We need your help!
Let's raise our voices together.
There is a range of actions you can take to advocate for your right to enter your own country. Learn more about each of the options below.
SPREAD THE WORD
Talk to your friends, family, and social networks about the current MIQ situation. Many Kiwis at home and abroad are still unaware just how difficult it is to return to New Zealand.
That the House of Representatives urge the Government to change MIQ, to create an equitable booking system, increase capacity, and review alternatives to the 14-day MIQ requirement for vaccinated returnees, to enable all Kiwis to return to Aotearoa New Zealand consistent the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
Why are we seeking change?
Kiwis live and travel overseas for many reasons - for work, family, medical treatment, an OE, chasing love. It’s something our friends, family, and even Prime Minister have done, always knowing that they can return home. Now, during a global pandemic, when compassion is needed more than ever, and a Government that claims kindness as a core value, Kiwis overseas are being abandoned.
Those seeking to return to New Zealand face an MIQ system fully booked for months, with extremely limited MIQ spots taken in seconds. Kiwis cannot in practice exercise their right to return to New Zealand, raising serious concerns under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Government needs to act immediately to make changes to the MIQ system, so any limitation on freedom of movement is reasonable, proportionate, and justified.
When MIQ was first introduced, government legal advice concluded that any limitation on freedom of movement created by MIQ was justified when balanced against public health risks of COVID-19. This view was formed on the basis that the need to register for MIQ was "minimally impairing" the right to return, and that the system "could lead to delay for some people wishing to enter". Most Kiwis abroad accepted the need to register for MIQ and to book a quarantine space as a necessary public health measure.
However, what they did not expect, and this legal advice did not contemplate, is the current MIQ system – which no longer "minimally" impairs freedom of movement or causes delays for "some people" but in practice prevents thousands of Kiwis from returning, despite the fact many are fully vaccinated or have an urgent need to return. These restrictions are also preventing tangata whenua from returning to Aotearoa, their tūrangawaewae.
MIQ Stories and social media support groups tell the stories of these New Zealanders, with visas expiring, dying relatives they cannot farewell, funerals they cannot attend, separated from children and families - constantly refreshing the MIQ webpage hoping a space will come available, but to no avail. When spots are released, certain groups (such as older Kiwis, the disabled, and the non-tech-savvy) are disadvantaged by an unfair allocation system. This is severely impacting mental and physical health of Kiwis abroad.
This situation is caused by significant, but entirely fixable, flaws in the MIQ system, including:
Insufficient MIQ capacity, which has reduced over time, despite demand.
Overly stringent emergency criteria, where returnees with genuine personal and family emergencies are denied an allocation.
Opaque and discriminatory availability, with no advance notice of when spaces are released, so that tech-savvy and wealthier individuals using bots and paying third parties to secure released spaces have a significant advantage.
System design flaws that fail to meet required accessibility standards (Web Accessibility Standard 1.1).
Inconsistent treatment of returnees based on origin of departure and occupation, including MIQ spots (and exemptions from MIQ) being allocated to foreign sports people, business people, and entertainers at the expense of New Zealand citizens.
Rooms remaining unfilled despite the booking system showing no rooms available.
Failing to review and consider alternatives for fully vaccinated returnees, based on scientific evidence.
Yet the Government is not acting.
We are calling for immediate action and policy changes to MIQ, to ensure any limitation on freedom of movement is justified and goes no further than is reasonably necessary to protect our community at home. Specifically we are asking the Government to:
Ensure that all Kiwis (including permanent residents) can enter the country, with an MIQ supply which reflects demand.
Change the criteria for emergency allocation spots so that people with emergencies can return home quickly.
Change the MIQ booking system to ensure the system is accessible and everyone can fairly secure a spot.
Resource MIQ email, phone and online chat support appropriately to ensure people can receive timely and personalised responses.
Review 14-day MIQ requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers, based on scientific evidence.
Improve communication between the Government, MBIE, MIQ and users, based on principles of maximum transparency and minimised uncertainty.