Air NZ looking at South China visa scheme

Grant Bradley at NZ Herald reports:

The Government says its fast-track visa scheme will be considered for other airlines besides China Southern, which already uses it, and , which is in discussions to use it.

It isn’t actually a fast track. There is no priority given for processing. There are no different requirements. The only change is the sort of document you have to attach to prove you are not a penniless who has less than $4,000 cash is a frequent flyer status showing you have flown 40,000 kms in the last year rather than a bank statement.

A spokesman for Minister Nathan Guy yesterday said the discussions between Air New Zealand and New Zealand were in their early stages.

“Similar arrangements with other airlines will be considered to increase and trade with China.”

Excellent. South China took the initiative and proposed the arrangement, as they saw it as a good way to get more wealthy tourists flying here on their airline. Of course you’d allow any other airline that sees benefit to do the same.

China Southern Airlines gold and silver frequent flyer card holders no longer have to produce evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves, as long as they can show their flight records over the previous two years.

They would still need to get a visa, and still need to meet health and good character checks.

A minor and trivial change.

It is worth recalling that this is about getting more tourists to NZ, not immigrants. Tourists are great for our economy. They incur almost no expenses in terms of health, education or welfare and spend considerable amounts of money boosting the tourism sector economy, and tax from both corporate profits and GST. The more (especially) high spending tourists we get, the better for the economy and jobs.