Week in Review

News the Government will move to a risk-based approach for overseas arrivals is welcome but well overdue. Back in January National proposed precisely this approach and since then we’ve been calling for a traffic light system for MIQ arrivals.

The Government should also adopt National’s other recommendations, such as:

  • Introduce rapid antigen testing for everyone getting off international flights.
  • Conduct daily saliva testing of every person who works in a MIQ facility.
  • Investigate construction of a purpose-built COVID-19 quarantine facility on the outskirts of Auckland.

We said then, and repeat now, it simply does not make sense for passengers from higher risk countries like India and the United Kingdom to be treated the same as passengers from lower risk countries like the Pacific Islands.

The Government promised New Zealanders a smart border, we’re still waiting for it.

You can read more from Chris Bishop here.

Minister of Motels spends more than half a billion

New figures show the multi-million dollars being netted by top-earning emergency motels with the Government expecting this to continue for at least the next few years.

Since Labour came to office:

  • One emergency housing supplier has earned $14.7 million.
  • One motel has earned $10.5 million.
  • Ten motels have earned more than $5 million.
  • 128 emergency housing suppliers have earned more than $1 million

In total more than half a billion dollars has been spent on housing people in emergency accommodation since Labour came to office, with no plan to end long-stay emergency housing.

What’s worse under Labour is:

  • No value for money, with motel owners charging more than $440 a night.
  • Rooms don’t even have to meet quality standards.
  • People are living like this for longer, average stay now more than three months.
  • They can’t confirm the safety of people living in emergency housing.
  • They aren’t monitoring the conditions in these motels.
  • Labour said $90,000 a day was too much to be spending on motels, but it’s now more than ten times that.
  • They expect emergency housing grants to peak at 170,000 for each of the next two years, compared to 35,994 in 2017.

This is a shocking policy failure with frightening consequences for the thousands of children who are now being raised in motels.

National would focus on getting houses built, and partnering more with community housing providers who can provide wrap around support to help people get back on their feet and into stable accommodation.

You can read more from Nicola Willis here.

Labour delivers worse health outcomes, Little champions more control

Replacing all District Health Boards (DHBs) across the country will see our regions and smaller communities lose their voice and autonomy. Our regions know what works for them, and that isn’t always having Wellington dictate terms.

This is just another example of Labour’s centralise and control ideology. We’ve seen it with the restructure of polytechnics, the three waters, and now they have their sights on restructuring our health sector.

Other concerning factors with Labour’s new ideological power grab:

  • Health treatment shouldn’t depend on your ethnicity; it should be based on need.
  • Removing DHBs is similar to when Regional Health Authorities were centralised, it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
  • We have no idea how much it will cost, how long it will take to implement or how disruptive it will be.
  • Labour’s track record of delivery on large projects is poor at best.
  • We’re currently undergoing three critical mass vaccination programmes; this radical restructure couldn’t have come at a worse time.
  • The millions that will be spent on creating more bureaucracy in Wellington should be going towards more frontline services, cancer drugs, surgeries, and nurses.

National’s position is clear: in Government we will retain the community and local voice, repeal a separate Māori Health Authority, and work towards a better single integrated health system focused on equal opportunity for treatment that deliver better outcomes.

The Government needs to own its track record in health. In the past four years every single National Health Target is worse than when National was in Government. Facts become inconvenient for those who rely on spin. Conveniently, Labour ditched the health targets in 2018.

You can’t improve what you don’t, or won’t, measure.

You can read more from Dr Shane Reti here.

It’s time to take the guns off the gangs

With gangs trying to take control of New Zealand’s largest city, it’s time to get tough on organised crime. The Government needs to introduce our draft legislation on Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) immediately.

This law change would mean a gang member subject to an FPO, will not be allowed to possess a firearm, get a firearms license or be on a property where firearms are present. It would also be an offence to supply firearms to someone subject to an FPO.

The Government was willing to go to great lengths to take guns off legal firearms owners but will do nothing about those who illegally use them to commit crime and wreak havoc. We are seeing a rapid rise in gang violence and a marked increase in shootings. It is only a matter of time before innocent people are killed.

Under Labour gang numbers have grown to almost 8000 nationwide. New Zealanders want real action, not just talk. We urge all Kiwis to sign our petition and show the Government its soft approach to crime isn’t working.

You can sign the petition here.

Labour’s Ihumātao deal ruled ‘unlawful’

In response to a letter from National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis, written in March, the Auditor-General has confirmed Labour unlawfully used millions of taxpayer dollars to settle the Ihumātao land dispute.

This is a shocking abuse of privilege by Labour. Taxpayers aren’t a bank to be called upon to clean up the Government’s poor decisions, particularly when it is meddling in private property rights.

The Prime Minister should never have involved herself in the Ihumātao dispute and stopped 480 much-needed houses from being built.

National would protect landowner’s property rights and ensure full and final treaty settlements are just that – full and final.

You can read more from Michael Woodhouse and Nicola Willis here.