Ardern says around 40,000 people will want to cross the Auckland border each day when it finally opens for the holidays, an increase that will present “logistical challenges.”
“We didn’t give a date,” she told The AM Show. “We have never had a hard land border in New Zealand for an event like this and what we put in place was only ever meant to be temporary, so the problem we will have is; over the summer, 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day looking to move and, at that time, checking things like tests and vaccination certificates for each occupant of a car – you can imagine the logistical challenges that this represents.
“We have worked on the range of options to make sure that we are achieving this goal that we have set for ourselves.”
One of the controversial options raised last week was to allocate time slots for Aucklanders to leave the region, a suggestion described as “delusional” and a “dystopian future plan” by the opposition.
Ardern said no decision or final date has been set.
“I understand people want to know, I absolutely know… We made the commitment, we know we have to allow people to move, but this is a unique pandemic situation in a generation where we are trying to move. ‘establish something that historically New Zealand has never had.
“The closest thing we have are the toll plazas and it’s very different from what we’re trying to make work. At the same time, it was only ever meant to be a temporary fix.”