“A report that there were more than 1,000 empty spaces in MIQ facilities this week is more evidence that the Government shouldn’t be responsible for running them”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Each one of those empty spaces represents a family member who could have been reunited with loved ones or an essential worker who might have supported the economy.
“Government-run MIQ facilities haven’t been able to achieve scale and now can’t even use the limited space available efficiently.
“The horticultural industry can’t get RSE workers from the Pacific and fruit is rotting.
“New Zealanders haven’t been able to get home for Christmas to see their families.
“The list of MIQ failures is growing by the day:
- No testing of border-facing workers
- Several Covid-19 cases have leaked into the community
- Nurses working without adequate PPE
- Inefficient use of capacity.
“ACT has said for months that need to take a Taiwanese approach where new arrivals can isolate at alternative facilities, but are strictly and electronically monitored.
“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.”