Taxpayers shouldn’t foot MIQ bill for mariners

New Zealanders abroad who can’t get a MIQ spot for love or money will be outraged to hear that COVID-19 positive mariners are getting a free ride on the taxpayer, National’s COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“If mariners are going to take up valuable MIQ space, space that could be used by Kiwis desperately trying to get home or for those who will fill labour shortages, they should pay for it. Simple as that.

“Kiwis coming home have to pay, what’s the justification that these mariners get a free ride?

“The administration of MIQ is a mess.

“There are computer bots snapping up spots left, right and centre, despite the Government claiming the practice has been stopped; there is spare capacity going unused on a daily bases; and invoices take ages to be sent and then paid.

“The Government has been managing MIQ for more than a year now, there’s no reason it’s still a shambles except for Labour’s incompetence.”