Auckland border should remain in place for now

The Green Party says the Labour Government is making a mistake by committing to opening the Auckland border before vulnerable communities are ready.

“Elimination has protected thousands of lives in Aotearoa and maintaining elimination is still possible outside of Auckland for now. Aucklanders have being doing it really tough, but we have to hold the line to keep everyone safe while vaccination rates increase, particularly when so many of our vulnerable communities are still at risk,” says Green Co-leader Marama Davidson.

“Auckland is in a very different position to the rest of the country; the outbreak is uncontrolled, and case numbers are rising.

“Labour is making a mistake by committing itself to opening the Auckland border before evidence is known about how the Traffic Light System is working and cases have stabilised.

“A date for opening the border should only be agreed once vaccination levels are equitably high, the traffic light system tested and refined, and regional health systems prepared,” Marama Davidson says.

COVID-19 Response spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere says: “There is a risk of significant harm to people in under-resourced DHBs, with the combination of lower vaccination rates – especially among Māori – and more marginalised communities.

“The Green Party’s approach will ensure the long-term health of communities and whānau so we can all keep doing what we love in the future without overwhelming local health systems.”

ENDS

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