Milne says the issue arose after a change last month in the MIQ verification process, which now requires people to prove they are eligible to enter the country before reserving a place in MIQ.
He says that although they are aware of nearly 200 people who have been affected, more than 20,000 have used it without a problem.
“A small percentage of passengers with valid New Zealand visas may not be able to be verified on MIAS,” he said.
“If the data entered by the traveler in the MIQ reservation system does not match the NZ Immigration data, the traveler cannot be verified and will not be able to participate in the room releases.
“Currently there is no manual verification system and unfortunately an unverified passenger cannot reserve MIQ space. “
Earlier, Stanford had targeted the government over the email, saying its refusal to resolve the issue created distress for families and called it a “classic ‘computer says no’ case.”
“Our core workers did everything the government asked. They patiently waited months to be reunited with their families,” she said.
“Now the government is telling them to continue supporting our COVID-19 response while telling them that they will have to wait even longer to see their families. The government’s failure to address these emergency issues is cruel and appalling – and sends a message to migrants that they don’t care about them.
The requirement to prove that you have been able to enter New Zealand before booking an MIQ room was introduced last month to ensure rooms are used optimally and waste is minimized, Milne said.
Before the change, people could book rooms even without the right to enter New Zealand.
“If they didn’t show up these rooms would not be occupied. It also helped us tackle the issue of a small number of incidents where false passport details were being used to book a room,” said Milne.