Stranded Kiwis should all be allowed home to New Zealand for Christmas.
There's no reason anymore why that can't happen.
The only reason returning Kiwis are being forced through the limited funnel of 14 days in MIQ is to keep Covid out of New Zealand. But it's now here and it's here to stay.
In fact, we have so much Covid spreading through Auckland every day now, that Aucklanders are much more likely to catch it off each other than they are to catch it off someone stepping fresh off a plane.
Compare the number of cases in Auckland each day this week with the number of cases popping up at the border.
Yesterday, 40 in Auckland, zero at the border.
Friday, 65 in Auckland, one at the border.
Thursday, 71 in Auckland, one at the border.
In fact, across the weekdays we registered a total of 264 positive cases in Auckland and five at the border.
We now have so much transmission in Auckland, our quarantine facilities are close to full. Soon, we won't be putting positive Aucklanders into quarantine at the Jet Park or the Novotel anymore. They'll be asked to self-isolate at home.
How can we justify home isolation for a Covid-positive Aucklander but force 14 days' MIQ on a probably Covid-negative expat-Kiwi?
And yes we know they are probably negative because they're forced to take a Covid test 72 hours before jumping on the plane.
The Government's - thankfully - already started working on getting Kiwis home more easily.
On Tuesday Chris Hipkins said the Government is "actively considering" MIQ rules "in light of the fact that we are unlikely to get back to zero cases in the New Zealand community".
But he's only aiming to do it early next year. He should be aiming for this year. Christmas is not an impossible target. It's still 10 weeks away.
Stranded Aussies will be flying home for Christmas. New South Wales has announced its borders are fully open in a fortnight. It'll be hard for separated Kiwi families to stomach watching Aussie reunions when there is little reason they can't also be reunited.
The Government's main hurdle to making this happen is probably public opinion.
That's evident in a Taxpayers' Union poll out this week which asked Kiwis when they expected international travel without an MIQ stay - 63 per cent expected it only from the second half of next year. It's as if punters are struggling to accept that Covid is now inside the borders and here to stay.
It's going to take some political leadership to convince Kiwis their offshore-based friends and families are not the great threat they think they are. That could be challenging for this government.
After all, it was Labour ministers themselves who painted expat Kiwis as selfish holidaymakers just wanting to come back for a Kiwi summer. And it was Deputy PM Grant Robertson who warned the public that National's proposal to bring Kiwis home would give us Covid for Christmas.
That's not to mention the abject lack of leadership from the PM these last few weeks in even admitting that our Covid-zero days are over. How she'll convince people to accept overseas Kiwis coming home without admitting it's because Covid is here to stay will be interesting.
But, getting Kiwis home for Christmas is now a no-brainer politically. It'd undo a lot of the criticism of the last few weeks. Especially the criticism that the Government was so obviously unprepared for this outbreak. Pining families here will quickly forgive any number of failures if they get their loved ones home.
Bringing Kiwis home will look like they're making progress. It'd win Labour a lot of brownie points. There's a lot of political upside here, and - now that Covid's ripping through Auckland already - very little downside.