“The Government’s move to stop citizens from coming home shouldn’t be tolerated by New Zealanders,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Undermining the fundamental right of citizens to travel is the kind of nonsense you would expect in communist states, not in a free and open society.

“After failing to find a way of legally stopping Kiwis from coming home, the Government appears to have bullied Air New Zealand into limiting its flights.

“Labour’s campaign manager Megan Woods recently held secret meetings with Air New Zealand.

“What happened in those meetings? We know the taxpayer is already bailing out the airline. Is the Government now paying Air New Zealand to stop bringing Kiwis home?

“In late April, Jacinda Ardern said ‘it would [never] be okay to stop New Zealanders coming home.’

“That was the correct position and in accordance with the law which says, ‘every New Zealand citizen has…the right to enter and be in New Zealand at any time.’

“But the Government has managed to avoid acting illegally by leaning on Air New Zealand.

“The Government should be finding innovative ways to expand capacity. Instead, it is limiting New Zealanders’ freedoms in an underhanded way.

“Undermining the fundamental rights of New Zealanders is completely unacceptable. The Prime Minister should front up and tell us what her Government demanded from Air New Zealand.”