Rumours of a fourth Managed Isolation and Quarantine facility opening in Rotorua are circulating.
It comes as almost 11,000 people have been quarantined in one of Rotorua's three MIQ facilities — the Sudima, the Ibis, and the Rydges hotels.
Rotorua District councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says while nothing has been confirmed, it appears likely.
"Talks are under way with a significant big hotel here in Rotorua and whether it's going to be fit-for-purpose for the Government's purposes of establishing another MIQ," she said.
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According to Raukawa-Tait, the ministry is actively looking for suitable accommodation providers.
"We already have three big ones, the Sudima, Rydges, the Novotel [Ibis], so we've really only got a couple left."
In a statement to Local Focus, associate deputy secretary of managed isolation and quarantine Andrew Milne confirmed that "due to extremely high demand for MIQ space, MBIE is investigating potentially bringing additional facilities online".
He said that both Rotorua and Christchurch were being considered but no decisions have been made.
Whakarewarewa Māori Living Village chief executive Mike Gibbons says a fourth MIQ would be devastating for the local tourism industry.
"It uses up what we have as our quality accommodation and it leaves the rest of the accommodation for our future manuhiri," he said.
"We just can't afford to lose that accommodation stock available to our visitors. It's just huge and it's too much of an impact."