“Labour’s plan is to win the election at all costs by politicising the border and keeping New Zealanders in a state of fear,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“It’s putting politics above people by locking the border and wrecking the economy and ramping up Covid-19 propaganda to keep New Zealanders in a state of fear until September 19.
“Meanwhile, two former Prime Ministers have backed ACT’s plan to safely reconnect with the world.
“John Key and Helen Clark have called on the Government to allow students and skilled workers into the country, expand managed isolation and quarantine facilities by setting clear rules for the private sector, and establish travel bubbles with Covid-free countries.
“Clark acknowledged the reason why we’re not having an honest conversation about the border: it’s election year and politicians are paralysed.
“Key and Clark are no longer trying to get elected, so they’re saying what only ACT has had the courage to say in the political arena: the current strategy may be comfortable, but it is not sustainable. We can’t continue to hose money at businesses while we slowly go broke.
“The Government wants New Zealanders believe that there are only two options: dead or dead broke. But there are more options than locking down the border and slowly going broke, or open slather and people dying. We must find the intelligent space in between.
“Now that we’ve worked out how to separate passengers coming from different countries at the airport, there’s no reason why we can’t establish travel bubbles with Covid-free countries.
“If we can safely quarantine New Zealand citizens, why not students and skilled workers?
“A smart, innovative government would set up a regulatory framework for the private provision of managed isolation.
“The world has changed, but the Government has failed to change with it. We risk wrecking the economy unless the Government begins safely reconnecting with the world.”