RNZ’s weird take on MIQ

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 20th, 2022 - 93 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, health, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

For the past day Radio New Zealand has been pushing a shock horror take that Ashley Bloomfield and Caroline McElnay advised the Government to loosen up the MIQ system but the Government delayed this decision.

From Katie Todd at RNZ:

Top health officials agreed in November last year that Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) was “no longer justified” for most returnees, according to a document the Ministry of Health tried to keep secret.

It took another three and a half months, almost 40,000 MIQ stays and seven voucher lotteries before most incoming travellers could enter freely.

At the time the document was signed off, 80 percent of the country’s eligible population had been double-vaccinated and Delta was spreading in the community.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay wrote to Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield seeking his agreement to an updated Public Health Risk Assessment.

She wanted it to reflect that “the risk posed by international arrivals transmitting Covid-19 is no longer higher than the domestic transmission risk of Covid-19”.

McElnay asked Bloomfield if he agreed the risk was no higher, and if so: “Managed Isolation for border returnees would no longer be justified on public health grounds as the ‘default’ for people travelling to New Zealand,” the document said.

Bloomfield did agree, and he also agreed to brief Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, and start creating a plan for making ‘self-isolation’ the default requirement for returnees.

The memo noted the government might need to speed up its plan for a phased easing of border restrictions in the first quarter of 2022.

Yet it was not until 2 March, 15 weeks later, before the government lifted MIQ requirement for inbound travellers.

RNZ then did the usual, interviewed Grounded Kiwis representatives and people whose wedding had to be postponed.  Here is an example of what we have been subject to:

Neil Protheroe found himself unable to return to New Zealand from France in January, caught amongst the huge demand for MIQ spaces.

He said the ministry’s memo added “insult to injury” for thousands of people who were unable to travel.

“It’s salt in the wound of those who’ve been really badly treated and in some cases, traumatised, by the whole thing,” he said.

[Grounded Kiwis spokesperson Martin] Newall said it would “point to a breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act for those people who wanted to come home in that period.”

People who paid for MIQ after November should be entitled to ask for their money back, Newall said.

Did the Government delay changes to the MIQ system way beyond what was reasonable?  The timeline is all important.  The advice was signed off on November 15, 2021.  Dr Dean Knight has helpfully provided a copy of the memo in this tweet.

Bloomfield and McElnay did not propose an immediate halt to MIQ but rather a transition.  As Knight concludes:

On November 24, 2021 the Government announced a transition away from MIQ.

And on that day something else happened.  The details are in this RNZ article:

When South Africa reported a new variant of Covid-19 to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 24 November, 2021, it sparked a chain of events that quickly led to Omicron – the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet – becoming a household name.

Two days after being alerted to its existence, the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group named the new variant Omicron (or lineage B.1.1.529 in scientific circles) and classified it a Variant of Concern (VOC).

But what exactly is a VOC and how concerned should we be at Omicron’s spread?

Will existing vaccines against Covid-19 be effective in slowing Omicron’s transmission and how will its spread affect hospitalisation and mortality rates?

Will it get to New Zealand? And if it does, how might that impact the government’s planned international border reopening in 2022?

On December 13, 2021 Jacinda Ardern said at a post-Cabinet briefing that ministers would receive further advice on the Omicron variant in early January to ensure the decision to ditch MIQ requirements for some travellers remained the correct one.  At that time Omicron was ravaging parts of Australia and the Government’s decision to keep the virus out for as long as possible was the correct one.

Chris Bishop was interviewed this morning by Suzy Ferguson.  At one stage she asked him why he was not angry about this and he fudged his answer.  I am pretty sure his embarrassment was because he knows that the decision to delay implementation of the MIQ wind back was the right one especially given the emergence of Omicron.

RNZ’s take on this issue is severely deficient.  The framing is one sided.  The full context has not been clearly expressed, that the advice to wind back MIQ was accepted and publicly announced at the time but the emergence of Omicron caused the Government to reconsider its position.

Judging by Twitter I suspect there will be a few complaints about this.  The concept of balance appears to be lacking so far.

