Duncan Garner: I expect better from the Government during this alert level 1

OPINION: National unity is just a day away.

From midnight on Wednesday, Auckland goes to level 1. This is great news. I'm happy and supportive.

But I sense we are also tired of getting messages from up high, especially when they carry an air of contradiction.

"Don't be complacent", they say. Yet in the same breath, the restrictions ease to allow the perfectly timed meeting of the broad church called rugby.

That's 40,000 people shoulder-to-shoulder at the Bledisloe Cup this Sunday and next. Jammed into public transport there and back, not to mention the pubs and bars.

You see, level 1 still officially calls for keeping your distance, but that won't be happening at these events.

So what does "don't be complacent" actually mean?

For most of us, well it means using the QR codes, it means washing our hands, it means getting a test and staying away from people when we're sick.

But I'd like to think it's a veiled message to the officials and the Government.

I expect better from the Government this time, who, last time we were at level 1, dropped the ball celebrating. 

It would be unforgivable if they repeat that. The border must be watertight, fastidious testing regimes at the ports, and hermetically sealed quarantine and isolation hotels.

They had their curtain-raiser and stuffed it up. Now we're at the main game, let's not lose it from here.

Our PM has mixed politics and COVID-19 superbly and who can blame her. Well, Judith and David did on Monday. But she uses incumbency to her advantage, and boy did she do that yesterday.

Line after line - a live televised event - like a campaign opening. I almost forgot what we were there for.

But congratulations New Zealand we got there - again. Let's not go back.

Kick-off on Sunday to me represents a victory for all of us that we played our part.

We played our part, you did your bit, and I stand proudly alongside you.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.