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NZ’s MIQ system is a frickin’ shambles

For less than ideal personal family reasons I find myself needing to get to the UK and quick – however, ‘quick’ is not an option and nor would it appear are my chances of returning to New Zealand.

Yes I understand that we are in a global pandemic of epic proportions and as such there are certain limitation on what used to be a relatively simple travel exercise – a flight to the UK and back, but come on, flights are restricted and DOUBLE the price, Covid negative tests must be completed with near marine-like precision and booking an MIQ slot so I can return home, be with family, work, pay taxes – well, forget about it.


The MIQ system goes something like this. You register for an MIQ slot before booking a flight and obtain a ‘voucher’, however, all dates are blocked off right now and have also been paused.

My need to get back to the UK is rather paramount so I investigated booking a ‘flexible’ return flight regardless. This can be done (but as I said was double its usual cost), so book I did in the hope that I could log in over the subsequent few days and gain an MIQ slot – what a joke. There are NO slots.


Investigating further, there is an option for ‘Emergency’ slots and given the reason I am travelling I qualify for, however, I can ONLY apply 14 days out from my return date and therefore only apply when I am in the UK. I also understand that these slots are oversubscribed, so my chances are slim and slim is outta town.

So at this incredibly stressful time, I am left with a couple of options. Not go, which I’m afraid is not an option or go into the abyss with no idea of how, when or if I can return!

To my knowledge I am not on any government ‘watch list’, I’m not ‘holidaying’, I’m not travelling for business, I’m not… well you get the picture. I just want to do what any sane and normal person needs to do and then return and contribute, should this be so hard?

Seriously NZ MIQ, open more MIQ spaces, send me to a remote part of the country for a couple of weeks, give me an ankle bracelet like a criminal, or maybe simply trust me to do the right thing upon my return. Or just maybe, let me apply for an emergency slot BEFORE I leave to relieve some of the stress and anxiety I have during this shitty time.

I am vaccinated, will have a negative test before I hop on a plane and I will be masked, damn I’ll wear bubble wrap and even wear a Hazmat suit if needed – Please, just make MIQ simpler for both me and I’m sure, many others.

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