Time to open borders to attract more truck drivers

The time has some to open the borders and get rid of isolation restrictions so we can attract more truck drivers into New Zealand says National Road Carriers (NRC) Association Chief Operating Officer James Smith.

“We have a serious shortage of truck drivers in New Zealand and there is a very competitive global market for skilled truck drivers who can choose which countries they want to move to, as the world opens up post COVID,” says Smith.

“If we want our supply chain to keep functioning, we need to join with the rest of the world and get on with life by opening the borders so these skilled people can come into our country.”

Smith said Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits were now available to the general population at a reasonable price enabling people coming into the country to self-manage their COVID risk thereby removing the need for entry restrictions.

“It is not only truck drivers we need – every sector of the economy is screaming for people and if we don’t remove the barriers the economy will stall.”

Smith said all workers in the supply chain should be deemed critical. “The policy needs to acknowledge that, in our industry – and with Kiwis in general, workers are multi-tasking and multi-skilled.”

National Road Carriers Association has around 1800 members comprising large, medium, and small transport companies operating around 16,000 trucks.

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