MIQ hotel all but empty while Kiwis stuck offshore

It is unbelievable that the Wellington Grand Mercure MIQ hotel had a grand total of just one guest for a week while over 100 rooms in the hotel remained empty, National’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“This is a massive slap in the face for the tens of thousands of Kiwis offshore who are desperately trying to come home and who are forced to participate in the lottery of human misery that is the MIQ system.

“This news will go down like a cup of warm sick. While stranded Kiwis have been logging in and spending hours sitting at a computer screen in the MIQ virtual lobby and lodging desperate emergency allocation requests, almost an entire hotel stood empty.

“This would be comical if it wasn’t so painful for so many Kiwis who are desperate to see their families, whānau, and friends.

“MIQ has become a humanitarian catastrophe. The Government’s incapability to run anything properly has meant that New Zealand citizens are being deprived of their right to return home; a right legislated in our Bill of Rights. It must be resolved, now.

“Fully vaccinated travellers with negative pre-departure tests present negligible risk to New Zealand, as data I revealed last week shows.

“This latest debacle piles further inequity on top of the already inequitable system where fully vaccinated travellers go into MIQ for 14 days while over 200 people with Covid-19 isolate at home in the community.

“We need an explanation from the Government about how on earth this was allowed to happen. This is an unacceptable level of negligence and ambivalence to the suffering of New Zealanders.”