Back of the pack again – this time vax certificates

It is unfathomable that after 10 months of the vaccine roll-out New Zealanders still don’t have easy access to vaccine certificates, National’s Covid-19 Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“It has been obvious for months that the Government was going to require to be able to prove they’re vaccinated, for both domestic and international use. But the Government themselves just hasn’t done the work”.

“Every other OECD country has managed to produce a vaccine certificate quickly and efficiently. An EU digital vaccine certificate system went live in June. Yet again New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world.

“Burkina Faso has a vaccine passport. Cuba has a vaccine passport. Ireland, Italy, the list goes on. But not New Zealand.

“National has been asking about vaccine certificates since February. The Government has given vague assurances of it being ‘worked on’ since then. Here we are in mid-October and they’re still not ready to go – in fact it is still unclear when they will be ready.

“A couple of weeks ago the Government said they would be ready in November. That quickly changed to ‘the end of November.’ Then today it was announced they would be ready in ‘mid-December.’ Meanwhile, the Covid-19 website simply says ‘later this year.’

“We were late to sign vaccine contracts, late to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine and now we’re late on vaccine authentication.

“The Prime Minister’s confused and muddled plan relies on people being able to prove they’re vaccinated. National agrees with greater freedoms for vaccinated people but everything hinges on authentication, which is why it’s so disappointing that we are so far behind other countries and it’s still unclear when they will be ready here.

“A plan is not a plan if the tools required to enact it are not yet able to be used. New Zealanders deserve better.”