“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,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Like most New Zealanders, I have received emails and messages detailing what’s alleged to have happened in Northland.
“On Newshub Nation this morning former parliamentarian Winston Peters outlined these allegations. Peters said that the case was travelling with a gang member. Chris Hipkins has said he didn’t know if the person was gang affiliated. Both can’t be true.
“Winston Peters has been shredding his own credibility for decades, but Hipkins is still a Minister of the Crown. Hipkins needs to confirm whether these were true – if they’re not he could sue Peters for defaming him.
“Hipkins should front at 1pm and give us the truth.
“The problem with the Government not being open and transparent is it leaves a void and that’s how misinformation spreads.
“It’s time to treat New Zealanders like adults and give us the truth.
“When a case was on the loose having escaped from MIQ, Jacinda Ardern chose not to tell the public even though they could have helped locate the case or avoid them to aid public safety. Once again, the Government is keeping the public in the dark for its own ends.
“It’s implausible that the Government has decided to put a whole province of 120,000 people into Alert Level 3, but doesn't know whether one person has criminal records, what their occupation is, or whether they have gang affiliations.
“The Government should answer the questions:
Was the case gang affiliated?
Is the case uncooperative because they were involved in criminal activity?
How did the Government learn that the travel document was false? Was it in relation to another falsified document?
How did the person get from Kawakawa back down to Auckland despite a checkpoint? Did this happen with police cooperation?
“New Zealanders are frustrated. We are putting our lives, education and businesses on hold. People will be far more understanding if we have the full picture, are treated like adults and are brought into the Government’s confidences.”