The National party thinks it’s time to move managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) hotels out of downtown Auckland.
The party’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop called on the Government to investigate building dedicated quarantine facilities close to the airport.
Bishop said that with Covid-19 likely to be with us for some time, it’s time to move on from the ad-hoc collection of hotels-turned-quarantine facilities and create something purpose-built.
Based on previous experience Labour will condemn this idea, and then implement it in around three months time.
Bishop said both Government funding and private capital could fund the scheme; with the Government using fast-track powers to consent the facility and get it built. A private provider could build the facility and lease it back to the Government with some costs recouped from returnees.
The facility could become a permanent quarantine facility or be turned into social or private housing following the pandemic.
“Yes it will be incredibly expensive,” Bishop said.
“But firstly MIQ is expensive, and you have to compare it to the cost of lockdowns,” he said.
Each Auckland lockdown costs hundreds of millions.