Just do what needs to be done, Prime Minister

The National Party is on board to take part in the Super Saturday vaccination drive on October 16th, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“In our own Covid-19 plan ‘Opening Up’ we outline the importance of pulling out all the stops to get as many Kiwis vaccinated as possible and we are happy to promote Super Saturday as one tactic to achieve that.

“In the spirit of National’s pragmatic ‘do what needs to be done’ approach to Covid-19, Dr Shane Reti and I have agreed that he will stay up north and focus on raising the vaccination rates of communities in Northland for the next couple of weeks.

“Dr Reti will be working alongside Māori Health Provider Ki A Ora Ngātiwai on their vaccination drive.

“I have been disappointed to see the Prime Minister and her Government holding up low vaccination rates in Māori communities as a kind of scapegoat for the restrictions they have imposed on us all.

“I am yet to see the Government pull out all the stops to address the barriers to Māori vaccination and simply talking about it is not enough. Scapegoating Māori is not acceptable either. It is because of the Government’s incompetence and complacency that we are where we are.

“In National’s plan, we outline several ways that the Government could improve Māori vaccination rates. One obvious way would be simply giving Whānau Ora providers the funding and authority to play the role they are more than capable of playing in this crucial public health drive.

“Whānau Ora have the connections and framework to go out to communities at place and engage with vaccine-hesitant Māori as well. Enabling the sharing of data between DHBs, primary health organisations, and Whānau Ora would streamline this.

“My message to the Government is to urge them to adopt these measures and, in fact, all the measures we have laid out in ‘Opening Up’. They simply need to do what needs to be done.”   

You can read National's full 'Opening Up' plan here.