“The Prime Minister is attempting to rewrite history with the falsehood that we went ‘hard and early’”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Jacinda Ardern says her Government acted quickly after our first case of Covid-19, but New Zealand was the 60th country to get a Covid-19 case. We were given advance warning.

“Despite calls from ACT and others in January and February to consider closing the border, the Government dithered and then had to implement one of the most severe lockdowns in the world.

“New Zealanders have made significant sacrifices, not least the 37,500 people who have lost their jobs.

“We face the real risk of mistaking good luck for good management and making more bad decisions without the good luck.

“After all of that sacrifice, the Prime Minister has told New Zealanders that we might soon have new cases and the border must remain closed.

“We end up having the worst of all possible worlds due to a lack of balance. We should have been asking: ‘How do we live in a post-Covid-19 world?’ Not: ‘How do we achieve perfection on one metric?’

“The Prime Minister’s tendency to rewrite history is why a Royal Commission is absolutely necessary.

“Should we have closed the border earlier? Was our pandemic plan, PPE, testing and contact tracing adequate? Did the rules set by the Government appropriately balance Covid-19 elimination with other goals?

“Now the focus must be on rebuilding the economy, restoring confidence of small businesses, and repaying the debt.

Only ACT has a clear, comprehensive 6-point plan to cut taxes and red tape, go for growth, create new job opportunities, have the smartest borders in the world, and take on less debt.”