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Businesses welcome the Auckland border reopening in the middle of next month, but are seeking assurances to ensure they will be back in business by 1 December.

This is according to the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), whose CEO Brett O'Riley says that although the association’s 7,600 members are aware the traffic light system announcement will be made on 29 November, uncertainty remains as to reopening times.

"That's the pattern we've seen so far with these announcements - that the day following is when it comes into play - but business needs clarity so we can plan for this. The worst outcome would be to have to wait an extra few days or even a week to reopen," he said.

"Retail's open now, but Auckland's hospitality industry is on its knees and needs to plan for restocking, organising staff and getting prepared to open on December 1.

"At the moment it feels like we're in the last kilometre of a marathon and someone forgot to mark the finish line so we don't know where it ends," O'Riley went on to say.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister said the cabinet will affirm Auckland’s move into the Red level of the traffic light system on 29 November, reports the New Zealand Herald.

"Business understands the risks, they've shown how well they have managed them before, and they're desperate to get back to it. I urge the Government to give them the hope and certainty they need around reopening," O'Riley said.

Chief executive of Hospitality New Zealand, Julie White stated venues were now ready to open for gatherings of 100 now: "The opening of the Auckland border on December 15 means further disaster for Auckland hospitality," she said.

"We will only have two weeks open under the unprofitable restricted red light rules before Aucklanders rush from the region, and then two weeks before the post-Christmas flat period.”

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