“Labour and Jacinda Ardern are undermining this year’s election by keeping New Zealand at Alert Level 2 for another month,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Keeping New Zealanders at Level 2 for at least another month is self-serving.

“We are now just 103 days away from advance voting in the most important election in a generation.

“Before the lockdown, it was not unusual to see more than 100 people at a political rally. Now, that’s not allowed and can’t be planned.

“It’s not just political parties. Every event-related business is facing this kind of uncertainty, at great cost.

“Elections are an opportunity for the Opposition to challenge the Government and for the public to choose. Suppressing election activity is the hallmark of undemocratic states and it has no place in New Zealand.

“Every day, New Zealanders get a political broadcast from Ardern and her team.

“The polls show Labour has done a remarkable job at controlling the narrative and controlling New Zealanders.

“But, with so few Covid-19 cases and an election on the horizon, it’s now time to get back to our normal lives.

“We’ve had just seven new Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks. There is no public health justification to wait another month before easing restrictions.

“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the delay in easing restrictions is politically-motivated.

“New Zealanders can’t wait another month. Businesses and workers are unable to operate at full capacity. Businesses are going to the wall and workers are being laid off. The economic pain is real.

“There is no good public health reason for Labour’s continued delay in easing restrictions on the economy.

“For the good of our economy and our democracy, Labour needs to allow New Zealanders to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.”