'Clearly there is a failure': Collins blames Govt for Covid's return

Judith Collins on the campaign trail yesterday. Photo: Getty Imaged
Judith Collins says there has has been a failure at the border. Photo: Getty Images
National Party leader Judith Collins is putting the blame for the new cases of community transmission in Auckland squarely in the lap of the Government and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Speaking to the Herald tonight, Collins said she was "extremely disappointed" in the Government, given that Covid-19 has come back to New Zealand.

"I am, like I'm sure the rest of the country is, extremely disappointed that this [Covid-19] has been allowed in through our borders."

Just over an hour before, Ardern had announced that as a result of four new cases of community transmission – all from the same family in South Auckland – the Super City will go into level 3 lockdown from 12 noon on Wednesday, until midnight Friday.

The rest of the county will move into level 2 over the same period.

"We're asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread," Ardern said in an emergency press conference at the Beehive tonight.

But Collins was not impressed, given the fact she said New Zealanders have been told that the country was free of community transmission.

Sunday had marked 100 days since the last case of community transmission.

"We believed it had happened; this has clearly come through a border and must not be something that was homegrown in New Zealand.

"I have seen the Prime Minister tonight, who is leader of the Labour Party, in the middle of an election campaign, speaking about all this failure."

Collins was meant to be campaigning in Tauranga tomorrow and is staying in Auckland tonight.

But the Papakura MP is heading back down to Wellington tomorrow morning.

"It is important, in my opinion, that I be in Wellington so that I can actually undertake the role of the Leader of the Opposition – so that's what I'm planning to do."

In fact, when speaking to the Herald, Collins detailed parts of a call she had with Ardern earlier this evening.

"She [Ardern] said that the family [the new cases of Covid-19] have had to wait for retesting because of possible false positives."

Collins speculated that this meant the family would have been retested and found positive "some days ago".

She pushed back on any suggestion that she was politicising the situation.

"I would be accused of a dereliction of duty if I did not do my job as Leader of the Opposition.

"We clearly have a failure that is disappointing – I am actually so disappointed that we are not in a situation that we have been told we were in."

 

Campaign suspended

NZ First leader Winston Peters has temporarily suspended his party's campaign.

Ardern said she'd spoken to National leader Judith Collins about 8.30pm to advise her about the information about the case and the proposed course of action.

Ardern said her focus was on the immediate cases and hasn't given any thought to postponing the election yet.

Comments

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Judith Collins seems to only have one strategy, which when coupled with Nationals avowed 'lets build another road' approach to policy is certainly not winning her or her party any friends.

Judith Collins, your reaction is absolutely disgusting! Where would we be now with a National government that puts the economy above everything? You should be grateful for the outstanding leadership this government has shown and stop playing dirty politics but it seems that is all you can do.

Quick to blame, before all the facts are known, but that's never stopped her before.

The only failure here is Collin's inability to put politicking aside during this period.

This is not about assigning blame, new cases were always going to happen no matter how tight the restrictions are.

Fast action, as demonstrated by the government yesterday is our best hope to try and contain the virus.

Collins, please go back to your cave and stay there.

Come, come, Judith. What would u hav dun??

This assertion should be evidence based not speculative politics. Collins has jumped to conclusions.

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