This is not the time for the government to be sowing uncertainty:
That the Prime Minister can’t answer even basic questions about her Government’s traffic light system is cause for major concern, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.
“When asked what the criteria were for moving from one traffic light colour to another, the Prime Minister was unable to say.
“When asked why the South Island was being put into orange – despite having zero Covid cases – she refused to answer.
A government that is restricting what people can do ought to be able to answer any and all questions about the restrictions.
“When asked why Kiwis would be able to fly from Auckland to Wellington with just proof of vaccination but a Kiwi in Queensland would still need to get lucky in the managed isolation lottery and spend a full week in MIQ, she claimed it wouldn’t be fair on New Zealanders stuck in other parts of the world.
“This, despite Auckland having more than 4600 cases in the community while the entire state of Queensland has a total of just four.
It would be hard enough to be stuck in the MIQueue if there was a good reason for it.
When people are more likely to get, and spread, Covid-19 in Auckland and people with the disease are permitted to self-isolate in the community, there is not good reason for not allowing people from low-risk countries who are double vaccinated and test negative to self-isolate in the city.
“The Prime Minister claimed this morning that venues won’t have to use the vaccine verifier app and can instead simply sight someone’s Covid Pass. This comes despite the Ministry of Health’s website stating that use of the app is required for entry.
It must be one or the other, it can’t be both.
“No wonder businesses are confused. These are all details that should have been decided and clearly spelled out months ago.
“We went 18 months without a significant Covid outbreak. The vaccine rollout began more than nine months ago. Delta first arrived in MIQ some seven months ago. This current lockdown began more than three months ago.
“What the hell has the Government been doing all this time? It’s a straight question New Zealanders are asking, but the Government can’t provide a straight answer.
Can’t answer or won’t, because that would be admitting they wasted the time they had, basking in their high opinion of themselves instead of preparing for the outbreaks happening elsewhere?
“Businesses in Auckland have been forced to stay closed for almost 100 days.
“If they are to survive, they need certainty about support they will get, clarity about when Auckland and the rest of the country will move to green, and time to plan for the critical holiday period.
“The Prime Minister needs to tell New Zealand exactly what circumstances and vaccination rate is required for the country to go to the green light.
“Then she needs to put an end to the MIQ lottery of human misery and allow fully vaccinated Kiwis with a negative Covid test to come home for Christmas, starting with the trans-Tasman bubble.”
Is it that the PM doesn’t know the answers to the questions, or that she knows and won’t tell?
The former would be incompetence, the latter control freakery – whichever it is, it’s feeding the growing frustration over continued uncertainty.