“Jacinda Ardern risks making New Zealand the East Berlin of Australasia, preventing families from seeing their Aussie relatives this Christmas for no good reason,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“News that Western Australia’s border is finally opening to Victoria and New South Wales must surely provide impetus to getting a trans-Tasman bubble up and going.
“All Australian states and territories other than Victoria and New South Wales have been able to travel to Western Australia with decreasing levels of restriction since 14 November.
“Tourist operators in Te Anau must be scratching their heads in bewilderment that they can welcome Aucklanders who were locked down by Covid eight weeks ago, but not people from Western Australia who haven’t seen a case of the virus for seven months.
“In fact, while there are 54 active cases in New Zealand today, there are only estimated to be 44 active cases in the whole of Australia.
“Maybe the hold-up opening the bubble is we now pose a greater threat to the Aussies than they do to us?
“But seriously, the Prime Minister needs to do a much better job of explaining to New Zealanders how we’re going to begin re-integrating with the world.
“Australians, Cook Islanders, Samoans and people from other jurisdictions with low or no Covid are desperate to start moving between our countries in a safe and appropriate manner that ensures the virus doesn’t spread.
“It’s clear this can be done, and doing so would be beneficial to the economic and mental wellbeing of all of us.
“So why isn’t the Government moving with haste to implement these arrangements? If the answer is still no the Prime Minister needs to explain why, soon and with clarity.”