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New Zealand

'Please help us': Kiwis on cruise awaiting word if they can return home

Newshub logoNewshub 26/03/2020 Anna Bracewell-Worrall

More than 100 Kiwis onboard a cruise ship off the coast of Perth are anxiously awaiting word on whether they will be let off the ship and on a flight to New Zealand.

They're among thousands of Kiwis stuck overseas, pleading for the Government to step in and help them return.

a boat is docked next to a body of water: There are still thousands of Kiwis abroad desperate to get home. © Video - Newshub; Image - YouTube There are still thousands of Kiwis abroad desperate to get home.

 "Australia does not want us. Please help us, please, to get home," passenger Peter Gault said.

Friday should be the end of their journey - at Fremantle in Perth.

Instead, they're watching as other ships are turned back to sea and now, their flights home from Perth have been cancelled. 

"We need to get off this ship," Gault said. "We need the NZ Government to send us a mercy flight."

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said commercial flights are still open and they should get one, but those on board are worried and confused and are still scrambling to get tickets.

"We still are very unsure how and when we are getting back to NZ," Aucklander Riccardo Gauna said.

There are similar stories of trapped New Zealanders throughout the world. Joy Veint is stranded alone in South Africa after everyone was ordered off the Norwegian Spirit in Cape Town. 

She was told by the Ministry of Foreign Affair and Trade to get herself to Johannesburg - now she's stuck there.

"I'm not asking for a free ride," she said. "We just want to get out."

She's worried about where she'll stay as South Africa goes into lockdown.

"We can't stay in a hotel - they are shutting down." 

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