50,000 sign up in less than a day to end MIQ

National’s campaign to end MIQ has had an incredible response, with 50,000 people signing the petition less than 24 hours after launch, says National’s Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“Signatures have come in at a staggering rate. At one point yesterday a new person was signing every second, and it isn’t slowing down.

“People have signed from all over the world – Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Oman, Russia, Egypt, and dozens of other countries.

“Kiwis offshore feel shut out from the ‘Team of Five Million’. The Prime Minister hasn’t even bothered to read the letter pleading for changes to MIQ that Grounded Kiwis sent to her, and there is huge anger and frustration that New Zealand continues to close its border to its own citizens – even citizens that are fully vaccinated and who present very little risk to New Zealand.

“MIQ is a lottery of human misery and it’s time to end it for fully-vaccinated and tested travellers to New Zealand.

“We now have a farcical situation where fully-vaccinated New Zealanders, with no Covid, who win the MIQ lottery have to spend 14 days in MIQ in Auckland, while more than 1300 people with Covid, or who are close contacts of Covid cases, isolate at home in Auckland.

“This is politically, economically and morally unsustainable, as well as legally questionable.

“The Government is now engaging in wilful, state-sponsored cruelty on an industrial scale.

“The Government should listen to the thousands of people signing the petition every hour and announce a plan to allow Kiwis stuck offshore to come home for Christmas. A vague plan to change MIQ the first quarter of next year just isn’t good enough.

“Fully-vaccinated travellers to New Zealand present negligible risk. Since we started collecting MIQ vaccination data from August 23, just two fully-vaccinated travellers in MIQ have tested positive later than day eight in MIQ.

“Ending MIQ would reunite families, end the enormous anguish at the heart of the system, boost tourism, and help fill skill shortages in New Zealand.

“We can’t remain stuck behind the walls of Fortress New Zealand forever. We have to reopen to the world, and a good place to start would be getting rid of the lottery of human misery that is MIQ.”

The petition can be signed here