The Prime Minister’s address to a BusinessNZ audience announced the end of MIQ for all vaccinated travellers, along with a timeline of key dates during 2022 when different groups of travellers would be able to come to New Zealand.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the phased opening of the border made sense, with permitted arrivals planned for dates in February, March, April and July, and with normal visa processing under way by October.
But businesses would want border controls fully lifted well before the Government’s target date in October, and would want to see better processes used by Immigration NZ.
“BusinessNZ would like to see border exemptions removed altogether, as it is an unnecessary bureaucratic step in the immigration process.
“We’re also concerned that wage-based restrictions on the entry of skilled workers could be counterproductive. Restricting the entry of skilled workers earning below 1.5 x the median wage will add unnecessary wage pressure on firms.”
He said business would like to have more detail around plans for reopening, for example tourism businesses need to see a firm date for the end of self-isolation, and other businesses need to know more about entry requirements for skilled workers with prior connections to New Zealand whose visas may have expired during the pandemic.
When New Zealand Borders Open:
You can find out more about the Government’s 5-step plan to re-open New Zealand borders, (commencing 27 February 2022) here.
By Katie Duncan