Christopher Luxon calls for traffic light system to be scrapped ahead of Government review

National leader Christopher Luxon is hitting out at the Government's COVID-19 response, saying there's no longer any need for the traffic light system. 

Luxon's comments come ahead of the Government review of the country's settings on Wednesday afternoon. All of New Zealand is currently at the red setting, which was recently tweaked to drop outdoor gathering limits and mask requirements. 

Indoors there are still restrictions, such as wearing masks and remaining seated and separated at hospitality venues. Indoor gathering limits also increased from 100 to 200. 

Additionally, vaccine passes were phased out on April 4 and mandates were removed for all sectors except health, disability and aged care workers, as well as prison and border staff. 

Speaking with AM on Wednesday, Luxon said due to vaccine passes being removed, there's no longer any need for a traffic light system. 

"The real problem is there is no need for a traffic light system in my view. We've been saying for months now that it is built on vaccine passes and mandates. The prevalence of those has  diminished over time."

Luxon said instead New Zealand needs basic rules such as masking indoors and home isolation for cases and close contacts. 

"We don't need a complicated traffic light system. We need masks indoors, I don't think we need a 200 person limit in cafes and obviously, we need seven days of isolation if you're a case or a close contact.

"If the risk changes we go back to the toolset and we put more tools and mitigations in place but the risk now has changed with Omicron, and as a result, I think the traffic light system is just an added confusion and complication we don't need." 

New Zealand's COVID-19 cases have been falling with 11,063 new community cases on Tuesday and 622 people in hospital. 

If the country was moved to the orange setting, mask requirements for customers at indoor venues would be removed along with capacity limits. People would also no longer need to be seated and separated at hospitality venues, allowing nightclubs and bars to fully reopen. 

The Government's traffic light review will be live-streamed on