This week it was revealed that Green MP Ricardo Menéndez March applied for an emergency MIQ slot not once, but twice: first as a ‘critical health service’, and again as ‘required for national security‘.
We were first to break the story of Mr Menéndez March being in isolation on 9 February, meaning the MP has had more than two weeks to front up with the full detail of his queue-jumping attempt. Instead, New Zealanders only found out this week thanks to a Parliamentary question from National’s Chris Bishop.
We can only assume Menéndez March chose to be secretive because he knew his grounds for an emergency slot were laughable. He’s a minor party spokesperson for Food Safety – hardly a critical health worker. Even more bizarre was his appeal to ‘national security’. How does jetting in a socialist from Tijuana help to secure New Zealand’s national security?!
You might enjoy this piece from our very own Neil Miller:
Gracefully returning from Mexico, the third most deadly hotspot for COVID-19, suddenly I am confronted by a border guard demanding all this paperwork about quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing that apparently I, a busy Member of Parliament, should have filled in “months ago”. “Months ago?” – who can understand such bureaucratic jargon?
Responding to the frontline staff, I point out the obvious absurdity in his argument. “Next”, I quip, “you will be saying that Kiwis should not travel to Mexico at all.” He produces a piece of paper from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade saying exactly that. However, I spot that it is almost a year old. I cannot be expected to keep up with these historical edicts about the country of my birth and long intended travel destination. I am a list MP.
Jokes aside, Menéndez March’s ongoing failure to front-foot this affair stinks of a lack of humility and a disregard for the taxpayers who fund his salary.