“ACT is concerned that the Royal Commission into Covid-19 Lessons Learned is unnecessarily restricting the public’s ability to make submissions, which will defeat their stated aim of getting a wide variety of viewpoints and experiences,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Restricting public feedback to online submissions and some ‘invite-only’ forums and hui will only serve to further alienate sections of society who objected strongly to some elements of our Covid-19 response.

“One of the aims of the Inquiry should be to offer a voice to people who feel excluded and work to bring New Zealand together as a community. ACT would like to see more inclusive, open public forums included as part of this exercise.

“The Inquiry is not simply about learning what Labour did wrong. It is about working out what we need to do right, and one of the things we need to learn is how to address future pandemics in a way that is more inclusive and less harmful to society.

There will be another pandemic. Probably not this year, hopefully not in the next decade, but it will come. If we get this inquiry right, it will not only save New Zealand billions of dollars in costly mistakes, but it could also help us avoid the harmful social division that was such a feature of our Covid response.

“We can't afford to miss the opportunity to bring everyone on board with our future pandemic response and ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again. While other parties are focused on the next election, ACT is focused on the next generation.”

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