Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Criticism unfounded – we must get tracing numbers up


“Criticism of ACT’s proposal to make scanning into any premises with an official Ministry of Health Covid-19 tracing QR code compulsory for those people who haven’t switched on the official NZ Covid Tracer app’s Bluetooth capability is misplaced,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Technology commentator Andrew Chen, from the University of Auckland’s centre for Informed Futures, claimed on NewstalkZB this morning that the policy ignores the 20 per cent of New Zealanders who don’t have smartphones.

“What Mr Chen ignores is that people without smartphones are already obliged to manually sign in to premises showing an official QR code.

“Right now 90 per cent of New Zealanders aren’t doing anything and there is already a solution for those who don’t have smartphones.

“To suggest ACT is ‘overegging’ the danger such low use of any tracking and tracing by New Zealanders at a time when highly virulent strains of Covid-19 are in the country is naïve in the extreme.

“ACT knows New Zealanders largely band together and do the right thing for the good of their community when advised to, but in this case we believe they need the nudge of being told some form of regular tracing is mandatory.

“Clearly advertising and the occasional scolding from the Health Minister isn’t cutting the mustard.

“We cannot continue with such dismally low use of all the options available to help rapid contact tracing.

“I repeat what I said yesterday – the best thing we can do for freedom is avoid another five week lockdown.”

ENDS