Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says extra support and advice will be on hand for hairdressers when they re-open in case they are targeted by protesters or the unvaccinated - but suggests they call police if there are significant troubles.
Hairdressers in Auckland will re-open on Thursday and will be the first to use the new vaccination certificate system – meaning they can only serve vaccinated customers, and all staff must be vaccinated.
Asked whether there would be extra police or security on hand in case of issues with unvaccinated people demanding service or protestors targeting those businesses, Ardern said there would be extra support.
"Ultimately, though, the decision around enforcement and compliance and how that is operationalised is made on the ground. But I know we want to make sure our hairdressers feel safe, particularly at a time when they might be inundated with those wanting their services."
Asked if she had had advice about risks from anti-vax protestors, Ardern said vaccination passes were widely used around the world, and widely accepted. She expected that would be the same here.
"We just need to make sure that in this transition we are providing support – a period of transition where people come to accept the new way of operating. So we need to prepare for that, but I'm not expecting it to be a widespread issue.
"Of course, they are always able to contact the local police if they have concerns, or seek advice in advance if they have concerns."
Hospitality will also re-open on December 3 once the country moves to the new traffic light system – and vaccination certificates would start to be used nationwide.
She said most hospitality businesses were already used to running checks on customers for age and drunkenness, so had processes in place already.
"We will make sure we've got support, particularly around hospitality, but they are used to undertaking checks around, for instance, age and having to deal with perhaps patrons who have had a little too much indulgence. So they have had practices to deal with these issues. We want to make sure they're really supported for the next phase."
The whole country will move to the new traffic light system on December 3.
While it had already been decided that Auckland would start off at the most restricted red setting, Cabinet would decide on November 29 which levels other regions would go in at.
The four-day gap was to allow time for the legal changes that were required to be put into place.
Ardern said it was being taken into consideration which areas were summer hot-spots for people to visit and the ability of those regions to cope with a surge in visitor numbers and a potential outbreak.
"Vaccination rates are one factor ... another will be the movement of people over the summer period as well. Will we have a swell in the numbers, how prepared are we for the growth in numbers? Just concerns about what outbreaks might mean for different regions."
She said the vast majority of those travelling would be fully vaccinated, and while 90 per cent vaccination rates in each region was a "guide", Cabinet would be pragmatic when assessing whether a region was likely to hit that mark soon.