Government slated as incompetent

Massey University senior lecturer writes:

I’m not a lawyer or legal expert, but what I do know is that your rights to freedom of movement and assembly have been impinged by an incompetent Government that has put tens of thousands of lives at risk.

Sorry, I’m not buying into the “we must support our Government in times of crisis” myth. On the contrary, every single decision needs to be questioned and challenged if necessary – now more than ever.

So why is our Government incompetent? Let’s start with the obvious. On February 3 the Government implemented “temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease”.

This was the time for a blanket ban on all entries except for New Zealanders, who should have been tested for coronavirus on arrival and then quarantined – not isolated – until clearance was given from the lab.

I agree we should have implemented wider travel restrictions much earlier. The Government wasted weeks with its nonsensical self-quarantine idea.

Instead, Prime Minister left the gates wide open and made one shocking decision after another.

An example is the health checks, including temperature checks, our PM ordered for all travellers flying to the Pacific Islands – police and Customs were on hand to assist. However, at the same time, visitors to New Zealand could continue to just waltz on through – the PM did not order health checks on arrivals, none whatsoever. Perhaps Ardern momentarily thought she was the prime minister of the Pacific Islands and not New Zealand?

This one was bizarre. We still are not testing the thousands of people arriving. At a minimum we should have thermal scanners and temperature checks at every airport, plus compulsory testing.

Yes, our Government’s approach has been reactive – no-one can deny it based on its approach to date. We had a head start to stop this disease from entering our country, but our Government thought it would deal with it by reacting to this disease once it arrived. By doing so, it has put tens of thousands of lives at risk. Can you see how that’s not a good plan?

Yep the Government kept saying we don’t want to put measures in too early, that we don’t want to get ahead of the curve. The strategy was flatten the curve rather than suppression. It was only as criticism mounted that they swapped from a mitigation strategy to a suppression strategy.

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