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Additional Covid-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries

Craig MacDonell made this Official Information request to Chris Hipkins

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From: Craig MacDonell

Dear Chris Hipkins,

I have recently sent a letter (dated 28/12/2020) regarding this topic.

This is the promised Official Information Act request for information regarding the point raised in the said letter. They are as follows:

- Please provide the data that New Zealand has that definitively proves that passengers are boarding flights bound for New Zealand with the virus already present.
- Please provide an explanation of how the pre-departure testing system will create a safer and more efficient MIQ system in light of the outbreaks reported after pre-departure testing in the Russian fishermen and Pakistan cricket team groups, given the validity period of such a test and the time it takes to travel (particularly from the UK which you have used repeatedly as an example in press releases and when speaking to media).
- Please provide data to show there has been a statistically significant increase in cases being found in MIQ facilities from United Kingdom sources since the latest rise in cases began (approximately September). Please provide equivalent data for August as well for a pre-rise comparison.
- Please provide an explanation of the consultation undertaken with overseas residents around the introduction of the original MIQ allocation system and charges and the additional testing requirements announced for high-risk countries (given the time to implement since the beginning of the pandemic). Please include reference to costs borne by the passenger, as well as the MIQ procedure for changing flights and days of arrival.

Yours faithfully,

Craig MacDonell

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From: C Hipkins (MIN)
Chris Hipkins

Thank you for your email.

 

Please accept this as acknowledgement that your email has been received by
my office.

 

Due to the efforts we are all making across Government to respond to
COVID-19, processing your correspondence may take longer than normal.

 

We appreciate your patience. 

 

Thanks again.

Authorised by Chris Hipkins MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

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From: Haylee Isaacs

Kia ora Craig
On behalf of Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for COVID-19 Response, thank you
for your Official Information request of 28 December 2020. You have
requested:

- Please provide the data that New Zealand has that definitively proves
that passengers are boarding flights bound for New Zealand with the virus
already present.
- Please provide an explanation of how the pre-departure testing system
will create a safer and more efficient MIQ system in light of the
outbreaks reported after pre-departure testing in the Russian fishermen
and Pakistan cricket team groups, given the validity period of such a test
and the time it takes to travel (particularly from the UK which you have
used repeatedly as an example in press releases and when speaking to
media).
- Please provide data to show there has been a statistically significant
increase in cases being found in MIQ facilities from United Kingdom
sources since the latest rise in cases began (approximately September).
Please provide equivalent data for August as well for a pre-rise
comparison.
- Please provide an explanation of the consultation undertaken with
overseas residents around the introduction of the original MIQ allocation
system and charges and the additional testing requirements announced for
high-risk countries (given the time to implement since the beginning of
the pandemic). Please include reference to costs borne by the passenger,
as well as the MIQ procedure for changing flights and days of arrival.

The information requested appears to be more closely associated with the
functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Health. Accordingly I am
transferring your request to the Ministry of Health under section
14(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982.

You have the right, under section 28 of the Act, to ask the Ombudsman to
review this decision to transfer your request for information.

Ngā mihi

 

Haylee

 

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From: OIA Requests

Kia ora   

   

Thank you for your request for official information received on 11 January
2021 for:   

   

" - Please provide the data that New Zealand has that definitively proves
that passengers are boarding flights bound for New Zealand with the virus
already present.

- Please provide an explanation of how the pre-departure testing system
will create a safer and more efficient MIQ system in light of the
outbreaks reported after pre-departure testing in the Russian fishermen
and Pakistan cricket team groups, given the validity period of such a test
and the time it takes to travel (particularly from the UK which you have
used repeatedly as an example in press releases and when speaking to
media).
- Please provide data to show there has been a statistically significant
increase in cases being found in MIQ facilities from United Kingdom
sources since the latest rise in cases began (approximately September).
Please provide equivalent data for August as well for a pre-rise
comparison.
- Please provide an explanation of the consultation undertaken with
overseas residents around the introduction of the original MIQ allocation
system and charges and the additional testing requirements announced for
high-risk countries (given the time to implement since the beginning of
the pandemic). Please include reference to costs borne by the passenger,
as well as the MIQ procedure for changing flights and days of arrival."

 

The Ministry's reference number for your request is: H202100068.   

   

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 15 February 2021, being
20 working days after the day your request was received.   

   

Please note, the three weeks between Christmas Day and 15 January 2021 do
not count as working days. For more information, please refer to the
following website: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/   

   

If we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we
will notify you of an extension of that time frame.   

   

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.   

   

Ngā mihi   

   

OIA Services   

Government Services   

Office of the Director-General   

Ministry of Health   

E: [2][email address]   

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This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[5][FOI #14374 email]

Is [6][Chris Hipkins request email] the wrong address for Official
Information requests to Chris Hipkins? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[7]https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

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