By RNZ

A number of Kiwis flew out of the country during lockdown then returned within weeks, with many staying at managed isolation hotels.

Official figures show 60 people left the country after alert level 4 restrictions were introduced - and returned before May.

Those who arrived back after April 9 would have stayed at managed isolation hotels on their return.

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The reasons for travel varied with 20 visiting friends and relatives and 14 travelling in and out of New Zealand for business.

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Statistics NZ said data from May onwards would be released next month.

The minister in charge of managed isolation, Megan Woods, said about $80 million had been spent so far on the compulsory 14-day isolation period for every returning New Zealander, with nearly $300m budgeted to keep the system running for the rest of the year.

Māori King to be updated regularly

The Māori King will receive regular updates on the status of returning New Zealanders staying in isolation at a Waikato-Tainui-owned hotel.

Ibis Hotel in central Hamilton, one of two Waikato-Tainui hotels being used as managed isolation facilities, is preparing to host a large number of New Zealanders coming back into the country next week.

Waikato-Tainui executive chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen said Police, Defence Force and Ministry of health had all provided assurances that safety processes would be stringently followed.

Kiingi Tūheitia will also receive regular status reports from the Covid-19 all-of-government response group.

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