6 Nov 2021

Aucklanders can travel over summer: 'That's a commitment' - PM

6:14 pm on 6 November 2021

Aucklanders will be able to travel outside the region over summer and Christmas, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed today.

Caravan car travels on the highway.

File photo: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Aucklanders will be able to travel over summer Photo: 123RF

Speaking at a press conference outside the Labour Party's national conference, Ardern said the government wanted Aucklanders to be able to travel for summer and Christmas.

"So that is our starting point. What we have been working on then is how do we manage the demand that we are likely to see at the border as a result of that movement, which will be anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 people to move."

Ardern said there were ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Transport about a range of options on how to make the process as smooth as possible, but they were not yet in a position to announce what it could look like.

"You have a commitment," she said.

"We will not keep Aucklanders isolated to Auckland through that period - we simply cannot do that."

Ardern told Newshub the government was considering whether travel should only be available to people who are fully vaccinated.

"Vaccine certificates is one of the options we are considering to ensure the safety of others. It will not be a long-term mechanism though - this is for the here and now."

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Checkpoint this week the government was considering allocated time slots for Aucklanders wanting to leave the region, but Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the following day "it wouldn't be very practical".

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