93 comments on “RNZ’s weird take on MIQ ”

  1. Patricia Bremner 1

    Micky, after reporting this, the reporters were stunned the texts and emails were "all one way"

    They then read out three. The comments were, "1.omicron", 2." keeping NZ safe", 3. "stop listening to the few Whiners."

    It was next an item on the news accompanied by a "This affected me" story. RNZ are biased. No question about that.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Agree Patricia. This looks like another attempted stitch up job by the Natzo dirty tricks Dept. aided by NZ National supporters in Ministries and RNZ.

    Micky has well documented a lot of the negative behaviour of National politicians and party members during the pandemic, going back to Simon Bridges “car trip”, Michelle Boag and all the unsavoury rest of it.

  3. Listened to this on RNZ and agree entirely Micky. The whole context of the need to increase vaccination rates and then the sudden rise of Omicron is missing in the reporting. Instead of the health agenda, the entitled traveler's agenda is being pushed.

    Really this is a non-story (Stuff for instance is giving little prominence to this issue) but there seems to be an editor at RNZ pushing an anti Labour line on this issue (and so probably others). Not good enough.

    Patricia is right above-the email feedback to Morning Report attacks the way RNZ is reporting this issue.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      “Entitled traveller’s agenda” is a good way to put it Git. There were several million at least who were never going to avail themselves of an MIQ stay. Though a number of those including me, absolutely valued the Government’s attempts to keep a lid on virus numbers.

      Be useful to have a media researcher statistically check out RNZ on COVID coverage. As a daily listener, during the COVID period what I heard was the petit bourgeois, SME, middle class, well stocked pantry–but doing it hard–perspective, day after day.

      Every little move to “opening up” being breathlessly covered by RNZ–what's the atmosphere like? is everyone feeling good now the airport is open–oooo Kapa Haka! welcome signs…it must be great gushes the presenter.

      The working class experience rarely surfaced. People stuck in small spaces, affected by the digital divide and not enough cash…while middle class were offered a second tier benefit beyond the dreams of someone in Kaikohe, wow partner can work!

      RNZ needs a good sort out.

    • felix 3.2

      As citizens we do have certain entitlements, entering the country is one.

      The MIQ lottery system has been an immoral and ill-conceived disaster from the beginning. It's exactly the kind of anti-human bullshit we should expect from a National government, not a Labour one.

      • Louis 3.2.1

        Rubbish. MIQ saved countless lives.

        • felix

          And therefore there was no possible better way to do it? FFS

          • Bearded Git

            Felix-how would you have prevented Alpha and earlier variants getting into the country without MIQ in the period 3/20 to 7/21?

            This MIQ policy gave NZ over a year of "normal" behaviour where we could go to concerts, cricket matches, pubs, restaurants, art galleries etc etc knowing full well that we were safe from catching Covid. The economy did very well in this period, despite the loss of tourist income.

            RNZ and the Herald should hang their heads in shame the way that they have pushed the "entitled travelers agenda" for the (usually rich or fairly rich) few while ignoring the social, health and economic benefits to the wider population from MIQ.

          • Louis

            Haven't seen you come up with a "better way" felix.

      • mickysavage 3.2.2

        If it was not for a once in a century global pandemic I would tend to agree with you.

        • felix

          Times of great trouble are not an opportunity to lower standards and go against principle. Quite the opposite.

          • mpledger

            If we had waited for a gold-plaited system then we'd still be waiting for people to get threw MIQ.

            The system had to be as secure, simple and as fair as possible within the resources that were available – and the constraint was human resources – something you can't buy off the shelf.

            In hindsight there could have been things done to make it fairer but 1) that was in hindsight after seeing what lengths people would go to manipulate the system and 2) would have made the system even more complex.

            • felix

              You do realise that "within the resources that were available" hasn't applied since we decided that when a problem is big enough to take seriously we are prepared to literally shut the country down and pay everyone to stay home?

              So now that the resources are not a relevant constraint, the only question is whether the problem is serious enough. You might find this helpful next time your leaders tell you, for example, that they're doing everything possible to address climate change or housing affordability. For example.

          • Louis

            Saving lives is is lowering the standards and being unprincipled felix?

            • McFlock

              perfection is often the enemy of the good. Apparently we should have had some way of keeping the pandemic away for almost two years while causing no problems for anyone.

