14 Jul 2021

Pregnant New Zealander stranded in NSW able to return home

6:51 am on 14 July 2021

A pregnant New Zealander who has been stranded in Sydney will return home after being granted an urgent exemption for a seat on a flight.

Police officers walk past The Sydney Opera House during the first day of lockdown in Sydney, Australia.

Lockdown in Sydney. Photo: 2021 Anadolu Agency

Carol Taupau, who has been stuck in Sydney since flying there for her aunt's funeral in June, is 26 weeks pregnant, has two young children at home and can't work remotely.

After initially being told she wouldn't qualify for a priority seat, Taupau received the positive news yesterday afternoon.

"I am very relieved," she said.

Taupau was initially told by the government's call centre that she would not qualify for an urgent or exceptional need exemption, but to fill out a form anyway.

"I just saw the top half of the message and it said my application was approved, I was really really overwhelmed. I just couldn't believe that I got approved," she said.

Flights to bring people back from New South Wales began on Tuesday, with travellers heading into managed isolation upon arrival.

Taupau said her family waiting for her back in Auckland are also ecstatic that she's coming home.

"I'm looking forward to coming out of isolation just before my son's 5th birthday celebration… I am very happy," she said.

She will fly to New Zealand later today.

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