National predicts 'summer of chaos' in traffic light, Auckland border system

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Nov 2021, 5:07PM
National leader Judith Collins (Photo / NZ Herald)
National leader Judith Collins (Photo / NZ Herald)

National predicts 'summer of chaos' in traffic light, Auckland border system

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Nov 2021, 5:07PM

The National Party has accused the Government of contriving a "summer of chaos" with today's Auckland boundary and traffic light announcement. 

National leader Judith Collins pooh-poohed the proposed traffic light announcement, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said would follow a November 29 Cabinet meeting. 

"This is an announcement that in two weeks' time there will be an announcement on what the Cabinet will decide." 

Collins said Aucklanders were chafing under current lockdown restrictions and wanted clearer public health advice. 

"Today's bizarre and incomprehensible 'plan' will create a summer of chaos for all New Zealanders," Collins added. 

Auckland's boundary will change 10 days before Christmas, and everyone vaccinated or returning a negative Covid-19 test result will be able to leave the city. 

All of New Zealand will usher in the next pandemic response era sooner, with the traffic light system to be activated late this month or early December. 

The three-colour system replaces the four-step alert level regime which was introduced more than 18 months ago. 

"Every week that goes by, Kiwis are being flooded with new, confused and contradictory messaging," Collins said this afternoon. 

She said once 85 per cent of eligible adults were double-vaccinated, or on December 1, whichever came first, regional borders must end. 

National MPs this afternoon also attacked specific aspects of the Government's pandemic response. 

Defence spokesman Chris Penk called for an overhaul to MIQ and the "endless and thankless" tasks Defence Force staff were assigned to in isolation hotels. 

"It's bad enough that qualified personnel are understood to be leaving in droves, largely due to endless and thankless duties watching hotel doors." 

National's Covid-19 response spokesman Chris Bishop said the Government had dithered this year and had relied too heavily on an outmoded plan. 

"It's now clear that the Government assumed elimination would work in 2021 but had no backup plan in case it failed," he said this afternoon. 

"New Zealand started 2021 in a good position, but the opportunities provided by New Zealanders' hard work in 2020 have been squandered."