Collins visits 'frustrated' Auckland business owners

Source: 1News

National Party leader Judith Collins visited businesses at the coalface in Auckland’s lockdown over the weekend, saying she can understand why people are frustrated with ongoing Covid restrictions.

After over two months of lockdown, Collins says people she spoke to on Sunday have had enough.

She said if the Government “keeps ignoring” how lockdown is affecting Aucklanders, people will end up, “deciding that they are going to ignore what the Government is telling them to do”.

“And that’s what happens when people say, ‘no one’s listening and I don’t understand why we’re doing it like this.’”

Collins says she’s hearing from people that they are feeling, “so frustrated and so let down by the Government”.

“We are saying to them, ‘don’t break the rules because the consequences are going to be bad’ but people are getting frustrated”.

Collins added Kiwis are “generally prone to doing what we are told to do”, but cited Saturday’s 5000-strong protest at Auckland Domain as a signal to the Government that people are growing more and more frustrated.

She says the city should move down alert levels as the Auckland businesses are gridlocked.

“Auckland can’t stay like this. You’ve got a lot of frustration, anger, mental health issues and people are really, really hurting.

“And they just feel like no one is listening - just even the Prime Minister, she should be here in Auckland, she should be seeing this,” Collins says.

“She’s got a recess week like I’ve got, she can deal with it just like I am. Well what’s the excuse?

“I’ve been here twice in the last month and you can do it. She’s an essential worker, so she needs to do it."

Her comments come as the National Party is calling for a royal commission of inquiry into the Government's pandemic response this year.

On Q+A this morning Health Minister Andrew Little defended Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland.

"I'm sorry for people that think their freedoms are being transgressed, but actually you're not particularly free when you're tied up to a bed, whether it's your own or one in hospital, barely able to breathe and you're infecting other people - that's not an expression of freedom," the Health Minister said.