The new leader of the National Party is questioning the government's call to put Auckland into the red setting under the traffic light system, as the city emerges from four months of lockdown today.
Auckland cafes and gyms opened their doors today as New Zealand dropped alert levels and moved into the Covid-19 protection framework.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon has been in the city's viaduct harbour today, speaking to hospitality business owners. He told reporters that the city should have gone to the green setting, as the red light is for when the health system is overwhelmed and vaccination rates are low - neither of which is happening in Auckland.
He says Auckland hospitality businesses are worried about the city emptying over the summer and being hit again in the pocket.
Auckland is in traffic light setting red with Northland, Taupō, Rotorua Lakes, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts. Everywhere else started the day in orange.
Earlier today, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said while Covid-19 cases will spread under the new framework, the summer rollout of the system is optimal timing.
Hipkins told Morning Report when winter arrived and the pressure on the heath system ramped up, booster shots and doses for children over five would have been rolled out.
He warned using the Covid tracer app would become even more important with the increased movement, with many locations of interest, and people would be notified if they'd been to one.
See how the day's news unfolded with RNZ's live blog: