible control over the company despite having both stepped away, have largely avoided scrutiny while stepping out of the limelight.

In recent months, Google and companies like Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon have been hit with high-profile lawsuits and made to testify during congressional hearings. 

As the new CEO of Alphabet Inc., Pichai appeared before congress in May – though Insider noted that he and Page talk regularly.

Pichai testified on a wide range of issues including extremism such as those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, misinformation, cyberbullying, climate change and the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported.

Nell Minow, vice chair of consulting firm ValueEdge Advisors, called Page’s relationship with the company he co-founded ‘unusual’ in comments to Insider.

‘It’s certainly unusual, and it’s certainly not good corporate governance,’ Minow said. ‘You don’t normally see someone who’s still involved with the company hang a ‘gone fishing’ sign on the door and disappear.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk