“New Zealanders were illegally punished by a control freak Government for no public health benefit at all”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In finding that the decision by Chris Hipkins to extend vaccine mandates to family carers was illegal, the High Court has exposed the bloody mindedness of a Government that would punish people even when it had no effect on the transmission of Covid-19.

“The bare minimum that former Covid-19 Minister and now Prime Minister Chris Hipkins can do is to apologise to care and support workers who were illegally denied payments and repeal the remaining vaccine mandates in the health sector.

“From the very beginning, ACT has said that we need to take a risk proportionate approach to Covid-19.

“Mandating people who look after family members they live with out of thousands of dollars in payments was illogical.

“This group of carers were going to be near their family members no matter what. Denying them payments was illegal. Hipkins should apologise to them.

“ACT proposed a Freedom Day for 1 December 2021, a plan to ramp up vaccinations and then lift restrictions. We proposed a vaxx or test alternative to mandates. We proposed allowing each organisation or business to make its own rules about vaccination and testing. We could have solved this issue several times over.

“But Labour thought it knew best. It imposed blunt mandates on entire sectors, creating chaos and division.

“ACT warned mandates would create chaos in multiple sectors, that people would miss out on critical services, and that they would be bad for social cohesion in the long term.

“Jacinda Ardern’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach to vaccine mandates replaced unity with division.

“The Government should remove the remaining vaccine mandates for health and disability sector.

“The overwhelmed health system is at crisis point and the Government’s position to lock qualified people out is nuts.”

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