About MIQ

Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) has been an important part of keeping New Zealanders safe during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) started in New Zealand on the 9th of April 2021: 41 days after New Zealand’s first COVID case and 20 days after our borders were closed.

MIQ played a critical role - preventing COVID-19 becoming widespread through communities while giving people a way to return home. More recently, it bought time to vaccinate as many people as possible so New Zealand could confidently face COVID-19.

MIQ became many things – a ‘hotel’ chain, a bus company, an air charter service, a healthcare provider; a complex and unique eco-system operating under Alert-Level 4 conditions, and unlike anything New Zealand had seen before.

MIQ is currently working on the medium and long-term options for a stable, flexible, and enduring National Quarantine Service. This will ensure New Zealand has the protection and resilience needed to confidently embrace an uncertain future.

Helping New Zealanders return home

By February 2022, MIQ had helped almost 230,000 travellers – more than the population of Wellington - return home and gave New Zealanders time to get vaccinated. By this point globally, COVID-19 had caused the deaths of 5.89 million people, and infected 425 million more. In New Zealand the death toll was fewer than 60.

The sacrifices made by returnees entering MIQ, and the workers who have cared for them was often frustrating – as people wanting to return to New Zealand were caught between MIQ’s finite capacity and the measures to prevent COVID-19 from entering an unprotected community.

New Zealand is now one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, with 95% of people aged 12 and over having had 2 doses.

With the international border reopening, managed isolation will remain for unvaccinated travellers, refugees and some community cases as needed.

Our people

Workers at our Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities were at the frontline of New Zealand’s defence against COVID-19, doing essential work to protect New Zealanders from this global pandemic while we got vaccinated.

A chef working in the kitchen of a managed isolation facility putting mayonnaise on salads.

A chef working in the kitchen of a managed isolation facility

We thank our workers for their hard work and commitment to protect our communities from COVID-19.

The safety of our staff and returnees in our Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities has been critical to ultimately ensure the safety of our community.

Over 4,000 workers across hotels, the New Zealand Defence Force, Police, District Health Boards and government agencies have been working hard to ensure people can complete their stay safely and comfortably.

A worker in the kitchen of a Managed Isolation Facility wiping a bench top.

An MIQ staff member working in a managed isolation facility

How we work

Our processes continue to follow the latest public health advice and are strictly enforced. All Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities continue to operate in an environment with conditions similar to what was in place for Alert Level 4.

The purpose of managed isolation is to ensure people do not have COVID-19 before they return to our communities.

Read more about our on-site staff

Our leadership

Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) became a business group within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on 13 July 2020. MIQ is led by Deputy Secretary Andy Milne.

Deputy Secretary Andy Milne

Deputy Secretary Andy Milne

Last updated: 02 May 2022