There are no plans to establish a managed isolation and quarantine facility at one of the country's New Zealand Defence Force camps, health authorities say.
This is despite calls from some of New Zealand's most prominent Covid-19 experts to shift the facilities outside of major cities.
Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker has suggested building a state-of-the-art facility the Air Force base at Ohakea which could be used in future pandemics too.
The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can lead to outbreaks in large cities with both health and economic impacts.
Baker says there are still question marks about how safe hotels are for housing recent returnees from overseas, especially around ventilation.
"The finger has been pointed at lift buttons and rubbish bin lids but, really, in most of those cases you can't distinguish between fomite (touching a surface) and an aerosol," he says.
"They are things that would be fixed in a purpose-built facility ... One of the benefits it provides is a facility that could be used for future pandemics as well.
"It's a huge decision to work through, but given the increasing risks for pandemics of various scales, we think it would be maybe a strategic asset that should be looked at."
However, a specialist facility could reduce the number of people coming into New Zealand due to only having one facility to house returnees.
The call comes amid the revelation the case which sparked the major shutdown of Auckland's CBD could have mingled with Grand Millenium MIQ returnees who evacuated on Monday following a fire alarm. The suggestion she caught the virus at that time has been quashed by the Ministry of Health.
A spokesperson for Managed Isolation and Quarantine says a key constraint of setting up a new facility is the essential workforce.
"We need nurses, defence personnel and police to run these facilities, and this a limited workforce," they said.
"In addition to workforce supply issues, a minority of hotels meet our requirements.
"There are a limited number of suitable facilities that are in locations where there is also a suitable hospital facility."
Baker also earlier called for a traffic-light system be introduced to allow people from states overseas where the virus has been eliminated to avoid quarantine.
The system also suggests people from places where there is a controlled spread of the virus to isolate at home, under the same strict MIQ restrictions.
However, the MIQ spokesperson says this again is something not on their radar.
"People entering New Zealand must stay in managed isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days and complete a health assessment and return a negative Covid-19 test before they can go into the community," they said.
"People can apply for exemptions on specific grounds but the threshold is extremely high and very few exemptions are granted."