“It wasn’t worth waiting through Ashley Bloomfield’s slide show to find out Auckland might move, in principle, to Step 2 of Alert Level 3 in eight days’ time,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Ashley Bloomfield’s slip of the tongue, which revealed the Government changed its position from a ‘public health’ view to an ‘Auckland’ view after actually asking Aucklanders, shows why the Prime Minister herself should be visiting Auckland.

“There is no good reason why Auckland restrictions can’t be relaxed when Waikato restrictions are relaxed.

“The Prime Minister said Auckland is waiting for more vaccination. Auckland is 81 per cent fully vaccinated. Waikato, 72 per cent fully vaccinated, is moving to Step 2 tomorrow.

“The reason the Prime Minister gave is that Auckland can’t go to Step 2 because kids are going back to school, that is illogical. Waikato also has schools, and what does it actually mean for schools to 'bed in?'

“Aucklanders also have the greatest need, with businesses going under, the mood depressed, and people increasingly desperate after three months of lockdown. By comparison the Waikato, also hurting, has been at Alert Level 3 for only the past four weeks.

“The Government should be moving to Alert Level 3 Step 2 tomorrow and setting out a time frame for going to Step 3. What people most need is certainty.

“The Prime Minister is running into a problem of logic. It is likely Auckland first dose vaccination rates will catch up with second dose rates in the next three weeks. If we can’t be sure about moving to Step 2 then 3 in that time, how can it make sense for Auckland to move off the Alert Level System to the Traffic Light System in the same timeframe?

“What Aucklanders needed was prompt certainty, the Prime Minister has delivered neither.”