Yes, the maritime border to NZ is closed. But it is possible to apply for and be granted an exception to arrive in NZ via sea. We have done so.
You can make the application the relevant authorities yourself, at no cost to lodge, but increased uncertainty as to the outcome. Or you can engage an agent who has processed applications into the system before = greater certainty. We used an agent. Cost was a one-off agent’s fee of USD650- to do so.
The time was 4 weeks to complete the paperwork in coordination with the Agent. Then, once the (32-page) application was submitted, it took three weeks to be granted the exemption. The exemption does not have an expiry date on it; but your application paperwork does have time-and-cost elements as a component of the committed work schedule/s, so the timing is inherent in the approval.
Apart from humanitarian / compassionate grounds, the only grounds for approval with be on the basis of delivering Economic Benefit to NZ. There are only two main reasons that will be considered in support of an application for exemption.
1. Delivering your boat to a business (e.g. for sale); or
2. Major refit, repairs, &/or refurbishment.
We used the term “significant programme of repairs & refurbishment” to support our application.
There is no exact defined figure for economic benefit, but (based on seeing who got approved, and who not) the baseline amount before your application will be considered is NZD50k.
Marina fees, yards fees, part & paid labour, and project management fees may be included. Costs incurred by crew (such as food, accommodation, lodging, land-travel, or consuming copious quantities of great Kiwi wine) are not.
To start with, we baulked at that amount. But, upon reflection, we realised that, by the time we get to NZ, we will have been sailing more-or-less constantly for almost 5 years. And so it will be high time to take some time-out, pause and find a base from where to attend to those many items of repairs and maintenance (“The List”) that cannot be so easily done in remote areas, or while there is an imperative to keep the boat in one piece and in a seaworthy condition (meaning, available to move to avoid adverse seasonal weather – i.e. the cyclone season in the South Pacific).
So, I totalled up all of those items of repairs & maintenance (including planned upgrades), and were able to easily exceed the NZ$50k threshold amount. It is also made easier to swallow, considering that we plan to be in NZ for 18 months, and additional items of repairs & maintenance will naturally arise within that timeframe.
When you consider the difficulty in getting *quality* work done in many other places, especially whilst on-the-move, the lure of NZ is undeniable. And if we are going to do the work in any case, then the cost is really not so much of an issue. Compare this to the rule-of-thumb, 5 to 10% of the value of the boat on R&M in any one year, spread over two years, with guaranteed quality, then it becomes a much easier decision.
All that said, we plan to travel from French Polynesia to Fiji, before heading southwards to NZ. Things are very changeable out here at the moment, with Fiji closing up a little more this past week, so another season in FP may become a necessity. The list of R&M won’t get any shorter …
Hope this information helps inform the debate.
And thanks to those providing recommendations for vendors and suppliers in NZ – very much appreciated.
On the dock attending to turbo issues
Papeete Marina, Tahiti
From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Thomson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, 24 May 2021 at 11:27 am
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] New Zealand
We are thinking of trying to get into New Zealand later this year on the basis Memo will need a refit. Can any one recommend New Zealand yards that would have experience of Amel yachts.