Ombudsman to probe MIQ booking system

By Te Ao - Māori News

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is broadly investigating the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints.

Boshier says he has identified some common themes in about 200 complaints relating to the booking system.

Complaints have come from people who are having difficulties around the world obtaining vouchers for places in managed isolation or have concerns about the booking system overall.

"The complaints fit into four broad categories - they claim the allocation system is unlawful, unfit for purpose, unfair and poorly managed. I have decided to do my own independent investigation into them all."

"One of the specific complaints is that disabled people are being disadvantaged. I have concerns about whether the online booking system is accessible and whether suitable alternatives are being offered for those who have difficulty using this digital platform."

Boshier says he has notified the agency in charge of the booking system, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, of his intention to investigate.

I want to give the public some assurance that the MIQ booking system is working as well as it should."

"While I could investigate each of these complaints in turn, I don’t believe this is the most efficient way of addressing any underlying issues. That is why I am looking at them together."

Boshier will continue monitoring the wider MIQ system to identify any other interventions that may be needed.

He acknowledges the MIQ system was set up quickly in response to an immediate crisis.

The Chief Ombudsman’s role is to investigate and report on the actions, decisions and/or omissions of public sector agencies such as MBIE.