“The damning Simpson-Roche report into failures of the Covid-19 testing regime, contact tracing and managed isolation comes as no surprise and shows why the Government should have taken on board ACT’s constructive and proven policies,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t seem the Government’s approach will change one iota beyond what they always do, which is throw billions of dollars at a flawed system.

“It’s become very clear that New Zealand’s Covid-19 response being deemed a success has been largely down to a mixture of geography and dumb luck.

“ACT’s five-point Covid-19 policy advocated for a much more technology driven response based on the Taiwanese model, including a multi-disciplinary unit like Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre.

“We would also have utilised more skills and resources from the private sector, on an equal footing with public sector experts to ensure the highest possible standards.

“In commissioning this damning report the Government has somewhat reluctantly come close to picking up point five of ACT’s Covid-19 policy, that of a culture of openness and continual improvement.

“This report has been cynically delayed till the last Friday before Christmas, so it comes close to failing the openness test, and the jury is very much out on whether its recommendations will result in meaningful improvement.”