13 Sep 2013

Visas to be fast tracked for irrigation repairs

8:23 pm on 13 September 2013

Immigration New Zealand says it is prepared to help bring American technicians into the country to fix hundreds of damaged irrigators in Canterbury.

The industry body, Irrigation New Zealand, has asked the Government to issue temporary work visas to specialist irrigation installers, so they can help repair storm damage to about 800 irrigators.

The machines were damaged during severe weather on Tuesday.

Irrigation New Zealand says some of them require total replacement, and the parts and specialist technicians need to come from Australia and the United States.

An Immigration New Zealand spokesperson says it has already provided advice on the type of visas the US crew will have to apply for, and where they should lodge their applications.

She says the department will give priority to the processing of any applications lodged.