‘It is not humane’, Sir Ian Taylor’s plea to Government to allow grieving Kiwis home

Computer graphics pioneer Sir Ian Taylor is imploring the Government to allow grieving Kiwis to return home to visit dying relatives.

In a lengthy message on his LinkedIn page, Taylor expresses his frustration at the inability of one of his staff members being able to come back to New Zealand from the United States and visit his terminally ill father.

Taylor is renowned for his work revolutionising the way people watch sport including golf, cricket, yachting, motor sport and baseball with 3D, data-driven graphics over live pictures.

But in recent days, Taylor’s creativity has turned to negativity on the social media page where he implored Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to “put real meaning” behind the term, be kind, after his staff member, Simon Chattington, was initially refused a bed in managed isolation as he couldn’t be sure that his father would be dead within six months.

“This is a message to the Prime Minister about what it means to care.

“Simon Chattington is one of our team who for the past year has sacrificed so much to ensure that his colleagues back here in New Zealand have jobs and that our business remains, not only viable, but now growing once again.

“It incidentally means we can pay the taxes that pay the officials and politicians who should be working for us.”

Taylor said Chattington had lived in isolated bubbles across the United States to keep contact with one of their top sports clients, Major League Baseball.

“His life over the past year has been one of limited contact and face masks, literally for months on end.”

However, now he needed the help of the Government as his father was “desperately ill in hospital”.

“His specialist has suggested to his mum that if there are family overseas they should come home to spend time with their dad. BUT – the officials have decided that he doesn’t qualify for one of the LIMITED number of beds that are available because he can’t guarantee that his dad is going to die within 6 months.”

Taylor dubbed the response “in-humane and barbaric – definitely NOT about being a nation that cares”.

“This is arguably the most important reason for anyone to be able to come home – WHY are the number of beds limited for what is arguably the most trying time for people and their families and WHY should someone in this situation have to go through any hoops at all to be home with his dad.”

Since writing his post several days ago, and with his workmates working shifts to monitor the Government’s “stupid” MIQ website to book a bed, they had managed to secure one for Chattington.

“This is not how we should be doing this. Others out there do not have the advantage of mates who will sit up 24 hours a day waiting for a vacancy to miraculously appear.

“Although we are now bringing our Simon home this should not be the end of this. Someone needs to take responsibility for all those who have suffered already and those who will in future. Let’s put some real meaning behind BE KIND,” he wrote.

Taylor told those who replied in support of his situation that New Zealand politicians “have bathed in the glory of how well New Zealand has handled Covid but turn a deaf ear to those who have suffered and continue to suffer separation from their families”.

“Whanau is at the core of humanity. Let’s stop pretending we are ‘kind’. It’s a buzz word that no longer applies to the way we handle those suffering the most for the rest of us.”

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