7 Aug 2021

ACT criticises setting aside 400 MIQ rooms for expo attendees

7:39 pm on 7 August 2021

ACT party leader David Seymour says the hundreds of MIQ spots saved for attendees to an expo in Dubai is the latest in a string of government failures in pandemic management.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

It has been revealed the government has ring-fenced 401 MIQ spots for people attending the Dubai Expo from October.

The six-month event is billed as the world's largest gathering of industry.

Seymour said it is an enraging development while New Zealanders who are desperate to return home cannot get a spot in MIQ.

Leaders were playing favourites with the groups they want to let in the country, when expanding MIQ facilities via private hotels would let more people into New Zealand.

"The government needs to expand MIQ capacity by using private MIQ with better technology that's safer than what they do now.

"Instead they are constantly and unfairly dividing up the capacity they do have and it's leading to heartbreak."

He said adopting saliva tests for Covid-19 would be faster and put less stress on resources.

He added that the government needs a clear and bold roadmap out of restrictions.

An MIQ spokesperson said the places are being put aside for world expo delegates because the group is considered a government priority.

Nearly $60 million have been spent on a pavilion for the event in Dubai which is expected to attract 25m visitors.

MIQ said the ring-fenced MIQ rooms are for returning government staff, businesspeople and performers.

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