Trevett on MIQ

Claire Trevett writes:

If there was one thing Sir John Key was right about in his critique of the Government’s response to Covid-19, it was his assessment that the MIQ system has become a national embarrassment. …

It falls well short of the Jacinda Ardern’s promise that, no matter what else happened, New Zealanders would always be able to come back.

The latest draw for MIQ slots highlighted that in the process of trying to make the MIQ booking system fairer, it has done the opposite. It has also been very bad PR for the Government.

The new ‘virtual lobby’ system in which people are randomly selected for places in the queue for rooms makes it abundantly clear just how much the demand is outstripping the supply.

For two rounds now, there have been more than 30,000 in that lobby – 10 times the number of rooms available. Even when the rooms for the rest of the year have been drip-fed out, there will be at least 20,000 left wanting.

And being able to return home to you country of citizenship is not a privilege. It is a basic human right.

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