“COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins needs to lay out a clear and concise plan instead of spitballing ideas in interviews with journalists,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“While it’s encouraging to see Hipkins talk about opening up, he dangles the idea without a plan or certainty. We need details and dates but Hipkins doesn’t have them because he’s Hippity Hoppity Hipkins.

“Hipkins told the NZ Herald "At the moment right across MIQ, including the international arrivals and close contacts of cases, the vast majority don't have Covid.”

“What we need is a cost benefit analysis of making people go into MIQ who are double vaccinated and have tested negative. If it makes sense, expand it, if not let people isolate at home.  

“The fact there is no such analysis shows how ineffective Treasury has become. For years it has banged on about its “living standards framework” that is supposed to weigh up the costs and benefits of different policies to New Zealander’s wellbeing. We can conclude Treasury is either asleep or its framework doesn’t work.

“Once it is clear who needs MIQ and who can isolate at home, the airlines can plan to bring more flights here, families can prepare to be reunited and businesses can start bringing in the staff they need.  

“What Hippity Hoppity Hipkins doesn’t understand is that people in businesses need certainty if they are going to plan their futures. It might suit him to pursue elimination one week, home isolation the next and fly a kite about skipping MIQ next year. But in the real world none of that can happen without a plan and nobody can plan if they don’t know what the rules will be.

“Seeing as Treasury hasn’t done the cost benefit analysis and the Ministry of Health is innumerate, ACT would like to help with some basic logic. A person who has had a positive test for COVID is much more likely to have COVID than someone who has had a negative test for COVID. If it’s safe to isolate someone we know has COVID at home, then it must be safe to isolate someone who even Hipkins agrees is extremely unlikely to have it.”