COVID-19: National would charge Australian deportees $3000 for managed isolation

National would charge Kiwi deportees from Australia $3000 to stay in a COVID-19 managed isolation facility.

The party's COVID-19 border response spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says if it forms the next Government, it would charge all new arrivals at the border for their quarantine stay.

From October 3, National would charge single adults $3000 each. Each additional adult in a room will be charged $1000 and children $500. Under-threes won't have to pay.

The deportees would be offered a payment plan if they had no available funds on arrival to pay for their stay.

"These are people who have been through the system in Australia. If they are no longer in custody, then they should be out in the community looking for work and at some point will have an ability to pay. So part of the regime will ensure there are payment plans available for people that can't meet the immediate expense," Brownlee says.

Minister Megan Woods, who is in charge of New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine system, says National's policy of charging returnees is anything but original.

"I think it's encouraging to see the Opposition coming out in support of something the Government's been talking about for a number of weeks," she says.

But she came out in support of the policy on Sunday.

"We believe people returning to New Zealand should assist with the considerable expense of accommodating them in managed isolation facilities."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters also says people should be paying for their stay.

"Well that's our policy, I'm sorry but we said some time ago that people should be. If they can afford to pay for it they should be paying."

But he says it's unfair to charge deportees for their stay.

"For goodness sake. You can't be protesting to Australia the unfairness of your policy and then applying a cost to these people because they've been treated unfairly. What's consistent about that?"

Woods says the Government will release its plan to charge returnees soon.