Government must apologise for MIQ debacle

Tue, 19 Apr, 2022

“The Prime Minister needs to apologise to the thousands of Kiwis who were cruelly stranded overseas after her Cabinet had been briefed that MIQ was pointless in November last year,” ACT’s Leader David Seymour says.

“Documents obtained by media show that Ministers were told that the MIQ system was totally pointless, and that risk posed by international travel was minimal since COVID was already in the community. This is backed up by documents previously obtained by ACT that also show advice to the Government confirmed MIQ was redundant.

“So why did Ministers put people through the torture of fighting for places in MIQ when they knew it was for nothing? The simple answer is politics and polling, and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this pandemic it’s Labour don’t do anything until the polls come in.

“This is yet another example of Labour being reluctant to pull back on their redundant policies as they have leaned into fear as a means of control for two years and don’t know how to shut down the fear factory. As soon as you admit the policy you’ve been frightening people into thinking necessary isn’t needed, the podium of truth becomes more like a podium of PR.

“The Government failed to weigh up the costs of these decisions and act in the best interests of Kiwis. While MIQ kept people stuck overseas our businesses suffered and many people have experienced devastating personal tragedies.

“The Government owes all those who were stuck in limbo overseas an apology. They were the victims of a costly and cruel policy that wasn’t even doing any good.”