December 13, 2022
Ombudsman slams MIQ lottery advice
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has pushed back over criticism from the Ombudsman over the managed isolation allocation system.
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier says MBIE’s advice to government ministers did not adequately take into account the very real impact the MIQ lottery would have on people’s lives.
He also found MBIE acted unreasonably by failing to undertake an analysis under Te Tiriti o Waitangi when developing its online allocation, and by not consulting with Māori sooner.
MIQ general manager Shayne Gray says the system was established at pace, in an operationally complex and fast-moving environment to protect New Zealanders from a largely unknown, rapidly evolving, and deadly virus.
MIQ enabled almost 230,000 travellers to safely return home and treated more than 4,600 cases of COVID-19 at the border at a time where just one case entering the community could have compromised our collective efforts to eliminate the virus.
Feedback from users, the Ombudsman and a judicial review was used throughout the lifetime of MIQ to help inform policy and improve the system – in total over 200 technology improvements made to the allocation system.
He says the ministry acknowledges that because of the speed it was developed there was not the kind of consultation that would ordinarily have taken place when dealing with tangata whenua and specific groups, including people with disabilities.
MBIE has since made considerable efforts to engage with iwi/Māori to ensure the system responded appropriately to their concerns, and also undertook several accessibility reviews in order to improve the system for those with disabilities.