“A series of announcements about molnupiravir and
vaccine mandates failed to hide the fact that the Government
still doesn’t have a clue what happens next or how to get
out of the current lockdown,” says ACT Leader David
“Now that the Government has given a
vaccination deadline to health and disability workers and
teachers, it should set one for the whole
“The Government should say that on 1
December everyone will have had a chance to be vaccinated,
then New Zealand opens up. In the meantime, it should say
that alert levels three and four will not be applied to any
suburb that reaches 90 per cent in the
“Why did Auckland go to Stage 1 last week
but not Stage 2 this week? There is no logical reason given.
They are making it up as they go.
‘short, sharp’ lockdown was never sustainable. It takes
five days to get infectious and two days to process a test.
Four days was never going to help. Once again, a region has
been messed around for no reason.
“How did the
Northland cases get through the border, what kind of
exemptions did they have and which company sponsored them?
Did they have no official exemption at all, but hoodwink the
cops with a forged one? So many questions and so few
answers, and without acknowledging the problem there is no
way the Government can fix it.
“The Government is
caught between its old eradication strategy that no longer
works, and a new strategy that isn’t ready. Chaos is
filling the void. A clear deadline and an action plan to
reduce transmission, hospitalisation, and death from
COVID-19 would give people the certainty they
ACT’s full COVID 3.0 plan says that with the
eradication strategy no longer viable, there needs to be a
change of approach, based on five movements:
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.
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
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.
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
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