Duncan Garner: We've told yachties stranded in the Pacific they're not welcome - how bloody miserable and mean spirited

Opinion 07/09/2020

OPINION: Three hundred yachts stranded in the Pacific like sitting ducks; a vicious cyclone season bears down on them.

Normally they'd head south to New Zealand, seeking a safe harbour to avoid the carnage and escape the potentially life-threatening storms.

These yachts are their homes and insurers don't cover battered yachts in a cyclone.

That's where we can help, but we've sent out the harbour master and said, 'don't bother entering our waters'.

We have pulled down the shutters, turned off the marine radio and effectively said 'you are not welcome here'.

How unkind. How truly bloody miserable and mean spirited can we be? 

I think the ban is a total and unnecessary overreaction. What's the risk?

Many of these boaties are stuck in places like Tahiti - but a life-threatening cyclone isn't a good reason for an exemption to travel here under COVID.

It would take three weeks for them to get here - that's a quarantine period and some.

COVID-19 has robbed our decision-makers in this proud maritime nation of their common sense.

Do Ministers and officials even read the requests for compassionate entry into New Zealand? Why are film crews, and the US Ambassador allowed in and allowed to run their own quarantine, while desperate yachties and desperate families are given the bum's rush?

Allow these boaties to park up off the Great Barrier, Little Barrier, any barrier, but let's drop the unnecessary barriers and employ some old fashioned Kiwi common sense before it's too late.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show