MIQ joint head won’t commit to overhauling booking system

Kristin Hall
Source: 1News

The joint head of MIQ says more measures will be brought in to make the booking of MIQ vouchers faster but won’t commit to a system overhaul.

MIQ Helpers is being accused of cashing in on people’s desperation.

MIQ slots are currently fully booked until the end of November, with thousands of New Zealanders overseas competing for spots that pop up. Prices for third-party services have sky-rocketed, with one website charging nearly $2600 to secure a voucher on the behalf of desperate Kiwis.

MIQ boss Megan Main says the system will soon be sped up.

“This week we’re making a change so that each time you refresh the page you don’t need to refill your details for that booking, so that makes it faster for people to finalise their booking.”

But Main is still not committing to a total overhaul of the system that’s long been called for by expats and software developers.

A waitlist system has been floated, which developers say would eliminate the need for people to be refreshing the site for hours, but Main says there is “no silver bullet”.

“We’re looking at things like the US green card lottery, various types of waitlisting, alerts - so we’re very focussed on trying to keep the system able to support people”

“One of the challenges with a waitlist…is it pushes the problem further up the pipeline if you like. What we don’t want is a lot of people who don’t need vouchers anymore because their plans have changed staying on the waitlist which means that people appear to be waiting months for a voucher.”

Main says the major issue is supply vs demand, with the number of those seeking vouchers much higher than the same time last year.