Future of remaining MIQ facilities
Published: 03 May 2022
The closure of the 4 remaining MIQ facilities will be brought forward due to very low numbers using the facilities.
Currently just 95 people are using 54 rooms (32 isolation and 22 quarantine) across 4 hotels. A decision has been made in principle to wind these up by August 2022.
“Four MIQ facilities were originally planned to operate until December 2022 at the latest. MIQ is now only being used in very limited circumstances,” said Head of MIQ Andy Milne.
“There is no longer a requirement for anyone arriving in New Zealand to enter MIQ. In addition, demand for MIQ from community cases, particularly during the Omicron peak in Auckland has been lower than anticipated.
“Given the lack of demand, it has been decided that the decommissioning of the final 4 facilities will be brought forward.
“We know this is an unsettling time for our workers and will do everything possible to ensure they are well looked after. The commitment from all our facilities and workers throughout this time has been extraordinary and we can’t thank them enough.
“The MIQ workforce has helped almost 230,000 travellers return home. They have also cared for more than 5,000 community cases.
“MIQ workers have been at the frontline of keeping COVID-19 out of New Zealand, and they have made considerable personal sacrifices to make sure the wider community is safe.”
Planning continues for a national quarantine service to ensure the government is prepared for any future variants or threats.
Iwi partners lead whakanoa ceremonies
Head of MIQ Andy Milne says the network’s downsizing has created a special opportunity for MIQ’s 5 iwi partners to lead whakanoa ceremonies before facilities become hotels once more.
“Whakanoa is a traditional Māori practice to make the facilities ‘noa’ or free from restriction. The ceremony lifts ‘tapu’ or restrictions to recognise the hotels as common spaces again.
“All our commercial partners have embraced this traditional practice and we are privileged that iwi have shared this sacred knowledge and experience with us.”
There have been multiple whakanoa at different times.
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