“A survey by the Restaurant Association of over a thousand members shows the grim toll the lockdowns are taking on those in the industry,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“This Government talks about “being kind” and “governing for all New Zealanders” and yet the health and wellbeing of people in hospitality doesn’t seem to matter to this Government.
“Owners feel exhausted and under pressure. Members stated "Uncertainty makes planning impossible, I need to know how long it will be before people are allowed to move around. Without that I seriously need to consider closing down for good".
“Mental health issues were also flagged "Everyone is really depressed. None of my staff can see how this will end well. I can't either. We are at nearly 90% in Auckland, we need to stop locking people up.".
“The Government talks about following the science and public health advice. But it’s not weighing that up against any other factors. This is demonstrated by Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield attending Cabinet 17 times this year, but very little input being given from the business sector.
“Operators are calling for a clear date to end restrictions and detail of what the new framework will look like. They currently do not know when they can reopen, what the vaccination certificate system will look like or how it will operate, or how the new traffic light system will affect them.
“All of these sentiments were laid bare when I visited Auckland last week. You could see the pain behind the mask, something you can’t sense over Zoom. This is why Jacinda Ardern needs to be there.
“If the Prime Minister saw, heard, and felt what I did, she would be making different decisions. Auckland would be at Stage Two, if not Stage Three, of Alert Level Three. Hospitality and retail could operate with far greater viability and little if any change in public health.
“Auckland needs a plan to deliver hope, not the current uncertainty over a confused traffic light system and threats of cancelling Christmas the region is getting from Jacinda Ardern.”