Tearful Judith Collins slams traffic-light Covid plan as confusing 'cock and bull story'

National Party leader Judith Collins has slammed the Government's new traffic-light Covid plan as a confusing "cock and bull story".

An emotional Collins - who was watery-eyed and tearful as she addressed media - said she was speaking "on behalf of many New Zealanders who have contacted me about what they're feeling and what they're seeing".

"They're saying "enough - enough of this confusion, enough of playing mind games with people, enough of the Government not delivering on their promises and enough of expecting other New Zealanders to carry that can for them".

She said there was "no hope" for Aucklanders in the announcement.

"They're being held in this prison until every district health board in Auckland gets their numbers of vaccinations up to 90 per cent," Collins said.

She said the traffic-light system was "extraordinarily confusing".

"I'm so shocked that the Prime Minister could have put this out, and I'm absolutely heartbroken for those who are watching their businesses go," Collins said.

Collins said the country was being held to ransom by people who would not get vaccinated.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Grant Robertson had said he would like to explore ways to prohibit businesses that refused to implement vaccination certificates from accessing business support.

Collins, who this week proposed a dramatic increase in the amount of business support available, would not be drawn on whether she too would withhold support for businesses that failed to comply with vaccine passport measures.

"We are the party of personal responsibility - I don't think we need to have people be threatened.

"They're already losing their livelihoods - to be threatened now by a Minister of Finance who feels like he can spend money everywhere with no accountability.

"Threatening is not the way to get people to do these things," Collins said.

Act leader David Seymour said the plan was "far more complicated than what Act and later National proposed".

Act and National had been in favour of setting a "freedom day" at which the country opened up, rather than a scheme predicated on minimum vaccination levels, like Labour's.

Seymour said the Government's plan meant people's freedom was dependent on "the laziest person in your community choosing to get vaccinated".

He disagreed with Collins when it came to business support for firms that chose not to use vaccine passports.

He said businesses that got behind vaccine passports were doing their bit for the economy, and those that did not should carry some of the costs of Covid-19, rather than be supported by Government handouts.

"They've got a very simple choice: They can contribute to saving all of New Zealand and the health system money - or not," he said.

"There's got to be some financial incentives to doing the right thing".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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