“The Prime Minister needed to do three things yesterday, admit her strategy wasn’t working, propose a new one, and put the details on it, we’re giving her a zero out of three” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The illusion has now been shattered, it was never about science and leadership, just isolation and debt.

“At this point an Epidemic Response Unit would be useful, it could have a plan in reserve for this circumstance. ACT first proposed an Epidemic Response Unit a year ago.

“The Government clearly thought it could get to vaccination without an outbreak. A professionally Governed outfit would think of contingencies.

“Being told we could afford a slow vaccine rollout because we didn’t have COVID in the community is one of the most reckless things any Government in New Zealand has ever done and we are now paying the price, with our freedom.

“New Zealanders are tired of the uncertainty, we want to see the finish line, instead we’re on a road to nowhere."

ACT would:

  1. Recognise that eradication no longer stacks up. We must move to a policy of harm minimisation. This policy should aim to reduce transmission, hospitalisation, and death from COVID at the least possible cost of overall wellbeing.
    2. Move from isolating whole cities to isolating only those who it makes sense to isolate. Personal isolation should be restricted to three groups: those who are medically vulnerable and require special protection, those who have recently arrived in New Zealand and are privately isolating, and those who have tested positive as part of widespread surveillance testing.
    3. Move from chronic fear and uncertainty and get on a clear path to restoring freedom. We should settle when the vaccine rollout is ‘complete’ and aim to get Kiwis home for Christmas.
    4. Move from a ‘government knows best’ approach to an approach of openness, and host all in ‘sprints’. In each sprint, the business community and all of society are invited to help reach clearly identified goals of lower transmission rates, hospitalisations and deaths, in time for reopening.
    5. The entire tone of New Zealand’s COVID response should shift from fear and a singular focus on public health to a focus on maximising overall wellbeing.

“We’re ready to open up to the world, get back to school, get back to business, regain our freedoms, and live our lives to our best potential.”

ACT’s Covid 3.0 plan can be found here.