Seymour says government taking the p*** out of Kiwis on Covid-19 report

By Te Ao - Māori News

The leader of the Act Party has hit out at a recommendation that New Zealand's borders re-open in a phased approach.

David Seymour wants border restrictions to begin easing at the start of next year even if vaccination rates aren't high enough. 

But the government's Covid-19 health advisory group says vaccination roll-out must be completed and reopening borders should be gradual.

The group's report was leaked to selected media today and the government is declining to comment on it till tomorrow. The short report offers few details.

Seymour is pointing the finger at the experts and their report advising the government it's too early to know if its response is the right response, as the pandemic is changing so quickly.

"This open and transparent government is actually taking the p*** out of the New Zealand people. It is totally moribund in its response; no nimbleness, no new technology, and the closest we get is a couple of letters after four months of paying top experts.

'Stalling tactic'

"If vaccination is not the silver bullet, and we can't maintain elimination, that's the debate that New Zealanders have to have. If we want to maintain elimination and vaccination doesn't work, then what other technologies will be in place?

"The real truth is that this is happening as a stalling tactic because the vaccine roll-out has been a vaccine stroll-out.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit back, saying decisions on Covid should not be political.

"They should be based on the best evidence that we have about how to best protect people's lives and livelihoods."

Seymour agrees. "The facts are vaccination makes you less likely to transmit to other citizens and makes it less likely that we have to take wider measures.

"The question we should be asking is what is in the interest of New Zealand's overall welfare. Are we prepared if vaccination doesn't work, if the government has no other technological insight to continue maintaining elimination at all costs?"