Avatar movie crew among ‘couple of hundred’ foreigners let into New Zealand under coronavirus exemptions

by ABC.Net — May 27 2020

A scene from Avatar showing two human-like blue people standing near each other.
New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister was granted powers to allow the Avatar crew and others to enter the country.(Supplied: Twentieth Century Fox)

Key individuals behind the sequel to Hollywood blockbuster Avatar are among hundreds of foreigners being quietly let into New Zealand under little-known exemptions to its closed-border regime.

New Zealand closed its borders in March to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, allowing only Kiwis and returning residents to return.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Government has since tweaked its regulations to allow humanitarian arrivals and essential workers in.

But on Tuesday, under questioning, was it revealed Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford had also been admitting high-value foreigners.

“I’ve signed off on a couple of hundred over the past month,” he said.

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