“The Government has made the right decision to move to Alert Level 3 and attention must now turn to clarifying the rules of the game so safe activity can resume,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour

“There must also be a renewed focus on support for the narrowing range of sectors who remain severely restricted at Alert Level 3. Sectors such as tourism, hospitality, some retail, and event centres will now bear the brunt of the cost for a wider public benefit. In these circumstances there is a stronger case for targeted support for those sectors which cannot operate even at Alert Level 3.

“The Government has been slow to support small and medium-sized enterprises in particular who face diminished cashflows due to Government policy. The Government must provide support for ongoing expenses such as rental payments that are not covered by the Government’s wage subsidy.

“However, most businesspeople would much rather be earning a dollar than taking one from the taxpayer. For these firms, it is essential the Government continues to clarify the rules of the game with haste.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to allowing ‘safe’ businesses to operate, however it is essential that the rules be clarified in a number of important areas. For example, real estate. People who have settled recently risk being homeless if they can’t find somewhere else to live. Similarly, changes in relationships and financial circumstances will require new accommodation arrangements, but the Government has sent mixed messages about whether private viewings – not open homes – are permissible.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is that New Zealanders must continue to follow the law. The Government has made the right decision today at one level, but there will still be a lot of clarification required. It’s important that the Government does this job hastily, but equally important is that we all follow the game plan and hope it works, because a team that doesn’t follow its game plan doesn’t have one.”