ZB

MIQ loophole for Dubai Expo 2020 workers identified through NZTE email

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Oct 2021, 6:13pm
Whanganui River iwi members perform the tāngaengae ritual at dawn in the New Zealand Pavilion in Dubai. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Whanganui River iwi members perform the tāngaengae ritual at dawn in the New Zealand Pavilion in Dubai. (Photo / NZ Herald)

MIQ loophole for Dubai Expo 2020 workers identified through NZTE email

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Oct 2021, 6:13pm

A loophole in the troubled MIQ has been identified after an email was sent out by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise three days ago.

The door's being opened for up to a dozen people to come back to New Zealand and stay in managed isolation if they book for lunch or dinner at the New Zealand Pavilion at the Dubai Expo.

They don't have to begin their journey in New Zealand, they can travel from other countries to Dubai, they don't even need to be engaged in the Expo nor too they need to have any commercial activity in Dubai.

They have to be an export customer which most of us are likely to be.

They have to return to New Zealand on an Emirates flight leaving on November the 21st.

That's led to at least one business leader who has been trying to get back into New Zealand from a place other than Dubai, to commit to fly to Dubai for lunch. Fortunately for him, he managed to get a slot in the ballot and didn't need the lunch offer after all.

The Government has already ring-fenced 400 spots in managed isolation for businesspeople, Government staff and performers to attend the expo which opened earlier this month.

A total of 401 rooms will be filled by returnees from Expo 2020 Dubai between this month and March next year.

The dozen rooms being made available for the flight from Dubai comes at a time when tens of thousands of desperate Kiwis are in the lobbies waiting to strike the ballot for available MIQ rooms.

And other Kiwis have spoken out at their fury and upset about not being able to secure a room to be home in time for Christmas, or to visit terminally ill relatives.

National's Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says it's ridiculous and makes us look like a laughing stock.  

"There are business people desperate to get overseas to save their businesses from ruin but can't because the MIQ system's a dismal failure.

"If you can't afford to book a lunch in Dubai the Government doesn't care about you, is there any wonder why Kiwis see this as a joke?" he asks.

At the time the rooms were made available to Expo travellers in early August, Act Party leader David Seymour likened the move to Government favouritism, which disadvantaged average New Zealanders.

"There's no way you can explain that it's fair the needs of someone going to Expo 2020 are more than the needs of someone who hasn't seen their kid in a year," he said.

"Why should they not have the same level of importance?"

Expo 2020 Dubai has been designated as a major event by the Government after it provided $62 million for attending the event including building a new pavilion.

About 600 representatives from private sponsors including Fonterra, NZ Trade and Enterprise staff and performers and entertainers will be in Dubai as part of the New Zealand representation.