“Jacinda Ardern has sunk further into running the country on a whim, instead of by predictable rules we can all understand,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Jacinda couldn’t explain why Auckland will be any more ready in a few weeks to move to Orange than it is today, because there is no logical reason for it. None of it is logical. 

“The conditions are right now. The Government’s Traffic Light System says a region will be in Red when the health system faces an ‘unsustainable number of hospitalisations.’

“It’s clear the health system isn’t being overwhelmed right now and, to look at it from the other angle, if this is Red, what would the Government do if there really was a growing outbreak?

“The Government simply cannot balance COVID with other needs. The next two weeks will cost people all over Auckland and other regions at Red, that cost is put onto them simply because the Prime Minister doesn’t want the tiny risk she’ll have to reverse her decision.

“She’s chosen to knock off and put the COVID response on autopilot for a month instead of balancing the different needs of New Zealanders in real time.

“Moving to Orange would remove the venue size limits that are killing so much activity in Auckland and other regions in Red. Hospitality, events, even weddings and funerals are being severely limited by Orange.

“Jacinda says we need time for the traffic light system to ‘bed in’ and ‘go through a full transmission cycle.’ She just makes it up as she goes along.

“If we have rules and even the Government won’t follow them, what chance does it have of taking the public with them?

“Aucklanders have been through enough. It’s one of the most vaccinated cities in the world. We should let Aucklanders enjoy the freedom of Orange for Christmas.”