The Green Party says Labour should test and refine the COVID Protection Framework before opening the Auckland border.
“The only way Labour can be sure that it is safe to open the Auckland border is to test the traffic light system first,” says Green spokesperson for the COVID-19 Response Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.
“If Labour is going to move the whole country to the traffic light system at the same time, then it should also keep the Auckland border closed for long enough to test the new settings.
“Labour’s decision to move to the traffic light system almost two weeks before opening Auckland shows it is possible to maintain the border under the new system. It makes no sense then not to allow some time to test it before opening the border.
“The risk is that by the time we find out the traffic light system isn’t working as well as it should, the Auckland border is open and COVID is spreading to areas not well enough prepared. This will impact the health and wellbeing of Māori, Pasifika and other marginalised communities the most.
“Maintaining the Auckland border while public health experts have a chance to test and, if necessary, suggest changes to the new system will prevent exposing less well-resourced regional health systems to the risk of uncontrolled spread.
“The Green Party would move the country to the traffic light system and keep the border with Auckland closed for at least three weeks. This would provide an opportunity to assess whether case numbers can be stabilised and start to decrease. If necessary, changes can be made to the traffic system before the border is lifted,” Dr Kerekere says.