Newsroom Pro Talks live interviews are made with the support of Spark.

WATCH: Business leaders are expressing frustration at government officials’ refusal to discuss solutions to some of the most stringent restrictions in the world. Former Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe is right there at the heart of it, talking with the Prime Minister and her front bench as they try to remove those blockages – and for him, it’s personal.

As the Government’s business advisor on Covid, Rob Fyfe offers an unusual candour about the successes and failings of New Zealand’s response to the pandemic, and his unique insights into negotiating solutions.

Talking with Newsroom Pro managing editor Jonathan Milne on an episode of Newsroom Pro Talks, Fyfe says vaccination is “incredibly important” but it’s only one part of that puzzle. He talks about tools like widespread affordable surveillance testing and, accepting that there will be community cases of Covid, the right incentives to respond to those.

“I want confidence and certainty around three freedoms: the freedom to come and go across our international border, the freedom to be able to move around our country, and I want the freedom for people to be gather together and socialise, to be entertained, to do business.”

He is speaking regularly with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson about business expectations to relax border restrictions from January or February 2022.

And for Fyfe, it’s personal: He will fly out next month to Montreal for an Air Canada board meeting and other commitments. He hasn’t yet been able to book a return space in MIQ – so like many other New Zealanders, he doesn’t know whether he’ll be home for Christmas.

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Newsroom Pro Talks is made with the support of Spark.

Pro Talks is a live webinar series that looks at the crunchy part of big picture issues with the people whose decisions have a wider impact than just their own companies or enterprises. Hosted via Zoom, subscribers can watch our journalists interview industry leaders live and add their questions to the discussion. 

To get access to future Pro Talks, subscribe here to Newsroom Pro.

Newsroom Pro managing editor Jonathan Milne covers business, politics and the economy.

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