Hundreds of workers in Northland are contemplating new career prospects following the implementation of the traffic light system and the vaccination mandate.
Northland is the least vaccinated region in New Zealand, with 78 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated as of Friday.
Close to 100 district health board staff, and over 100 teachers are without jobs following the November 16 vaccination mandate deadline. And, with the newly implemented traffic light system, the hospitality and beauty industries are now suffering losses too.
Allan Brady is a health care worker now looking for a role elsewhere. He was the only anesthetic technician at Kaitaia Hospital. However, his decision to wait for a different vaccine to Pfizer or Astra-Zeneca has cost him his career.
“I've known nothing but this job I've been in this game for 37 years I've been working in public and private hospitals and I have no other skills," says Brady.
Local bars and hair and beauty salons have lost both staff and customers following the mandates.
Andrea Panther of the Kaitaia Business Association says Northlanders are known to be "really laidback", but that isn't the case now.
"We've got people here that are really angry that they can't have access to where they want to go and where they want to shop and where they want to support,” says
Anyone who is without a job due to a vaccine mandate is entitled to four weeks pay.