“The Health Select Committee’s refusal to have regular constructive debates about our response to COVID-19 is an indictment of this Government,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government should be doing everything it can to foster open debate and continuous improvement of our response to COVID. Instead, it’s doing everything it can to shut down debate.

“A motion was put forward today so there would be an hour each week for a briefing about COVID-19. But Labour MPs shot the idea down.

“Instead the Minister will be available once every two months. In the midst of a global pandemic which has caused huge disruptions to our lives, we need greater scrutiny.

“The Government argued we didn’t need the Epidemic Response Committee because we had Select Committees but now it doesn’t want to discuss COVID there either.

“ACT has been calling for a return of the Epidemic Response Committee since February. New Zealanders deserve proper scrutiny of this issue.”