Super-yacht denied entry into New Zealand
An 85-metre long super-yacht that was heading to New Zealand for the America’s Cup has been denied entry because Immigration NZ considers its 20-people crew too big a ‘bubble’.
Owned by German industrialist Guido Krass and currently anchored in Fiji, the vessel now plans to head to Australia, after Immigration NZ denied visas for a third of the crew.
“New Zealand for very good reason has very strict rules about who comes to the country to restrict coronavirus and we 100 per cent thought that we don’t want to spread coronavirus as much as anyone else, probably more so,” said Captain Todd Leech said. “In the end, their strict rules, we really tried to make them work for us and for the boat but we couldn’t do it, it couldn’t fit with how our boat runs.”
So far, only 30 vessels have gained entry approval under the $50,000 refit rule, which allows foreign-owned yachts into New Zealand as long as they spend at least $50,000 on a major refit, or for work (e.g. fishing). In that case, crews can apply for visas as critical workers, and even if approved, must undertake 14 days’ isolation.