Covid-19: The government is trying to integrate 14 people into the MIQ after an error in identity verification

The government is trying to place 14 people in controlled isolation, who missed the recent lottery because their identities could not be verified.

Workers at a MIQ facility in Christchurch.
Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

A feature was introduced in the reservations system in early December verifying that people have the legal right to enter New Zealand before booking a room.

It has worked for 20,000 people so far, but National MP Erica Stanford has criticized the computer system that communicates with Immigration New Zealand to check visas, saying it is not working.

Assistant Assistant Secretary for Managed Isolation and Quarantine Andrew Milne said he knew of 187 people for whom it did not work – including 14 people in the room’s latest release on January 6.

Milne said they are working to get this group MIQ vouchers.

He said they are also working on a manual verification feature, which should be in place before the next release of the room.

Milne said earlier that visa checks had been added to ensure people had permission to arrive in New Zealand before booking a room, and to ensure rooms were “used to their best advantage”.

“Previously, people could book rooms even without the right to enter New Zealand. If they didn’t show up, those rooms wouldn’t be occupied. It also helped us combat the problem of a small number of incidents where false passport details were used to book a room,” he said.

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