              • felix

                Yeah well if you frame every choice as being between unattainable perfection and semi-functional garbage you can make garbage look reasonable every time. But that's your framing, not mine, and it's a dishonest non-sequitur which I wish I could say was beneath you.

                • McFlock

                  "Semi-functional garbage" that helped keep us safe while most of the rest of the planet fudged their numbers of dead.

                  Sure, if you could come up with a workable alternative or point to someone who knows what they're actually talking about, maybe we could see if you have a point.

                  As it is, maybe the least bad option was what you call "garbage". Still looks better than letting covid wander in with every international flight. If a workable option between the two occurs to you before the next pandemic, please tell everyone. 🙄

            • felix

              Current system is the only way of saving lives Louis?Fucking spare me this nonsense you moron.

              • Louis

                No need to get abusive because you're floundering felix. The system, that was set up from scratch and was constantly reviewed, saved countless lives and you haven't come up with a better alternative.

  4. Cricklewood 4

    In refusing the initial oia request until the ombudsman forced the release, it made it look as if there was something to hide. Prob a lesson in that somewhere.

    • Ross 4.1

      Yes, there is no mention in Micky’s piece about why this information wasn’t in the public domain last year. The Official Information Act is only 40 years old, and some people are still coming to grips with it. If the Government was content with its response to advice from the Health Ministry, it could have said so at the time.

      • Temp ORary 4.1.1

        That does seem to be the main reason that RNZ is going so hard on this – they got inconvenienced by the delay in OIA request, so now they are returning that inconvenience to the MoH. Which seems very human, but maybe not the best strategy by the reporters.

        However, the government needs to own this, and improve their OIA protocols and funding. No Right Turn hasn't specifically addressed this instance, but do frequently discuss the flaws in the OIA system.

        Hipkins seems to be using a lot of weasel words in passing blame to others.

        Asked if his office was aware the document was being withheld from journalists, Hipkins said he couldn’t answer that question. “We get a lot of information requests, and I don’t personally review every single one of them,” he said.


      • lprent 4.1.2

        I have been pointing out to whining idiots like yourself all of this year that…

        1. In August last year the government outlined a plan for reconnecting to the world based on vaccinations

        2. On the 6th of October last year, Hipkins announced that the government were looking at a transition out of lock downs post Delta.

        ​​​​​​​Our strategy to date of keeping COVID-19 out and vigorously pursuing cases that do emerge has served us very well, but we can’t keep doing that forever, and new challenges, like the emergence of the Delta variant, has made it harder than it was before. As the Prime Minister said on Monday, getting back to zero cases of COVID-19 in the community is now unlikely. We need to prepare for a gradual transition to the next phase of our COVID-19 response

        2. In 24th November last year Hipkins announced that they would transition to opening up the border and gave a broad timetable based on Delta.

        Today, I am confirming that fully vaccinated New Zealanders will find it easier to come home from January, and foreign nationals follow from April onwards, as we remove the requirement for managed isolation and quarantine for most travellers arriving into New Zealand. There will still be carefully managed processes for recent arrivals, including a mandatory seven-day self-isolation period for people who are not required to enter MIQ. The three steps will be: from 11.59 p.m. on Sunday, 16 January next year, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers can travel to New Zealand from Australia without staying in managed isolation or quarantine; from 11.59 p.m. on Sunday, 13 February, fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to New Zealand from all other countries; and then from 30 April onwards, fully vaccinated foreign travellers will be able to travel here, and this reopening step will happen in a staged way.

        Elsewhere in that press conference there were several caveats on what would cause them to shift that timetable to longer or shorted.

        3. That the Omicron variant showing up in December delayed the transition by a few months, while the government evaluated what it meant to us based on what it did offshore. Here is the checklist.

        What in the hell is different in that from what was advised by the memo you're looking at.

        Absolutely frigging nothing. So why is the refused OIA of any significance? Neither you nor some of the media have explained that. It just looks like you are all too dimwitted or stupid to have looked at what was announced.

        Refusing OIAs where there is no particular public benefit and wandering through the commissioner happens all of the time. I haven't looked at the grounds for refusal in this case – but it appears to have been because the advice was preliminary, and taken over by events. Which somehow is only mentioned at the end of the RNZ article.

