PM signs fast-track New Zealand visa deal

Mr Key, who is also the country's tourism minister, signed the New Zealand visa deal in Guangzhou this week, marking the NZ government's intention to increase tourism revenue.

Newly wealthy Chinese tourists travelling abroad for the first time have become a key demographic for most countries to secure; New Zealand joins the US in being one of the first to make special dispensation for Chinese tourists.

The deal was first announced in November last year when then-Immigration Minister Nathan Guy secured a deal with China Southern Airlines to allow those visitors who could prove they had visited New Zealand in the past two years to waive the requirement to prove they have sufficient funds.

Mr Key, signing an updated version of the agreement, said Mr Guy's original agreement had been in place since without a hitch.

"The big issue that of course [Immigration New Zealand] worry about is somebody coming to New Zealand and then effectively not leaving when they say they will," said the prime minister, explaining that the majority of users of the agreement were business people.

"This is the profile of a client that's extremely unlikely to [overstay their visa]. They've travelled over the last two years extensively, they're clearly a business person."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.