MIQ’s third voucher release via virtual lobby - 5 Oct 2021

Published: 05 October 2021

At 12 noon today, the third release of rooms through the virtual lobby took place successfully.

Statement by Joint Head of MIQ, Megan Main

The lobby opened about 20 minutes before 11am today.

At 12 noon 25,100 people were moved into the queue — this was randomised, as part of the lobby process. This number continued to grow as people entered the queue throughout the room release (these people go to the back of the queue). There were 28,406 people in the queue in total.

Rooms started being released at 12noon and were gone by 2:06pm.

6,449 people from 126 countries managed to secure MIQ vouchers – that’s across 3,739 rooms.

Approximately 38% of people who participated in the room release today were based in New Zealand. This does not necessarily mean these people were looking to travel overseas and come back – they could be booking on behalf of other people based overseas.

Before today’s lobby, more than 16,100 people had vouchers to arrive between now and the end of the year – this number is increasing with each room release, and will increase further over the coming days as people confirm their vouchers from today’s release. More than 5,300 people secured vouchers via the first lobby, and last week more than 6,200 people secured vouchers via the second lobby.

Dates were available across October, November, December and January. January was the most popular month, with all available rooms gone in 55 minutes.

I know that, again, thousands of people missed out on vouchers in today’s release. We understand this is a difficult and frustrating time for many who want to travel; whether that be for business or to return home.

I want to reassure people that there are still several thousand vouchers still to be released through to the end of the year. They will get other chances through regular lobby releases. The next release will be next Tuesday – timing to be confirmed.

Although this new lobby system has improved user experience, it is not a silver bullet — it will not fix the issue of supply and demand.

There is not an unlimited number of MIQ rooms and we do not release them all at once, and there’s a good reason for that — we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and we need to keep New Zealand safe. We understand people want to enter MIQ on a date of their choosing, but we have to ensure arrivals in New Zealand occur in a safe, managed way. We have already brought over 175,000 people back to New Zealand safely and will continue to focus on the safe return of more Kiwis.

Rooms released today

October — 316

November — 1,501

December — 1,201

January – 721

Top countries (by departure point)

Note: This is people not rooms.

Australia — 1296 passengers

Great Britain — 970 passengers

USA — 722 passengers

India — 583 passengers

China — 272 passengers

United Arab Emirates — 241 passengers

Singapore — 167 passengers

Canada — 165 passengers

Philippines — 156 passengers

Hong Kong — 137 passengers

Samoa – 108 passengers

Germany — 100 passengers

Korea — 95 passengers

Summary of first room release (Monday 20 September)

  • More than 25,000 people joined the lobby before 9am and were moved into the randomised queue.
  • 31,900 entered the queue in total
  • More than 5,900 people made it to the front of the queue and had the opportunity to enter the website to secure a voucher.
  • More than 5,300 people from 117 countries did manage to secure vouchers through this release -- that’s across 3,200 rooms.
  • 338 rooms were released for September
  • 1767 rooms were released for October
  • 600 rooms were released for November
  • 500 rooms were released for December
  • Top countries by departure point: Australia (1352 passengers); Great Britain (774 passengers); India (460 passengers); USA (453 passengers); China (268 passengers).

Summary of second room release (Tuesday 28 September)

  • 26,700 people joined the lobby before 6pm and were moved into the randomised queue.
  • 31,319 entered the queue in total
  • More than 5,400 people made it to the front of the queue and had the opportunity to enter the website to secure a voucher.
  • More than 6,200 people from 125 countries did manage to secure vouchers through this release -- that’s across 3,718 rooms.
  • 1,434 rooms were released for October
  • 1,600 rooms were released for November
  • 684 rooms were released for December
  • Top countries by departure point: Australia (1629 passengers); Great Britain (791 passengers); India (647 passengers); USA (495 passengers); China (263 passengers).