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Public opinion differs from Government over charging Kiwis for managed isolation, 1 NEWS poll shows

The New Zealand Government is out-of-step with Kiwis when it comes to charging people for managed isolation, according to an exclusive 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

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National wants all returnees to contribute to their hotel stay while the Government's plan means a small number will have to pay. Source: 1 NEWS

The National Party wants everyone to make a contribution to their hotel stay, however the Government is only charging those who are in New Zealand and choose to go or are coming home for a holiday. 

Yesterday's announcement came as a shock for Kiwis living overseas, some angry and disappointed over the change. 

For people like Sarah-Jane Taylor-Seres, who has lived in Britain for seven years, she doesn't understand why expats coming home for short periods should have to pay. 

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"I've been working since the age of 18 and I've contributed to tax in New Zealand and here in Britain. I've sent money back to my whānau, I'm helping my daughter pay her humongous student loan."  

This week, the Government announced that those flying home who stay for less than three months will have to pay $3,100 per person to self-isolate. 

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The same cost also applies to anyone who is in New Zealand and plans to leave for a holiday overseas or a business trip. 

However, in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, we asked whether people were supporting of having returning New Zealanders "contribute towards the cost of their stay in managed isolation". 

The poll saw a clear distinction of support for the proposal with three-quarters of those saying yes, they should pay, while 21 percent were opposed to the idea. 

The rest said they didn't know or refused to answer the question. 

However, the Prime Minister says their plans aren't out of step with the public's opinion. 

"I would agree with the public's view that we should be charging which is why we are. What we have had to decide is who we charge," Jacinda Ardern said. 

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National has other plans, wanting to charge all those who return from overseas, calling the decision to front the cost a "slap in the face" for taxpayers. 

"That's just an utter slap in the face for Kiwis who have been here paying taxes and working hard," Judith Collins said. 

The Prime Minister denies that they're taking a "soft approach" despite the Government's plan hardly scraping the surface of the nearly $500 million cost of managed isolation and counting. 

"I wouldn't call it that. We are seeking a financial contribution to quarantine, the people we've targeted are the people making a choice, mostly for instance a holiday reason," explained the Prime Minister.  

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"I think it's a balanced approach, I think it's the right one." 

For Kiwis overseas still, they say the backlash has been full-on and heartbreaking to experience. 

"It's huge and it feels so wrong to me. It's like I walk through London and I'm a proud New Zealander and then yesterday morning I woke up and thought, oh my gosh, I don't know if I have a home anymore." 

The new decision is set to become law in the next two weeks.