Government’s mess just got even messier

Exhausted Aucklanders entering their 12th week in lockdown will be even more confused by today’s messy and illogical announcement of yet further announcements to come about their future, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.

“Aucklanders are broken. They’re tired, grumpy and worried for their city’s future. They need more than platitudes, but that’s all they get from a Prime Minister who won’t even visit the city to hear from them first-hand.

“A month ago it was picnics. Now Aucklanders can meet for yoga outside. This isn’t a plan, it’s a mess.

“Today’s announcement of an announcement of lessened restrictions next week begs more questions than answers. If businesses aren’t a risk now, why couldn’t they open last week? Why do they have to wait another week? Why do Aucklanders have to wait for step 2 of Alert Level 3 to take effect?

“To make matters even more confusing, next Wednesday retail will apparently open to everyone in Auckland and then, at the end of November, the traffic light system will kick in and the unvaccinated will face restrictions. How is this going to work? It makes zero sense.

“The Government is making stuff up as it goes along and spins it as a ‘plan’. It never had a plan for Delta. It assumed the tools of 2020 would work in 2021. The Government has dropped the ball and Aucklanders continue to pay a terrible price.

“It is still totally unclear when vaccination certificates will be ready. The Government only started working on them in July. If they were ready now, vaccinated Aucklanders could have much greater freedom and could even leave the Auckland prison. The fact they are not ready is a disgrace and emblematic of a Government that simply hasn’t done the work.

“The Government has let all of New Zealand down. There’s still no plan on boosters, while other countries roll them out. Vaccination certificates aren’t ready. Vaccines haven’t been ordered for 5-11 year-olds. Rapid antigen testing still isn’t being used.

“The MIQ lottery of human misery continues unabated, with a minor change to MIQ isolation days not even due to take effect until November 14. While hundreds of Aucklanders with Covid isolate at home, fully vaccinated Kiwis with no Covid from low-risk jurisidictions have to play the lottery to spend 14 days in MIQ.

“This is a Government with no plan, no idea, and offering no hope.”