Rural NZ 'deeply worried' about Aucklanders holidaying in regions

Source: 1News

Dr Rawiri Jansen says those in rural and provincial areas of New Zealand will be "deeply worried" about Aucklanders holidaying in their areas over summer.

The National Hauora Coalition clinical director on Tuesday told Breakfast high risk communities weren't ready for thousands of visitors from the city amid the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.

On Monday, 190 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the community, of which 182 were in Auckland. There were 113 new community cases on Sunday and 206 on Saturday, again, with the vast majority in Auckland.

But while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday told Breakfast Aucklanders, who've been in lockdown for 12 weeks, will be able to reunite with family outside the city in time for Christmas, Jansen said many areas weren't ready for such exposure to Covid-19.

"I was in meetings with a couple of hapū lead initiatives, health initiatives yesterday and they are trying to prepare their communities for outbreaks in their communities," he said.

"But then if you add in the Auckland summer diaspora, hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders leaving, there's a very high risk that Aucklanders will export Covid into communities that are not ready, that are not resourced to manage outbreaks."

Jansen said there was also concerns about the logistics of allowing Aucklanders to holiday in remote areas.

"There's big questions in all of this - if you're a little coastal community and you've got some camping grounds and you've got a whole lot of Aucklanders coming and then there's an outbreak, are you expected to shelter those people in place or do you pop them in a car and ask them to drive four, five hours back to Auckland without stopping?

"You know, there's some real complexities in this and I think rural, provincial New Zealand will be deeply worried about this idea that the Auckland diaspora just gets to have their summer holidays out there."