“Jacinda Ardern’s government has shed the ‘kindness’ image and has again shown it is willing to spread misinformation and throw women under the bus to cover its tracks,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.

“Once again Labour has been caught out. Chris Hipkins spread misinformation about Charlotte Bellis’ circumstances, saying she had been offered MIQ spots when she had not. Now we understand numerous Ministers let three women take the blame for the Northland lockdown caused by a bureaucratic bungle, going as far as letting rumours swirl that they were gang-affiliated prostitutes when Ministers and officials knew they were construction workers.

“What’s the point having a female Prime Minister if she’s just going to let everyday Kiwi women get scapegoated whenever it serves her political purpose?

“What’s worse is that Jacinda Ardern has cynically tried to create a global image of herself as a champion of combatting misinformation and disinformation, giving multiple speeches about it on the world stage, including a speech to Harvard titled ‘Democracy, disinformation and kindness’.

“In that speech she says “disinformation corrodes the foundation of liberal democracy, our ability to assess facts on their merits, and to self-correct accordingly”. She also gives a warning that “you will continue to be exposed to disinformation. And overtime, the ‘noise’ you are surrounded by will probably only get worse.”

“She conveniently left out that her Government would be the ones exposing us to it.

“When the Government plunged Northland into a $30 million lockdown ACT said “When the Government makes a major decision like shutting down an entire region it needs to give us the truth about why, or the void will be filled with rumour and speculation.”

“As it turns out, rumour and speculation was exactly what the Government relied on to distract from its own incompetence.

“The current Labour Government doesn’t want to be held accountable for its actions, the only illumination Kiwis get from them is from gaslighting. It has treated Kiwis with disdain, and they deserve better from the next government.”

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