1 Sep 2021

Lag in processing business travel applications likely to be small - EMA

8:22 am on 1 September 2021

The Employers and Manufacturers Association has been reassured any backlog in applications for workers to cross Auckland's southern border will be small.

The new police checkpoint at the Brynderwyn hills heading north from Auckland.

The new police checkpoint at the Brynderwyn hills heading north from Auckland. Photo: RNZ

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said 2524 businesses had been given permission to travel between level 3 and 4 borders from today.

Employers and Manufacturers Association spokesperson Alan McDonald had heard about 5000 had applied and was worried about a backlog when travel was essential for so many firms.

But McDonald said he had received an explanation of the figures from the ministry.

"Overnight I was able to talk to MBIE, and the disconnect between the numbers we had with 5000 applications and 2500 processed would appear to be the number of individuals covered by the 2500 applications," he told Morning Report.

"If there is a lag then it's likely to be much smaller than what we'd previously thought."

The EMA's business helpline and advice line will be able to pick up any problems reported by companies and feed that information to government, he said.

Those with workers needing to cross the alert-level boundary can apply for Business Travel Documents if they meet the exemption criteria.

MBIE's Business Travel Register went live at 12pm on 29 August.

"Both from MBIE and the police we've been hearing just have that paperwork so make sure it's on you, you've got it displayed, and that will ensure much smoother transition through the borders for everybody," McDonald said.

McDonald told Morning Report there would be demand for more businesses to be open under level 4, particularly those in Auckland that supply the rest of the country with parts and equipment.

"Those businesses in Auckland still can't open under level 4, so that will create problems for the supply chain around the rest of the country."

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