Repatriation Flights For Kiwis in South India

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Dear Prime Minister & Respected Members of Parliament

First and foremost, we thank you for all the efforts that you have put in to control the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand and for supporting the people through these unprecedented times.

We want to bring your attention to another group of Kiwis needing your urgent attention with a desperate hope to go back to home. As you might be aware there are about 600+ kiwis still currently stranded in India due to COVID-19 flight restrictions. Unfortunately, the majority of us here were caught off guard by Indian Government implementing a curfew within a 12 hours’ notice and had no option to arrange flights back home. As you might be aware there are many kiwis still stranded despite the latest efforts by an independent group of kiwis and the New Zealand High Commission organizing few flights last week.

The reasons for this are many, travel long distances (18+hours) by road due to lock-down in India at short notices where there is no food, water and toilets that are open on the highway, interstate border closures and travelling with infants or children.

There is a lot of resentment out there as people are running out of money and the outgoing such as rents and mortgage payments are accumulating back home. With no source of income and no clear indication of a recovery plan in India, every New Zealand citizen/resident stranded in India is just hoping for some kind of assurance & plan on how they will reach back home safely.

We know that we can count on you and you wouldn’t leave any stone unturned in bringing us home.

We would like to share the possible workable options that may or may not have been reviewed by the government as yet.

Option 1: We would like to urge you to review the repatriation flights from a destination in the south like Chennai or Kochi

Or

Option 2: Could it be possible for your government to reach out to Indian Government to open a dialogue to arrange few mutually beneficial flights to bring Kiwis from India and allowing Indians to depart New Zealand on the same aircraft.

We understand these options may be more complicated than it seems on the paper and we are vary of the logistics, it would call for in terms of immigration, ground staff at the airport, health professionals and the cost of providing 14 days stay and food for compulsory quarantine at the arrival ports but we really need your support to bring us back home.

We are putting our faith in you and all Members of Parliament and we know you won’t let us down.

We all take a lot of pride in what Kiwi's stand for ‘They always look after their mates’.

Hoping for a swift and favorable response.

Thanks & Warm Regards,

Kiwis stuck in South India