National launches campaign to end MIQ

The time has come to end the lottery of human misery that is MIQ, says National’s Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“We have today launched a new petition so that Kiwis on and offshore can tell the Government in no uncertain terms that it’s time to end MIQ.

“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 makes no sense. It is unfair, callous and illogical.

“Tens of thousands of Kiwis have been shut out of their home country because of the MIQ system. The stories that fill MPs’ inboxes are truly harrowing.

“The MIQ system is not politically or morally sustainable. It is legally questionable.

“This isn’t the Kiwi way. It isn’t kindness. It isn’t compassion. The Government is now engaging in wilful, state-sponsored cruelty on an industrial scale.

“It’s time to end MIQ and allow Kiwis stuck offshore to come home for Christmas.

“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.

“National is launching this petition to demand the Government put an end to MIQ. Clearly we need quarantine facilities for some community Covid cases, but we must move to a system where fully vaccinated travellers who return negative pre-departure tests can enter New Zealand without spending time in MIQ hotels.

“National’s ‘Opening Up’ plan envisaged travellers from lower risk jurisdictions – such as Queensland – not entering isolation at all, while travellers from higher risk places such as New South Wales would spend a week in isolation at home. Under both scenarios, MIQ would cease and there would be no state-imposed limits on travellers to New Zealand.

“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