US singer Chris Brown's tour down under is believed to have been hit by the denial of a critical visa.

The Herald understands the performer's application for a visa to enter Australia has been declined because of his domestic violence history.

It is unknown what progress has been made with Brown's visa application to enter New Zealand, which was submitted in the last few weeks.

A spokesman for Immigration NZ said: "No decision has been made on his NZ visa application yet."

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Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection has not responded to questions.

The denial of a visa to enter Australia is likely to impact on his efforts to enter New Zealand. It is also likely a single Auckland show would impact of the profitability of the planned tour.

The Australian visa denial is believed to be a result of Brown's history of violence, including his 2009 assault on his then-partner Rihanna.

It prompted politicians in Australia to call for his banning and debate in New Zealand over whether performers had been excluded on the basis of race.

The law here didn't allow Immigration to block Brown based on his convictions - nothing for which he has convictions has reached the level required to trigger a legal ban.

But it is understood Immigration staff were watching closely Brown's application in Australia. New Zealand law has an automatic exclusion for those banned from another country.

Tickets for the One Hell Of A Nite tour are no longer on sale in Australia. Tickets for the Auckland show are still on sale, although Ticketmaster is carrying a notice stating: "We have no updates on Chris Brown's NZ visa application but if the concert does not go ahead as planned, any tickets sold, as with any other show, will be fully refunded."

A spokesman for Brown refused to comment when contacted by the Herald.

Brown's tour of Australia and New Zealand ran into grief in September when Australian Immigration minister Peter Dutton declined his visa on character grounds, although offered the performer the opportunity to appeal.

At the time of the initial ban, women's minister Michaelia Cash said "if you are going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you, 'You cannot come in because you are not of the character we expect in Australia'".

Rejection in Australia threw into doubt Brown's ability to enter New Zealand, but Brown found himself being championed by some of Maoridom's staunchest and most respected women.

Among others, Brown found backing from former Women's Refuge boss Merepeka Raukawa Tait, Dame Tariana Turia, Dame June Mariu, Dame June Jackson and Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.

The message from the group was captured by Dame Tariana, who said: "I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of forgiveness. I believe people can change. We continue to isolate people and make them believe there is nothing about them that is good - and we know that is not true.

"We may not like his behavior at the time but I firmly believe he can get through to people who we would normally not get through to in the course of all the money we are spending and the programs we have got."

The group backed a visa application by Brown which was intended to follow through on a successful appeal in Australia.