Labour’s failure to plan constraining our economy

The Government has had months to plan for a situation where there could be an Alert Level border in the country, like Auckland and the rest of the country, but once again its failed to prepare, National’s Transport spokesperson David Bennett says.

“Once again we’re seeing confusion and flip-flopping from the Government.

“Director-General of Health’s unilateral decision last week to test truck drivers crossing Auckland’s Level 4 border into Level 3 came as a huge surprise to the transport sector, who hadn’t been consulted on any changes.

“Then the Ministry of Transport said this was only a recommendation and not a policy. But according to the Road Transport Forum the Government is intending on proceeding with testing at the transport borders.

“Inconsistencies like this one have plagued the Government’s response to Covid-19. We’ve seen the same issues around what businesses can open at Level 4, and no rationale why dairies can open but butchers can’t.

“The Government has had months to prepare for Alert Level borders and how it will deal with essential travel across the border. It should’ve consulted with transport companies so that they could advise on a feasible system to keep both the drivers and the community safe and keep our supply lines operating.

“Instead it’s clear the Government has no regard for how businesses operates and that it has little understanding of supply chains. The Government hasn’t been doing the work to keep the country moving.

“The road transport sector are well aware of the risks that their essential workers are taking and have already put measures in place to keep their staff safe. They have been working long hours and under stress to keep New Zealand’s supply chains up.

“The Government has had the time to prepare and consult with the transport sector to come up with a plan that would work for both sides. It hasn’t used that time wisely, and New Zealand’s supply chains could be impacted as a result.”