The Government is considering buying "one or two" of the 31 hotels across New Zealand currently being used as MIQ facilities.
Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement today the purchase of MIQ hotels was part of the "long-term" planning the Government was doing in its defence against Covid-19.
"It might be that we buy one or two of our existing facilities and do more work to convert them so that they are more fit-for-purpose. No decisions have been made at this stage," Hipkins said.
"These are all things we continue to look into as we consider our long-term defence against Covid-19, particularly as vaccination rates increase here in New Zealand and around the world."
Hipkins said the hotel purchase option needed to be considered because most people entering New Zealand for the remainder of 2021 would still be going through MIQ.
"It's likely we will have the vast majority of people coming through the border into managed isolation for the rest of this year," Hipkins said.
"The border is our first and most effective defence against Covid-19 coming into the community."
When asked on the Newshub Nation programme this morning whether the Government was still considering building a purpose-built MIQ facility, Hipkins said "we'll be canvassing all of the options".
"I think we are likely to have an MIQ capability over the medium to longer term. It might not be at the scale that we have now but I think we're still likely to need to have that ability to do that," Hipkins said.
However, back in February the Prime Minister poured cold water on the need for a purpose-built facility that could hold 6000 people - describing it as a "significant ask".
There have been numerous breaches from MIQ hotel facilities across New Zealand since the country's first lockdown in March 2020.
Many of the facilities are located in Auckland's CBD, which has heightened the risk of close contact exposure with the public, and the potential for lockdown, when individuals in quarantine do escape.
In June, the Herald reported on the varying concerns around a Covid-19 vaccination centre being erected metres away from a quarantine facility's exercise area.
While one expert expressed concern about the arrangement in central Auckland, another expert was confident the risk was minimal, a view reinforced by those running the MIQ and vaccination facilities, who were confident of the risk assessment protocols in place.
It comes after reports found aerosol transmission was the most likely cause of two instances of virus transmission between residents in the Grand Mercure and Grand Millennium Auckland quarantine facilities.
Both facilities would remain unoccupied until mid-June while their ventilation systems were upgraded.
Auckland resident Andrew Johnson aired his concerns after he arrived at the city's CBD vaccination centre for his first jab at the Atrium on Elliott shopping centre on Monday.
Entering from Albert St as opposed to the Elliott St entrance, the 41-year-old was shocked when he realised he was walking past potentially infectious MIQ residents in the exercise area at the Crowne Plaza hotel, which was in the same building complex as the shopping mall.
A MIQ spokesperson said members of the public were allowed to talk to MIQ residents through the fences, but residents were required to wear a mask and remain at least two metres away.