13 Nov 2020

Grieving family given business exemption to enter New Zealand

9:46 am on 13 November 2020

A British sailing family who pleaded to come to New Zealand after the death of their son have been allowed in.

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Barbara Genda, Harry Jarman and their two children were sailing the world when tragedy struck in Tahiti, with the death of her 14-year-old son Eddie in August.

Their application to sail to New Zealand on humanitarian grounds was recently declined.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson told RNZ that the family's application to arrive in New Zealand for the purposes of delivery to a business had succeeded.

"They met the criteria for this and were granted an exemption by the Director-General Of Health on 2 November."

The family wanted the yacht sold before returning to the UK where they planned to restart their lives.

The buoyancy of the market in New Zealand and associated boat maintenance infrastructure was a reason the family wanted to bring the yacht here.

The Auckland broker, Conrad Gair, with whom the luxury yacht is listed said recently yachts that would traditionally sail here to be sold were not allowed in under current border restrictions, and New Zealand was missing out.

"If it comes to New Zealand and is sold to a New Zealander there are taxes, and taxes go into the system. There could be a brokerage fee, repair work on the boat and stuff for other trades in our industry."

New Zealand had not closed its border to goods or trade - imports and exports could continue to operate on the same basis as pre-Covid-19.

The family was currently in Tahiti - which Gair said was a hugely attractive sailing area, but not ideal for trying to sell a boat.