TODAY |

Stranded Kiwis frustrated by 'impossible' MIQ system

It shouldn’t be this hard to come to New Zealand. That’s the call from thousands of Kiwis either living overseas or who need to be based overseas for work. 

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After questions from 1 NEWS, the government admits the system is unfair, but the minister will only look at tweaking the voucher system. Source: 1 NEWS

Mike Hendry makes his living playing golf in Japan and was due to fly out from Auckland on the weekend, but he cancelled it after he wasn’t able to secure a MIQ voucher for his return. 

He’s done it twice before, and told 1 NEWS he’s had no issues carrying out a two-week stay in managed isolation. 

“I don’t want any special treatment, I just want a system I can use. I’m more than happy to abide by the rules that are given but at the moment it seems so difficult. 

“It’s basically becoming unusable.” 

He’s one of many that 1 NEWS has spoken who say its becoming impossible to get a voucher for MIQ, even with the $3000 price tag. 

“The November ones came out overnight for us and they were all gone in 20 minutes,” Esther Pocock said from Sweden. 

“Yes we pick a life overseas, we are ex-pats and yes we know the world is a different place. But it’s really hard being from one of two countries where you basically can’t come home,” said Alexi O'Brien said from Doha.

People walk past a MIQ facility. Source: Getty

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says they are currently reviewing the booking system, working out ways on how they can ensure every user has a fair chance at securing a spot. 

“We’re having another look at how we can ensure fairness in that system, so for example, the speed of someone’s internet connection.

“Of course I feel for New Zealanders who are finding themselves around the rest of the world and want to come back to New Zealand.”