Dying Kiwi man granted emergency managed isolation position after public outrage

After public outrage and a strong appeal from his family, a Kiwi man living in Japan and dying from a brain tumour has been granted an emergency position in managed isolation.

Trevor Ponting was initially denied the bed on the same day the Wiggles were granted multiple rooms. But there's now been a U-turn. 

Ponting has been told he doesn't have long left to live and his dying wish is to see his mum. His family in Christchurch are devastated and desperate to get him home.

Only a few months ago and after surgery to remove his brain tumours, Ponting was still doing what he loved. Complete with an electrode cap and backpack issued by the hospital to help keep the cancer at bay, he climbed a cliff face.

"Recently, I had been diagnosed with brain cancer and I've been learning to live my life after brain cancer," he said in a video.

But not long after he made the video the tumours returned and now Ponting is dying. He wants to come home to see his mum.

His sister Yvonne said: "It's not looking good and that's his wish at the moment."

But on Friday night, she got the devastating news that MIQ had denied his request for an urgent spot in quarantine because he didn't meet the criteria of a medical emergency.

"Absolutely devastated because I have to pass that news on to my mum and dad and my eldest brother and it's really breaking us."

His father, John, said: "We just really want them to be here so that we can hold the family together."

Ponting has been living in Japan for 20 years and has a Japanese wife and two young children. 

The day the request was denied, Aussie group The Wiggles was granted beds for band members and crew in managed isolation.

"I can't get my head around that really, it just doesn't make sense," said Yvonne. 

Yvonne said she cannot understand the reasons behind the initial decision.

"Where's the compassion, where's the 'let's move heaven and earth to make this dying man's wish to come home to see his mum' happen."

Yvonne and her dad made a heartfelt appeal 

"Please reconsider and just realise that this is a medical emergency," Yvonne said

"Please help us, there's only one thing we want," said John. 

On Saturday night, MIQ reversed its decision and Ponting will be able to fly home with his family where there will be beds for them in managed isolation. 

Yvonne and the rest of the family are absolutely elated with the news.

A MIQ spokesperson said on Saturday that places in MIQ are extremely limited and there is "very restrictive emergency allocation criteria" with 150 rooms set aside per fortnight for those needing to travel urgently.

"These decisions are not easy ones to make. We are sympathetic to the distressing situations people applying for an emergency allocation are in. We need, however, to balance each individual application with our critical work to ensure the safety of all New Zealanders and the limited available capacity in managed isolation facilities by sequencing beds as they become available.

The spokesperson said The Wiggles were given MIQ contingency vouchers "after we were asked to find a practical solution".

"This is the most practical solution to ensure returning New Zealanders and critical workers don’t miss out on spaces in managed isolation and ensure that no eligible travellers under the emergency allocation process miss out, whilst finding a pragmatic solution to this situation.

"This is a very unusual situation. It is important to highlight that just because someone gets a visa to travel to New Zealand this does not mean we automatically give them a voucher in managed isolation. They have to book vouchers on the managed isolation allocation system like everyone else."