Auckland border needs to open so Kiwis can ‘get on with life’ - Collins

Source: 1News

National leader Judith Collins is calling for the reopening of domestic borders so Kiwis can “get on with life”.

Her comments on Breakfast come as the nation will find out on Wednesday when Auckland's border will be loosened to allow travel in and out of the locked-down city.

Auckland has been in Alert Level 4 or Level 3 lockdown since mid-August.

Collins said there needs to be an end in sight for those in the region.

"We've now got pretty good rates of vaccination in the Auckland region and it's pretty clear to me that (with) 85 per cent double vaccination, we've said in New Zealand we should be able to bring down the regional borders unless there is a particular problem, so that might be an area where there is very low vaccination rates, that might be a problem.

"But everyone else, I think we should be able to get on with having a life and we need some certainty."

However, in response to concern from health experts about the border reopening with low vaccination rates among Māori, Collins said a freedom date may help.

"If we don't have a date in mind, if we don't have a freedom day date in mind, then we're just going to continue meandering around not getting those vaccines for Māori up and it's specifically Māori that ... the rates are down," she said.

"Look, we've just got to get on and get it done and the leaders in Māoridom need to really be able to promote that."

But as Covid-19 vaccine pass requests become available from today (Wednesday), Collins said it would also not be "feasible" to logistically check the many thousands of Aucklanders leaving the city by car over summer.

"I don't think that it's feasible to think that you could have 30 to 40,000 cars going through the Auckland border and having everybody stopped and checked for their vaccine passports, that's simply not going to be, I think, feasible," she said.