“New Zealand needs a clear, coordinated response to Covid-19, but the Government’s strategy is increasingly reliant on the whims of a single person,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Prime Minister is effectively claiming to be the single source of truth on Covid-19, telling New Zealanders they can’t trust what they read on social media or even the Ministry of Health’s website. That’s extraordinary.

“Kiwis want to trust their Government, but the latest communications failure reflects confusion about the Prime Minister’s strategy. The Government is making it up as it goes, and that’s reflected in the messages New Zealanders are receiving.

“The Government’s latest error is just another reason why we need a response led by a multi-disciplinary Epidemic Response Unit based on the Taiwanese model.

“The Ministry of Health doesn’t have the ability to deliver the range of outputs necessary to fight a pandemic: PPE manufacturing and distribution, software development of a contact tracing app, testing, and managed isolation.

“An Epidemic Response Unit would bring together the best people from the public and private sectors and would have a transparent relationship with government, which would set policy targets for the Unit.

“New Zealanders deserve a clear, coordinated response to Covid-19, not a Government that makes it up as it goes.”