New Zealand to Fully Reopen Borders in July After Two Years of Lockdowns

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 25: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a press conference on May 25, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cabinet will meet today to begin discussions on easing level 2 restrictions to include increasing the maximum number of people that can gather. New Zealand continues to …
Ross Giblin - Pool/Getty Images

Following two years of suffering under some of the strictest lockdown measures in the Western world, New Zealand will finally lift its Chinese coronavirus border restrictions in July, leftist Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday.

New Zealand’s borders will be fully reopened on July 31st, two months before the government had previously planned as the economy inches closer to a recession.

Addressing business leaders via video link while in Covid-19 quarantine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said per The Guardian: “This will be welcome news for families, businesses and our migrant communities.

“It also provides certainty and good preparation time for airlines and cruise ship companies planning a return to New Zealand in the peak spring and summer seasons.”

The announcement from Arden, who has been one of the chief proponents of strict lockdown measures in the hitherto liberal West, comes as the central bank of her country has warned that New Zealand may be sliding towards a recession as thirty-year high inflation grips the nation.

Head of research Stephen Toplis at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said: “Our central forecast, currently, is that New Zealand’s growth stalls completely in 2023. The danger is that the wheels well and truly fall off.”

The announcement of the end to border restrictions was welcomed by the cruise ship industry in New Zealand, a key pillar of the tourism sector that props up the island nation’s economy, with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) describing it as a “Huge breakthrough” for the New Zealanders whose professions rely on cruise tourism.

Prime Minister Ardern also said that she hopes the loosening of border controls will enable the country to address skills shortages with foreign labour, which has essentially been blocked off from employers over the past two years.

The border controls have not only impacted foreigners, however. Last month, the High Court of Wellington ruled that Ardern’s leftist government had acted “unlawfully” in blocking its own citizens from returning to the country in order to stem the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

The leftist government in Wellington mandated that all travellers, including citizens of New Zealand, to secure a slot in one of the government-controlled quarantine camps. Due to limited space in the camps, the government operated the system on a lottery basis, meaning that many Kiwis were prevented from returning to their homeland for months.

“[T]he combination of the virtual lobby and the narrow emergency criteria operated in a way that meant New Zealanders’ right to enter their country could be infringed in some instances in a manner that was not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society,” ruled Wellington High Court Justice Jillian Mallon on April 27th.

The Ardern lockdown regime has been long criticised for its callous attitude towards individual liberties. In October of last year, the leftist PM openly boasted about ushering in a two-tiered society, in which those who had taken a coronavirus vaccine were granted more rights.

Ardern, an acolyte of the World Economic Forum of Great Reset fame, did see some pushback from the public, with New Zealanders staging a Canada-style freedom convoy of their own in February, blocking off central Wellington near the parliament building over vaccine mandates being placed on public professions such as policemen and healthcare workers.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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