Jacinda Ardern's 'strong warning' after Wiggles' concert stuff up

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Jacinda Ardern has issued a "strong warning" to event promotors after it was revealed The Wiggles may not be able to fulfil their planned tour of New Zealand as they aren't able to quarantine everyone in time.

The quarantine places are known as MIQ places in New Zealand, and unlike in Australia, it seems as though celebrities are unable to quarantine in a private location instead of hotel quarantine.

Jacinda Ardern has issued a "strong warning" to event promotors after it was revealed The Wiggles may not be able to fulfil their planned tour of New Zealand as they aren't able to quarantine everyone in time. Photo: Getty
Jacinda Ardern has issued a "strong warning" to event promotors after it was revealed The Wiggles may not be able to fulfil their planned tour of New Zealand as they aren't able to quarantine everyone in time. Photo: Getty

“For me, it’s common sense: Don’t go out and put a poster up and sell tickets before you’ve booked your MIQ place,” the prime minister said from a Labour caucus retreat, according to Stuff.

She added that she would leave the decision to Immigration New Zealand officials to decide whether or not to grant border exemptions to the entertainers, who are set to begin their 20-show tour on March 19.

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The biggest concern was that if the tour was unable to go ahead, there would need to be a satisfactory outcome for ticket-holders.

"A number of families... through no fault of their own have purchased tickets [and] we now need to find a practical solution," Ms Ardern said.

"A strong warning to promoters here: Do not promote an event until you have everything in place, and that includes booking your quarantine places."

Ms Ardern acknowledged that perhaps the government needed to be clearer in its messaging, "Entry’s not the same as an MIQ place, and that might be something we have to clarify on our side as well." Photo: Getty
Ms Ardern acknowledged that perhaps the government needed to be clearer in its messaging, "Entry’s not the same as an MIQ place, and that might be something we have to clarify on our side as well." Photo: Getty

She also acknowledged that perhaps the government needed to be clearer in its messaging. "Entry’s not the same as an MIQ place, and that might be something we have to clarify on our side as well,” she said.

According to Stuff, Live Nation, The Wiggles' promoters, have attempted to secure border exemptions to enter the country by approaching a number of MPs.

Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga, who was one of the MPs approached, took to Twitter to share that he had "drafted a letter to the powers that be asking that they do what they can" to allow the entertainers into the country for their March and April shows, despite the fact they don't have MIQ spots.

According to Mr Bridges, the reason they don't have MIQ spots is due to "visa approval delays", which meant "the MIQ slots that were available aren't anymore".

"I ended disclosing 'a conflict in that my two older children have grown up adoring the Wiggles & my youngest child, aged 3, is obsessed by them & may well go to their Tauranga concert if it happens. I suspect any MP with kids under a certain age will have the same conflict'," he said.

Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga, who was one of the MPs approached, took to Twitter to share he had "drafted a letter to the powers that be asking that they do what they can" to allow the entertainers into the country for their March and April shows, despite the fact they don't have MIQ spots. Photo: Twitter
Simon Bridges, MP for Tauranga, who was one of the MPs approached, took to Twitter to share he had "drafted a letter to the powers that be asking that they do what they can" to allow the entertainers into the country for their March and April shows, despite the fact they don't have MIQ spots. Photo: Twitter

He also added, "I dunno. Maybe the Wiggles made the mistake of believing Jacinda when she said we’d have a Trans-Tasman bubble in the first quarter."

Like Australia, when travellers enter New Zealand, they are required to quarantine for 14 days, so The Wiggles group would need to be in isolation by March 4, however, there aren't any MIQ places available in that window.

Live Nation said it was "working closely with the relevant authorities on logistics for The Wiggles tour" and was "looking forward to welcoming them to New Zealand”.

Ms Ardern stressed that when booking travel to New Zealand, you need to book your quarantine before you even book flights.

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