Only three of five foreign journalists who have so far applied to come to New Zealand for the 36th America's Cup have been approved entry, according to Tracy Neal on the Radio New Zealand website.
TVNZ has secured the New Zealand broadcast rights. Overseas broadcasters can purchase the world feed and add their own commentary team, meaning they do not need to be in New Zealand.
In Australia, all America's Cup events will be broadcast on Fox Sports.
New Zealand's borders are still closed to foreigners due to Covid-19, with some exceptions. Border exceptions may be granted where people have a critical purpose for travel to New Zealand, including 'other critical workers' who are specifically agreed to by the government.
Once granted a border exception, all international arrivals into New Zealand are required to go into managed isolation.
Immigration New Zealand said the bar for being granted an exception to the border restrictions was set high to help stop the spread of Covid-19, which remained crucial as the virus continued to spread overseas.
The 36th America's Cup is a government-approved event, which means overseas media outlets could request a border exception under that category, Ms Neal reports.
To date, Immigration New Zealand had approved 'other critical worker' visas for three journalists – two from a Canadian media company and one from a European outlet – to cover the event. Immigration New Zealand said the two other applicants were declined entry under criteria that included the person needed to have “unique experience and technical skills that are not obtainable in New Zealand”.
Roger McMillan, editor of this website, has had his media accreditation approved by the America's Cup event authority but has not applied for a border exemption.
“I was hopeful that an Australia – New Zealand bubble would allow me to travel to NZ without the need to quarantine, but thanks to the fiascos in Victoria and South Australia, that hasn't eventuated yet,” he said.
McMillan says that because Fox Sports will carry the Cup matches live, and because there is only a two hour time difference between New Zealand and most of Australia's eastern states, there is less need for a blow-by-blow description of the racing on the website or in newsletters, such as he supplied from San Francisco in 2013.
“Obviously there are interesting behind-the-scenes stories that you can only get by being there, but any Aussie with Foxtel will be able to watch the racing. I guess I'll be one of those – watching the events from the comfort of my lounge chair,” he said.