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Fairness and common sense needed around safe essential services - McClay

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There needs to be more fairness and common sense applied to determining what essential services can safely open, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

"Nearly a week into the lockdown there continues to be uncertainty about what is and is not considered a safe essential service. It’s important that the public receives clarification quickly.

"National MPs have continued to be contacted by people concerned about not being able to shop at their local butcher or fruit and vegetable store.

"I am also very concerned at the closure of all community and weekly newspapers in New Zealand and have called on the Government to reconsider this immediately. Community news outlets deliver 1.3 million papers free of charge each week and for many vulnerable people this is their only source of news. Community papers are an important platform to keep people informed during Covid-19.

"It doesn’t make sense that cigarette manufacturers are being considered essential services but independent grocers and community newspapers are not.

"As the Government looks at allowing halal butchers to reopen, I urge them to go further and revisit the limited opening of local butchers and greengrocers, particularly in smaller communities that might not have access to supermarkets.

"Where a local butcher, fruit and vege shops or community newspapers can show that they are able to follow the Covid-19 social distancing and health and safety protocols safely, including the delivery of newspapers, the Government should allow them to open to the public."

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