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Lottery of human misery now just misery - Chris Bishop

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The lottery of human misery that is MIQ has now just become human misery for the million Kiwis abroad who are shut out of their own country, National’s COVID-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

"The decision announced last night to indefinitely stop MIQ room releases is banana republic stuff.

"The Government has basically closed the border without so much as a Ministerial press release. Instead, a million Kiwis found out there would be no more MIQ room releases through a message posted on the MIQ website and Tweeted late at night by the MBIE account.

"This is no way to run a border, let alone a country.

"The Government has been asleep at the wheel over summer. Instead of pushing go on child vaccinations, getting as many people boosted as possible and getting rapid tests into the country, the Government seems to have adopted a strategy of ‘wait and hope.’

"We deserve a proper plan from the Government in light of Omicron. We were told in November last year that the border reopening to Australia was locked in for January. Then it was pushed back to the end of February. Now it has been pushed out indefinitely.

"The impact of ongoing uncertainty and delays on Kiwis abroad should not be underestimated. The anger, pain and heartbreak is palpable.

"To make matters worse, the Government has succeeded in its delaying tactics to the Grounded Kiwis court case challenging MIQ, which will now be heard towards the end of February, rather than the end of January.

"The sooner we can end MIQ, the better."

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