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Ardern reiterates 'be kind' message after bus drivers attacked, abused

Reports of abuse directed at bus drivers and other essential transport staff in recent weeks have prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to speak out.

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Ardern said there is "never any justification" for lashing out at essential workers. Source: 1 NEWS

Auckland Transport said on Monday that there had been as many as 16 incidents reported involving abuse or aggression towards train, bus, ferry and security staff.

It includes a 69-year-old bus driver who was left bloodied after allegedly being assaulted by two teenage passengers, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Mayor Phil Goff condemned the attacks earlier in the week, adding that it was "appalling that someone should be attacked while doing their job as an essential worker".

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Auckland Transport calls workers getting attacked while on the job a 'disgrace'

“They deserve our respect and appreciation for the vital role they play within our community. They certainly should not be subjected to physical violence and I ask everyone to contact the police if they witness any such behaviour in their community.”

Ardern addressed the reports during the Thursday afternoon Covid-19 press conference, saying there is "never any justification for lashing out at our essential workers".

"They are effectively putting themselves at risk every day to keep crucial services running," she said.

"Every one of them is doing their best under very challenging circumstances. Please, I ask everyone: be patient and be kind.

"I know that we would all be very saddened and appalled to hear that some of our essential workers have been having this experience."