Charlotte Bellis has confirmed she will return to New Zealand at the beginning of March to give birth to her baby girl, after accepting an emergency spot in MIQ.
Bellis - who has been stranded and pregnant in Afghanistan - was offered an MIQ voucher earlier today.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson earlier this afternoon revealed the place for Bellis, and flight arrangements alongside it, had been communicated to her today.
"There is a place in MIQ for Miss Bellis and I urge her to take it up," Robertson said at today's post-Cabinet press conference.
Bellis later confirmed in a statement that "overnight [Kabul time] we received approval of our re-activated emergency MIQ application".
"I will be returning to my home country New Zealand at the beginning of March to give birth to our baby girl. We are so excited to return home and to be surrounded by family and friends at such a special time.
"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. I will continue to challenge the New Zealand Government to find a solution to border controls to keep New Zealanders at home and abroad safe and their rights respected."
The approval was granted based on the risk factor of their location, rather than on the basis of medical needs, which Bellis had been seeking.
"We were denied based on medical needs because MIQ assess we had no supporting information for a need for time-critical, scheduled treatment," she said.
"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."
Robertson said he could not comment on the situations of the dozens of other pregnant women who had been turned down.
MBIE officials worked hard to make good decisions, they continually communicated with people who applied, as with Bellis' case, and there was now a place for her, he said.
"Really difficult decisions on a daily basis" had to be made through the Covid response, Robertson said.
He did not know if the Government had sought advice from Crown Law over an alleged privacy breach (see more details below) relating to Bellis.
Robertson said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will on Thursday announce New Zealand's plans to reconnect to the world. He said a vaccine update will be given tomorrow.
Cabinet met today to discuss the Omicron response. Ardern attended by remote technology after being deemed a close contact of a Covid-19 case and being told to isolate till the end of the day.
Robertson said a paper about the border situation was discussed at Cabinet, and there were some things to follow up. He repeated that there would be "a speech" on Thursday about reconnecting New Zealand but would not say if any decisions had been made.
While the country was in the early stages of its Omicron fight, twice before New Zealand had proven it had the right plan to get through, he said.
In the past week, there had been a 24 per cent increase in people getting boosted and 67 per cent of those eligible were now boosted.
The Government was preparing to move to phase 2 of the Omicron plan and integrating RATs and the "test to work" programme.
And the Government had ordered enough new rapid antigen test kits (RATs) to get the country through any looming Omicron outbreak.
On RATs, Robertson there was assurance from at least one supplier that orders had not been taken over by the Government.
Robertson said RATs would be focused on situations where contacts needed to go to work. As they moved through the process, RATs would have wider applications.
On when the general public would access them, Robertson said "that would come with time".
In other countries where supply had not been prioritised to certain areas, there had been "major issues", he said.
New Zealand was not now in a position to be yet needing them in schools, he said.
He said ministers were working through agencies about how to work closely with Māori health providers on the Omicron response.
On Air NZ cancelling flights due to staff needing to isolate, Robertson said he understood the company was already using RATs. He said there had been no request yet if they needed to come under the critical workforce category.
On what workers would be classed as critical and allowed to use RATs instead of isolating, and when that would be released, Robertson said he did not know.
In cases of ministers needing to isolate, Robertson said, as with today, they had facilities for all ministers to work from home.
On OECD recommendations to raise the age of superannuation, Robertson said the Government would never do that.
He recognised there was a cost associated with that position, but thought the Government could afford it. He wasn't speaking to a situation in 10 years time, but the Labour Government "here today", he said.
In terms of Māori people, the super age and it being lower due to lower life expectancy, Robertson said that was not something the Government had looked at.
Robertson said while they did want housing to be more affordable, he saw nothing in forecasts that indicated the Government needed to intervene in the market.
On a poll showing majority of New Zealanders wanted house prices to drop, Robertson said he believed that reflected most people wanting the market to be more affordable.
The Government would not consider removing the ability for people to use their Kiwisaver as part of their first home deposit, as recommended in the OECD report, Robertson said.
Robertson said he did not believe the market was too big to fail and that it would take generations before it was affordable.
The Government had taken actions that would have an effect, but the issues were "decades in the making" so would take some time to fix, he said.
Four days before Christmas, the phased border reopening was postponed, with Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins saying it would be pushed out to the end of February.
The arrival of the relatively mild but highly infectious Omicron strain disrupted earlier reopening plans.
Opposition parties in recent weeks have attacked the government over a perceived dearth of RAT kits, and authorities have been under pressure to secure more of the tests.
Some businesses have accused the Government of effectively seizing rapid test kits destined for the private sector but the Government has rejected these claims.
Today's Cabinet meeting also comes after the Herald revealed new plans were underway to secure various rapid tests for critical workers such as freight truck drivers.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Bellis' lawyer has claimed Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins breached the journalist's privacy by sharing personal details in a statement.
Bellis is pregnant and in Afghanistan, where she and her Belgian partner have been seeking to return to New Zealand for the birth through an emergency MIQ spot.
Yesterday, Hipkins issued a statement disputing many of Bellis' claims around her applications.
He said officials told Bellis to reapply with a shorter travel timeframe and under another category that meant there was serious risk to their safety in Afghanistan, Hipkins said.
Lawyer Tudor Clee said Hipkins breached Bellis' privacy by sharing details the expectant mum had not consented to being made public.
Act Party leader David Seymour called on the minister to apologise.
"It's entirely unacceptable for a minister of the Crown to release private details without permission, especially when they're wrong, just to save face," Seymour said.
National Covid-19 spokesman Chris Bishop said Hipkins was "gaslighting" Bellis.
It was not immediately clear if Cabinet would make any changes to MIQ, which has been another major topic of debate lately.
Scrapping MIQ for overseas arrivals during an Omicron surge would free up resources badly needed elsewhere, according to a report from Auckland DHBs.