New Zealand Politian, Winston Peters, says that is unlikely that Australia will come to the table with a recently proposed visa scheme, allowing international tourists to travel freely between the two countries using a common visa. The tourism industry is lobbying for a regional visa covering both countries, saying there will be more visitors if there is one. During the recent 2015 Cricket World Cup, a joint 3-month visa was offered to fans, which the tourism industry touting as a great success.
However, Mr. Peters is less optimistic about the concept and recently said “Out of 3.1 million tourist arrivals in New Zealand in 2015, only 1231 were refused entry – that’s a daily average of just three people from 8500 arrivals,” adding “Our visa grant rate is 99.96 percent – in comparison, Australia’s is 91.6 percent. Either we have a better class of tourist, or thousands of suspect people are being allowed into our country,” he said. “It’s clear New Zealand doesn’t know with any precision who we are allowing in, and Australia is not about to lower its standards.”
Mr Peters says Australia’s visa grant rate for Chinese tourists is 94.2 percent, and if New Zealand had the same rate 2346 Chinese nationals would have been refused entry in March alone.
“Yet in all of 2015, only 79 Chinese nationals were refused entry to New Zealand.”
The Tourism Industry Association’s chief executive, Chris Roberts, says New Zealand is more likely to accept Australian screening of visitors than the other way around.