Women in managed isolation will no longer risk the "indignity" of being offered a nappy in place of sanitary products thanks to a Kiwi company.
Oi, a New Zealand company which makes plastic-free sanitary products, has offered to provide all 32 managed isolation and quarantine facilities with trial packs of sanitary products they can give to returnees.
Last week the Herald reported that a woman, whose period came during her flight from Europe, was told she'd have to wait at least four hours for staff at her managed isolation facility to buy sanitary products for her and was offered a nappy in the meantime.
The story prompted Oi co-founder and chief executive Helen Robinson to tick off one of the items on her to-do list and she has since contacted all of the isolation facilities offering to provide as many trial packs as they need for free.
The idea first occurred to her after numerous conversations with the nurses when she spent two weeks in isolation at Four Points by Sheraton on returning from a business trip to the United States a month ago.
Robinson said it was "absolutely appalling" a woman was offered a nappy in place of sanitary products.
"Half the population for half their lives get a period. It's as basic a need as toilet paper and to not have that on hand is not good enough," she said.
"If the Government is going to enforce managed isolation then they must front up and provide basic necessities."
A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesperson last week told the Herald people were expected to supply their own personal items and could order them via online shopping if they needed to.
If they were unable to do so, they could ask managed isolation staff for help, they said.
"Staff are committed to ensuring that people's stay in managed isolation and quarantine is as comfortable as possible and will occasionally go out of their way to ensure that a guest gets what they need."
Robinson said the offer would cost her company $1000-$2000 a month per isolation facility but she felt they had an obligation to make sure women were looked after.
"It's just filling a basic human need," she said.
The trial packs were not designed to last a whole period but were enough to tide a woman over until she could buy more.
Robinson said managed isolation was hard enough without the stress of being caught out by an unexpected period.
"Being in managed isolation feels like you're in jail. It is psychologically tough - it's really tough."
She said the feedback from hotels had been positive and a number had already taken up the offer.
Danika Revell, chief executive and co-founder of The Period Place, last week told the Herald she believed sanitary products should be available in every room.
"It's hard enough being in isolation without the indignity," she said.