Watch: Newstalk ZB's Heather Du Plessis-Allan, political commentator Trish Sherson, former Labour MP Chris Carter and ZB's political editor Barry Soper discuss the PM's alert level announcement.
COMMENT BY HEATHER DU PLESSIS-ALLAN:
Why is the Government choosing to keep the rest of the country outside of Auckland still in alert level 2 for another week?
The decision today to do this doesn't make any sense to me.
There is no community transmission in the rest of the country, the regions are crying out at the undue restrictions on their businesses, and – if that party of 90 people vomiting over the balcony in Dunedin at the weekend is anything to go by – people don't appear to be following the rules very closely.
You know what, everything suggests to me the government is forging ahead with its stubborn and overly conservative response here. And nothing illustrates that better than the face mask decision today.
What's changed in the last three weeks that's caused the government or drop the social distancing requirement on planes?
25 August - three weeks ago - Michael Baker said if everyone wore masks, airlines wouldn't have to keep the middle seat free
The government said no, then today suddenly yes. Why?
Nothing's changed. The only thing that's happened is that Air New Zealand has taken a financial hit, Jet Star stopped flying, passengers have had to pay through their nose for flights and regions have been hurt by the lack of travellers arriving.
Both the Nelson and Queenstown mayors have today spoken out about how hard these collective restrictions are for their regions right now.
Queenstown mayor Jim Boult says the restrictions are "killing" Queenstown.
This face mask flip flop is the perfect illustration of the conversation approach this government keeps taking.
Even when the experts say it's fine to take a bit of a risk, they refuse.
And it costs people and regions and businesses because of their pig-headedness on things like this.
So let me ask you this question again.
Do you think the rest of the country should be in alert level 1 right now?
When the transmission is only happening in Auckland at really low levels and is limited to one cluster.
Or do you trust the government when it says it just has to be sure and bugger the cost to everyone else?