Pregnant journalist Charlotte Bellis thanks NZ public for support

Source: 1News

Pregnant New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis says she is "so excited" to return to New Zealand from Afghanistan next month and thanked Kiwis for their "overwhelming support" in helping her get home.

Charlotte Bellis was stuck in the Middle East after being denied an MIQ spot in NZ.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Bellis said her MIQ application had been approved and she and her partner would return to New Zealand at the beginning of March to give birth to a baby girl.

"We are so excited to return home and to be surrounded by family and friends at such a special time," Bellis said.

"We want to thank New Zealanders for their overwhelming support. It has been stressful and your kind words and encouragement helped Jim and I immensely.

"We are disappointed it had to come to this."

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced earlier on Tuesday Bellis had been offered an MIQ spot and flights have been arranged.

It came after the journalist's high-profile struggle to get a room in New Zealand's managed isolation.

On Tuesday, Bellis said she would continue to challenge the Government to find a better way to manage the border that kept "New Zealanders safe and rights respected".

"Unfortunately, the approval was not granted on the basis of medical needs but on the risk factor of our location. We were denied based on medical needs because MIQ assessed we had no supporting information of a need for time-critical, scheduled treatment.

"Unfortunately, the Government fails to recognise that a birth is not a scheduled event. Therefore, this does not address the lack of a pathway for other pregnant New Zealand Citizens to rightfully give birth in their home country," Bellis says.