MBIE apologises for 'disgraceful' tweet about managed isolation room release pause

The Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation [MBIE] has apologised after being slammed for its response to a question about MIQ. 

On Monday MBIE announced a temporary pause to room releases for managed isolation and quarantine due to the Delta outbreak

But MBIE's response to a question about the pause left a sour taste in many Kiwis' mouths. 

In response to a question about the decisions and how it would help, MBIE issued a sassy Twitter response. 

"Hi, it helps because people can take a break from refreshing the website while there's a pause," the official Ministry account responded. 

The response didn't go down well online with former reporter Corinne Ambler calling it "disgraceful". 

"Time to look for a new job. One where you don't have to deal with real people. Absolutely disgraceful response from anyone in these times, let alone a government department. You should be ashamed. Also really bad comms. Be kind. Yeah right," she tweeted. 

In a follow-up Tweet MBIE apologised for "any upset caused". 

"The current community outbreak means MIQ needs to carefully manage capacity as community members enter facilities to quarantine.

"We understand that it is stressful for people trying to secure a room when demand is high. We know that many people are constantly refreshing the website looking for rooms.

"The announcement about pausing the release and re-release of rooms was intended to reduce stress and inform people seeking to book a voucher, so that they could stop refreshing the website as there would be no rooms to secure.

"We apologise for not making this clearer in the tweet and for any upset caused. We can assure people that the emergency allocation process remains open for New Zealanders who require urgent travel within the next 14 days. We will let people know when the system returns to normal."

New Zealand's managed isolation booking system has been the focus of much chagrin with Kiwis overseas saying it's nearly impossible to secure a room.