Bridges says Govt inaction to blame for longer lockdown

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges has criticised the Government's response to Covid-19, saying it has held New Zealand back from leaving lockdown level 4 earlier.

He said the decision to stay locked down was because the Government hadn't done the groundwork required to reduce the level now.


"New Zealand is being held back because the Government has not used this time to ensure best practice of testing and tracing and the availability of PPE hasn't been at the standard it should have been.

"The rate of testing for the first half of lockdown was low, work has only just begun on surveillance testing to confirm whether community transmission is occurring. Tracing is the biggest challenge and experts have identified major shortcomings in the methods being used by the Government.

National Party leader Simon Bridges says the Government has botched up another immigration case...
National Party leader Simon Bridges. Photo: NZ Herald
"This is a real shame as businesses will suffer further damage and that will lead to poor health outcomes as a result of the huge stress this will cause for a lot of people.

"Rapid and easily accessible testing for workers with symptoms will be essential to give small businesses the confidence needed to get back to work."

ACT Leader David Seymour said the Government has made the right decision but now needs to clarify the rules so safe activity can resume.

"There must also be a renewed focus on support for the narrowing range of sectors who remain severely restricted at Alert Level 3. Sectors such as tourism, hospitality, some retail, and event centres will now bear the brunt of the cost for a wider public benefit. In these circumstances there is a stronger case for targeted support for those sectors which cannot operate even at Alert Level 3.

"The Government has been slow to support small and medium-sized enterprises in particular who face diminished cashflows due to Government policy. The Government must provide support for ongoing expenses such as rental payments that are not covered by the Government's wage subsidy.

"However, most businesspeople would much rather be earning a dollar than taking one from the taxpayer. For these firms, it is essential the Government continues to clarify the rules of the game with haste.

"We welcome the Government's commitment to allowing 'safe' businesses to operate, however it is essential that the rules be clarified."


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So we know he's only doing this to bring attention to himself, as at the start of all this he said the Government should have gone into lockdown earlier, now he's saying we should leave it earlier...

I do agree there's been a big screw up with the PPE thing though, officials saying the opposite of professionals in terms of stock levels. Either that or it's because government advisors are giving false reports to officials, or are getting false reports from health board CEOs etc.

I dunno, something just isn't right with the whole thing.

We are so lucky in New Zealand to have such a positive, resolute and strong leader in our PM.

Look Simon, the state of it is how you left it.
Go Away and find a pieman.

Really easy to criticise after the fact. Where is the actual things he would do?
Bridges is one of those that is upset the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff are empty. Doesn't understand it is because the fence at the top is working.
Jacinda said at the start that they wouldn't get it right 100% of the time but waiting until everything was perfect was never going to happen. Just look at where we are at compared to the rest of the world.
Well done Jacinda.
Well done Dr Bloomfield

Ah, Mr. Bridges showing his true colours. What would New Zealand be facing now if he had been leader on 1.3.20?

Now that's a scary scenario

Great comments on here... we'll all have plenty of time to stay at home and write comments... problem is, with the economy destroyed and no businesses left to advertise in the ODT, well, you can figure out the rest.

Best thing he can do is to stay quiet I think.

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