But the sudden pause of the ‘travel bubble’ between New Zealand and NSW after just two local COVID-19 cases were recorded has left him and fiancee, Suzy Hansen, angry and upset.
Ms Hansen, 45, said the pair, feel the move, which was initiated by the New Zealand government, is an “overreaction”.
“It just seems like such an over-response,” she said.
“It’s a husband and a wife, it’s not like it’s somebody he knocked into at Woolies.
“The fact that it’s his wife and they’ve paused the bubble, it just seems over and above what is required.
“Matt’s very angry and I am too that just for two cases, that that’s the case.”
While Matt’s mum, who was 72, did have a chronic illness, she passed away suddenly after a few days in hospital.
The couple, who are both from New Zealand, woke up to missed call at 2am in the morning, and were due to fly home today.
Mr Stevenson is now struggling with the fact he cannot take part in the Mauri funeral service with his family, his partner, said.
They will instead stay in Sydney as they would have to do 14-day hotel quarantine if they went to New Zealand.
“He’s not good. He’s very up and down. Very emotional. It’s a rollercoaster,” Ms Hansen, said.
“A lot of anger and disbelief and just the overreaction.”
The pair, who got engaged earlier this year said while they have each other, they have no other family in Australia to help them cope.
“You might have each other, but you’re alone,” she said.
The New Zealand trans-Tasman travel bubble, which allowed Aussies to go to the nation without doing 14 days hotel quarantine, started on April 17.
Authorities are in talks about when it might resume, after the pause began at midnight.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand would monitor the situation “very closely”.
“We’ll continue to monitor it, and obviously we’ll make decisions where we need to,” Mr Hipkins said.
New Zealanders could already come to Australia without quarantine.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Australia and New Zealand viewed each other as “another state” and said the scheme could be halted if there were new virus cases.
“Anyone in Australia who is travelling between states is prepared for outbreaks and there possibly being disruption, and I can’t believe I am saying this, view New Zealand as another state in that way,” Ms Ardern told Today in April.
“If there is a hot spot in one of the states of Australia, we may just act in the same way that another state would, with just limitation of people to come in and out of our borders until that issue is resolved.
“We are trying to make it as simple for travellers as possible. Just prepare that there may be disruptions.”
New Zealand is renowned for its virus eradication policy, while Australia maintains it is trying to suppress the virus.
New Zealand has only had 2582 total cases and 26 deaths.
A total of 26 people in hotel quarantine in the nation currently have the virus, and nobody is in hospital.
Around four percent of the population has had one vaccination, according to Our World in Data.