Labour’s mismanagement of the border comes down to Ministers not doing their jobs, National’s Covid-19 Border Response spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.
“The appointment of Sir Brian Roche and Heather Simpson confirm the point that Ministers have dropped the ball. The consistent players in this ongoing mess are the Prime Minister and her Ministers. They have failed to deliver good governance and oversight.
“They haven’t asked the right questions and sought to check what was happening on the ground.
“For instance, Health Minister Chris Hipkins this week confirmed he had not read the Ministry of Health’s Testing Strategy, signed off in June.
“So how could he assume testing was being done without knowing what the policy was? Did he ask the questions: how many staff are working on the border; how often have they been tested in the past five months and; what’s the ongoing frequency of testing?
“The maintenance worker from the Rydges Hotel did not receive a Covid test until after he was symptomatic, despite the hotel being a quarantine facility for some months prior.
“The consequences of not asking those questions has been very considerable distress for many people across the country, the loss of 250 jobs a day, $75 million per day cost to the Auckland economy and $1.6 billion more to pay for the extension of the wage subsidy across the country.
“Good government is about being responsible and taking responsibility – not passing the buck and blaming officials when things go wrong.”
“The question now is, what are the specific expectations of the Heather Simpson and Sir Brian Roche intervention?”