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Heather du Plessis-Allan: Finally the borders are opening!

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 3 Feb 2022, 6:10pm
(Photo / Grant Bradley)
(Photo / Grant Bradley)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Finally the borders are opening!

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 3 Feb 2022, 6:10pm


I’m so pleased at the border announcement, with the news that double-jabbed kiwis will be able to start coming home without going through the MIQ hunger games lottery in three and a half weeks. 

Just to be clear. This isn’t about me. I’m having a baby in three weeks so I’m not travelling overseas for a long time.  

This is about other kiwis.  

This is going to change the lives of so many of them who have been effectively banned from coming home. 

The retired couple who are sleeping on a friend’s couch in Brisbane. Our government has cut off their pension.  

The 30 young pregnant women who’ve turned to Charlotte Bellis’ lawyer for help to come home. 

The mum I read about in the newspaper today, who is dying of lung cancer but who might now get to her son back in Brisbane one last time before she dies. 

If they’re double-jabbed they’ll be able to come home, skip MIQ and home isolate from 28 February. 

And then two weeks after that, double-jabbed kiwis in the rest of world will be able to do it too. 

I know this isn’t solving the border problem for everyone, we still have a huge battle on our hands, pushing the government to get out of the way completely. 

For example, why only let 5000 international students in from mid-April, in time for semester two?  

That’s a number so small and so late in the year to be a token gesture. 

Nearly 45K students have already flown into Australia for the start of semester one. 

Then there’s tourism. 

They’re allowing tourists from visa waiver countries like Australia and the UK in from July and non-visa waiver countries like China from October.  

But they’re still requiring the tourists to do up to 10 days of home isolation. 

Who’s going to fly to New Zealand if you have to sit in an Airbnb for a week and a half before you start your holiday?  

Clearly the government doesn’t understand yet that a lot of us just want them out of the way. They clearly see themselves primarily as our guardians. They’re not. The double jab vaccine and the booster are our guardians. They’re now just pains in the butt.  

I guess it’s going to take them a while to realise the mood has changed, and when they do realise that, hopefully they’ll move faster on the rest of the border changes. 

But for now, how good is it to know at least our people can come home without the government trying to stop them. 

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