The government signalled they expect New Zealand’s border to remain closed for all of 2021. Plans are underway for a “travel bubble” (quarantine free travel) between New Zealand and Australia and Rarotonga, but no go-live date has been announced.
New Zealand’s border remains closed to tourists, most international students, and many workers.
A small number of international students who started New Zealand university degrees but were left stranded overseas when the border closed will be allowed to return in 2021 to complete their qualifications.
Pathways to enter New Zealand for partners/children of New Zealand citizens or residents and skilled/essential workers are complex but possible. In most cases, a border exemption is required, and the failure rate is high.