Covid 19 coronavirus: Kirsten Dunst’s nanny deemed ‘essential worker’, allowed into NZ while borders closed

A Hollywood star’s nanny was deemed an “essential worker” and allowed into New Zealand to look after the star’s child while she worked.

The 14 cast and crew of The Power of the Dog applied to return to New Zealand in May to finish three weeks of filming after aborting it during the country’s lockdown, briefings released to the Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford show.

NZ director Jane Campion also asked for a nanny and a dependent to be also be granted exemptions.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) staff argued the nanny was an essential worker as she was needed to care for a dependent of one of the principal actors Kirsten Dunst.

Dunst’s fiance Jesse Plemons is also in the movie starring alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.

The cast and crew agreed to be tested prior to departure from their home base, on arrival in New Zealand and once the 14-day isolation period had been completed.

They were then expected to stay in New Zealand for between two and six weeks depending on their role and workload and had been scheduled to re-start shooting on June 22. Prior to the country’s lockdown they had been in the country since January and all held current visas.

Granting an exemption to someone such as a nanny was a risk and there maybe perception risks of whether some of these workers are essential,

a paper said.

“A challenge will be ensuring that the workers are genuinely highly skilled and their roles can’t be sourced in New Zealand.”

A MBIE spokesperson confirmed that Twyford granted the nanny exemption.

Dunst and her family had spent most of lockdown in New Zealand renting a house

with a lawn for their 2-year-old son Ennis to run around. However, they returned to Hollywood when the lockdown eased.

Meanwhile Cumberbatch is understood to have spent lockdown at Summerlee Luxury Retreat in Te Awanga.

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