“Labour needs to stop milking gratitude for giving citizens any freedom at all and start explaining why restrictions are justified. It has the relationship between citizens and government back to front, and it’s covering the fact the Government’s systems aren’t ready” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“When the government wants to restrict our freedoms, it needs to justify them. What is the justification for preventing people from freely entering New Zealand and letting them self-isolate?

“Where is the cost-benefit analysis for closing the border to Australia until next year? We know that there is no greater risk than letting people move around New Zealand.

“What is the justification for knee-capping the tourism industry for another four months? As with all these decisions, no comparison of costs and benefits is given.

“We know there is no justification for the delay except the Government is not ready. It’s just like how the traffic light system was never about vaccine rates but getting the Government’s systems ready.

“The truth is that home isolation has been disastrous so far. People have been without contact, and even died. The Government does not have the systems in place for home isolation. There are a million New Zealanders overseas, so many of the team of six million must miss Christmas.

“Professors Michael Baker and Nick Wilson from the University of Otago have pointed out that a shopper at an Auckland supermarket is more likely to give you COVID-19 than a fully-vaccinated negative tested traveller from, say, Canada.

“Aucklanders will be able to move around New Zealand from December 15, but not foreigners who are less of a risk. There is no longer any logic in restricting New Zealanders’, or other citizens’, freedoms to enter the country.”