        In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the public health risk assessment was at a "specific point in time", before the arrival of Omicron.

        The advice had to be "externally reviewed by experts in the relevant fields" before it was "formally considered", and the border rules changed, it said.

        "During December and early January 2022 the MIQ system continued to play an important role in managing the arrival of an increasing number of border cases with Omicron, and delaying community transmission of the variant in New Zealand as we increased vaccination levels in the population."

        The staged and managed removal of MIQ requirements was delayed by the Omicron outbreak, it said.

        Basically the article from RNZ is fundamentally piss-poor journalism because it never mentions the specific reasons given by the MoH for refusing the OIA. The entire article is meaningless because of that.

  5. Patricia Scott 5

    I totally agree with the previous comments. Misleading presentation of news items followed up by interviews with disgruntles people is becoming a regular feature of RNZ news. I believe it warrants investigation by the broadcasting Standards Authority.

    • Heather Grimwood 5.1

      To Pat Scott @ 5 : I agree with you wholeheartedly. Indeed I only watch 'news' on Radio NZ or TV these days to assess the situation to which you refer.

      Sadly, the culture seems now to be the norm requiring the learning of critical thinking to feature hugely in the education of our young.

    • felix 5.2

      I agree, what's the point of even having a publicly owned broadcaster if it doesn't offer unquestioning fealty to every govt policy and utterance?

      The more enlightened states of China and Russia wouldn't tolerate such insubordination and I don't see why we should either..

      • Heather Grimwood 5.2.1

        To Felix at 5.2 : not sure who you're replying to…if me, I certainly didn't say public broadcasting should report only the pro-government line.

        I maintain that critical thinking was a very necessary component in the education of the young.

      • DS 5.2.2

        Well, it is noticeable that the media never queries whether the Government moved too fast with reopening. Their particular criticism always came from a pro-virus direction.

        • felix

          No-one on earth is "pro-virus" and speaking in such terms makes you sound quite deranged.

          • DS

            "Pro-virus" is just a more honest label for "Let it Rip" and "End all restrictions immediately."

            In short, the majority of the NZ media.

            • felix

              I don't think it's honest in any way. Quite the opposite in fact, I think you're using it to dishonestly frame your political opponents as anti-human, a tactic which has a less than proud history to say the least.

  6. Reality 6

    Have to agree RNZ can be very remiss about balanced reporting. The entitled travellers agenda and the entitled hospitality sector seem to be always given top billing over any other consideration. Given Omicron was rampant overseas in late 2021/early 2022 the Government was rightly cautious.

  7. fender 7

    RNZ has become increasingly negative over the last couple of years. I wonder if this reflects an underlying opposition to the merger with TVNZ. Checkpoint has become unlistenable with the constant negative whining by the screeching voice of Lisa Owen. Her interviewing style is of the toxic gotcha variety. Strangely enough the only time this changes is when she allows the yapping ACT buffoon to spread his misinformation. If she has a crush on this little twerp she should try harder to hide it because she's coming across as ridiculous.

    • tc 7.1

      Ridiculous indeed. A pale imitation of what actual journalism is about from our public broadcaster.

      Its like griffins still there with the sprays from nact they hardly ever get pulled up on.

    • rod 7.2

      I may be wrong but i think RNZ changed to RNZ National when John Key was PM.

      So there you go. Nothing to see here.

      • fender 7.2.1

        Lol, there have been times I've wondered if there's confusion over what National in their title represents.

        The only segment that's as good as ever is Mediawatch, I never miss it, Colin and Hayden do an excellent job IMO.

  8. Anne 8

    What happened to the journo (forgotten her name) who turned down an offer to return home earlier this year cos it didn't suit her, then moaned loudly to the media when she was unable to get a ticket when it did suit her? She said she was going to take the government to court. Not heard a word since.

    To my way of thinking that was the ultimate in entitlement.

  9. Reality 9

    Good to hear Grant Robertson defending MIQ's being continued because of Omicron. Guess who would have been jumping up and down and complaining even more than usual if fewer people wanted to go to or were well enough to visit cafes and restaurants during the summer.

  10. Mike the Lefty 10

    MIQ was badly handled.

