Pfizer said Monday that the Covid-19 vaccine would be effective in children aged 5 to 11 years and would soon seek US approval for this age group. Video / AP
High immunization rates are one of the key tools for reopening the New Zealand border. This will be a lifeline for thousands of kiwis living abroad who are suffering from fierce competition for controlled isolation rooms. With about 3000 rooms released on Tuesday, these are just stories from Kiwi who wants to go home.
Hannah Fan (Australia)
Like many, Hannah fans, students at the University of Sydney, face significant uncertainty as they compete for MIQ spots.
The 19-year-old is approaching the end of her first year of studying science across the ditch, away from her Oakland-based parents and sister studying in Otago.
Her exams and college accommodation will end in early December, so fans won’t know where to live if they can’t get home.
“If I don’t go home, I’m not sure where I will live this summer.”
A fully vaccinated teenager canceled two flights to New Zealand earlier this year due to Australia’s volatile Covid-19 situation. She was behind about 18,000 people in her first MIMO room release on Monday using the virtual lobby system.
She was well aware that others were in a more complex situation and felt the need to increase the supply of MIQ.
“Where am I [lobby] The system came from, but 3000 rooms aren’t enough, I don’t think [the Government] Make it happen. “
Her mother, Susie, wants the government to be able to provide targeted support to students in the same predicament as her daughter.
“The government is very cross-fingered so that children studying in Australia can safely go home, and they can go home with their families at Christmas time. I’m thinking of doing it. “
Louis Ribiere-Male (Australia)
Ribiere-Male, another Kiwi at the University of Sydney, has no clear plans for what will happen in early December if she fails to secure her position at MIQ.
A 21-year-old law and international student hasn’t seen Auckland’s Farnau directly since early last year, and two return flights have been cancelled.
Riviere Marais says it was hard to see from a distance as his father’s business was blocked many times and his grandparents survived the cancer.
“I’m worried about living away from home and knowing that if something goes wrong, I can’t get on the first plane … it’s very difficult to live with. “
He accepts that if pushes come in, he can rely on his friends when college accommodation is closed.
However, teenagers who will soon be fully vaccinated say New Zealand should implement shorter isolation periods or self-isolation for immunized travelers to avoid the stress of 14 days trapped in hotels. say.
“I did it a year and a half ago, but I said I would never do it again. [but] I’ll do it because I can see my family. “
Sanjay Banerjee (Indonesia)
Sanjay Banerjee had no choice but to look for a job abroad when he became redundant in New Zealand early last year.
Working as an engineer at a remote power plant in South Sumatra, Indonesia meant leaving his wife Epsita and his 15-year-old daughter Meg behind in Auckland.
But the situation is even worse, as his employment and work visas expired in December and there is no guarantee that they will be extended if a future room release fails to book a MIQ spot.
“It’s great to be with my family on Christmas. It’s very stressful not to be back home,” he says.
The 54-year-old was out of bed at 2:30 am to participate in the release of the room last week. Waiting in the rain, Banerjee had to book a car to travel to an area with ample reception, but only behind the other 7,000 people in line.
“I don’t want to sound emotional, but I’m very depressed. This happened when I realized that 30,000 people were fighting for 3000 rooms.”
Banerjee’s frustration with MIQ’s supply shortage has grown over the months he was about to return, stating that alternative solutions are immediately needed to meet demand.
Tim Vaughn (Singapore):
34-year-old Tim Vaughn is anxious to return from Singapore after months of hard work as the father of three boys.
Farnau moved out of New Zealand early last year to grow Vaughn’s technology company. However, as the situation at Covid-19 in Singapore deteriorated, partner Kate and her children returned to Aotearoa in May this year.
Since June, Vaughan has been fighting the MIQ booking system to secure a spot, but it didn’t help.
“”[The boys] I can understand to some extent what’s going on, but it’s really confusing why the government doesn’t return Dad to the country, “he says.
The uncertainty that he has lived for months is exacerbated by the birthdays and special occasions he missed, and he is emotionally sacrificing it.
“Every night I set up my phone to put my 3-year-old kid to sleep, but it’s very difficult. The little milestone he achieved is that I’m not there.”
Vaughan considers the government’s lack of involvement with the private sector and its reluctance to create a priority-based MIQ booking system to be a serious failure.
