'A nightmare': Essential workers frustrated with Auckland border testing

Leah Panapa 09/09/2021

LISTEN: The sudden introduction of mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for essential workers at Auckland's borders has caught business owners by surprise.

Truck drivers and other essential workers moving from Auckland to the regions need to provide proof of their weekly COVID-19 test at police checkpoints.

Daniella Watene and her husband own a small organic fertiliser company in Takanini and Bombay, south of Auckland, and say the new regime was sprung upon businesses with little warning and no consultation.

Bennett Fertilisers employs 18 people, including 10 truck drivers - who are essential workers - who have to drive across the border.

"Whilst they are coming into Auckland, it's just the bottom part of Auckland. Majority of their day is spent out of Auckland," Watene told Magic Talk.

"We have no COVID cases out of Auckland so therefore the COVID testing stations are very limited, and mostly you can only get it done at a healthcare provider."

Watene says that isn't practical for truck drivers as healthcare facilities only operate during business hours.

"And because of their limited staff they can only allow a portion of the day - there might be like a two hour window - that they do testing, which is hard for us to organise" she said.

Watene says it has become a "nightmare" and is frustrated with the government's lack of planning and consultation with essential businesses, who have been let down.

Listen to the full interview with Daniella Watene above.

Magic Talk.

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