“The Government’s control-freak instincts are on full display, telling people that if you try to do the right thing we will confiscate your property,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. 

“After Grant Robertson astonishingly told Newstalk ZB last night that the Government had not banned the import of Rapid Antigen Tests, Health Works Group has posted atop its website that ‘the Government has commandeered all incoming stock of rapid antigen test products.’

‘The Government promises it will have an adequate supply of tests, but clearly does not believe its own spin. If it was confident in its own supply, it would not need to confiscate other people’s supply.

“At exactly the time when we need to maximise availability of Rapid Antigen Tests to New Zealanders, the Government has effectively told the whole country not to bother importing them because it will take them anyway. There will be fewer Rapid Antigen Tests available thanks to this draconian move.

“The result is total Government control of our lives. If you need to get tested to end your isolation and ensure your business functions or you can work and pay the bills, you have to hope the Government agrees or you are locked down.

“If you are a doctor who wants to test patients to protect your own safety, you will have to hope the Government gives them to you.

“This comes after ACT opposed legislation allowing the Government to confiscate COVID testing materials and kits at the end of last year. The Government is now using that power, and the effect is that nobody else will import them lest they be confiscated.

“Throughout the pandemic, the Government has distrusted business and taken a ‘we know best’ approach to every aspect of the response. ACT has argued that we need to treat New Zealanders like adults and partner with business. Once again the Government is returning to its authoritarian roots.

“What the Government should have done is ensure people that if they can get tests, they can use them. Meanwhile, the Government should back itself to secure its own supply. There is a global supply crunch on, but stopping other New Zealanders bringing them into the country will not help the New Zealand Government acquire more, it will mean New Zealanders over all get less."