The new leader of the National Party says the Government should explain to Kiwis why it will be another week before they decide on a move to alert level 1.
Todd Muller said in a press release Kiwis have already made big sacrifices and the Government must front up and explain why that is not enough to move to level 1 now.
The Government doesn't plan to reconsider moving out of level 2 restrictions until June 8, but with the country now going more than a week without finding any new cases of COVID-19, there's growing unease with the economic damage the restrictions are causing.
"There are fewer cases now than there was before any restrictions were put in place, Muller said.
“The Government has a duty to speak with one voice on such a critical issue, but all Kiwis are hearing now is mixed messages from the Prime Minister and her deputy."
Muller was referring to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters saying last week we have been "too cautious for too long now" and we've "got to risk it and get going".
Muller said businesses on the brink of closure have been left in limbo too long.
"It’s time for the Government to be clear about what conditions need to be met for the move to Level 1.
“Level 1 should mean businesses can return to full capacity, transport networks can resume without constraints, marriages can be properly celebrated and loved ones can be appropriately mourned.
“The sooner small businesses know what Level 1 will look like, the easier it will be for the backbone of our economy to start repairing itself.”
Muller backed up similar claims made by Amy Adams, National's COVID-19 response spokesperson, who told Newshub Nation on Saturday New Zealand should not delay moving to alert level 1.
"We should be looking at level one now," Adams, National's third-ranked MP, told Newshub Nation.
Adams said there was "confusion" in the Government's ranks, with Labour - the majority partner in the coalition - siding with health officials, while Peters' party New Zealand First pushes for a full reopening.
"If you want to go back to jobs, one thing businesses need is clarity and certainty. It's not good enough for the Prime Minister to simply say 'we'll think about it in the next four weeks'.
"Businesses need to know what the operating environment is."