- Do you work in an hotel currently hosting quarantined travellers to New Zealand?
- Do you have strict working, health and safety guidelines to follow from an authorised source – ie: the Government, Ministry of Health, your Employers or Hospitality New Zealand?
- If so how are you implementing these?
- Is your Employer making sure your health and safety is as important as the guests?
- Have you been offered COVID-19 testing?
- Do you feel safe?
These are just some of the questions Hospitality Business has been trying to gain answers for, over the past 24 hours, from the Ministry of Health, hotels, and Hospitality New Zealand since the Novotel Ellerslie became the source of renewed anguish over COVID-19.
If you have answers to these questions – please let us know at [email protected]
Anger and frustration at apparent lapses in protocols around quarantined people and compassionate exemptions have inundated talkback radio stations and dominated New Zealand news media outlets.
And it has now been announced the country’s Housing Minister, Megan Woods is taking on the ministerial oversight of border isolation and quarantine operations.
She will work alongside Air Commodore Digby Webb, who was put in charge of the facilities and operation after the border blunder which saw two British women to leave and later test positive for Covid-19.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will become the lead agency.
It’s understood Woods will continue to oversee operations in the long-term when the military eventually steps back from its current responsibility.
A Government spokesperson says this is a new role, and Woods is not taking the responsibility away from anyone.
It’s understood Woods has been given the responsibility because of her work with the housing portfolio and work with MBIE as Research, Science and Innovation Minister.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Defence Force – under Webb – would be put in charge of quarantine and isolation facilities.
Webb is undertaking an audit of all the existing systems and written protocols to ensure they were being fully implemented, which should , he states, be available next week.
He will also have access to the country’s military logistics, operational expertise and – if needed – have the power to bring in military personnel to assist with running the facilities.
If you have information about working conditions, systems and safety, at the hotels – good or bad – please contact Kimberley Dixon at [email protected]