Reuniting split migrant families on the cards but only when MIQ space opens up - Kris Faafoi

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has given split migrant families a sliver of hope, saying reunions could be on the cards when space opens up in managed isolation (MIQ).

A small number of migrants gathered at Parliament on Tuesday, pleading with the Government to let their loved ones in.

They've been separated from their families since before the pandemic forced New Zealand's borders shut.

"My son [is] always asking me, 'when can we come to New Zealand? When can I see you, papa?'" migrant Johannes Nijuis said, fighting back tears.

Faafoi said while there wasn't room in MIQ to reunite families yet, options could open up in the next couple of months.

The Government has been heavily criticised for its treatment of skilled migrants and their families - with families split or in limbo as residency applications remain frozen. The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll showed 61.3 percent of voters thought the Government needed to create more exemptions to help them. 

"We're working on those issues as we speak," said Faafoi. "Obviously with the likes of split families etc… it's about getting the balance right." 

The Government on Monday said it's working on a one-way travel bubble with Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu to bring in more seasonal workers.