The Wiggles have kicked off their mammoth 25-show New Zealand tour with jokes about their controversial stay in managed isolation.
The children’s entertainers are set to perform to thousands of Kiwi kids over the next two weeks, as part of a nationwide tour that neared cancellation after the Australians almost missed out on visas and spots in MIQ .
The tour started on Friday morning in Invercargill and the band didn’t shy away from the hurdles they jumped to get into the country.
They weaved jokes about their two-weeks of isolation into the performance. In one scene, purple wiggle Lachlan Gillespie fell asleep during a lullaby, and another wiggle said: “He’s had two weeks in a hotel and he’s still sleeping.”
The Government had to step in and ensure MIQ spots for the band, after they failed to get their visa applications in on time and hadn’t secured vouchers for managed isolation.
The Government intervention angered some, who were critical that entertainers were granted MIQ spots when many offshore Kiwis are struggling to secure spaces in the booked out isolation hotels. Blue wiggle Anthony Field told The Project the band even received a death threat following the travel trouble.
“Apologies for all that kerfuffle that we caused inadvertently,” he said
But it was all smiles for the Wiggles young Southland fans on Friday.
Parents, such as Maddelin Walster, said it was devastating to hear that The Wiggles had received death threats.
“They’re trying to bring joy to kids who have had a tough year,” she said, adding that her four-year-old daughter had been waking up every day for the past two weeks asking: “Is it Wiggles day today?”
“She’s so excited that they’ve come to Invercargill,” Walster said.
Vickie Jones, a mother to an almost three-year-old daughter, said she was worried that if her Bella missed out on this show, she might be “over it” by the time The Wiggles were able to return to New Zealand.
Other parents, such as Isla Tree, said they were thrilled the Australian band had made it all the way to Covid-19 free Invercargill.
“Sometimes we just have to enjoy the fun in life,” she said.
The band posted a photo from the stage of The Civic Theatre before their first show on Friday morning, saying they were “excited to be back performing”.
“It’s so amazing to be starting in somewhere as beautiful as Invercargill,” the post read.
New Zealand entertainer Robert Rakete has also joined The Wiggles’ New Zealand tour.
They would also be performing in Dunedin, Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga, Hamilton, Auckland Napier, Palmerston North and Wellington.