Monitoring COVID-19 managed isolation and quarantine facilities
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On 17 June 2020, the Chief Ombudsman announced he is setting up a new inspection programme to monitor and report on COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities.
This work helps fulfil New Zealand’s obligations to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations (UN) Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), an international human rights agreement New Zealand ratified in 2007. The Chief Ombudsman is responsible for inspecting the treatment of people in health and disability places of detention – where people are not free to leave at will.
The Government requires that all people arriving in New Zealand go into either managed isolation or quarantine, for 14 days, to keep COVID-19 from entering the community.
- New Zealand Government's Managed Isolation and Quarantine website
- COVID-19 health advice and information on the Ministry of Health's website
The MIQ inspection programme started in October 2020.
The treatment and conditions of people detained in managed isolation and quarantine facilities is assessed using the same principles and Expectations used by the Ombudsman to conduct his COVID-19 inspections of other health and disability facilities, and prisons.
- Information for people detained in MIQ facilities
- Expectations for OPCAT COVID-19 inspections - pamphlet
- Expectations for OPCAT COVID-19 inspections
- Media statement and report on COVID-19 inspections of MIQ facilities, August 2021
The Ombudsman monitors managed isolation and quarantine facilities to prevent human rights violations.
He can also look at a government agency’s decision-making process and how it deals with official information.
You should report any concerns or make a complaint about an MIQ facility using the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s (MBIE) MIQ complaints procedure.
If you’ve already done this and believe you haven’t been treated fairly by an agency, the Ombudsman may be able to assist.