Migrant workers who have been split up from their families are calling for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to "be kind" and allow their loved ones into the country.
"We are asking for Jacinda and all the Government to listen to us, to be kind and [allow] us to reunite with our families again," Patrick Tedeschi said.
He was one of a group of close to 50 family members, spilt up with their loved ones, who gathered outside Parliament this afternoon ahead of Cabinet's transtasman bubble announcement.
"I'm here to make our voices heard," Patrick said.
He told the Herald that he had left everything in his native Brazil – where his wife and children are currently "stuck" – and he hasn't seen them for more than a year.
"We don't know what do to," Patrick – who is a software developer – said.
This afternoon's impending travel bubble announcement will mean that there will be roughly 1000-1300 extra spaces available in MIQ facilities, as those travelling from Australia won't need to isolate for two weeks.
But Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi dashed any hopes that an announcement would be made this afternoon.
"They [the families] won't get an answer today," he said, speaking to reporters after the rally.
He called on split migrant families to have "a little bit of patience".
"It's a difficult situation because the border is closed, for a reason," he said, citing managed isolation spacing issues.
He said the Government was considering what could be done to help those impacted.
"It's not just about split families, there are also other cohorts of people hoping to bring their families to New Zealand," Faafoi said.
Speaking to those gathered, rally organiser Justin Sobion spoke of a man who hadn't seen his son since he was four days old.
He also expressed the frustration of another worker, whose dog was allowed into New Zealand but not his wife.
And, he said, one woman said had spoken to her husband about getting a divorce as a result of their separation, as that would be an easier alternative.
That same person, Sobion said, had contemplated suicide.
Among the many signs and placards those in attendance were holding urging Ardern to "be kind", was young Daniel Ahmadvand who was holding a sign which said, "give me back my dad".
He was with stepmum Sharareh Khojasteh, from Iran, who was in tears as she spoke to National leader Judith Collins about how hard the separation had been.
"I don't have any family here," Sharareh said. "I need my husband's support".
National's immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford said: "This unfolding crisis in New Zealand is a stain on our society and is an affront to the mantra of kindness that has been [put forward] by our Prime Minister."
"That fact that you haven't seen your children and you partners in a year is abhorrent."
She supported their calls for a select committee inquiry into the separation and will be urging other members of the Education Select Committee to join the call too.
The rally comes just hours before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to reveal the commencement date of the transtasman bubble.
This morning, Ardern acknowledged the case that some epidemiologists have been making, which was that "low risk" people arriving in MIQ would be replaced with more "high risk" people.
But she said she would share more details around how the Government planned to mitigate this issue this afternoon, after Cabinet has made its decision.
"We have, however, as you know, separately undertaken some work to look at, if we can start bringing in extra cohorts, of family members who are separated."
Meanwhile, the Act Party has launched its own petition to separate exhibitions from level 2 mass gathering rules.
Speaking to the Herald, Show TV Director Darryle Clarke said exhibitions and events should be under the same rules as supermarkets in level 2.
"At the moment, a busy shopping centre in New Zealand, under level 2, can get between 250,000 and 300,000 visitors a week.
"An exhibition with 20,000 people through over three days, all contract traced, is far safer."