First phase of trans-Tasman bubble will see quarantine-free travel for Australia’s deportees

A decision on a travel bubble date is set to be announced in two weeks, though the Prime Minister’s preamble on that day could as much as double the wait.

A decision on a travel bubble date is set to be announced in two weeks, though the Prime Minister’s preamble on that day could as much as double the wait.

While New Zealanders eagerly anticipate Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s April 6th announcement on reopening to Australia, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted what the earliest stages of a trans-Tasman travel bubble might look like.

Both Prime Ministers have indicated the bubble may be introduced in a staggered manner, with the highest profile travellers being cleared first.

“I’ve spoken to the Prime Minister, and she’s accepted, at least on principle, that our first priority for quarantine-free travel is of course our great deportees,” said Morrison. “For much of our shared history, as you know, Australians from all across the country have been travelling to New Zealand, often by force, to experience its rivers, lakes, beaches, and its reaction to humanitarian dilemmas and unwanted criminal risks.”

Morrison said it was “unfortunate” that for over a year now, Australians have been unable to do this without having to make onerous two-week quarantine arrangements.

“This means that we’ve often had to deal with the worst consequences of our existing social structure entirely by ourselves, sometimes for weeks, even months, at a time.”

But now, Morrison said, he looked forward to Australian convicts, returned terrorists, and other diplomatic nightmares being able to once again enjoy the “wonders of Queenstown.”

“The skiing, the mountains, the snow, the snowboarding, the skiing, the immersive and resplendent meetings with lawyers, Immigration and Corrections to grapple with the sheer nightmare of what to do with someone who has no memory of the place, all of the things we think of when we think of New Zealand,” said Morrison.

The Australian Prime Minister was pressed on whether he had any specific recommendations for convicts and terrorists traveling to New Zealand, he said he did not.

“Frankly, they can do whatever they like, that’s the beauty of it, really, is that it’s not up to me.”

Upon further consideration, he did add that the “Queenstown shark thing” was “lame.”

“Don’t do that,” he said, in closing.

Hydro Attack Queenstown, which owns and operates the shark thing, said in a statement that their experience is “not lame” because “you get to be in a shark.”

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was pressed on the prioritisation of Australian deportees, but pointed out that people were “simply misinformed” about the people they would be.

“A lot of people, when they think of Australian deportees, they think of violent criminals and terrorists and really quite scary people,” she said. “But this simply isn’t the case. The majority of these cases are actually people who haven’t committed the most serious crimes, many who have even already served their time, and are actually being punished brutally and disproportionately by being deported to a place where they have no memories and no support network. And the great thing about that is, they too will get to enjoy Queenstown, and go down the luge, and get a Fergburger.”

She did not think she had ever been on the shark thing.

“Not to my recollection, no.”

“Is it lame, Prime Minister?” came one shout from the gallery.

“Oh look, I don’t think that’s for me to say,” she replied.

The question has been referred to the Tourism Minister. 

The Government has scheduled the announcement on bubble commencement for April 6th, in desperate hopes that something will happen before then to push it out further.