National’s view on the role of proof of vaccination

National’s position on vaccine certification is simple and we have been calling for a reliable proof of vaccination to be available since February, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“The Government should have begun work on providing proof of vaccination long ago – perhaps when I first enquired about it in the House in February. Today at Question Time Minister Hipkins revealed Cabinet only considered this work in July this year.

“We support short term widespread use of proof of vaccination as we continue our vaccination drive. As Kiwis get vaccinated, the Government should be relaxing restrictions on them. If Aucklanders had proof of vaccination now, we could relax travel limits on them and they could leave Auckland.

“The National Party doesn’t agree with the Government in their plan to impose restrictions with the mandatory use of vaccine certificates after we have hit their vaccine target of 90 per cent across all DHBs.

“The most important time for proof of vaccination is now as we are striving to hit the target.

“Once the target is achieved, National supports the existing rights of all private businesses to choose who they do business with. Some businesses will choose to require proof of vaccination. Others will not.”

“What we do not support and are strongly opposed to is the rhetoric of the Government that vilifies those who are yet to be vaccinated. The Prime Minister’s casual commentary on New Zealand being a two-tiered country was divisive and counterproductive.

“Proof of vaccination should be available to all vaccinated New Zealanders so they can engage with private businesses who require it and so they can travel overseas. It should not be a long term tool for the Government to separate New Zealanders.

“In the National Party we know that supportive discussions and openness are far more productive means to encourage vaccine-hesitant people to get the Covid vaccine. Alienating, bullying, and vilifying are simply a sure way to divide our country and push people away.”