Traffic light system 'unsustainable', means fewer freedoms - Collins

Source: 1News

Judith Collins says the traffic light system is "simply unsustainable" and will mean fewer freedoms for those currently in Alert Level 2 areas.

National leader Judith Collins.

The country is moving to the traffic light system at 11.59pm on December 2, a continuation of restrictions due to the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.

The rules will be different for people who are fully vaccinated, compared to people who have not had both their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Restrictions would be placed on businesses that open to unvaccinated customers as they pose a higher risk in a Covid environment.

Regions will go into Red, Orange or Green levels, dependent on the Covid risk, the pressure placed on hospitals and the health care system and the area’s vaccination rate.

National's leader told Breakfast the Prime Minister in Parliament on Monday had been unable to answer her question on how a region will move through the different colour levels of the traffic light system.

"That is being legislated right at the moment without the Prime Minister even understanding the details. That to me is a Government that is panicking and we need to move on."

Collins said she "certainly" shared the concerns of National's Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop about the speed in which the traffic light system legislation will be passed.

She reiterated the Prime Minister being unable to answer her about moving through the traffic light levels.

"So that tells me that the Government does not know what it’s doing. It’s simply making this up on the fly. We have obviously a democratic process and a lot of people just say 'well get the job done'," Collins said.

"The problem is if the Government’s head person, the Prime Minister, doesn’t understand the details, then what chance does anybody trying to run a shop or a retail business and anyone else frankly ... to understand what it is the rules are supposed to be?

"I certainly don’t have the detail because I asked the Prime Minister and she didn’t have the detail."

Breakfast presenter Matty McLean put to Collins that she was on the one hand demanding more freedoms — National wants the trans-Tasman bubble reopen by Christmas to fully vaccinated people who test negative for Covid-19 — while lambasting the very system which would allow people, particularly in Auckland, to have greater freedoms.

"It doesn't actually," was Collins' response.

"In fact there’ll be fewer freedoms for people say in Wellington which at the moment is in Level 2. They’re looking forward to probably an Orange light … so they will have more restrictions," Collins said.

"It is simply unsustainable for us to travel down this traffic light system when we are trying to get people 90 plus per cent double vaccinated. If we’re 90 plus per cent double vaccinated, then why do we need a traffic light system?

"Simply it’s layer upon layer upon layer of rules and people have just had enough, they’ve had enough of being stopped from doing what they need to get done.

"This all becomes about power and control rather than actually looking at what is the risk involved and how do you manage it?"