64,000 people have come into New Zealand since lockdown

Immigration New Zealand border manager Nicola Hogg said. Immigration NZ confirmed the total number of entries since lockdown as about 64,000.

Stuff has earlier reported border exemptions included Avatar film workers and a mushroom expert while those initially not allowed in included a father wanting to visit his newborn son and an expecting father wanting to see his pregnant wife. Both cases are being, or have been, reconsidered by officials.

Hogg said that the “vast majority” of the 3200 exemptions had been granted to family of New Zealand citizens, residents, or temporary visa holders in New Zealand or on humanitarian grounds.

“The bar for being granted an exception to border restrictions is set high to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect the health of people already in New Zealand.

“All requests for a border exception are considered on a case by case basis against the strict four exception criteria put in place by the government.”

Stuff recently reported on those criteria, which, according to Government briefing documents, included the advice they should include that applicants wanting to stay six months of more earned at least twice New Zealand’s average wage – at least $106,000 per year. The wage was an indicator of “high skills”, the documents said.

They could also be granted exemptions if their role was essential for government-associated science projects, or essential for a government-approved major event.

They outlined the criteria that those wanting short-term exemptions would need to meet.

They needed to have a “unique experience and technical or specialist skills” such as having a key role in a film, an Antarctic specialist, or a yacht designer for an America’s Cup team.

They could also get in for a project that was “significant” – such as a $100m-plus infrastructure project, and the project would be stopped or severely compromised if they were not allowed in.


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