The Prime Minister says the "flyer beware" warning given to passengers using the trans-Tasman bubble did not include a price tag for managed isolation stays.
Kiwis stranded in New South Wales now face a two week MIQ stay if they want to return to New Zealand before the bubble reopens, a move Ardern yesterday described as having a "significant road to travel" before the quarantine-free travel could return with the state.
Ardern today said the Government "would cover that cost because they did not travel knowing that would happen".
"They're bearing the brunt of those decisions," she said, in reference to being stranded in NSW. "We are simply covering the cost of quarantine."
Stuff reported in April that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment outlined New Zealanders would have to pay the $3100 price tag for MIQ, should it be needed, on return during a trip to Australia.
When asked about this today, Ardern said Government received advice from officials. However when Cabinet signed off on the trans-Tasman bubble they decided that travellers impacted would not have to pay for MIQ.
"For the trans-Tasman arrangements … the hope was to maintain the flow of people," Ardern said.
"If there was a situation where we have circumstances like NSW, and we as a Government decided people needed to go into quarantine, people wouldn't have known that when they departed nor could they have reasonably factored that necessarily in."
"It's our view they will have to shoulder a lot of the expense of having being stranded for a long period of time, but quarantine in my view, we do need to cover."
She said those in NSW could not have known they would end up having to return to New Zealand via a 14 day stay in MIQ.
She said "flyer beware" meant "that you may be caught without the ability to come home for a period of time, beware we may ask you to engage in pre-departure testing or isolation requirements".
"But, the extraordinary step of saying when you come home and we put you into an isolation facility, you have no choice on that."
Ardern said she did not know yet the cost of MIQ for NSW returnees.