'Like a merry-go-round': Kiwi cricketer disheartened by MIQ virtual lobby

Author
Vita Molyneux and Adam Cooper, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Sep 2021, 1:47PM
Logan van Beek. (Photo / Photosport)
Logan van Beek. (Photo / Photosport)

'Like a merry-go-round': Kiwi cricketer disheartened by MIQ virtual lobby

Author
Vita Molyneux and Adam Cooper, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Sep 2021, 1:47PM

A Kiwi cricketer in the Netherlands says New Zealand should consider loosening quarantine restrictions to give some hope to the tens of thousands of people waiting to return home.

On Monday, Logan van Beek woke up early and jumped online to sit in a virtual lobby for spots in MIQ. He's been living in the Netherlands since April, and is set to play in October's Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

However, once that concludes, van Beek wants to return home to Wellington for the summer season of domestic cricket.

He told the Herald he had already signed in to the virtual lobby and was ready to get his ticket home – but swiftly realised the reality of the situation.

"When the time came, I was 15,422 in the line. It was a bit anti-climactic so I spent the next two hours trying to work out how fast the queue was going but obviously there's only 3000 spots available."

The lobby was designed to "make booking more transparent and will create a more level playing field for people trying to access the booking site" because there is no limit on how many people can wait in the lobby.

But van Beek says the new system is a "merry go round".

"We're going to be going round for a while, so there is a bit of uncertainty."

He says during the time he's been living in the Netherlands he has seen life return almost to normal – and New Zealand should consider doing the same.

"I'd hope in the next month or so if you are vaccinated you could do home quarantine, then there would be a bit more trust in New Zealand's citizens at least to let them fly home."

He says there are other people in much worse situations than him, and he doesn't want special treatment - but he would love for life in New Zealand to progress how it has in Europe.

"Life has gone on in Europe - people are vaccinated for the most part, they hope people make good decisions around hygiene their respect for others by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated - I'd love for common sense [in New Zealand] to evolve."

Head of MIQ Megan Main is reminding New Zealanders that the new system is not a "first in, first serve" approach.

"It doesn't matter when people arrived in the lobby in that one hour period between 8 and 9am - everyone has an equal chance of getting through to try to secure a room."