Jacinda steals Christmas from Kiwis in Australia

The Government’s panicked MIQ announcement goes nowhere near far enough and means that Jacinda Ardern will be stopping Kiwis in Australia from coming home for Christmas, says National COVID-19 Spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“The Government is under huge pressure over the lottery of human misery that is MIQ but they need to do much more than today’s announcement.

“This timetable to open New Zealand to the world is truly pathetic.

“Yesterday Chris Hipkins admitted that not a single fully vaccinated traveller from Australia to New Zealand in the last three months has tested positive for Covid after arriving into New Zealand. There is no reason why the Trans-Tasman Bubble should not be open right now.

“The Government’s announcement that New Zealand citizens and permanent residents can skip MIQ when travelling from Australia from January 16 does nothing for Kiwis who want to come home for Christmas.

“Likewise the announcement does nothing for tourism. Australians can’t even come to New Zealand until April, and the requirement for one week’s self-isolation in New Zealand will put many off.

“The requirement for a week’s self-isolation in New Zealand is just not proportionate to the risk.

“New Zealanders can travel to NSW without any self-isolation or quarantine already. Australia is opening up while New Zealand remains in Fortress New Zealand mode.

“The big announcement is just a small step forward for Kiwis in Australia – but only from January.”

“What is the rationale for partly reopening the border to New Zealanders in Australia only in January 2022? Why can’t it be done now?

“Only yesterday Air New Zealand cancelled hundreds of flights so the airlines are clearly ready to go and there is clearly demand.

“MIQ needs to end right now. National’s petition to end MIQ is nearly at 100,000 people and continues to grow as people wake up the stupidity of having thousands of people isolate at home with Covid in New Zealand while fully vaccinated travellers without Covid go into MIQ.

“The Prime Minister calls fully vaccinated travellers to New Zealand “cumulative risks” and likens them to “striking matches in a forest”. National thinks they are people with rights and it’s about time the Government recognised them.

“MIQ is legally dubious and morally repugnant. It’s time the Government reopened Fortress New Zealand to the world.”