The theory that Lords skipped MIQ distracts from real problems with the system. photo/Lord
I can’t say this often but I’ve had good news: You can stop commenting/emailing how Lord MIQ skipped to sing at Jacinda Ardern’s wedding.
We’ve had dozens of these messages, comments, and emails lately, with many having issues with caps lock key, wondering why we’re “hiding” Lorde’s MIQ exemption and why not asking the real hard questions.
And while we know better than to assume that just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean it will suddenly stop spreading, the Herald has confirmed that Lorde did, in fact, complete her residency at MIQ upon her arrival in New Zealand, as a government mandate.
The theory that the singer had managed to skip MIQ began circulating on social media in December around the time Lorde sent out a newsletter to fans, informing them that she was back in Aotearoa.
Around the same time I sent out the newsletter, Lorde was also seen at Gray Lynn, Takapuna, and some other Lorde-y places. From this, and really not much else, a low-key conspiracy theory was born. I say low-key because at least this conspiracy theory doesn’t make anyone drink their pee, but it really pisses some people off.
To give people the benefit of the doubt, she went and read Lorde’s email to her fans, in which she declared that she was lucky to spend Christmas with her family in New Zealand. I was expecting her to admit in that that she had her companion Jacinda give her a free pass to New Zealand, without the need for an MIQ, because I’ve seen tweets and comments from people that Lorde said so herself.
What I found wasn’t much like that. She goes on to talk about the solstice, connecting with nature and how beautiful it is to be back in New Zealand and says she has come back to the country “with some good fortune”.
Anyone who’s tried to get a MIQ knows that getting one of these boxes is the definition of a “good luck hit” but some people woke up that morning and chose to get angry, and instead decided that probably meant they had to skip MIQ altogether.
(Just to be clear: she didn’t.)
The Lords live in New Zealand and have had shows scheduled across the country in February and March (which granted, they have since been postponed) New Zealand is, objectively speaking, a very nice place to visit, especially if you’re looking to escape the winter and run the risk of getting injured. sunburn rather than risk Covid. It’s not really out of the question to imagine that she’ll try to get her MIQ slot early. And listen, rich people queue up and get things they don’t deserve all the time, but can we save our energy (many times) when it actually happens instead of in these internet scenarios?
Lourdes’ only sin seems to be that she intends to sing at the Prime Minister’s wedding, which has yet to happen. That alone seems to be the only reason people suspect that she’s been able to get home for the holidays.
I understood that MIQ, while truly a life saver for many of us within ‘Fortress New Zealand’, is a completely flawed system with many issues that need to be addressed. It has succeeded in keeping New Zealanders safe within the country (we only have to consider the number of Omicron cases in MIQ) but it has come at the expense of many New Zealanders abroad, who deserve the right to return home. Questioning how MIQ works is very legitimate – and absolutely necessary – for those who have remained outside New Zealand. However, forming theories about celebrity skipping doesn’t help. In fact, it distracts from the real issues and erases the plight of the many Kiwis stuck abroad.
Spreading misinformation and made-up theories about a celebrity skipping MIQ just because you don’t like the wedding you’re singing at does nothing to address real issues with the system – and in fact, it hurts those people who have been locked out of New Zealand, struggling to go home, under The mercy of the lottery often makes them feel like second-class citizens.
Instead of focusing on made-up, unverified theories about celebrities at random, can we pay attention to these real people instead?