Employing overseas entertainers

Entertainment industry employers who want to hire overseas workers must explain why New Zealanders cannot do the work and provide evidence to support this.

Acceptable reasons for employing overseas workers

We accept the following reasons for employing overseas entertainment industry workers:

You must provide evidence to support why you need to employ overseas entertainment workers instead of New Zealanders.

You must get agreement from the industry's entertainment body before you offer an overseas entertainment worker a job.

Entertainment industry bodies

If workers are essential to the production

Overseas workers may be essential to the production for one of these reasons:

You must explain why your overseas industry workers are essential to the production or presentation and provide evidence, such as documents that support your explanation.

For example, if you need the overseas workers because finance or distribution depends on their involvement, you should provide written confirmation from a sales agent, distributor or key investor that this is the case.

If the wider benefits outweigh any lost opportunities

The benefits of employing overseas workers may outweigh any lost opportunities for New Zealanders, if their employment:

When you apply you must:

If employing overseas workers will result in lost job opportunities for New Zealanders, you must show us that any wider benefits to New Zealand would not be possible if you did not employ those workers.

When you apply you must:

If you considered hiring New Zealanders first

If you considered hiring New Zealand entertainers before deciding to offer the work to overseas workers, your evidence must include any documents that show this.

Types of evidence

The evidence you provide will depend on the kind of entertainment industry workers you want to hire. You do not have to include the names of any New Zealanders you considered with your evidence.


You need to provide documents that show New Zealand actors had the opportunity to take part in a casting round, including:

  • the casting brief
  • the number of New Zealand actors who auditioned
  • the names of agencies used
  • the reason an international actor was chosen.

If there was no casting round, you will need to explain why.


You need to provide evidence you gave New Zealand directors an opportunity to pitch and the reason an international director was chosen.

If you did not give New Zealand directors the opportunity to pitch, you need to explain why.

Film and television crew members

You need to provide documents that show:

  • how many New Zealand technicians you considered for positions
  • the names of the crew booking agents you consulted
  • any online crew databases you used
  • the reason the international crew member was chosen.

If you did not consider New Zealand crew members, you need to explain why.


You need to provide documents that show you considered employing New Zealand musicians, including as support acts.

If you did not consider any New Zealand musicians, you need to explain why.