Over the last few days, we have seen a Government that is completely fractured and entirely divergent in terms of how New Zealand should be responding to the Covid crisis.
It's completely unacceptable that the Prime Minister initially held the view that we should stay in Level 2 until late June, but this morning was rushing to say we will now review this next week. All of this while the Deputy Prime Minister is using every opportunity to publicly state we should already be in Level 1.
That is creating huge confusion for this country. There's a complete lack of certainty - when New Zealand needs certainty.
I feel hugely for our businesses who are struggling immensely at this time and have to adhere to Level 2 rules, all the while many New Zealanders are taking the cue from the Deputy Prime Minister that its okay to return back to what was our old normal.
So I have called for the Government to release the Cabinet advice that is informing their decision to stay in Level 2, what the criteria needs to be to be able to move into Level 1, and to provide that certainty and surety for New Zealanders so we can move forward with an economic recovery that is so critical. I followed this up today in question time, and once again failed to gain anymore clarity. Clarity that people deserve.
37,500 jobs were lost in April alone, and the Government’s own forecasts are for tens and tens of thousands over the next few months. It is so important for New Zealand to move at pace, with a model that works and is clear for businesses and communities to that next level - and that said model is communicated sooner, rather than later.
That is why we made the announcement on Friday as part of our first step of our economic recovery plan, which focused on JobStart. A policy that sits alongside businesses that encourages them to take new employees on, that has been incredibly well received.
The Government themselves saw significant merit in the proposal, I have contacted Grant Robertson’s office and still await a reply.
We need to be able to put politics aside, if the Minister sees this as a policy that will assist New Zealanders, as we do, then let’s bring it forward and not have to wait for the 1st November.