Watch: National Party unveils border security policy

National wants to boost the capacity of managed isolation facilities by allowing private accommodation providers to join the government-controlled network.

All private providers would need to meet safety criteria set out by the party's planned Border Protection Agency and would be able to charge people what they like for their stay.

National's Covid-19 border response spokesperson Gerry Brownlee this morning announced the second part of the party's Border Security Plan, and it aims to get more people into the country safely.

The party says the full plan is expected to cost $120 million over four years.

National says it will:

  • Implement a booking system for managed isolation facilities to manage more arrivals into New Zealand safely
  • Scale-up managed isolation capacity by allowing private accommodation providers to become approved service providers
  • Investigate streamlined travel arrangements for low-risk countries and territories
  • Invest in new technologies around Bluetooth tracing and rapid testing

National says its plan will "prioritise returning Kiwis while enabling essential and skilled workers, students and, eventually, long-stay tourists to book a place in managed isolation facilities".

All private facilities will have to meet or exceed required levels of safety, security, reporting, transporting, training and testing, as well as meet the associated costs.

Brownlee says it will mean costs are "costs more evenly shared between those wishing to enter the country and industries who need overseas workers".

He used the example of rugby test arrangements when discussing investigating flexible travel arrangements for people from Covid-free countries or regions.

"Flexible arrangements were offered in the government's negotiations for rugby tests between the All Blacks and Australia.

"These options should also be considered, alongside public health advice, for Pacific countries that have no Covid-19."

National has previously promised to set up a border protection agency called Te Korowai Whakamaru with public health as its chief objective.

 

 

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