The border's now open to Australians but some traditional tourist towns have some recovering to do, after a bruising couple of years.
The head of Rotorua's economic development agency fears tourists will be put off visiting.
Andrew Wilson says some of his town's motels are now seen as an investment, snapped up by out of towners who run them as lucrative emergency housing.
But tenants and operators in Rotorua question where else local homeless would go if not for the town's emergency accommodation.
Nick Truebridge and cameraman Nick Monro have the story.