NRC calls on government to open borders to attract truck drivers

In News1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 4, 2022

The time has come to open the borders and get rid of isolation restrictions so we can attract more truck drivers into New Zealand, says National Road Carriers Association chief operating officer James Smith.

Smith said there is serious shortage of truck drivers in New Zealand and 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-19.

“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,” he said.

Smith said Rapid Antigen Test 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.”