Securing Our Border

 

National recognises COVID-19, as well as other pandemic threats, will continue for some years to come. National is committed to a border plan that provides long-term security for New Zealand families, their health and the wider economy.

You can read National's full Border Policy Document here

Human to human contact is the most likely mode of transmission into New Zealand. Therefore, our border is our first line of defence against the threat of transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Changes in approaches to border management around the world are as profound as the changes in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks in 2001.

This border policy will be our initial response to provide a long-term and coherent response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and other public health threats.

Our key policies are:

  1. Establishing Te Korowai Whakamaru/NZ Border Protection Agency to cut through the confused response from Labour.

  2. Require people travelling to New Zealand to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving.

  3. Deploy compulsory contact tracing technology for Agency workers, workers in border facilities and points of entry, and District Health Board staff treating or testing patients.

  4. Ensure new arrivals can be adequately contact traced by requiring compulsory use of contact tracing technology.

  5. Immediately invest and seek to rapidly deploy a Bluetooth application to enhance contact tracing capability.

  6. Explore alternative contact tracing technologies to add more tools to the contact-tracing system (eg: COVID Card).

  7. Widen the availability of testing throughout the country, making sure there are readily deployable mobile testing stations in each main population centre as well as any population centre where there is a quarantine facility.

  8. Implement a target for test waiting times of no longer than 60 minutes for a test.

  9. Require regular testing of aged care workers.

  10. Have regular opportunities for testing within retirement homes.

This is how we will correct the systemic breakdown we have seen at the border to date and introduce a professional front line of defence to keep New Zealand safe.

You can read National's full Border Policy Document here

Building a more resilient economy


National would strengthen the ability for our economy to work in a COVID-19 and pandemic prone world. We will work to ensure that in the first instance our border is secure but with a mind to ensuring we are not caught wanting if an incursion does occur.

If lockdowns do occur, we must help our economy so that commerce can continue through lockdowns and people can continue work. Our economy must become more resilient to the threat posed by COVID-19. Lockdowns are a short-term intervention that come at a tremendous cost to businesses and our economy. In the long term, New Zealand cannot afford to shut down or slow our entire economy even if there is a localised incursion. National will improve regulatory settings and allowing more business to be conducted in a contactless way. We will need to become more contactless and able to operate despite the health threat. We will need efficient systems that protect the supply chain and minimise the upheaval and disruption caused by an incursion.

National is concerned the lessons of the first lockdown were not closely studied to provide an improved response during the August lockdown. Continuous improvement of our systems is required so that lockdowns become more targeted and effective, with minimal impact on our communities and the economy. For example, where small businesses like butchers and greengrocers can demonstrate and implement or plan to operate safely, they should be allowed to do so.