This came in an email last night:
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have left no part of New Zealand untouched.
We see it in our communities, our streets, and our homes. The reality of our situation is present, real and personal to us all, and we are reminded of it on a daily basis.
I’m proud of the way … all Kiwis, have united together in our country’s time of need, by everyone doing their bit in helping to eliminate the virus.
As a team, we are all too aware that we are only as strong as the most vulnerable and at-risk in our communities. We have a duty to be united in our effort for the greater good, but we also have a duty to ensure those that need a strong voice to speak for them have that opportunity.
Every day we receive hundreds of emails and calls from Kiwis in distress. Frustrated at the lack of clarity in the ever-changing information for them, their families, their kids, their friends, their businesses. And chances are you’ll know some of them personally too. They want us to find them answers.
When we ask questions about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we’re thinking of the many frontline staff who have written to us going to work every morning, sacrificing their safety, and in desperate need of that PPE to keep themselves and others safe. So, we want answers for them.
When we ask questions about testing capacity, we’re thinking about the many hundreds who’ve contacted us who live in fear that they’re going to infect the ones they love or care about and couldn’t get a test to allay that fear. So, we want answers for them.
When we ask questions about better contact tracing, we think about the unbelievable sacrifice every Kiwi has made over the past four weeks, and if we don’t have full confidence from where or whom the virus is coming, we risk returning to a higher state of lockdown and greater hardship. We want answers for you.
When we ask questions about the effects on the economy and jobs, we think about the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis employed by small and medium sized businesses which may close, and ultimately lose their jobs, if we don’t get this right. They are the backbone of our economy and they need certainty too.
We’ve got through this well together so far, showing true resilience, grit and determination in the face of great difficulty. However, the fact remains we will still have to ask hard questions about the future health, social, and economic costs of this pandemic.
Some may not like the questions we ask. Some may not like the way we ask them. But we will keep asking them until we get the answers people need and deserve.
I will never forget the personal sacrifice and hardship Kiwis have faced to eliminate COVID-19 from our communities. Everything we say or do will be focused on how we continue to protect our most vulnerable and get New Zealand back on track. You are part of our strength and we welcome your input.
We have faith that with the right approach, New Zealanders and our economy can rebuild successfully after this crisis. We’ve done it before and together we will do it again.
Who said this?
Simon Bridges, Leader of the Opposition.
It is in response to the media pile-on earlier this week, about which Barry Soper says:
…Typical of the social media vacuum, the validity of their claim can never be substantiated. But it’s out there, Bridges is undermined the and media make a meal of it, even if the plate’s empty.
It seems to be forgotten that he’s the Leader of the Opposition and as such is not only entitled but is expected to oppose what the Government is doing.
To suggest that now is not the time for politicking when the fearful nation has been cowed and forced into submission is absurd. We still live in a democracy even though at times it might not seem like it.
Even though Jacinda Ardern may have done a good job preaching from the pulpit every day, she’s not infallible.
And it’s entirely possible, given the storm that’s most certainly brewing, that she could just become the victim of our own success considering she’s forever claiming that we’re all on the same team.
When the government has almost unlimited power, when parliament isn’t sitting and when we’re facing draconian restrictions on what we can do, where we can do it, and with whom we can do it, someone has to ask the questions.
Simon’s doing it, it’s his job to do it and he should keep doing it until we get the right answers.