Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Jacinda Ardern has no idea what the plan is

“Jacinda Ardern proved in Question Time today that she has no idea what the plan is to open up New Zealand to the world again,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Ardern earlier said we would be able to move away from locking down and locking out when every New Zealander had had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

“Today under questioning a clearly frustrated Ardern had changed her tune.

“There was talk of the vaccination rate needing to be above 90 per cent for eligible New Zealanders, there was talk of hospital capacity but there was nothing concrete in her answers.

“It’s no wonder the numbers of people having their first vaccine is plummeting when the Prime Minister has no idea what the plan is.

"It's easy to procrastinate when the even the leader doesn't know where she's going, and that's what New Zealanders yet to have their first dose appear to be doing.

“ACT is proposing five steps to get New Zealand back to normality.

1. Recognise that eradication no longer stacks up. We must move to a policy of harm minimisation. This policy should aim to reduce transmission, hospitalisation, and death from COVID at the least possible cost of overall wellbeing

2. Move from isolating whole cities to isolating only those who it makes sense to isolate. Personal isolation should be restricted to three groups: those who are medically vulnerable and require special protection, those who have recently arrived in New Zealand and are privately isolating, and those who have tested positive as part of widespread surveillance testing.

3. Move from chronic fear and uncertainty and get on a clear path to restoring freedom. We should settle when the vaccine rollout is ‘complete’ and aim to get Kiwis home for Christmas.

4. Move from a ‘government knows best’ approach to an approach of openness, and host all in ‘sprints’. In each sprint, the business community and all of society are invited to help reach clearly identified goals of lower transmission rates, hospitalisations and deaths, in time for reopening.

5. The entire tone of New Zealand’s COVID response should shift from fear and a singular focus on public health to a focus on maximising overall wellbeing.

“It’s time to make a plan for New Zealanders. The Government eventually adopted nine of the policies from our COVID 2.0 document, how about Jacinda Ardern saves us all some time adopts our positive plans today instead of drip feeding them months after we first proposed them.”