It seems that it’s not just the UK that has coronavirus lockdown rules that are open to interpretation, with some 1500 foreigners allowed through the ‘closed’ New Zealand border.
The man to know is Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, who has now revealed that there is a little-known category for border exemptions for foreigners deemed essential to a project of ‘significant economic value’.
This has allowed about 1,500 non-New Zealanders through the border since it was supposedly closed, including key production crew to the blockbuster Avatar sequels.
Mr Twyford was apparently granted powers by Cabinet to oversee the special applications on 21 April, about a month after New Zealand closed its borders to all non-citizens and residents.
He didn’t agree that the essential worker category was kept secret, they just never mentioned it at the daily press conferences, or during the questions raised about the AC36 challenger teams status.
This is despite the lock downed NZ tourism industry, being desperate to open for business.
Tourism is reported to contribute $NZ2billion a month to the New Zealand economy. With other things like superyachts which were coming to Auckland, worth $NZ120million to the Auckland economy.
The first regatta for the 36th America’s Cup teams is set for 15 December 2020, which requires an entry to New Zealand by the beginning of October.