Mike Yardley: South Island should be sealed off from the North

The nation's biggest A&P Show, the New Zealand Agricultural Show, has been canned. Photo: 	New Zealand Agricultural Show
The nation's biggest A&P Show, the New Zealand Agricultural Show, has been canned. Photo: New Zealand Agricultural Show
It's a gut-punch for the South Island that looked ominously odds-on, the longer this week dragged on, writes Mike Yardley.

The Government has failed to tighten up the ropey Auckland boundary and the risk it poses. And there's been no desire from Wellington to seal off the zero-Covid South so that restrictions can be loosened.

And the South Island's signature week of festivities, Cup and Show Week, has just had the stuffing knocked out of it. The nation's biggest A&P Show, the New Zealand Agricultural Show, has been canned.

The organisers just couldn't hang on to hope, any longer. Decisive Government action was sadly lacking. So the show has bitten the dust.

The organisers actually lobbied Wellington for the show to be used as a trial for the vaccine certificate, but oh no, bureaucracy couldn't possibly get their ducks in a row for that.

So, it's destroyed. Dumped on the growing scrapyard of smouldering wrecks. And this was a major.

Stand by the New Zealand Cup at Riccarton and the New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington to be hollowed out as well, and public attendance drastically hobbled.

Nero would be astounded at the scale of fiddling that has torched Christchurch's most prestigious week.

So now the South is losing its biggest party, how about a comfort blanket?

The island of 1.2 million people hasn't clocked a Covid case in the community for 336 days. As far as we know. The wastewater testing keeps coming up negative, all over the island.

Yes, Delta will finally reach the South, but why give it an early invitation, or a helping hand?

I believe the South Island should be sealed off from the North, by way of far tougher travel restrictions for the next six weeks. Only critical workers or the critically in need should be allowed to cross the Cook Strait, pre-conditioned on being vaccinated and testing negative.

Cut the South some slack, some time to hit the 90 per cent doubled-jabbed milestone, with the drawbridge up. Surely, that's the least it deserves now, before the great reopening.

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