Remember being told we’d be at the front of the vaccine queue? Now we’re told that’s not what the government meant:
The Prime Minister’s comments today in Question Time that Chris Hipkins’ promise that New Zealand would be at the “front of the queue” for Covid-19 vaccines actually meant that we would be at the front of the queue in terms of signing contracts are baffling, says National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.
“Her assertion that ‘distribution is secondary’ demonstrates how woeful the Government’s vaccination programme is. Signing a contract does not protect Kiwis from Covid-19.”
Distribution is secondary?
Tell that to the people who can’t reunite with their families. Tell that to people whose businesses are compromised because they can’t travel or who live in fear of another lockdown. Tell that to people who fear for their health or that of their family and friends.
“When Chris Hipkins told New Zealanders that we were ‘at the front of the queue’ for Covid-19 vaccines, we rightly thought that meant New Zealand would quickly roll-out the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Yet again the Prime Minister is moving the goalposts. Faced with a very slow roll-out where New Zealand is the 120th slowest in the world and the second slowest in the OECD, the Prime Minister’s new line is that ‘front of the queue’ just means speed of signing contracts.
Front of the queue for signing contracts? Why would that be cause for celebration? Does she really expect us to believe that?
“Why would the Government celebrate being first in line to sign a contract to ensure slow delivery, and consequential slow roll-out of vaccines? It beggars belief.
“The vaccine roll-out is a mess.”
We’ve received pamphlets in the mail, we’ve seen advertisements in the paper and we keep hearing them on the radio reassuring that the vaccine is safe and that we’ll get it.
What we’re not getting is when we’ll get it nor are we getting confidence in the roll-out. Playing word games trying to get us to believe that front of the queue doesn’t mean now what it meant a few months ago isn’t helping.
Mike Hosking asks, when will we start demanding better from the response?
. . . Vaccinated travellers all over the world are now starting to get on planes and fly and we as of now are missing out. . .
Our issue, according to our esteemed leader who told us a few weeks ago when we asked when the borders would be opening to vaccinated travellers, said that was an open question, which is code for she hasn’t thought about it. . .
Any mountaineer knows getting to the top of the mountain is only half way.
Other countries who were well behind us in stopping the spread of the disease are already well down the mountain while we still don’t know the plan for the descent.
At some point a level of normality will have returned and places like Britain and the states are seeing their vaccination programmes as being comprehensive enough to be able to do that
Is it really possible the fear instilled in us by a government bereft of a plan beyond a closed border is really going to let the world get back to life and keep us locked up? . .
As each day passes it becomes clearer where this story is heading. Vaccines work, the quicker you complete your programme, the more normal you can become, the world is clearly more than happy to drop restrictions lower borders and get life on a new track.
We sit here unvaccinated, borders closed, and no decision around what is next how and when.
It seems odd and increasingly criminal we can be recognised for a solid Covid response but because of our own fear and lack of planning cut ourselves out of the joining the rest of the world.
When do we start demanding better?
There’s no doubt the government was good at stopping Covid-19 causing the devastation it did in many other countries.
But repeated mistakes and repeated breaches at the border show that at least some of the success was due more to luck than management.
It will take a lot more good management than luck to make a success of the roll-out and trusting us with the truth, rather than trying to make us believe what was meant wasn’t what was said would be a good start.