Government says we’ve played the “short game well” but wants “extra time to give extra security” before it considers lifting alert levels, but why, asks Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.
“What is it that they are waiting for? No cases for an unknown number of days? Acceleration of testing? What are they going to do in this extra week? Tell us rather than prolonging the agony and anxiety by keeping Auckland in Level 2.5 and the virus-free, rest of New Zealand in Level 2. Signalling an intention to review the situation again in a week does not give certainty or ability to plan,” he says.
“New Zealand beyond the Bombay Hills must be bitterly disappointed that they have to remain under restrictions. There’s evidence that inter-regional travel by Aucklanders has been safe with no spread of the virus. More frustrating is having the carrot dangled in front of them that there will be more seats available on planes to bring domestic tourists to the regions with the one bit of positive news – relaxation of distancing on public transport.
“As for Auckland, it’s more pain with no gain. We still don’t know the criteria and the rules to give us back our lives and livelihoods,” Mr Barnett said. “And don’t think the bounce in consumer spending is a panacea for lifting an economy that is still stalled with some sectors and businesses likely to fail.”
For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber.