An Auckland mother is feeling disappointed and disconcerted by a low-level response at Auckland Airport upon her arrival from Singapore during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mt Eden businesswoman Maree Glading, who co-founded I Love Pies, returned home on Wednesday morning after travelling with her young family across Central America and Southeast Asia for months.

The 42-year-old said seeing first-hand the difference in response between those countries and New Zealand had left her feeling very exposed.

"I don't think I'm an expert by any stretch of the imagination, this is just my experience of this morning," Glading said.


While abroad she had seen a great deal of care, including people wearing masks, wearing gloves while serving food and using hand sanitiser before entering taxis.

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At the airport in Singapore her temperature was checked several times, she said.

Once on board her flight home her experience changed.

There was no announcement about coronavirus or the need to self-isolate, she said.

"Once you are on the plane it's a perfect time to read and think about what you are going to do.

"There was nothing handed out to us."

 Maree Glading with her husband Brad and children Francesca and Louie. Photo / Supplied
Maree Glading with her husband Brad and children Francesca and Louie. Photo / Supplied

At Auckland International Airport, there was a card to fill out - similar to an arrivals card - asking for a contact address and flight details, she said.


"I was disappointed because there was no help desk, there was no 'what does self-isolation actually mean?' There was no 'how are you getting home?'

"It just felt haphazard, like there wasn't proper checks in place.

"We could have written down anything. Nobody saw or cared."

Overall, it just felt like posturing, Glading said.

Some staff did yell out about the 14-day isolation period, she said.

Only a handful of staff wore masks, she said.


According to the Immigration New Zealand website all passengers arriving in New Zealand are being assessed and screened before they are allowed to enter the country.

"The Ministry of Health has the power to quarantine aircraft or vessels on arrival to New Zealand if cases of Covid-19 are suspected."

While in an airport queue Glading said she overheard a man who had arrived from Britain tell Immigration he was just here for two weeks before grabbing a NZ tourism brochure on his way out.

One main thought struck her mind: "Why are you here?"

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It felt like there were all these tourists that were about to go on holiday in New Zealand, she said.

Glading's comments come amid news that three tourists face deportation as New Zealand clamps down those refusing to comply.


A police spokesperson today said the Ministry of Health had asked them to conduct visits to check on the compliance and welfare of about 50 individuals throughout the country.

"The visits, which commenced [Tuesday], involved police visually sighting the individuals and asking a series of questions relating to their wellbeing while self-isolating."

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told media on Tuesday the risk of community outbreak appeared to have remained low but it was assessed on a regular basis.

"Our border restrictions are intended to keep the risk low. It is something we are very, very alert for, and that is why we are wanting to do sufficient testing so that we can detect any evidence and act."