“Preventing golf course maintenance during lockdown is a perfect example of why we need a common sense approach to what activities can be undertaken”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

As ACT wrote at the beginning of the week, the Government should be taking a ‘safety’ approach rather than an ‘essential’ approach to what is allowable. There are many things currently forbidden that could be done safely. There are some things being done under the justification of ‘essential’ that are not safe.

“Supermarket shopping is the Achilles heel of this whole project. Having fifty people in one store at all times, and a constantly changing fifty people is the most dangerous activity we have, and yet supermarkets are deemed essential. At the same time, butchers, bakers, and fresh fruit and vegetable stores with much stricter protocols are being ordered to close, but dairies are open. Go figure.

“By preventing greenskeepers from preserving golf courses while we are at Alert Level 4, the Government is imposing serious economic costs for no health benefits whatsoever.

“Allowing one greenskeeper to preserve the condition of golf courses would present zero risk, and this is being done in other countries.

“Without maintenance, golf courses will be ruined, costing millions of dollars and spelling the end for some clubs. Everyone is making sacrifices, but for no benefit at all?

“There’s obviously no danger to a single person maintaining golf courses, just economic loss. At present, we are taking expensive precautions that offer no health benefit at all.

“New Zealand Golf has applied to MBIE to be an essential business. MBIE could provide some flexibility for golf courses, but it raises questions about the wider approach. There are a number of activities, such as property maintenance in general that could be done with zero risk, but people are losing their livelihoods for the Government’s needless inflexibility.”