29 Oct 2021

Covid-19: Truck lobby not in favour of vaccine mandate for drivers

From Morning Report, 6:44 am on 29 October 2021

Trucking companies say a vaccine mandate at regional borders would be a problem because they are already struggling with a driver shortage and fragile supply chain.

The government is looking at making vaccination a requirement to cross regional boundaries for all but some travel.

A sector group, Transporting New Zealand, says freight companies cannot afford to take unvaccinated drivers off the road.

Chief executive Nick Leggett said a recent survey of 300 transport operators showed 28 percent would not have enough truckies to run their business if a vaccine mandate were introduced.

"At this point, this close to peak season for freight at Christmas, at this point, if we drove a mandate for vaccination, without a proven case as to actually what we're trying to achieve, we could cause a chaotic shortage that would mean that freight slowed and in some cases stopped.

"It's fair to say there are mixed views in the trucking industry about this."