ZB

Heather du Plessis-Allan: The Government's MIQ story is falling apart

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Apr 2022, 4:27pm
(Photo / Dean Purcell)
(Photo / Dean Purcell)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: The Government's MIQ story is falling apart

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Apr 2022, 4:27pm

The news out this afternoon is that the Grounded Kiwis group has won its court battle against the Government over MIQ. 

The thing to take away from this is that the Government’s MIQ story is falling apart. 

It’s getting harder and harder to believe that MIQ was the right thing or the best thing for Kiwis. 

The High Court today hasn’t ruled that MIQ itself was unfair.  

It’s only ruled that in some cases late last year it unjustifiably stopped some Kiwis coming home, and that there should've and could’ve been a better system than the hunger games lottery. 

So, the overriding message is: it could've been done better. 

Now, that’s not a knockout blow on MIQ by any means, but it isn’t pretty only a week after the revelation that we actually didn’t need MIQ before Christmas, we didn’t need to keep ex-pat Kiwis out. 

Last Tuesday we found out that both Ashley Bloomfield and Caroline McElnay signed off on advice to the Government that MIQ was ‘no longer justified’ because of how much Delta we had in the country. 

Especially on days like November 16 when we had 222 delta cases in New Zealand… and none at the border. 

None of this probably surprises you. 

Not if you were half awake and watching what was happening during the Delta outbreak.  

We all knew MIQ was pointless then… this only proves we were right. 

Especially if we felt that keeping Kiwis locked out of New Zealand for Christmas was a self-serving, cynical political decision by Labour. 

Personally, I think it was a decision made by a government wanting to remain popular with people freaked out by Covid, and they put their own popularity ahead of Kiwis who wanted to come home. 

The good news for the Government is that this probably won't’ hurt it politically.  

MIQ is yesterday's story and Labour has already taken the political knock here. 

I think much of the reason they’re now behind National in the polls is that many voters wised up to the cruelty of MIQ and realized ‘be kind’ is just a slogan. 

They don’t actually act on it. 

But today’s news and Friday’s news means that it’ll become harder and harder for Labour to crow about what a success MIQ was. 

Given how cruel it now looks… it’s probably better for Labour to treat MIQ as a dirty word and avoid talking about in in public.