“After saying we would be at the front of the queue, New Zealand is now officially last in the OECD for the vaccine rollout,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“According to ‘Our World in Data’, New Zealand has fewer vaccinations per person than any other country.

“DHBs have now been told to slow down or stop the rollout due to supply issues. New Zealand’s vaccine rollout is a shambles.

“The Prime Minister will today make an announcement about the rollout for Group 4, when most New Zealanders expected us to know already.

“Announcements are not a substitute for delivery. You can’t fight off a viral infection with an announcement.

“When Ardern said this was all going to plan, did she plan for us to be last in the developed world?

“Ardern owes us an explanation about how she got the “The Year of the Vaccine” so wrong. We're only at the front of the queue if you hold the graph upside down.

“Today she needs to be honest and transparent with New Zealanders about whether we’re still on track for the rollout to be completed this year.

“It’s time to cut the spin and be real with New Zealanders.

ACT has developed a plan for the immediate next steps of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and a longer term strategy for living in a progressively vaccinated world.

“It is underpinned by five principles: government transparency; faster tech uptake; risk-proportionate responses; a culture of inviting criticism; and maximising human wellbeing.

“It also makes 15 policy recommendations, including:

  • Compulsory COVID-app use including Bluetooth functionality to improve contact tracing
  • Introduce daily PCR saliva testing and the use of Datamine’s ëlarm technology to the border and MIQ workforce to alert them to early signs of infection
  • An Epidemic Response Unit modelled off Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre to replace COVID-19 response leadership by the Ministry of Health
  • Reactivate Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee

“Investigating and doing these things requires the Government being prepared to put the effort and resources into them.

“Whatever that resource may be, ACT’s view is the cost will be considerably less than further lockdowns caused by inadequate measures at the border, patchy contact tracing, and a slow vaccination roll-out.”

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