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Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone.

The Australian rugby team is being granted an economic exemption to enter New Zealand ahead of the Bledisloe Cup on August 7.

Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the Covid outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have a seven day window to return home.

At the Cabinet meeting last week, the Minister for Covid-19 Response or the Director-General of Health was authorised to consider exemptions on a case-by-case basis for people not normally a resident in New Zealand to travel from Australia to New Zealand, within the return window for events which have significant economic impacts.

The Wallabies have been granted an exemption by the acting Minister for Covid-19 Response Ayesha Verrall on this basis.

“This is important economically. A test match is estimated to be worth between $17-20 million in spending for host regions, while the broadcast rights provide much needed income for the sport, which positively effects all levels of the game,” says Grant Robertson.

“Test rugby between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is keenly anticipated by New Zealanders, and I welcome the decision to allow the Australian team to travel given the game was less than two weeks away when trans-Tasman travel was suspended.

“The Wallabies have been operating in their own bubble for some time, and will travel from their base in Queensland on a charter flight to Auckland on Friday morning. They will have to fulfil all normal obligations for travel including negative pre-departure tests within 72 hours of their travel.

“The exemption means the Bledisloe match in Auckland can take place on August 7. Decisions on the other games are dependent on ongoing discussions between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia.

“This decision was not taken lightly by the Government and given the Wallabies use of a charter flight, there is no restriction on public access to a return flight to New Zealand.”

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8 Comments
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WHO mercy dash

Posted on 29-07-2021 15:19 | By

As if to confirm the two tier elitist system they are operating we have now flown a “high profile” WHO individual from Fiji to a hospital in Auckland. What about all those other people in Fiji? Are they second class human beings?

Economic benefit?

Posted on 28-07-2021 12:48 | By Mein Fuhrer

a bit like the "economic benefit" that the Americas Cup brought to NZ? you know the $156 million loss.

Do we really need this

Posted on 27-07-2021 17:29 | By

Once again we focus on "nice to have" options to placate the dribbling, knuckle dragging hoards. Sport isn’t that important that we should charter an aircraft at public expense to bring in another countries team for a sporting event. But our politicians will get looked after in their imperial box, with free food and liquids I presume.

you first

Posted on 27-07-2021 17:19 | By hapukafin

all KIWIS are welcome home but Aussie rugby team get special exception.lovely move PM

Bull****

Posted on 27-07-2021 16:40 | By

There is no economic benefit in the scheme of things. It’s peanuts. So it is nothing to do with economics. I really hope one of them brings in Delta. Then we will see the economic impact.

Surprise surprise

Posted on 27-07-2021 16:19 | By

It seems New Zealand operates a two tier system. Sportspeople and celebrities carry on as normal but everybody else get stuffed. There are skilled people who came here on a promise that have not seen partners and children for 18 months. It is disgraceful.

Wow!

Posted on 27-07-2021 15:58 | By

So sports people can’t carry the virus then? The ban should apply to all!! Typical of Cindy and her crowd though....make the rules as they go along.

Money Talks

Posted on 27-07-2021 14:30 | By

Jacinda states that the safety and wellbeing of NZers is paramount but forgot to finish her statement with, next to money. Australia is out of control with Covid19, travel with Aussie is closed but we’ll let them in to chase a ball round the paddock. Money talks. Good luck to Kiwis struggling to get home, or trying to see loved ones before they pass away.