A place of interest sting from botched New Plymouth Airbnb owners
VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff
Bach Break manager Jo Bourke and owners Monique and Tim Neeson are unimpressed that the Department of Health has mistakenly listed the New Plymouth home as a place of interest.
Owners of an Airbnb rental in New Plymouth say they lost at least one booking because their property spent more than 24 hours mistakenly listed as a Covid-19 place of interest.
Monique Neeson, who owns the property with her husband Tim, said the Department of Health (MOH) was “completely and utterly pissed off” by listing the house as a place of interest on Sunday morning, only to change the listing Monday afternoon.
”We have had no contact from the ministry to apologize for being wrong.”
The Neesons, who are dairy farmers from Waikato, have a property in Vogeltown, New Plymouth called Brooklands Bungalow.
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On Sunday morning, the Department of Health website listed the property as a place of interest from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on February 12.
But the couple knew that was wrong because they booked the property themselves from February 4-14 and didn’t end up getting into town, meaning no one was home on February 12.
It wasn’t until 4pm on Monday that the venue was changed to the Bungalow Coastal Retreat in Okato, about a 25-minute drive south of New Plymouth.
On Monday, the Department of Health would not explain why the house was listed as a place of interest and instead forwarded the request to the Taranaki DHB.
Taranaki DHB said speak to DHB Auckland.
Auckland DHB forwarded a request for media clarification on the matter to Auckland Regional Public Health, which responded just before 5:30 p.m. on Monday, saying “the event was being managed by the National Tracing Team. contacts in Wellington” and the location had now been changed.
Jo Bourke, who handles bookings for the property as director of Bach Break, said the Department of Health needed to pay more attention to pitches.
“How can they post something that didn’t even happen? I want to know from the Ministry of Health how they got this address. How did it happen?”
”It really had an impact on the owners.”