“The open border to Niue before Australia shows the Government couldn’t care less about struggling tourist and horticultural industries,” says ACT Leader David Seymour
“Last year the Government said it couldn’t open up to the Cooks because Australia was the priority. Now the border’s open to the Cooks, and Australia is an afterthought.
“The horticulture industry has fruit rotting on the ground. They are desperate for workers from other COVID-free islands. Why can’t the same deal be extended to, say, Samoa? If you ask the Government they cannot say.
“Tourism is in a tail spin, especially in Queenstown and on the West Coast. They are desperate for tourists, as hotels shut down and businesses go bust. Why not let Australian tourists from COVID-free states enter? If you ask the Government they cannot say.
“Opening Niue, like opening to the Cooks, shows the Government hasn’t been telling the truth about travel with Australia. They continually said the problem is Australia, but decisions about the New Zealand Border are all theirs. If it is possible to unilaterally open to Niue, why not New South Wales?
“The Government has said it can’t open the border because it might have to close again. They are treating New Zealanders like children. It’s time to start treating New Zealanders like adults who can work that out for themselves, and plan their own futures.
“ACT’s COVID 2.0 plan applies the principles that Government policy should balance COVID and non-COVID risks, and that restrictions should be proportional to risk. These principles would save horticulture and tourism, but the Government is not interested.
“Hardworking New Zealanders deserve better decision making from Government than this. Putting the Australian border in the too hard basket is a cost too many businesses cannot afford.