Schools and tertiary institutions have lost a lot of income from foreign students locked out of the country by Covid-19.
They have an opportunity to recoup some of that by attracting northern hemisphere students for the second semester.
That would require strict isolation and quarantine for two weeks.
Given the omnishambles at the border and the bottle neck with returning citizens and residents, there’s no hope of that being done at facilities being run by the government.
Why not let the the host institutions run their own isolation and quarantine places?
They would have a lot of skin in the game – money to be made if successful and the knowledge that they’d not only make significant financial losses, their reputations would also be at risk if they failed.
Providing all the costs of isolation, quarantine and any treatment of people who had Covid-19 were met by the students directly, or through the institutions, the taxpayer would not have to pay.
If they were coming to southern institutions students could fly in to Queenstown or Dunedin so they wouldn’t add to the congestion in Auckland.
Schools, polytechs and universities would earn some much-needed income for themselves and foreign exchange for the country.
Students, and their families, would have to trust that the private sector would do better than the public one has but proving that shouldn’t be hard.
People, and organisations, with skin in the game will almost always do better than those, like bureaucrats and public providers, whose income isn’t hurt by their incompetence and they would have to ensure they had the right systems and procedures from the start.
They have the very real incentive of so much to gain from getting it right and too much to lose from failing to risk getting it wrong.
The only sticking point is the government which has shown it can’t trust its own agencies and probably won’t risk trusting private institutions.