“Labour is showing commendable flexibility on MIQ rules, but it must now apply the rules consistently,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
A Covid-19-positive MIQ worker in Christchurch is quarantining at home and could stay there, according to the Prime Minister.
“The Government should be congratulated for showing this kind of flexibility on MIQ.
“From day one, ACT has said that our Covid-19 response can’t be one-size-fits-all.
“Government must be the referee setting the rules for MIQ, rather than being a player providing MIQ services. Its focus should be safety, rather than trying to do everything itself.
“While the Government was operating isolation facilities, nobody was responsible for checking dangerously exposed staff were being tested.
“But Labour must now show consistency.
“We need to take a Taiwanese approach where new arrivals can isolate at alternative facilities, but are strictly and electronically monitored.
“If the Government is willing to allow Covid-19 cases to quarantine at home, it should allow people we know are not infected to do managed isolation in alternative facilities.
“Government-run MIQ facilities haven’t been able to achieve scale and are now full.
“The horticultural industry can’t get RSE workers from the Pacific and fruit will rot.
“New Zealanders can’t get home for Christmas to see their families.
“There are no spaces in MIQ until 15 December, so anyone booking now will have to spend Christmas in MIQ because they might have Covid-19. Meanwhile, someone we know has Covid-19 is allowed to isolate at home.
“The new government must take a new approach on MIQ.”