“Jacinda Ardern today made the extraordinary admission in Parliament that she’s keeping the border closed for another six weeks to save us from 1,000 cases on COVID a week – even though we currently have at least 197,000 active cases,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“It’s madness and it makes no sense. The Prime Minister is prepared for businesses to go to the wall, tourism operators to experience extreme hardship and stress to reduce COVID cases by less than one per cent.

“Jacinda refused to produce the advice that led her to this nonsensical decision. She knows it was a decision based on political science after a bad poll, rather than evidence.

“She also claims business owners need the time to prepare. They’ve been ready for two years and they are desperate to open now.

“New Zealanders are frustrated and tired. We want to move on from fear and control.

“We welcome tourists coming back. But why not just get on with it now? There’s more risk in the community than at the border.

“She should have said, the border will be open from tomorrow, there’s no need to prepare because we’re dropping the restrictions. We estimate this will increase daily case numbers by less than a per cent.

“If tourists are coming back, we need to drop restrictions. Instead of being ready with that announcement today, Jacinda says it’s coming later.

“New Zealanders are fed up with being treated like children. We want to know what’s going on. We want to be able to plan our lives. We want to move on.