“The South Island is still at Alert Level 2 because the Government can’t do the basics right,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Newshub Nation this morning revealed that the Government hasn’t been collecting data on the number of people flying out of Auckland and potentially taking Covid with them around the country.

“The South Island is still facing restrictions because Covid cases might escape Auckland, but the Government isn’t keeping track of who is leaving the city. That’s extraordinary.

“Businesses around the country are facing significant uncertainty and financial losses because of the continued restrictions.

“The Government has also failed to keep data on the number of close contacts found through the Covid Tracer app and how many people in MIQ haven't had a day three test.

“More broadly, there have been failures to test border staff, trace and isolate close contacts, and get adequate PPE into rest homes and MIQ.

“All of this points to the need for a multi-disciplinary Epidemic Response Unit based on the Taiwanese model.

“The Ministry of Health doesn’t have the ability to deliver the range of outputs necessary to fight a pandemic: PPE manufacturing and distribution, testing, software development of a contact tracing app, managed isolation and travel exemptions for workers.

“An Epidemic Response Unit would bring together the best people from the public and private sectors and would have a transparent relationship with government, which would set policy targets for the Unit.

“This is just one plank of ACT’s wider Wellbeing Approach. Our policy is:

• New Zealand Epidemic Response Unit: Based on Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre
• Government as referee, not player: Allow alternative facilities for safe, electronically-monitored isolation, with strict punishment for rule-breakers
• Risk-weighted: Treat different countries and travellers with different levels of caution
• Technology-driven: Such as COVID card, ëlarm, rapid tests, temperature checks and thermal cameras
• Continuous improvement: Constantly compare ourselves with the best and seek to strengthen our resistance.

“If we want to enhance New Zealanders’ overall wellbeing, we must get a lot smarter. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to tackle Covid-19 intelligently.”