“The Dad’s Army routine at the border shows New Zealand got lucky all along with Covid-19, but luck doesn’t pay off debt,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“In light of the bungles at the border, it has become abundantly clear that we didn’t beat Covid-19 with competence.
“Testing was slow to ramp up, contact tracing was inadequate and needed an external audit, and the PPE situation was so bad it required an Auditor-General’s investigation.
“ACT was calling for the border to be closed in January and February, but it took the Government until March to act.
“New Zealand got lucky. We had advance warning of Covid-19 and we’ve been protected by our natural moat.
“The fact that the nine other countries that have beaten Covid-19 are all small island nations reinforces that fact.
“Managed isolation and quarantine facilities have been run by a Dad’s Army cast of characters, starring David Clark as Major Disaster and Brigadier Bloomfield busy dry cleaning his uniform.
“Although, maybe Hogan’s Heroes is the better analogy, with Jacinda Ardern as Sergeant Schultz who sees and hears nothing.
“Meanwhile, Ardern continues to rewrite the history of her Covid-19 response by telling New Zealanders that Air Commodore Digby Webb has been brought in to manage the border when in fact he has been doing so all along.
“But good luck won’t build smart borders, get the economy restarted, or pay back the debt.
“The Government needs to be clear whether its goal is complete eradication at any cost or if it wants resilience in a post-Covid-19 world.
“It should also be sending commissioners to Taiwan to find out how that country managed to beat Covid-19 with so few cases.
“We also need certainty from the Government and a clear plan for restarting the economy. Borrowing billions and hoping for a vaccine won’t cut it.
“The Government should consider ACT’s clear, comprehensive 5-point plan to cut taxes and red tape, go for growth, create new job opportunities, have the smartest borders in the world, and take on less debt.”