Government ducks questions about the looming summer of chaos

The Government continues to duck simple questions about how its stop-and-check travel restrictions are supposed to work in practice, including how long Aucklanders will have to queue at the border to go on holiday, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.

“Answering questions on behalf of the Prime Minister, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins today claimed the purpose of the stop-and-check system was to slow the spread of Covid around the country.

“But he refused to say how many cars need to be stopped or even where checkpoints would need to be located to achieve that goal.

“State Highway 1 south of Auckland averages 60,000 cars a day in December. The Government needs to front up and tell Aucklanders trying to plan their summer holidays just how many of those 60,000 cars should expect to be pulled over, how much chaos that will cause, and how long they should plan to be stuck in queues to leave the city.

“For the Prime Minister and her senior ministers to simply shrug their shoulders and say it’s all up to the police as ‘an operational matter’ is pathetic.

“It is her Government’s policies the police will have to apply and she needs to tell people clearly and definitively what it all means for their summer.

“We all deserve answers about what our rights and responsibilities are, and how this increasingly convoluted ‘plan’ will play out in reality, or whether we are facing a summer of chaos.

“To continue ducking very reasonable and important questions isn’t good enough.”