Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon via Getty
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon via Getty

Lloyd Burr: Credit where credit is due, but it's time for certainty for hospo, hairdressers, beauty salons etc too

Opinion 17/11/2021

OPINION: After months of pleading for the government to give us some actual freedom dates, we’ve finally got them - well, one of them at least. 

Border Day is locked in as December 15. 

But Traffic Light Day could either be November 30, December 1st, or December 2nd. Or even December 3rd. 

Credit where credit is due, good on the government for giving us some clarity around the Auckland border. 

We can finally go and see loved ones. We can plan our Christmas breaks. I can finally go and get my furniture and boxes which are sitting in my parent’s garage in Tauranga, which means no longer sleeping on an airbed. 

It’s the first time I’ve had something good to say about this government’s handling of this crisis in weeks - although I’ll get to the lack of clarity around Traffic Light Day soon. 

It’s a horrible time to be in power at the moment, when you’re balancing a health crisis with an economic crisis and growing unrest and impatience at the continued curbing of our freedoms. 

This government had a whole covid-free year to plan for the day when covid would arrive and stay in New Zealand - but they didn’t plan: our health system is woefully prepared, the vaccine rollout was too late, and vaccine passports are still in their infancy. 

There’s a long list of failures this government has done, and I’ve talked about them a lot. 

They spectacularly dropped the ball, and now Ardern is using all her political nouse and political capital to pick up the ball again to prevent her legacy being one of Covid catastrophe. 

So thank you for finally giving us a date for when Auckland’s borders will open. 

But seriously, why have you not locked in a date for Traffic Light Day. 

You nearly got there, by saying “Cabinet will confirm on November 29 its decision to move Auckland into the new traffic light system which we expect will occur soon after the 29th”

But for bars, restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons, and any other businesses not allowed to open - that is just more vagueness. 

They need a date to work towards, not another arbitrary line in the sand when you’ll possibly allow them to open. 

Give them some certainty, like you’ve given the rest of the country with the border date, because it feels like you’re dropping the ball. 

Again.

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