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Opinion: Govt battling with immigration, MIQ and vaccine rollout

Immigration, the MIQ booking system and the Covid-19 vaccine rollout - they’re a few key issues for New Zealanders at the moment.

Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson. Source: Getty

The Government is losing its ‘Whac-A-Mole’ battle on these issues. They’ve popped up and are refusing to go away.

Immigration

This issue needs a whack with a big mallet, it’s a real sticking point for the Government.

There are split families – who are now voicing their complaints loudly.

There are industries calling out for RSE workers.

There are businesses calling out for skilled migrants to be allowed in.

Then there’s the massive backlog that’s causing people who work as doctors and teachers to head home.

Immigration New Zealand has had months of limited visitors and a full contingent of staff. You would expect it would have had months to play catch up. Instead, it’s more behind than ever.

MIQ vouchers

The next is MIQ spots. It just shouldn’t be THIS hard to come in and out of New Zealand.

No expats or anyone who needs to travel overseas expects special treatment, but it shouldn’t be impossible to get home.

The rules for compassionate allowances are too high and it also doesn’t make sense not to alert people when vouchers are coming out – it would stop the incessant refreshing.

It would put strain on the system, but that’s got to be better option than what is happening now.

I get the sense that Kiwis living abroad are proud of New Zealand's success in fighting Covid, but are feeling locked out by their own Government.

You can feel pretty lonely living overseas and this would only exacerbate this.

Covid-19 vaccine rollout

The third mole is the vaccine rollout. There’s no denying it’s been slow.

In 2021, many of us thought we’d be getting back to normal – but any kind of normal is still months away.

The Government recently had given it a few good whacks as it almost hits the milestone for 2 million and there is a chance it will be able to get rid of this problem.

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Ardern blames pandemic for Labour's poll plunge

But so far, the slow rollout is an issue that isn't reflecting well on the Government.

It comes as a Reid Research-Newshub poll shows a drop for Labour. It’ll be interesting to see what the next poll numbers show too.