Monday, 23 August 2021

What the Government needs to consider today


“The Government’s decision today around Alert Levels will come down to how prepared it’s been. It should be open and transparent about the numbers traced and tested, and what numbers it needed to make a decision” says ACT Leader David Seymour. 

“People want a Government that is accountable to the people, that lays out the data it has and what it needs to see to make a decision. Will the South Island come out of Level 4 if, say, 90 percent of contacts are traced and 80 percent have returned a negative test? Are we waiting for 100 percent before a region can go down an Alert Level?

 “We aren’t getting that sort of transparency, instead, the Government has started each 1pm pronouncement with self-congratulations about vaccination being on track and vaccines arriving in the country. These are things that we should just expect and should have been happening at greater rates before now. 

 “In the meantime - what has it been doing about testing and tracing? 

 “Yesterday Ashleigh Bloomfield said only a third of identified contacts have been tested. The Government should tell us what percentage of people tested were at locations of interest. There’s no point boasting of 40,000 tests when you’ve only tested 2500 who really needed it.

 “Before people can be tested, they have to be traced. The Government should tell us, how many contacts have they traced, how many have they contacted, and how many have returned a negative test. Without these numbers, it is impossible to say whether they have made the right decision.

 “The Government should treat us like adults and tell us what criteria it will be using to make today’s decision. What testing rates will it consider enough, has there been enough tracing? If these are not up to standard, what is it doing to ensure it improves? 

“What New Zealanders need is certainty. Parents want to know when their children will be back to school, business owners want to know when they can reopen, everyone wants to know when they’ll get back to living their lives 

 “Before Cabinet meets today - we should be brought into the Government’s confidences about what measures it will be using to make the decision. Otherwise we’re all left in the dark and crossing our fingers.”