“New Zealand’s passport now gives you better access to Australia than New Zealand, and this extraordinary fact shows how backward our approach at the border has become,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour

"New Zealand risks becoming the East Berlin of Australasia, as the walls come down around with almost all Australian states allowing quarantine-free travel from each other and New Zealand.

“If you hold a New Zealand passport, you can show up at any eastern State; Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania, and go straight in. They will sensibly screen you for risks such as a high temperature, then send you freely on your way.

“If you bring your New Zealand Passport to New Zealand, on the other hand, you’ll go into 14 days of mandatory state-run isolation, likely paying for the privilege.

“Mandatory state run isolation sounds draconian, but New Zealanders are grateful if their Government agrees to lock them up for a fortnight at their own expense. Many New Zealand passport holders miss out and cannot enter the country at all. Thousands find that MIQ is booked up for months, and they cannot enter the country even if it means heart-wrenching separation from loved-ones.

“Beside the emotional impact of separation, tourism businesses are getting increasingly desperate as they wait for the border to reopen. A Government committed to serious policy making would carry out a cost benefit analysis of opening the border. It appears this Government, bolstered by cheap money from the Reserve Bank, is not interested in the costs of its policies.

“ACT said as early as July that New Zealand should adopt a risk-proportionate approach to COVID-19 and have different rules for travelers from different places, depending on risk. There is now no explanation for why our borders are closed to COVID-free states of Australia.

The Announcement comes off the back of mediocre performance on the Cook Islands.

"The announcement yesterday of a Cook Islands travel bubble sometime in the first quarter of next year - something most people thought would have been delivered by now - was nothing more than a smokescreen designed to cover up months of delay.

"Tragically, some people are still falling for this PR nonsense. There is no good reason we can’t move freely between New Zealand and the Cook Islands today.’

“The Prime Minister should front up and open New Zealand for Christmas, or is she taking the rest of the year off?