image sourceGetty Imagesimage captionNew Zealand's authorities say Larry Page applied for residency under a category for wealthy investors

Larry Page, Google's co-founder and one of the world's richest men, has been granted New Zealand residency under a category for wealthy investors.

The category requires applicants to invest at least NZ$10m ($7m, £5m) in New Zealand over three years.

Questions were asked about how Mr Page could enter the country when borders were shut because of Covid-19.

The government said his entry was allowed following a medical emergency application involving his son.

Mr Page, 48, had applied for residence in November but the application could not be processed because he was offshore at the time, when borders were closed.

But in January, the tech billionaire was allowed into New Zealand so his son could be evacuated from Fiji because of a medical emergency, the government confirmed on Thursday. His application was approved in February.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Andrew Little was questioned in parliament about Mr Page's case.

"[His entry] met all the standard conditions of a medical emergency requiring a medical evacuation from the islands, and every requirement and regulation that was in place… was complied with," Mr Little said, according to a transcript on the parliament's website.

Some critics of the decision highlighted its apparent unfairness.

"We have got these GPs or nurses who are stuck in an interminable waiting room to get their residence, whereas Larry [Page] comes in and boom, straight away can become a resident," immigration adviser Katy Armstrong told Radio New Zealand.

Mr Page is listed as one of the richest people in the world with a reported wealth of more than $116 bn. He stepped down as chief executive of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2019, but remains a board member and controlling shareholder.

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