“COVID response Minister Chris Hipkins has shown how unprepared the Government was for a Delta outbreak in an interview on Q+A this morning,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Hipkins said “Delta raises some big questions that we’re going to have to grapple with… it does mean our existing protections are starting to look less adequate and less robust.”

“We have known about Delta since December. What has he been doing in the meantime?

“Three weeks ago in Select Committee, Hipkins could not give one example of what the Government has done in response to the emergence of Delta.

“Hipkins also admitted the vaccine rollout could have been faster if we’d had access to vaccines other than Pfizer. The Governments needs to let us know whether other vaccines are now being considered.

“This is simply not good enough. What would have been better is a Minister laying out how the response will now change, good starting points would be:

• How his Government will increase vaccination rates, including ordering new types

• How it will increase scanning with the NZ COVID Tracer App

• How it will bring new technologies such as saliva testing into its response

• Whether it will increase the frequency of wastewater testing

“ACT has answers to these questions, but the Government has wallowed in dismissive complacency.

“Hipkins showed us this morning what a reactive Minister out of his depth look like. We need a proactive response from Government so we’re not put in this situation again.”