Isolation and quarantine functions to move to health system on 1 July 2023

Published: 30 June 2023

On 1 July 2023, national quarantine and isolation capability NQC (formally known as MIQ) will transfer back to the health system.

In June 2020, Cabinet agreed that overall responsibility for Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) would be transferred to MBIE as part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to the COVID pandemic. This was because, at the time, MBIE had the capability to stand up systems at pace.

At its height, MIQ operated 32 facilities across 5 regions involving a workforce of more than 4,500 staff at any one-time and accommodated 12,600 people in 9,000 rooms every 28 days.

This workforce was made up of New Zealand Defence Force personnel, doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners, hotel employees, Aviation Security, police, bus drivers, tradespeople, private security workers, and government workers across multiple ministries.

New Zealand’s experience with COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of being ready for future threats, and the move of national quarantine and isolation capability back to the health system presents an opportunity to prepare Aotearoa New Zealand well for that.

Quarantine and isolation functions are fundamentally public health interventions and align most closely with the work and priorities of Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora and Manatū Hauora.

Media queries – agency responsibilities

The following information is an updated guide for media to find the right agency to contact if they have questions about quarantine and isolation capability, and MIQ work to 1 July 2023.

On 1 July 2023 the responsibility for the functions that were previously part of MIQ (national quarantine and isolation capability) will be transferred to each respective agency as follows:

  • Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand)
    Operational functions of quarantine and isolation capacity, including maintenance, testing and maturation of New Zealand’s existing Quarantine and Isolation Capability (QIC) Readiness Plan and development of proposal for investment in an evolving portfolio of self, community and managed quarantine and isolation interventions. Contact:

  • Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health)
    Policy, strategy and leadership. Contact:

  • Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority)
    Collaborative work across the health agencies to ensure all policy advice and operational planning places whānau at the heart of the system to improve equity and outcomes. Contact:

  • Hīkina Whakatutuki (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)
    Work between 14 July 2020 and 30 June 2023, fee waivers, fee debt collection. Contact: