A Canterbury deep-sea fishing company faces a struggle to get a crew onboard its two vessels docked in Lyttleton after their bid to get overseas workers visas was denied.
Argos Froyanes Ltd (AFL) operates two vessels that are used for fishing Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish.
Th Antarctic fishing season is set to begin on December 1.
AFL initially sought an invitation from Immigration New Zealand for the overseas workers to apply for critical purpose visas to crew the two vessels.
The workers would have landed at Christchurch Airport and been transferred directly to the Port in order to enable the two vessels to then depart.
INZ declined to invite the workers to apply for the visas.
AFL then applied for a judicial review of the decision, stating it was "capricious and arbitrary."
"Where a decision-maker has acted unreasonably in that sense, then the court should properly treat the situation as one in which no decision has been made," it said in the application.
In a decision released by the High Court of New Zealand on Wednesday, AFL's bid was dismissed.
It was dismissed under section 186(3) of the Immigration Act which states there is a limited right of review in respect of temporary entry class visa decisions.
A person may bring review proceedings to a court in respect of a decision in relation to a temporary entry class visa except if the decision is in relation to the refusal or failure to grant a visa to a person outside New Zealand.
It follows a Covid-19 outbreak and a managed isolation facility in Christchurch earlier this year.
Thirty-two members of a group of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen tested positive for the virus.