MTA calls for sector feedback groups as part of Covid response

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 6, 2021

The Motor Trade Association is calling on the government to establish sector feedback groups it can engage with as part of its Covid-19 response planning.

“Inevitably, organisations working in a sector, such as MTA, are much closer to what’s happening,” MTA advocacy and strategy manager Greig Epps said.

“We’re talking with our member businesses around the country every day. This means we can provide a rapid and informed response to Government and officials to ensure policy decisions are meaningful, effective, pragmatic and clearly communicated,” he said.

Epps cited confusion around whether Covid-19 tests were mandatory for workers regularly crossing alert levels boundaries as a latest example of where a transport sector feedback group could help.

“There’s an awful lot of confusion about whether this is a requirement or just an idea that’s been floated,” he said.

“Trying to get to the bottom of this takes time and can cause a lot of stress for businesses that may have staff affected.”

Epps said a feedback group made up of MTA and other key organisations in the sector could act as a “sounding board, pointing out the benefits but also the challenges for implementation and the impacts on businesses”.

Epps said the feedback groups could also be used when New Zealand gets back to alert level 1 to look at lessons learned.

“They could work with officials to determine what standing policies and protocols might be established to smoothly transition between nationwide and regionalised alert levels in the future,” he said.

“Clear guidance that is known and understood before the next lockdown would be best. It helps businesses avoid chasing answers every time we lock down.”