“It’s unacceptable the Government won’t play hardball with unions and force those employees unwilling to get a COVID vaccine to vacate MIQ premises for another 18 days,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Stop pussyfooting about and take the necessary steps to protect New Zealanders and the economy from another outbreak of COVID-19.
“Giving recalcitrant workers until the end of April to get a jab is simply unacceptable. The risk to the community of an outbreak is just too great.
“Today’s post-Cabinet media conference was a litany of weak leadership around COVID related issues that cause New Zealanders huge concern.
“Over 500 MIQ workers still have not been vaccinated.
“It’s clear from questions being asked by the media that the number of border workers skipping regular COVID tests and who also have not yet been vaccinated is probably even higher.
“These are people who were supposed to have been vaccinated weeks ago.
“When is the Government going to grip up this operation? Numerous measures could be taken to ensure the risk of an outbreak is mitigated despite our hopeless vaccine rollout.
“For example, daily saliva testing at the border was recommended as urgent by Heather Simpson and Sir Brian Roche last September but hidden from the public until late December.
“It’s still only in a voluntary pilot at a tiny number of MIQ facilities for reasons no one in the Government can adequately explain.
“Sir Brian now heads the advisory group overseeing both the border and the vaccine rollout.
“We need to urgently hear how his group is going to improve things before our inadequate vaccination and testing regimes cost us all again in another lockdown.”