    The way it was set up was something of a lolly scramble. It would have been a lot better to have had a set waiting list whereby someone would move up in the queue until they gained a spot, with some spots set apart for emergencies and special cases.

    But most of the complaints are based on hindsight, and wouldn't it be marvellous if we all had hindsight when we needed it?

    • Nic the NZer 10.1

      I disagree that this would have been more effective.

      If you think of it as a queueing system similar to loading people to an airplane, the most efficient loading policy is not in seat order. I think this is similar as peoples travel plans don't match in time frame when they apply for MIQ. The likely outcome of people with more wait time being prioratised is they slow applications which are ready to proceed.

      • felix 10.1.1

        Predicating your solutions on the assumption that everything has to be run through the commercial air travel sector is exactly how you end up with the miq fiasco.

        • Mike the Lefty

          Agreed that a good MIQ system would have been hard to do because of looming omicron and the reluctance of world airlines to commit themselves in a situation where rules were different throughout the world and constantly changing.

          It goes back to what I said earlier, so many complaints made in hindsight and of course National are the masters of policy in hindsight.

        • Nic the NZer

          Your saying MIQ should not have applied to air travel?

          • felix

            No I'm saying the sovereign government of a nation is not required to work within the constraints of the commercial air travel sector.

            • Nic the NZer

              It's not clear how to interpret that, since you went off on a tangent. Either

              a) That isn't what has happened, or what I have in any way discussed.


              b) I am yet to see this new transporter technology.

    • lprent 10.2

      It would have been a lot better to have had a set waiting list whereby someone would move up in the queue until they gained a spot, with some spots set apart for emergencies and special cases.

      I believe that was exactly how it was set up originally. The problem at that point and later was that the airlines were cancelling flights all over the place. So when people were unable to fly at their place in the queue, they lost their place so someone else could take it. That was a effective system – in my view they should have kept to that.

      But there was an awfully large amount of whining by people who kept losing plane spots.

      The lottery system was put in place (in my view) almost entirely at the behest of the people missing flights to give them a 'equal' chance. Most of those were the silly buggers who either didn't get back early enough because they weren't observant or prepared. Or because they were daft enough to fly offshore in the middle of pandemic.

      The MIQ problem was that there were a limited number of places in MIQ because of the resources and facilities available. MIQ was there to protect the population inside NZ – which it did remarkably well while the population wasn't fully vaccinated.

      Trying to retroactively figure out a better queuing system is futile, simply because there is no good system with limited spots and variable random blockages in a long pipeline of multiple journeys. This is a fundamental problem in operations research and one that can't be solved without having buffers – which for MIQ would have been effectively holding pens for transient passengers in offshore airport hubs. My masters major was in OR.

      You can see exactly the same scenario being played out in the supply chains of goods at present. That has been going on for two years now, and is not expected to revert back to normal until 1st quarter 2024 at the earliest – assuming that nothing else becomes a disruptive issue in the meantime.

      • RedLogix 10.2.1

        You can see exactly the same scenario being played out in the supply chains of goods at present. That has been going on for two years now, and is not expected to revert back to normal until 1st quarter 2024 at the earliest – assuming that nothing else becomes a disruptive issue in the meantime.

        Exactly. The global vendor I work for is in the same boat as everyone else. Heartbreaking after all the work done to achieve record orders and now we have broken deliveries to deal with.

        The strict method we have to handle this is FIFO, with only a handful of well defined exceptions such as production line down. It is the only fair and reasonable method that everyone accepts and it is how MIQ should have been handled all along.

        • Nic the NZer

          FIFO works for item delivery, it clearly doesn't for MIQ spaces. This is because the MIQ spaces are not interchangeable, they are connected with arrival dates for which the MIQ applicants should already have a flight booked. Applying a strict FIFO order will clearly lead to empty MIQ spots which could otherwise be avoided.

          Without knowing the details of your work I will suggest they don't complete the orders in FIFO order either but only after matching them with items ordered.

          • RedLogix

            I realise that, but no system can ensure MIQ is always 100% full if flights get cancelled at too short a notice.

            Cancelled flights with FIFO is pretty simple just promote the next people down on the list who do have a flight into the next MIQ spots and let the people who missed their spot take a place at the top of the list until they do get a flight.

