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Auckland lockdown cuts off Northland businesses to massive market - 'When they shut down, we shut down'

A Northland business owner says when Auckland goes into lockdown, it means businesses further north are effectively cut off to the massive market.

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Dive! Tutukaka owner Kate Malcolm says her business is losing out in their final peak weeks of summer. Source: Breakfast

Dive! Tutukaka's Kate Malcolm this morning told Breakfast she understands Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Level 2 in the rest of the country is important due to the new Covid-19 Auckland February community outbreak, but their business is bearing the brunt in its final peak weeks of summer as a result.

"When Auckland goes into Level 3, even though we're in Level 2 and can operate, the tap just gets turned off," Malcolm said.

"Auckland's a massive market for us. They're a two-hour window so it's a short drive, it's a day trip. Northland is like the backyard, the playground for them.

"We've got sub-tropical weather, we've got beautiful beaches. It's a nice day trip from Auckland so when they're open, we're busy, when they shut down, we shut down - it's that simple."

Malcolm said amid the Covid-19 pandemic, her business had pivoted from a dive company to their "new normal" which offers snorkeling and other activities for domestic tourists.

But she urged Kiwis to continue visiting locally and support those businesses suffering.

"Just put that love back into your own rohe because there are small communities, as mentioned previously, that are really impacted by this.

"You don't have to go outside your region. We think that this is one little dip in the roller coaster, there's going to be more of these and we just have to learn how to manage in a really localised environment."