NZ 'sitting duck, saved by luck' - Seymour slams Govt on lockdown

ACT leader David Seymour. Photo: RNZ
ACT leader David Seymour. Photo: RNZ
The Prime Minister's political opponents have spoken up about the latest alert level changes in which Auckland moved to level 3 last night for three days.

The rest of New Zealand will be at level 2 over the same time period, Jacinda Ardern announced Sunday afternoon.

She said the move was "the right thing to do" and was a "cautious approach".

"I'm asking New Zealanders to continue to be strong and to be kind."

She said we all have this feeling of "not again… but we are going to be okay".

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins and Act leader David Seymour criticised the Government for putting Auckland into another lockdown.

Collins, who is returning to Wellington while her Auckland MPs stay put in Tāmaki Makaurau, said the latest lockdown move will be a "devastating blow" for New Zealanders.

"This will be difficult news for all New Zealanders.

"I feel for the people who have already sacrificed their livelihoods, their jobs and their businesses to keep Covid-19 out."

Collins urged people to stay vigilant in the fight against Covid-19 and follow the advice of health officials.

Finding the source of the outbreak and vaccinating border workers was a matter of urgency, she said.

She said if this proves to be another border failure that is unacceptable.

New Zealand is preparing for the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines this week. Ardern announced on Friday that frontline Covid-19 workers will get the vaccines first.

After those roughly 12,000 workers are vaccinated, their close family will be offered the jab.

Collins said National has been calling for an accelerated rollout of vaccinations for border workers and frontline staff since January.

"We were acutely aware of the economic and social damage a third lockdown could cause. Avoiding this very scenario at all costs should have been the Government's top priority."

Collins attended the 22nd Big Gay Out in Auckland, after Ardern had to ditch her appearance at the event to race to Wellington in the wake of three new community cases.

Seymour said it "was only a matter of time before an outbreak forced another lockdown".

He called New Zealand a "sitting duck, saved by luck, citizen cooperation and geographic isolation".

"The Government did not take the opportunity to strengthen our defences with better testing and contact tracing, as the Prime Minister claimed. Instead it pinned its hopes on a vaccine while inviting the Wiggles through MIQ.

"We must hope that the Government's testing and tracing can isolate this outbreak before a damaging extended lockdown harms livelihoods."

"Last month the Government tried to say New Zealand's position was so good we could afford to wait for a vaccine. Act said at the time that we are only an outbreak away from wishing we had one.

Ardern took to Facebook Sunday evening to answer questions from Kiwis on the alert level move.

"Basically, what we want everybody to do is stay home," she said.

"We are asking people from Auckland not to leave."

But there are some exceptions such as those that live on or near the Auckland border needing to travel into the region for legitimate purposes.

She said anyone who got an exemption last time can anticipate getting one this time.

Comments

View all

I would rather listen to the Govt & scientists than the dog barking noise Seymour & Collins make. Heaven knows where we would be at if they were in charge.

Give it a rest David. Some old song and it'll be the same outcome, you're wrong, again. You've been pressuring for the country to reopen it's borders since the initial lockdown, you were wrong about that as well.
If it were over to you we would be in the same state as Britain, or at best Australia.
The economy is doing fine, your doom and gloom is just plain old fashioned wrong.
The country seems to be behind the Cabinet decision, although inconvenient and annoying as it is, Go Hard, Go Early seems to resonate better with the public than your middle class, entitled, never ending, whining.

The lockdown is because of the latest infection which is the UK variant and that is far more dangerous than the original so I personally think a few days in lockdown is a tiny price to pay for saving peoples lives and far far far more important than businesses losing a few days profit. Get a grip people, we are talking about lives.

You are spot on Shumway. Those in power have a simple choice: put lives ahead of the economy or put the economy ahead of lives. I believe and I think the world at large agrees, saving lives, or at least preventing unnecessary deaths, is the correct choice. The last year has shown that the economy bounces back quickly in a fairly robust way.

One again we hear the yapping of a right wing politician. Seems all the worst performers in the COVID-19 stakes, country wise, have right wing governments. Who'd have thought!

As of 11th of February the Seychelles vaccinated 46.3% of its population.

Go hard, go early indeed...

Seychelles pop 100,000 - NZ 5 mil
Confirmed cases 2,328. - 2001
Recovered 1,831 - 2277
Deaths 10 - 26

At one 50th the population of NZ the stats be aren't good to you stand out example . NZ need isn't anywhere near as urgent allowing us to properly assess the vaccines before use , rather than pass them under urgency bypassing proper process like the countries that have past the acceptance under urgency and by passed due process .

Maybe if they had gone hard and early their stats wouldn't be so bad.

Did David Seymour not learn anything from the election? Yes, Act benefitted, but from popularity. National voters went to Act because they did not want to go to Labour or the Greens. Act stands a really good chance of joining NZ First on the same bench through misreading what is really important to NZ. Life mean a lot more to the well and living because you cannot earn money or spend it when your are sick or in a grave David.

View all

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter