Coronavirus: More than 1000 foreigners let in as 'critical workers' to attend America's Cup

America's Cup racing action.
America's Cup racing action. Photo credit: Getty

By Adam Jacobsen for RNZ

More than 1000 foreigners have been cleared to enter Aotearoa to attend the 36th America's Cup.

Immigration NZ said it had received 93 border exemption requests and granted 83 of those, involving more than 1060 people.

The America's Cup was listed as a Government-approved event, which meant time-critical workers required for racing were granted entry.

It said all requests to bring workers in under the 'other critical worker' category must meet strict criteria.

These people must have unique experience and technical or specialist skills which are not easily obtainable in New Zealand.

MBIE said it would not reveal the details of applicants' roles while in the country for the America's Cup because of privacy reasons.

Earlier this week, the largest superyacht destined for New Zealand in time for the America's Cup confirmed it had been denied entry because Immigration NZ considered its crew too big a bubble.

The 85m-long pleasure craft Bold has more than 20 crew onboard including the vessel's owner Guido Krass, a German industrialist and is now heading to Australia after Immigration denied visas for a third of the crew.

Immigration New Zealand told the crew that only those essential for its operation would be granted a visa.