Former Invercargill woman misses MIQ spot again

Tens of thousands of kiwis try to get MIQ rooms as soon as they become available. [File photo]

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Tens of thousands of kiwis try to get MIQ rooms as soon as they become available. [File photo]

Belinda Young wants a wedding in New Zealand but is still at the mercy of MIQ’s availability.

She is a specialist teacher for dyslexic children in London, and this week, for the second time in about a week, she and her partner Kurt Reid were unable to secure an MIQ room.

Thousands of rooms became available at 6 p.m. New Zealand time on Tuesday. Young, formerly of Invercargill, said she was number 13,000 in the queue and Reid, from Napier, 16,000.

“Just another heartbreaking week,” she said.

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All the slots for October, November and December were filled in a matter of hours as 31,319 people competed for the 3,718 places.

Young and Reid had planned to tie the knot in March 2021, but decided relatively early to postpone until 2022.

They now had plans for a wedding in Wānaka in January, but that was likely to be called off, she said.

“… organizing a wedding abroad is difficult enough, but having to coordinate a postponement and a probable cancellation is both stressful and costly.”

THING

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announces lift on MIQ reservation break and new room reservation system. (First published on September 15, 2021)

Three years ago, Young’s father passed away suddenly and she had planned to see her father’s gravestone for the first time and disperse his ashes in March 2020.

Not seeing family and friends made the grieving process much longer and more painful, Young said.

The “grueling and exhausting” process of booking an MIQ room had become a daunting full-time job, she said.

Even during confinement, she would go to work every day.

For two months, she said that she and Reid constantly updated the booking site from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

When another batch of rooms became available on September 20, Young’s place in the queue was 21,989, as people around the world competed for about 3,000 places.

“No clear communication on release dates and times, it was extremely inefficient and tiring,” she said.

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