Sky City Casino and New Zealand Immigration leaders are being investigated for orchestrating ‘special visas’
for Chinese high rollers flying on China Southern Airlines to play in the Auckland venue.
NZ First Leader Winston Peters said the casino operator had been granted ‘privileges for their customers not available to any other group of people anywhere else in the world.’
Speaking to parliament, he presented an article quoting Sky City’s President of International Business Ejaaz Dean as saying the operator was ‘working closely with China Southern Airlines to bring VIP gamblers into Auckland seamlessly.’ In the article Mr. Dean confirmed the casino was ‘in talks to make the visa process easier.’
The special arrangement, allegedly allowed China Southern’s gold and silver card holders easier entry into New Zealand. Mr. Peters also presented an internal memo where China Southern told Immigration NZ that its gold and silver Card holders were looking to circumnavigate ‘the necessity to answer questions relating to financial backing and employment history and to provide evidence of these.’
However, SkyCity spokesman Gordon Jon Thompson refuted the claims of any ‘fast tracked’ visas. “Our customers must meet the same requirements and go through the same processes as all other visitors travelling to New Zealand,” he said.
Immigration New Zealand also no discussions had been held with Sky City over any arrangement with China Southern Airlines.