David Parker: Decisions not made on whether Aucklanders can leave the region for Christmas

The AM Show 29/10/2021

WATCH: Aucklanders will be left uncertain this morning as David Parker can not confirm or deny if Aucklanders will be able to leave the area come Christmas. 

This comes as Parker is questioned on the logic around Kiwis stranded overseas can not get home still under the new MIQ system announced yesterday. He says returnees could potentially carry the virus to other parts of the country that currently is COVID free.

"Although we are experiencing a COVID outbreak in Auckland and we are trying to manage that now through vaccination, most of the country is still free of COVID," the Labour MP said. "If we had people coming through the border and going to those areas we would have an increased risk of COVID in those areas."

That brings into question whether Aucklanders currently stuck in the city area will be able to visit anywhere else in the country come Christmas.

Parker said that he believes Auckland will have reached a 90% double vaccination rate and "by that time we will have taken decisions at a central Government level about inter-regional travel". 

"It is true that those decisions have not yet been taken but they will need to be taken before Christmas. I am not saying what the answer will be. But by then we will be into the traffic light system."

Bridge asked if that meant that even if the rest of the country isn't at 90% could Aucklanders still leave the area.

"No, I am saying that decision will have to be taken before then and by then there will be other parts of New Zealand that are at 90+ and they will be in the traffic light system too," Parker replied.

This led Bridge to ask if certain areas could be red taped for Aucklanders but places where 90% has been achieved could be on the list for Aucklanders to visit?

"Those decisions haven't yet been taken," Parker again said. "Those decisions will be considered once we are into the traffic light system."

Simon Bridges said they system is confusing and seems to be changing on the fly.

"I thought I sorta understood as a relatively informed New Zealander how it worked," he said.

"I thought it worked… that if one place was at 90 percent but if others weren't, there wouldn't be movement between. 

"Now we are hearing we might be able to hop, skip and jump over Gisborne into Tauranga from Auckland, but you won't be able to go to Whangārei, for example. 

"It's a shambles. It's policy on the hoof. I think politics means they will start to open up, but on the logic of what David said and the preparation that's been done, no show."

Watch the full clip above and catch The AM Show every weekday from 6am on Magic Talk.