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If Government announced after Cabinet on Monday a change to the orange traffic light instead of waiting till Thursday the impact on business and the community would be immediate and positive, Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett said, speaking on behalf of business leaders and representative sector groups.

“It would signal to business and people that they can confidently make plans, travel, go on holiday, eat out, go shopping, look round town and enjoy the Easter break and the upcoming school holidays,” he said.

“There is no need to extend the pain for hospitality, accommodation, events and retail businesses. Thursday is too late for an announcement. Monday is better so businesses can plan, get in supplies and staff, and be ready to welcome back Aucklanders and visitors to their establishments. Customers too can know they can shake off their nervousness and reclaim the city,” he said.

“We’re asking Government to change the narrative and do the right thing. Switch to orange to give us our lives, livelihoods and confidence back. It will be great for everyone,” Mr Barnett said.

“Auckland deserves a break. These small businesses have borne the brunt of the disruption caused by the virus and we need a lifeline. While many businesses would appreciate ongoing financial subsidies to help them, there are other things Government can do, starting with getting people back into the city.”

Mr Barnett said Government and Council could and should lead the way and demonstrate confidence and self-belief in their own policies and safeguards that we have all dutifully adhered to by encouraging their thousands of workers to return to their place of work in the city.

“Let Easter be a new beginning about living confidently again, knowing we are a highly vaccinated population and that our business community will act responsibly to protect everyone’s health and safety, be it wearing a mask or getting a booster,” he said

Michael Barnett
Chief Executive
Auckland Business Chamber
M: 0275631150
Viv Beck
Chief Executive
Heart of The City
M: 021377734
Greg Harford
Chief Executive
Retail NZ
M: 0272432842
Robyn Pickerill
Chief Executive
Franchise Association of New Zealand
M: 0211279706
Julie White
Chief Executive
Hospitality New Zealand
M: 0275570056
Marisa Bidois
Chief Executive
Restaurant Association
M: 0275597777
Lisa Hopkins
Chief Executive
Business Events Industry Aotearoa
M: 0210440621
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