16 Jun 2021

Ski industry pleads for visas for skilled workers

From Nine To Noon, 9:22 am on 16 June 2021
The High Noon chairlift at Turoa ski field

Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

Ski industry leaders are pleading with the Government to cut red tape and allow skilled overseas workers in for the winter, saying the economic revival of regional areas is at stake.

Ski operators say they're in urgent need of highly-skilled groomer operators and don't understand why Immigration New Zealand is declining those visa applications. 

Meanwhile other specialised workers -- ski instructors -- are having visas approved, but are facing huge wait times to have them processed. They say the current restrictions are hampering the recovery of the country's ski industry and the winter tourism market. 

Kathryn speaks with Paul Anderson, the chief executive of NZSki, which manages three ski fields in the South Island; the Remarkables and Coronet Peak, and Mt Hutt, and Jono Dean, the chief executive of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, which runs Whakapapa and Tūroa skifields in the North Island.