Duncan Garner: I wholeheartedly support PM Jacinda Ardern's India travel suspension

OPINION: I wholeheartedly endorse and support the Prime Minister's decision to temporarily ban or stop passengers from India coming into New Zealand.

The risk to New Zealand is deemed too great. There were twenty-three cases of COVID in our managed isolation in one day and 17 of those came from India. Some people are picking up COVID on the flight to New Zealand - no thanks.

Yesterday, India had more than 100,000 new cases of COVID  in just 24 hours. So New Zealand is shutting the border to anyone coming from India - this includes New Zealand citizens.

Jacinda Ardern is doing what we here at The AM Show have been urging her to do for months, limit the risk and close the border we cried.

And she scoffed at me, 'you can't stop Kiwis coming home, you can't make them stateless'.

But Ardern has had to change her position and she'd be mad not to. But it's the mixed messaging that will confuse Kiwis abroad.

I got an email overnight from Florence Deepa, a Kiwi in India right now who is now locked out of the country. 

She is shocked and says she only travelled to India to visit her sick mother. 

"After much contemplation, I convinced myself to leave New Zealand... to visit my sick mum last month," she writes. 

"My decision was based on the statement the New Zealand Prime Minister made on television, where she said we will always allow Kiwis from overseas to return. That is their right which cannot be denied."

Well, Florence, politicians flip-flopping is something we have come to expect. But,  and it gives me no pleasure to say this, as I hear your painful story I believe this one really is the right call.

I think Ardern should ban travellers from other countries too. Brazil could be next but our policy continues to be that we import COVID into the country potentially daily and we somehow hope to stop it at the border facilities.

I'm glad we're blocking passengers from India - it puts the majority of New Zealanders first. 

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.