Tuesday, 31 August 2021

The questions the Government can’t and won’t answer


“It’s no wonder the Government didn’t want to bring back Question Time, today showed they either can’t or won’t answer most of the questions put to them,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The true nature of the Government’s response was there for all to see live and in person. With under pressure Ministers making snarky remarks in contrast with their usual stage-managed presentations.

“This the kind of perspective New Zealanders need to see if the Government is going to be pressured into lifting its game and be more prepared for the next phase of COVID than it was for this outbreak.

“Sometimes the questions the Government doesn’t answer are the most important. They couldn’t give any plausible story, for instance, about why wastewater testing was weekly for a virus that incubates in days and was only carried out in limited locations.

“Jacinda Ardern wasn’t across Bluetooth tracing. She claimed it wasn’t being used because of poor uptake by New Zealanders but that's not the case, the Ministry of Health has chosen not to use it.

“COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins couldn’t answer my question about how many cases have been transferred between bubbles. He said he doesn’t have the answer and can’t even say how many he is aware of so far.

“This is the very piece of information that will tell us if Level 4 is working in Auckland.

“He couldn’t say the total number of vaccines in New Zealand. Hipkins tried to claim they used more vaccine than they received last week but somehow finished the week with more than they started with.

“He couldn’t say what the new "gold standard" should be on contact tracing given they don't like Ayesha Verrall's old metrics. 

“He wouldn’t say when negotiations began over accelerating vaccine supply with suppliers or other nations.

“Hipkins contempt was there for all to see, when he snapped that limiting movement is absolutely essential in response to my question about supporting supermarkets with large queues while beloved local butchers go broke.

“It’s time the Government started being transparent. These are things they should know and should be sharing with New Zealanders."