“The South Island has been completely let down by slow contact tracing efforts, leaving it locked down for far longer than it needed to be,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“There were 518 contacts in the entire South Island and we’re still waiting on tests to be returned. While a handful of tests are yet to come back, more than a million lives have been put on hold.

“Jacinda Ardern casually referred to Level 3 as the “wait and see level.” Wait and see means businesses are losing revenue, kids are not being educated and medical procedures are delayed.

“The Government has had 18-months to improve its contact tracing and yet it’s been recruiting tracers over lockdown and failing to use Bluetooth tracing.

“The Government has failed to trace and test 518 contacts in 15 days. That tells us that the Government’s overall strategy can only be sustained with long lockdowns, it has fearsome implications for our country’s future.

“How long will it take to ensure cases are found and isolated in Auckland, which actually has cases, if this is what it’s taken in the South Island that’s had no cases?

“The Mainland has a right to feel let down. The Government needs to give assurances that its procedures will be better if there’s another Delta outbreak.

“There should be no need for South Islanders to wait another five days to find out if they can leave the highly restrictive Level 3.”