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Go Back to the List August 18, 2020
Australia lets in foreign students but NZ still waits

New Zealand's Prime Minister says overseas students will still have to wait until next year to come here, despite an Australian pilot scheme to bring in 300 students next month.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the 300 students would be admitted on flights from Singapore to Adelaide starting next month, using spare quarantine capacity in Adelaide.

But NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand was still focused on "making sure our system is right" for returning New Zealanders.
The Government asked airlines to stop selling inbound tickets even to returning New Zealanders between July 7 and August 9 to keep the numbers in quarantine below the current capacity of 7292 people.

It is also still struggling to track down the source of the current Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland which has infected 69 people so far. A worker at a quarantine facility at Auckland's Rydges Hotel has also tested positive for Covid today, indicating that the first cluster may not be the only source of community infection.

rdern told NewstalkZB host Mike Hosking that she would "look at what we can learn" from the Australian pilot scheme, but the Government's position was that foreign students would not be let into New Zealand until next year.

"We haven't ruled out a system in the future where we manage potentially international students even if they are in separate bespoke quarantine facilities," she said.

"We have said, though, that our focus should be on doing that in the new academic year rather than this one, given the work it would need to go into doing that properly."

She noted that the Australian pilot scheme was for "quite a small number".

"We're saying that that's something that we would look to in the new year, it's not something we believe that we should be doing at this point in time because actually most of our demand is still going to make sure our system is right for those New Zealanders."

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Written by Simon Collins,
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