Group allocation requests for construction – closed

Under Group Allocation you can apply for one of 60 places per month in managed isolation between June 2021 and March 2022 if you are a critical construction worker and you meet the eligibility criteria.

About group allocation requests

Update: Group allocation applications for travel in March 2022 have completed. Applications for April 2022 and beyond are closed.

This is due to the Government's announcement for Reconnecting New Zealand(external link)

This allocation process is for critical workers whose work is essential for infrastructure and building projects of national and regional significance and they have unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily available in New Zealand.

Who can apply - Update

From 13 March, the majority of travellers will self-isolate and complete testing on arrival with no requirement to stay in managed facilities.

MIQ will remain for eligible unvaccinated travellers. If you meet the criteria you will apply for a MIQ place through the managed isolation booking system(external link).

For queries on the new process for travellers contact MIQ(external link)


The work that you will be undertaking must fit all of the following criteria to be considered for a group allocation.

Criteria 1

The work is in New Zealand and is essential for:

  1. the continued operation or construction of critical infrastructure* or lifeline utilities*, which are of regional or national significance*, or
  2. the continued operation of supply chains of regional or national significance*, or
  3. an approved major infrastructure project (currently listed on the Infrastructure Commission pipeline(external link) and in excess of $100 million value), or
  4. a major government approved programme(external link) (currently Kāinga Ora build and urban development programme).

Criteria 2

The workers coming to New Zealand have unique experience and technical or specialist skills* not readily available in New Zealand.

Criteria 3

No reasonable alternative* is available.

* See Definitions below.

The application process - closed

How applications are assessed

As this category is limited to 60 places per month, where demand surpasses this number an independent Industry Panel will review all applications that meet the entry criteria and prioritise based on the following:

  • The scale of the project and whether role is related to an approved Major Infrastructure Project or Major Government Approved Programme
  • The impact of projects delays on economy and jobs
  • Fair distribution of places across infrastructure, residential and non-residential projects
  • Consideration will be given to critical workers planning family visits after lengthy periods in New Zealand and returning to the same role, and for family members (with the right to enter New Zealand) travelling with critical worker.

If your application is successful

You will receive an email confirming you have been allocated a group allocation at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date.

You will be sent a managed isolation voucher once the travel date has been confirmed.

If your application is declined

You will receive an email notifying you that your request has been unsuccessful. This will be at least 3 weeks prior to your intended travel date.


Critical infrastructure

'Critical infrastructure' is the services, goods, data and their related supply chains that underpin the wellbeing of New Zealanders now, and into the future because they impact on:

  1. the day-to-day lives of New Zealanders
  2. the maintenance of public safety and security
  3. New Zealand's short and long term economic prosperity
  4. New Zealand's international reputation.

Lifeline utilities

'Lifeline utilities' are entities that provide essential infrastructure services to the community such as water, wastewater, transport, energy and telecommunications. These utilities include, but are not limited to, entities described in Part A and Part B of Schedule 1 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. If an entity is not listed in the Act, evidence (including the required government agency endorsement) will be required to support the criticality of the service for the public.

For something to be of 'regional or national significance', the consequence of the individual not carrying out their work would, among other things:

  1. cause serious hardship (or significant tangible benefit) for a large number of people in a particular town, region or across the country
  2. likely lead to one or more person's death
  3. economically impact thousands of New Zealanders
  4. result in community facilities used by people throughout one or more regions to fall into disrepair, preventing social and / or cultural practices
  5. cause serious pollution or environmental damage that has serious implications for people and / or biodiversity in the region or country
  6. result in the loss of a high value public asset.

Unique experience and technical or specialist skills

'Unique experience and technical or specialist skills' can include, but is not limited to, skills and experiences such as expertise gained in a specialist training institution or by working in a highly-specialist firm, or can be shown by having global experience, or skills and experiences inherent to a person.

Skills are considered not readily obtainable if there are no workers in New Zealand who can do the role, or there is a limited pool of available workers who can do the role and they are not available to the employer.

Reasonable alternative

'Reasonable alternative' includes, but is not limited to:

  • using a digital alternative to carry out the work remotely
  • hiring local staff to carry out the work instead.
Last updated: 13 May 2021