For the South Island, it has gone on too long

Staying on Level Two for another week means that this lock-down has gone on too long for those living far away from Auckland, National Party Leader Judith Collins says.

“Why is the South Island still at Level 2 when there hasn’t been a case recorded there since the end of May?

"South Islanders have put up with the inconvenience of restricted gatherings, cancelled sports fixtures and half empty businesses. They've had enough.

“While we had a sound response to the pandemic back in March, we’re now in danger of using a mallet to crack a nut when it comes to how we handle this disease. For many under continued lock-down, far from the outbreak, the worst effects won’t come from the disease itself but the economic fall-out of how we handled it.

“The Prime Minister’s claims about the positive state of the economy do not line up with the number of people out of work and the even larger numbers who have retained work due to the wage subsidy.

“If Labour had a clear plan at the border, this outbreak could have been tracked and traced much earlier.  Now those in South Island are continuing to pay a price for an outbreak happening hundreds of kilometres north of them.”