“Chris Hipkins’ adoption of ACT’s language of continuous improvement in announcing his latest COVID-19 review shows the impact of effective opposition,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Government should go one better and adopt ACT’s sensible COVID-19 policies.
“This announcement comes 10 days after ACT said the Government needed a change of attitude and a reset of its COVID response, but there’s much more to actually doing that than just announcing another review group.
“A cynic might say appointing a review group to monitor the implementation of a previous review carried out by the new group’s chief reviewer takes paying lip service to the concept of continuous improvement to new heights.
“It's an admission that much of what Brian Roche and Heather Simpson recommended in their damning September review – which was withheld from the public until the Friday evening before Christmas – hasn’t been done.
“One thing is clear, whatever this refreshed group recommends won’t work if the execution of our COVID response remains monopolised by the Ministry of Health.
“The Simpson-Roche report agreed with ACT policy that a centralised Taiwan-style Epidemic Response Unit should coordinate the country’s response.
“We will be responding to COVID and potentially other pandemics for years to come.
“ACT says work to establish a multi-disciplinary, public and private taskforce, like Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre, should begin immediately.
“Stand by for more sensible ideas from ACT in the days ahead.”