Aotearoa will be open to all arrivals, including those from non-visa waiver countries and international students, from 11.59pm tonight.
The maritime border will also open to cruise ships, specialist vessels and recreational vessels such as ocean-going yachts.
On May 11 the government announced the New Zealand border would re-open on July 31, two months earlier than the October re-opening date previously announced.
The border has been open since May 2 to 60 visa-waiver countries, including major tourism markets such as the UK, US, Germany, Japan and South Korea. Tonight marks the final step in the government’s reconnecting plan, with visitors from non-visa waiver countries and international students able to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand from tomorrow.
“Since April, visitors from our key markets such as Australia have been able to travel to New Zealand, and it’s great to see the recovery of the tourism sector back on track. We’re seeing a strong uptick in arrivals from Australia and the US, with Queenstown in particular receiving a surge in visitors,” said tourism minister Stuart Nash.
“Today’s change in border settings marks the final milestone for our reconnecting strategy. This is great news to the tourism industry and economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays.”
Today’s changes in border settings means the resumption of key visa categories including students and visitors. Applications for the Accredited Employer Work Visa, New Zealand’s main work visa, opened on July 4.
“Prior to the pandemic, the international education sector was worth several billion dollars to our country and education providers,” said immigration minister Michael Wood.
“While we’ve continued to support the sector with border exceptions through the pandemic, the full resumption of visa processing is great news for our universities, polytechnics and wānanga, and schools, English language schools, and private training establishments.”