            • felix

              Or just fly a few jets around the world picking people up until everyone who wants to come home is home. I mean, if you can shut the country down and pay everyone to stay home you can surely buy a few planes and give the air force something to do while you're at it.

  11. newsense 11

    Many of those pushing the MIQ story are enjoying the hospitality of Boris’s London, home to money without morals, and life and deaths without restriction. Also home to elite entitlement dressed up as the concern of the battlers. Imagine if the army had to be called in to drive trucks in the supply chain here!

    What this is suggesting is that the government is not sovereign. Mental.

    To answer Dean Knight:

    Ardern is heading back overseas where those in governments by and large have enormous respect for how NZ handled the pandemic. Positive coverage will occur and they’re concerned the opposite of the Wellington protests may happen. Why Jacinda is a star will be remembered.

    It’s an attempt to get another negative story out there. It’s a quantity game. Flood with negativity.

    Columnists Prebble, Pagani, Joyce, Taylor, Morton and co have again appeared in the papers, some of them out of deep crypts indeed.

    I’m sure some are counting their chickens and fighting for a slice of a very unbaked pie.

    The perspective I’ve rarely seen as mentioned by Tim Watkin, Gordon Campbell, Mediawatch and others is that of those protected. There was a spate of belligerent, Oh no I couldn’t do a job I had to be vaccinated for stories, but very little on the people who could work as they were vulnerable and their colleagues protected them.

    The same here about the couple of crucial months preparation for omicron. It protected the vulnerable.

    If you assert a freedom to be unvaccinated and involved in risky behavior, it threatens my freedom to work and live. Even if you’re just asserting that freedom for some hypothetical other person…

    But as I’ve said I think this is a perspective that’s too late to add to that narrative. Can’t assume restrictions had important rationale. This is an attempt to get another punch in after the bell. Pile in some more negativity. A weak appearance of a gotcha.
    The attempt is to control the history of MIQ and say it was a) unnecessary b) unpopular and c) unsuccessful and all the fault of the…,

    when MIQ was part of a fairly successful and cautious series of measures responding to the day to day reality of the pandemic.

    It isn’t as if they were sent to fight a war in Europe, just to wait a couple more months before coming home.
    Those who complain the most always end up with the most store credit: see the sympathy for Djokovic ahead of the refugees who’ve spent 10 years in purgatory in the same hotel he was in.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I agree that this specific story is a beat up.

    On the positive side though, it looks like the media are actually asking some questions now about the government's Covid response, even if this specific issue has been over-egged.

    It seemed to me that they were just largely accepting the government lines without much question earlier on.

    Probably just a symptom of the standards to which journalism has dropped in NZ. There seems to be very little in the way of investigative journalism these days. Certainly very little at the standard that it is done on the likes of DW, France 24, or BBC.

    • Nic the NZer 12.1

      As the resident expert in institutional phychology, how much of RNZs budget should the govt fund before these stories stop? If 100% doesn't turn them into Pravda does the govt need to increase this to 110% of funding or must they go to the maximum 507% of funding level?

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        I guess the bigger question is, what does it say about the state of things when the government's media poodle is asking inconvenient questions.

        • KJT


          It was an eye opener watching the press conferences

          And then watching the "Political reporters" and "media Personalities" blatantly lying about what was said.

          You wonder how much was jealousy, at Adern giving them a Master class on effective and professional communication.

          • Anne

            You wonder how much was jealousy, at Adern giving them a Master class on effective and professional communication.

            Its plain, unadulterated jealousy. It turns those afflicted with the condition into very nasty specimens of humanity. The male specimens can't cope with a highly intelligent, competent and articulate young woman prime minister. The female specimens can't compete with her so find it necessary to cast aspersions on every facet of her life.

            Its a good reminder for the rest of us to remain alert to the fact these types exist in our media and elsewhere and should be treated accordingly – that is with disdain and disbelief.

      • Craig H 12.1.2

        RNZ's budget currently is 100% government-funded with a mix of direct funding and contestable broadcasting funds.

    • KJT 12.2

      The Media proved to be a bunch of ignorant, arrogant and useless twits on the whole.

