15 Oct 2021

Aucklanders call for clarity: 'We can't have grey rules and then expect people to follow them'

12:47 pm on 15 October 2021

As officials beg Aucklanders to follow the rules, some city dwellers are asking for clarity around the Covid strategy in return.

2 metre distance signs in Newmarket Auckland on day one of alert level 3 on 28 April.

File image. Two-metre distance signs in Newmarket, Auckland Photo: RNZ / Kymberlee Fernandes

Announcing 71 new cases in the community yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said a large number of infections were from "gatherings inside peoples' homes".

Picnickers and walkers at Western Springs Park told RNZ they weren't particularly shocked, because they knew of friends and family who were flouting the alert level 3 restrictions, and had seen people posting their illegal activities online.

"I'm not surprised that the temptation is starting to creep in," said Gill Chisholm.

"A lot of Aucklanders are just over it and just kind of blasé," said David Baker.

Madeleine Lynch believed it wouldn't take many people flouting alert level restrictions to see an impact.

"Maybe we're all doing the same thing we were doing last year - only some are people breaking rules, but Delta is way more infectious."

Nevertheless, Aucklanders told RNZ they were disheartened about the rule breaches.

"I'm kind of disappointed. If you're hanging out with your friends outside, that's one thing. But bringing them into your house is different. It's like bringing them into your close bubble," one woman said.

Gill Chisholm said she was aware of the sacrifices her teenage children were making.

"Nine weeks at home. No friends. Older siblings living away from home. Grandparents - we can't see them. It's tough," she said.

Asked how the government could police illegal meetups in houses or deter future rule-breaks, residents told RNZ they "just want more clarity".

David Baker wanted the government to provide a more comprehensive list of do's and don'ts.

"There's just been so many instances where they've dropped the ball. On so many occasions not providing a clear picture of what we can and cannot do," he said.

"Using the public toilets for example - it's just mind boggling what rules they're making. They're unrealistic, they're not working. We can't have grey rules and then expect people to follow them."

Greg Chisholm wanted the government to deliver a clear set of plans - and give Aucklanders something to work towards.

"There's no commitment around certain levels of vaccination. We've talked about 90 percent but there's no commitment in terms of once we reach that target, what does it mean?

"There's an aspiration there, but there's no fixed date to say, 'you will be able to do such and such, let's all get together and aim for that.'"

Robertson's message was that indoor meetups are just as illegal at alert level 3 as they were at level 4.

He said the outbreak was affecting people in all parts of the city, "which makes it everyone's job in Auckland to help prevent its spread."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs