Tuesday, 2 June 2020

One rule for Hollywood, another for working New Zealanders


“The Government’s free pass for Hollywood filmmakers at the border is an insult to working New Zealanders,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford has caved in and allowed more film crews to enter the country after productions threatened to pull out of New Zealand.

“This kind of political favouritism for glamorous industries gives lie to the idea that the Government is committed to the science in fighting COVID-19.

“What are the rules at the border? At the moment, it seems that if you’re a friend of the Government, you’re in business. If not, you’re on your own. There should be one rule for everyone.

“There’s no end of industries without red carpet desperate to get essential workers into the country.

“In the fishing industry, offshore crews need to be rotated with overseas replacements. There are no Kiwis ready to do that work in the next few months and current crews are at breaking point after six-month tours of duty. The industry also requires specialist mechanics for its equipment who come from offshore.

“Horticulture is waiting for certainty on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

“Education needs certainty on international students who are essential for the industry’s viability.

“Then there are those workers with skilled work visas trapped overseas without certainty.

“That’s not to mention those missing funerals who would love an exemption. It seems kindness in practice only extends to the red carpet crew.

“There must be clear, universally-applied rules at the border. It’s unacceptable for politicians to be picking and choosing who can enter the country.

“At present, the Government has one rule for Hollywood filmmakers and another for working New Zealanders.

“That kind of double standard is an insult to New Zealanders who have sacrificed so much recently.”