Ardern acknowledges Covid-19 restrictions tough for Auckland businesses - 'We got on with it'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has acknowledged recent months have been “challenging” for local businesses after the Covid-19 community outbreak and the second lockdown.

Your playlist will load after this ad

She says the economy has been able to return close to normal because the country acted quickly. Source: 1 NEWS

Ardern said the Treasury estimated that under Alert Level 3, economic activity was at 80 to 85 per cent of normal. 

In recent weeks, Treasury also revised its figures for Alert Level 2, with economic activity at 90 to 94 per cent of normal. 

Ardern said increase in export, building consents, card spending and traffic movement showed New Zealand’s strong economic position. 

“However, I know that recent months have been challenging for many Auckland businesses, especially those in hospitality, retail, tourism and the arts.

“When we quickly stamp this virus out, our economy is able to return to close to normal, quicker.”

But, Ardern warned of a resurgence of Covid-19 and people’s complacency.

“Please, do keep checking in,” she said of Kiwis’ use of the COVID Tracer app. 

In its weekly update on Friday, Treasury said national spending is at levels similar to the previous Alert Level 1, but Auckland lagged behind. 

It said business confidence recovered over September, but businesses were reporting it was challenging looking for skilled workers.

Consents for multi-unit dwellings are also at a record-high, Treasury said.

But, the number of Jobseeker Support recipients increased by 1115 as people receiving the Covid-19 Income Relief Payment fell by 1689 in the week to September 25.

It comes as Ardern announced Auckland will move to Alert Level 1 on Wednesday, October 7 at 11.59pm.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Jacinda Ardern confirmed the news a press conference today. Source: 1 NEWS

Ardern said all signs pointed to the previous outbreak being under control, adding there was a 95 per cent probability of the Auckland cluster being eliminated.

Ardern said many found it harder this time around.

"Despite that, Aucklanders and New Zealanders have stuck to the plan that has worked twice now, and beat the virus again.

"We put our heads down and we got on with it."