Coronavirus: Overseas Kiwis say it’s ‘easy to get out of New Zealand’, but not to come back
She tried to get a regular MIQ spot in all four online lobbies, but failed to get a voucher there.
Dr Romans lives alone. She said the Department of Health advised her to apply for the home self-isolation trial, but was not eligible because she lives in Wellington. The trial takes place only in Auckland and Christchurch.
Checkpoint has requested an interview with MBIE. He said no one was available. Instead, he sent a link to his web page for emergency allowance applications, with details on who could apply, when, and how.
The page states that meeting the criteria does not guarantee a room, and some categories of apps take precedence over others.
“You can imagine the stress this causes on families” – Grounded Kiwis
The Grounded Kiwis advocacy group told Checkpoint that MIQ’s emergency allowance system requires unrealistic levels of evidence and that less than 10% of claims are approved in some categories.
Spokesman Martin Newell said figures he obtained under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Official Information Act suggest emergency spaces are being left empty , despite hundreds of nominations.
MBIE said it was counting the number of requests rather than the people involved.
âFrom the data we received from MBIEâ¦ there was a total of 1,550 rooms based on the 350-by-bi-weekly allocation,â Newell told Checkpoint.
“In July and August, only 772 applications were approved out of a total of 3,500.”
He said that essentially the chances of an applicant getting an allowance are about one in five.
One of the more surprising details in the news was that only 5% of applications were approved under the category of New Zealand citizens or residents unable to legally stay in their current location without the ability to return home.
âSo if you worked somewhere, maybe you lost your job during the pandemic, and you have to go back to New Zealand, you can’t do it.
“And one of the challenges with this particular category that we’ve heard over and over is that [MBIE] requires people to get a letter from the country they are in, stating that they are not allowed to reside there, before they can return home.
âIn many cases they are laughed at, literally outside government offices for not providing such information.
âThe most successful category is category 2f, where 80% of all applications have been approved. The total number of applications is only 55 and what has been approved is 44.
âThese are the residents of Pacific countries who need access to urgent medical treatment that is provided in New Zealand and not available in their own country.
âCategory 1a had 897 requests between July 1 and September 6. Only 129 were approved.
“So that was the highest number of applications for a single category, with an approval rate of 14%.
âThe stories we hear about a lot of applicants in this scenario are that if there is a parent in the country, they turn down the application because they say there is already a parent who can care. of that dependent.
“You can imagine the stress this puts on families, for the parent who is far from their child.”
He said there had been other instances where a biological parent was in New Zealand but was not the child’s legal guardian, but the MBIE found that person was sufficient to take care of the child. the child.
“So this child is effectively entrusted to the care of someone from whom he has not been historically taken care of. [by]. “
The onus of providing a large amount of evidence prevents many potential applicants from trying to get an emergency allowance, Newell said.
âWe have had examples of cases where MBIE asks applicants toâ¦ obtain a letter from their [local] the embassy, ââsaying they have a mental illness.
“I am not an expert on the qualifications of the MFAT staffâ¦ but they are not psychiatrists and doctors, and they are qualified to give this kind of medical advice.”
In many emergency location requests, MBIE responds to people after 10 days and requests more information, Newell said.
“They are pushing back the schedule to approve some fairly urgent requests.”