Red light setting cold comfort for Aucklanders

After more than 100 days in lockdown and endless announcements of announcements, Aucklanders will be relieved by a bit more freedom today but there is much more for the Government to do, says National Leader Christopher Luxon.

“Auckland has done the heavy lifting for the country and endured over 100 days in lockdown, but their reward is just to go into a “red” setting.

“This is harsh news for bars and restaurants across Auckland who suffered 100 days of lockdown and who now will be unable to host large Christmas and New Years’ events.

“To make matters worse, the Government is planning on simply monitoring the impact of the red light setting and waiting until January before deciding if any support payments are needed.

“The Government should be adopting National’s “dine and discover” vouchers, modelled on the successful NSW scheme, to get Aucklanders out supporting their local eateries again. A few subsidies for zoos and other council facilities simply doesn’t cut it and shows just how deeply out-of-touch the Government is with the hospitality businesses hurting on the ground.

“The introduction of the traffic light system is looking like a mess. Three days ago, the Government published a 100-page Health Order which is now in effect, and businesses and consumers alike are confused about the rules.

“We also have the extraordinary situation of fully vaccinated New Zealanders unable to prove they’re actually vaccinated. People who have been vaccinated overseas were told on 17 November to submit their vaccination information, but many are still waiting for it to be processed. Without their vaccinations recognised, they can’t get a vaccine pass – the supposed ‘ticket to summer’.

“The Government’s ineptitude and carelessness is partly shutting off some vaccinated New Zealanders from getting on with their lives.

“Labour is big on PR and spin but woeful at delivery. Vaccine passes and the traffic light framework are just the latest examples.

“Labour has had since April to work out how to cope with Delta and develop a back-up plan to elimination. Instead they took their eyes off the ball and stayed in self-congratulation mode.”