“Jacinda Ardern’s paternalism and colonialism of the Cook Islands has gone too far as she’s stopped it from unilaterally being able to open its border,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“There is no threat to New Zealand. There is no entry point for COVID-19 to the Cooks other than New Zealand. This is not about any kind of safety, it is about paternalism.
“Best, or rather worst, of all Jacinda Ardern is actually lecturing another country about COVID-19 testing standards. After her Government’s comedy of errors, she does not have the right to lecture anyone on testing. Next she’ll be telling them how to build houses.
“The Cook Islands have suffered extreme hardship from its borders being closed. It’s not kind to leave it closed off without income from tourists.
“When it comes to foreign affairs, a bit of clarity about where we stand as a country on the CCP would not go amiss. We are being praised by a communist dictatorship and lambasted by Western commentators after our Foreign Affairs Minister cosied up to the former with a bizarre speech about dragons and taniwha. Instead, the Prime Minister prefers to punch down at Pacific micronations.
“Cook Island business leaders are right to call this out for what it is “self-motivated paternalism or latter-day colonialism”.
“While Ardern dictates to the Cooks how to run their affairs, she’s punching down on a KFC worker, parliamentary security guards, and Pacific Islands who should be left to their own governance.”