“The Government must reduce the anxiety being caused to New Zealanders offshore and wanting to return home by expanding its arbitrary three month window for booking managed isolation facilities,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“It’s insane that people are sitting up all night fruitlessly refreshing their browsers and clicking an MIQ website that never shows any room availability.

“Booking MIQ shouldn’t be like trying to get a ticket for Elton John’s farewell tour.

“MBIE officials say the reason for the three month window is because beyond that horizon flight schedules are unreliable.

“But flights aren’t the Government’s responsibility, they’re the individual’s.

“If someone wants to be able to reserve a place in MIQ in July they should be able to.

“They will then do their best to ensure they can secure flights that match, and the expanded window should mean that if they need to change dates to match a flight the likelihood of being able to should be greater.

“At the moment they face double jeopardy – they can’t book a room or a flight.

“There is no good reason the window can’t be opened from three to six months to let more offshore Kiwis start planning to come home.”