Family harm incidents in managed isolation hotels causing almost half of all police callouts

Family harm incidents make up more than 40 percent of the police call-outs to managed isolation facilities since their inception last year.

Figures provided to Newshub revealed the shocking statistics - but Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) deputy secretary Megan Main says they're doing everything they can.

"We have over 4000 people in the facilities right now - of course we don't want to see any cases [of family harm] but I'm confident we're doing everything we can to support people in that situation."

She told Newshub the facilities are a "microcosm" of the wider community - so unfortunately family harm can be part of that. 

In some situations, families have had to be separated into different rooms.

"Where necessary police will separate a bubble - so move one person into a different room.

We can also stagger exits - so people leave at different times," Main said.

Women's Refuge chief executive Ang Jury is not surprised by the statistics with people stuck in a room for an excessive amount of time under stressful circumstances. 

She says that's almost bound to cause conflict. 

"That is amplified by being in a single hotel room - How do you ask for help in that situation?"

She says MIQ "at the very least" needs to have signs around the facility letting people know help is available. 

But Main says that help is available.

"Every returnee has an initial health and wellbeing assessment carried out by health professionals and that includes questions about mental health."

She says a booklet provided to returning New Zealanders has contact information for service providers to support people experiencing family harm, and numbers to call trained counsellors. 

There's also a health check for each returnee - at least once every second day.

"We retain that regular contact."

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