      Who were determined to undermine and bag the Government response, no matter what they did.

      Watching the afternoon press conferences exposed how much most of our media lie, mis-represent and mis-understand out of ignorance and bad faith.

      This is just the latest on a long line exposing the lack of competence and lack of integrity in the media.

      There was never going to be a satisfactory way of doing MIQ, for those caught overseas. That was never possible.

      If we had reacted like the UK, on a population basis, we would have expected around 13000 COVID deaths over two years.

      Too most of the media and National ACT twits, this would have just been "unfortunate"collateral damage" for their "freedom".

  13. RNZ is becoming more and more infantilised and one sided with no attempt whatsoever to analyse any story whatsoever

  14. joe90 14

    Let me guess – more than a group of concerned Kiwis abroad,


  15. pat 15

    RNZ are in the ratings game just like everyone else.

  16. newsense 16

    Let me guess- we’ll get another of these apologies after the election? Can’t recall many of them to right of centre politicians and certainly none previously from RNZ that I can recall. Usually the Herald tbh.

    RNZ’s Delta/omicron confusion beat up continues with a follow up story.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    I just wish the media would actually start doing some good investigative journalism into more meaty questions around Covid:

    For instance, given the delays in PCR testing, why wasn't Rako Science included in the mix to extend the availability of more reliable PCR tests?

    Why was there such a shortage of RAT tests that the government had to take unconventional action to get sufficient supply for their own purposes? Was it that international demand was so high? Or was it because someone didn't place the orders early enough?

    There probably does need to be a full enquiry at the end of all this. I am sure there are lots of "learnings" that can be taken for the next time we have to deal with a pandemic.

  18. DS 18

    The media always hated MIQ – it did, after all, represent everything they despised, in that it put saving lives over shallow convenience.

    As we now experience hundreds of deaths, the priority really should be asking why they were so obsessed with giving oxygen to the sociopathic whingers at Grounded Kiwis?

    • Incognito 18.1

      I must say that whoever came up with the name Grounded Kiwis is a bloody genius.

  19. peter sim 19

    I have stopped, after decades, listening to Radio nz. This nonsense MIQ "news" was never fact checked. It started on a program called morning report and was, as usual recycled all day.

    I can ,just, mostly, tolerate the descent of morning report into useless, meaningless yap yap. I am on my way down our drive bt 7am. My tolerance for idiocy is limited. my radio is usually silent.

    • left for dead 19.1

      @ peter sim yesfor the most of my life Radio NZ has been a main stay,but over the last couple of years,all I will say is thank you NZ folk for saving Concert FM,thankfully my music taste range from Shellac,Tall Dwarfs,Dead C to H + C and the Oils covered by home HiFi and student radio.And I'm happy to enjoy the classics.Current affairs and other news well, all I can say is save us from tvnz and that hyena Lisa Owens with her got you style BS along with the general hand wringing and mono tone reporters(you do need a clear and understandable voice for this job).I've said enough.Please excuse if any take offence,from a sixty odd year old

    • Anne 19.2

      Yes Peter Sim. I, too have stopped after decades of listening morning, noon and early evening (Checkpoint and its predecessors). It began with the Monday morning political segment where Matthew Hooten was given carte blanche to shout and bluster over the top of his opposite number, and to lie and distort at will with little to no remonstration.

      Morning Report has become yet another receptacle for mish-mash with little to no relevance to advancing knowledge and understanding. Sad.

      The only thing I will say for RNZ. They have produced some excellent podcasts in recent times – sometimes in conjunction with another news outlet – and it has been a pleasure to discover there are some top-notch journos still around.

  20. Stephen D 20

    Perhaps RNZ want to be seen taking the government to task, to avoid the accusation of pro govt bias cos of being publicly funded?

  21. mike 21

    Last night's 6 o'clock news repeated the misinformation in a report on the closing of MIQ's. Thousands and thousands of people happily swanned round in some of our best hotels for a fortnight for free in order to buy time for a vaccine to be produced then administered. Now that they're closed those who worked there are owed a vote of thanks for helping keep us safe.

    The OneNews article concentrated on a report of a report that was fictitious and in the process completely undermined the farewell of vital essential workers.

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