“Unfortunately ACT predicted tonight’s plunge back into Level 3 lockdown for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand into Level 2,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

I said yesterday the South Auckland cluster wasn’t under control. It wasn’t. There have been too many cases popping up randomly for the Government to be as confident as it was. We were a sitting duck, praying for luck. 

“Since August ACT has been regularly calling for a complete re-set of our approach to tackling coronavirus. Instead, the Government was busy congratulating itself. It has an attitude problem.

“There has been no significant improvement to our defences since the second lockdown, but the impact of this fourth lockdown will be so much worse.

“Despite the many support packages in place the disruption of lockdown cripples businesses. Cafes that just got going after the third lockdown will have to dump several days stock, because they got only nine hours’ notice of the fourth.

“It didn’t need to be this way.

“Ordering mandatory use of the official COVID Tracer app, which ACT called for on January 12, would have changed New Zealand’s culture around keeping the virus at bay.

“Implementing daily saliva tests for border and MIQ staff may have picked up the source of the outbreak we’re now battling.

“If the Government had gone hard and early on negotiating to get vaccines instead of boasting we didn’t need one, we might not be in this position. 

“If the Government had put in place a multi-disciplinary, public and private sector Epidemic Response Unit, like Taiwan’s, instead of relying on the Ministry of Health, we might not be in this position.

“These things weren’t only within the Government’s ability to implement, they were recommended by the Simpson Roche Report. The Government has failed because it had an attitude problem.

“The Government must stop being complacent, and get started on continuous improvement. 

“Ignoring that advice has got us where we are tonight, yo-yo-ing in and out of lockdown – the very thing the Prime Minister promised we would avoid on her watch.”