Immigration New Zealand has introduced a new ’interim visa’, which may be granted to maintain a person’s lawful status in New Zealand. It aims to primarily help visitors, foreign students and workers who wish to extend their stay in New Zealand. Apparently the introduction of the new visa had become necessary as applications for extensions of temp visas (tourist/work) could not be processed until the old visa had expired, leaving tourists or people on a work visa in a legal limbo until their new visa was granted (which then validated their stay in retrospect).
An interim visa, therefore, can only be granted if the person already holds a valid temporary visa, which has not expired by the time they apply for the interim visa. The interim visa basically works as a bridge-visa and allows its holder to remain lawfully in New Zealand while his or her application for another temp visa has been decided. The maximum stay under this interim/bridge visa is 6 months.