“If this Government had any sense of compassion they would allow travellers from non-visa waiver countries to enter New Zealand as well,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“New Zealand’s border restrictions gained us an international reputation as a ‘hermit kingdom’. Labour is doing little to shake this label by still preventing people from non-visa waiver countries from coming to New Zealand.
“It’s wonderful to see our borders opening back up and people returning after a long, drawn-out process, but spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who can’t welcome their friends and family to New Zealand by virtue of where they were born.
“Tourism Minister Stuart Nash described yesterday as our “reconnection with the world”. But as is often the case with this Government, the spin never matches up with the reality and if you happened to be from India, Sri Lanka or China, you were not welcome.
“I asked Nash when we can expect New Zealanders from non-visa waiver countries to be able to welcome friends and family back. He refused to answer.
“667,000 New Zealanders were born in non-visa waiver countries – 14 per cent of our population.
“Immigration New Zealand might claim they can’t keep up with a full re-opening of the border and need time to prepare, but the reality is that they’ve had two years off to improve systems, clear backlogs, process relevant visas and have managed to do none of that.
“ACT says we truly need to move on from COVID fear and really reconnect with the rest of the world.”