“It’s obviously not working, so it requires far more lateral thinking than this blind commitment of the government to control things.”
Brian Kemp (Brunei)
Brunei’s English teacher Brian Kemp may face deportation if he fails to secure his position at MIQ by January.
A fully vaccinated 52-year-old child has worked in Southeast Asia for the past decade, primarily as an educator.
In July, Kemp and his Cambodian partner decided it was time to settle in Aotearoa and reunited a former Hamilton resident with two children and four brothers.
However, his employment and work visas are due to end in December and are now a race against time and could be deported from Brunei if Brunei fails to release future rooms. ..
“It’s obviously very stressful, I like being able to plan my life,” he said.
If Kemp couldn’t book a room, his employer gave him a few weeks grace period in January. However, if January comes and goes without any progress, Kemp may be forced to find a job in another country to avoid staying illegally in Brunei.
This is not the first time Kemp has been captured by Covid. Three separate flights to New Zealand to attend her daughter’s wedding in early March last year were canceled due to the worldwide spread of the virus.
After months of competing with tens of thousands of other returnees, former economics teachers are frustrated that no more is being done to increase the supply of MIQ.
“If it’s a real private company offering this service … you’ll find more supplies.”
Kemp wants the government to go through a priority-based selection process and cite friends whose visas expire in days or weeks.
“I’m lucky, I have time. These guys don’t have time.”
Marlene Stephenson (South Africa)
Marlene Stephenson wants his eight-year-old son to leave a clear memory of his New Zealand-based grandfather before it turns out to be too difficult to fight end-stage lung disease at the age of 87.
It’s been three years since a Johannesburg resident came home to see his older father, but she fears the worst will happen before she returns.
“I don’t know if [he has] 2 or 6 months, I don’t know. “
It is that uncertainty that prevents a 50-year-old child from achieving an emergency quota.
At the 23rd and 167th of the queue on Monday, Stevenson had no chance and crossed her fingers for the release of the room on Tuesday.
In addition to her predicament, there is a visa issue. Stevenson applied for permanent residence 18 months ago, but it’s still in process. The same applies to her temporary visa extension.
Stevenson states that he cannot return to South Africa if he departs for New Zealand before the application is confirmed.
“That’s a terrible situation.”
However, Stevenson says the fundamental result of the MIQ system is the negative sentiment that domestic kiwis have nurtured towards their overseas compatriots.
“I think many New Zealanders are against other New Zealanders, but that’s really sad.”
She believes that the lack of government approval for system issues will affect the future of voting for many in her position.
Mark Smith * (UK)
London-based businessman Mark Smith (not his real name) has little sympathy for the government’s MIQ issue.
The 45-year-old is eager to reunite with his family to deal with the recent loss of relatives and wants to go home 11 years later.
Smith firmly supports the priority-based MIQ booking system. This means that it is easy to build and that those who are permanently returning home will take precedence over vacationers, he says.
Fully vaccinated Smith also accuses the government of hesitating to consider the vaccination status of travelers-the MIQ system in England where vaccinated ones are given a shorter isolation period. To quote.
Worryingly, Smith mentions a friend who has abandoned attempts to book MIQ spots to avoid giving false hopes to his family.
“People are giving up even being able to go home, they’re like” it’s not an option “. “
Release of room on Tuesday
Approximately 3000 rooms in October, November and December will be released on September 28th. The online lobby opens at 5 pm (NZT). If you are looking for a room, it will take an hour to enter the lobby before the lobby closes and there is a line.
MIQ co-head Megan Main acknowledged the feelings of those who missed last week.
“We know that there are thousands of people who missed the release on Monday, and we understand that this is a difficult and frustrating time for many who want to go home.
“The demand of more than 31,000 people helps us better understand the number of people who want to travel back to New Zealand.
“We want to reassure people that there are still thousands of vouchers available by the end of the year. We are working with airlines on the early 2022 schedule to start releasing more vouchers.”
She defended the lobby style as an improvement to the previous system, but said it was not a “silver bullet.”
“If there are more people who want to book than places, the supply and demand problem will not be solved.
“Unfortunately, many people miss a room during periods of high demand.”
Room releases continue on a regular basis, but the number of rooms released each time is different.
90% of projects: Some kiwis fighting the MIQ system to return home are giving up
Source90% of projects: Some kiwis fighting the MIQ system to return home are giving up