Morrison wants a travel bubble; why doesn’t Ardern?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the only thing holding up a two-way travel bubble with New Zealand is our Government’s lack of urgency, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

When asked by media today on how far away a full travel bubble with New Zealand is, Prime Minster Morrison said: “I’m happy for them to open it up as soon as the Prime Minister and her Government would like to do that.”

Prime Minister Morrison’s assessment that it was up to Jacinda Ardern whether Australian tourists spend their money in Queenstown or Cairns should be a wake-up call to our Government, Ms Collins says.

“Our Government has been dragging its feet for nine months on a travel bubble while Australia has been good to go.

“Australia showed us the risks associated with a two-way bubble are minimal and manageable. They opened their border to New Zealanders in October and it has worked.

Tourism NZ estimates that a trans-Tasman bubble, combined with domestic tourism, would see tourism spend in this country return to 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels, Ms Collins says.

“A two-way travel bubble would be a major boost for New Zealand’s tourism sector, which has been all but left for dead by Jacinda Ardern’s Government.

“We need to get this bubble up and running before winter to give places like Queenstown the opportunity to have a bumper ski season.

“New Zealand could be in the unique position of being the only external tourism market for Australians to visit – Australians who have been stuck at home for 12 months.”

You can find Scott Morrison's comments to media here at appox. 24.30.