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Govt looking to set up trans-Tasman bubble by middle of 2021 if re-elected - Grant Robertson

The Government is looking to have a trans-Tasman bubble set up by the middle of next year as part of New Zealand’s economic recovery, provided the party is returned to power by voters, Grant Robertson says.

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The Finance Minister said the development of a vaccine was crucial to the full opening of borders. Source: Breakfast

Asked when the borders would be open as part of the country’s economic recovery, Robertson told TVNZ1's Breakfast today that any changes to the border would be done “as quickly as we can, as safely as we can”.

“You know we’ve been working on bringing in more people who’ve got economic skills that we need, and we’ve promised to dedicate a percentage of our managed isolation places to that,” he said. 

“And we’ve been working on that trans-Tasman bubble as soon as both sides of the Tasman are ready for it.”

Robertson said a full opening of the border is dependent on the development of a vaccine.

“We’re looking for that [trans-Tasman bubble] in the middle of next year. Obviously the development of a vaccine is absolutely crucial to the full opening of the borders,” he said.

"We’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars in making sure that New Zealand is near the front of the queue for those vaccines.

“No one can give you a specific date [on any bubbles], but we’re going to move as quickly and as safely as we can.”