Duncan Garner: Government must address managed isolation regime locking families out of New Zealand

OPINION: What happened to the great tradition of sporting scandals involving overseas teams?

In the old days it used to involve sneaking in hookers, illicit drugs and getting boozed - and probably all captured on CCTV cameras for the world to giggle at.

Now in these COVID times a scandal is sharing weetbix and chippies in the corridors, doing copious amounts of cool handshakes and leaving your room after hours, not to head out past the perimeter fence, just to launch a stinging attack on a vending machine in the foyer. 

But in all seriousness, I know the West Indies' breaches seem minor. But humans will be humans. Why can't the hotel do a better job at keeping them apart? Is it too hard to block off corridors and lifts? 

That said, it's not their fault, that lies with the team.

Listen, playing sport through COVID, getting to travel and playing in front of crowds should be regarded as a lucky privilege, but the Windies have arrogantly taken it for granted.

It's highlighted for me a growing problem, a ticking time bomb, and that's being able to even get a room in one of these isolation hotels. 

The demand is massive and of the 800 New Zealanders who have applied for a room in managed isolation on emergency grounds, just 15 spots have been granted.

Like Ann Myers from the Wairarapa. She has months to live and her sister living in the UK has been denied an emergency spot.

Now, if we kicked the Windies out of the country 40 beds would come available today - cricket teams or desperate Kiwis first? Sport or family first?

The Government needs to address this ahead of Christmas. 

The status quo has never worked - it's too harsh on Kiwi families. Locking them out of their own country during their hour of need in favour of a rule-breaking cricket team who won the 20/20 World Cup.

Solution: Put hotels aside specifically for Kiwis in an emergency situation. Why can't this happen immediately?

Life throws up curveballs. Plan for it. Our approach is too harsh and can no longer be defended or justified.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.