As perhaps the only country still able to eliminate Covid Delta, because we can’t afford not to, and with many thousands of Kiwis unable to return from abroad because of a drastic MIQ facility shortage, it’s time to think outside the border;
How about we establish offshore MIQ facilities in the main centres of expat Kiwi concentration, on which others wanting to return could converge, where individuals, families and groups could serve their strictly supervised fourteen day quarantine time, before then seamlessly boarding their pre-paid flight home.
Designed as a complete beginning-to-end package, including both the cost of their stay in the offshore MIQ facility plus the cost of their airline ticket, it would give Kiwis some hope of returning in time for Christmas, while saving them many thousands of dollars in rental and living expenses they would otherwise be forced to pay, if left to the tender mercies of the ballot.
It would be a win-win situation. Our obligation to our fellow Kiwis would be met and they would be back, many with skills we might well need in the still uncertain years ahead.
Operated under the strictest of MIQ protocols, perhaps by Air new Zealand with all its years of experience co-ordinating the passage of people, and which would have every incentive to ensure it was run properly, it could require proof of vaccination and regular testing during their time in the MIQ facility, before then being allowed to fly.
Working with our other official border agencies and with New Zealand Embassy or Consular staff oversight, such a plan would solve the terrible stress being suffered by so many in this unprecedented situation, while ensuring as many Kiwis as possible have a really happy Christmas
Unless someone’s got a better idea.