“The Government has once again sneakily changed the dates that vaccines will be available,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Originally the Government said that Group 4, the last group to be eligible for vaccines were “being vaccinated from July 28.

“That language would make anyone think there would be needles in arms on that date.

“But without telling anyone, the Ministry has now changed the wording on its website to “they will be able to book their vaccinations from 28 July.”

“This is classic slipperiness from Chris Hipkins. He promises us one thing, realises he can’t deliver, changes the words slightly and then denies anything has changed.

“There clearly won’t be vaccinations happening for Group 4 on the date we were promised, and he owes us an explanation.

“New Zealanders are tired of the spin and the lies from this Government. It’s time to start treating us like adults and be upfront about what a mess this rollout is.

“We’ve gone from the “front of the queue” to last in the OECD.

“The Government should be aiming for us to be the best in the world.

“ACT has developed a plan for the immediate next steps of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and a longer-term strategy for living in a progressively vaccinated world.

“It is underpinned by five principles: government transparency; faster tech uptake; risk-proportionate responses; a culture of inviting criticism; and and maximising human wellbeing.

“It also makes 15 policy recommendations, including:

  • Compulsory COVID-app use including Bluetooth functionality to improve contact tracing
  • Introduce daily PCR saliva testing and the use of Datamine’s ëlarm technology to the border and MIQ workforce to alert them to early signs of infection
  • An Epidemic Response Unit modelled off Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre to replace COVID-19 response leadership by the Ministry of Health
  • Reactivate Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee

“Investigating and doing these things requires the Government being prepared to put the effort and resources into them.

“Whatever that resource may be, ACT’s view is the cost will be considerably less than further lockdowns caused by inadequate measures at the border, patchy contact tracing, and a slow vaccination roll-out.”

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