2020-11-05 23:59:45 UTC
Recently my daughter made a decision to move back home from the Gold
Coast with her 12-year-old son after exiting a relationship and not
being able to find rental accommodation. She has stable employment
but landlords in that area don't rent to single Kiwis because the
employment situation in Australia is viewed as unstable and Kiwis have
no unemployment benefits to speak of. So Landlords are choosing
double-income Australians instead and there is no shortage of them
seeking rental accommodation. Her employer offered her a 3-month
contract to 'work from home' so she has at least some income, this in
response to her termination notice. She bough a work-spec laptop
before leaving and the IT department set it up for remote access.
My daughter made her decision in early October and traveled to
Auckland last weekend. She will stay with us in Northland. She
booked her airline tickets then got her MIQ voucher. On the plane
before arrival in Auckland she was advised that she would be in MIQ in
Christchurch. There was some confusion going through customs and
immigration then on to a charter flight to Christchurch. It was a
stressful trip in distressed personal circumstances, arriving in
Christchurch to a small studio unit which is a bit cramped with 2
single beds for Mum and Son.
Both have now settled in and adjusted to their MIQ accommodation. The
internet connection is good enough for her to work and they are both
enjoying the solitude of living on their own compared to what they
left behind. While the MIQ environment is rigid, with very little
exercise space, the food choices offer variety with provision for 3
meals and 2 snacks daily being more than they need. Meal choices are
made week-by-week. She has been told that the return flight details
will be advised to her about 72 hours in advance, so we will have
around 3 days notice of when she will be arriving in Auckland.
She has found defence and hotel staff to be very helpful and pleasant.
This is not a resort-level break but neither is it a prison-like
experience. She and her son just need to get through it - they both
tested negative on day 3 so they should be out on time.
Their experience is that with few exceptions, MIQ is well-organised
and vastly superior to that experienced by Aussies she knows returning
to Oz (all paid MIQ). Another reason for her to be grateful for the
opportunity she has taken.
My wife's brother - a long-time USA resident but Kiwi borne, with a
holiday home in Northland, made the trek home in August after getting
permission for his USA-resident wife to come with him. Their
experience of MIQ in Auckland was slightly better accommodation but
otherwise much the same as my daughter.
So the MIQ system is working well and a pleasant-enough experience for
those that I know that have gone through it. Clearly there are
capacity problems currently and there are likely to be operational
problems from time to time, but core operation is of an acceptable
standard and basic infrastructure is in place.