Coronavirus: How political parties reacted to the government’s traffic light system
“Appalling, confusing, complicated” – Collins
National leader Judith Collins said Aucklanders were in tears after the announcement and saw no way out of the “jail” their city had become.
She said the system was too confusing and would pit New Zealanders against each other to get vaccinated.
“What we saw today from the Prime Minister was appalling, confusing, complicated, and I think a lot of people in New Zealand felt exactly the same as those people I spoke to this morning,” a- she declared.
“You don’t have a system and import another to replace it, but there is no effective date because it all depends on whether every district health board in the country has a double rate. 90% vaccination. So it’s really confusing.
“Today is just absolute confusion. I am so shocked that the Prime Minister was able to publish this and I am heartbroken for these people who are watching their businesses disappear.”
National’s proposals – to switch to a traffic light system of either 85 percent vaccination in every DHB or by December 1 – were, by contrast, very clear, she said.
“We made it very clear that 85 percent is when we would open. We would give people hope that they could get there, but they should also have a vaccine certificate – no matter what these guys say. they “will do if they can’t even put a vaccine certificate.” “
She said that didn’t mean any certainty for the Aucklanders or for those on the South Island who might have to wait for the DHBs on the North Island.
“They are being held to ransom by people who do not want to be vaccinated. And meanwhile, the government is simply pitting a New Zealander against a New Zealander.”
She said the government should instead accept that some people do not get vaccinated and the rest of the population should be able to continue living.
Freedom depends on the vaccination of the “lazy” – ACT
ACT chief David Seymour also pleaded for a specific date on which the system could go into effect, rather than a vaccination target, and had little sympathy for those who had yet to receive their vaccine. .
“I think the New Zealanders had high expectations this morning and were treated to a far more complicated Freedom Day than what ACT and later National have proposed… the exact timing will depend on who chooses. the laziest person in your community to get vaccinated.
“Look, there aren’t many excuses not to get vaccinated, you have a legitimate medical reason or you have been way too lazy to go to one of the many centers that have now been open for months and months.”
He said the traffic light system, as it was, made a lot of sense, but the process of getting there was a real problem.
“We’re not going to get to this for a very long time, you wait for the slowest DHB to get there,” he said.
“The roadmap was a bit of a road to nowhere, now we have the traffic lights on the road – it’s kind of like one of those miniature car games we used to play when we were kids.”
He disagreed, however, with Collins’ suggestion that New Zealanders would oppose each other.
“There are a number, at least four DHB regions that are still in the mid-70s… If they fail to say 90% – and they’re 15 points behind right now and they’re the slowest historically. …. They will ransom the country forever. “
“I see it as pitting action against inaction and this action will clearly dramatically reduce the impacts on critical care, increase our resilience against COVID and allow us to live in a COVID world, which we need to do – urgently, for so many reasons. “
The “Squid Game” system will result in the death of Maoris – Te Pāti Māori
Maori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer also criticized the government’s plan – not because it is too slow, but because it puts Maori and other vulnerable people at risk.
They said the government resisted setting targets specifically for Maori, ignoring advice from health experts and the iwi, and likened the system to the Squid Game TV show.
“On every indicator, Maori are likely to take the biggest hits in a Delta epidemic, vaccinated or not,” Ngarewa-Packer said.
“The government has even ignored the advice of the Iwi Presidents Forum, which is apparently their most trusted advisory group on behalf of the Maori, who have flatly rejected the traffic light system… Iwi Presidents believe the strategy is wrong and goes against Te Tiriti principles, and we totally agree. “
Waititi said the government has talked a lot about the money being thrown at Maori, but it is not reaching Maori.
“They’re lying. It’s going to the DHBs to deliver to the Maori, DHBs who let our people down,” he said.
“The Prime Minister says no one will be left behind. What she means is no one will be left behind except the Maori. Let the Squid Games begin.”
“Rushed and risky” traffic lights – Green
The Green Party also warned that the government’s approach was “hasty and risky”, and proposed a different approach.
“The proposed vaccination targets are insufficient to protect the most vulnerable and risk opening up before everyone is safe on an equal footing,” said COVID-19 Response spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter, in a statement.
She said the government needs to do more for those struggling with the cost of living, with rent freezes, easier access to hardship grants and more.
Green Party health spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere called for more Maori leadership in partnership with general practitioners and urged continued elimination strategy until 95% of Maori and eligible Pacific residents are fully immunized, plus a total population immunization rate of at least 70%. for all ethnic groups and geographic areas.
“Maori and Pasifika are much more likely to have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of COVID. They are also more likely to live in communities where COVID spreads more easily and to work in high risk jobs, ”she said.
The party also called for additional intensive care capacity, ventilation requirements for all workplaces, a new wage subsidy for caregivers and a formal process to involve iwi in COVID-19 strategic decisions.
National approach “appalled” by financial support
Collins was “appalled” by the financial support plans proposed by the Minister of Finance and wondered how he could threaten companies that might consider not using the vaccine certification system when it was not. still available.
“Number one is not his money. Number two, on the one hand, we are told that companies will not be able to access the money unless they adhere to the entire vaccine certification package. He didn’t even get his certification. “
“Threat is not the way to get people to do these things. Look at why some people hesitate. They are often hesitant because they will be influenced by incorrect information being spread by people who are supposed to be scientists and scientists. others. It’s just that they need to be educated, not threatened. “
Its revenue spokesperson Andrew Bayly said the increase in the resurgence support payment was welcome, but it would come too late for many companies who would have to wait another three weeks to access it.
“There has also been no targeted support for the most struggling sectors, such as the tourism, accommodation and events sectors. When Auckland is struggling, operations in these sectors across the country is suffering.The government has once again forgotten about these companies.
“We thank the minister for taking up National’s idea of a mental health support fund for businesses, something we have been defending for a few months.
“The Aucklanders have struggled in what is the longest lockdown in this pandemic. More than a million Aucklanders have been vaccinated, but are denied access to bars and restaurants, or to visit friends and family.