Yes there should be a Royal Commission

Stuff reports:

The ACT Party is calling for a Royal Commission into the Government’s Covid-19 response.

Leader David Seymour said a Commission should look at the rules set by the Government, if they were appropriately balanced and if the Government acted in accordance with the rule of law.

He said it could also consider looking at whether New Zealand’s borders should have been closed earlier; examine the pandemic plan and PPE issues and if the Government had adequate testing to provide data for decision-making.

“There is recent precedent. The Royal Commission into the Canterbury earthquakes was established in April 2011, two months after the February earthquake. The Royal Commission into the Christchurch terrorist attacks was set up the month after the attacks,” he said.

It is unthinkable that there would not be a Royal Commission into our response to Covid-19. It dwarfs all these other events.

“A Royal Commission into the Covid-19 response should report back prior to April 2021.”

He wanted to see an independent Royal Commission investigate the response before next year’s flu season.

“Covid-19 may return next year and we can’t afford to shut down the economy again. Being unprepared for the first major pandemic in 100 years may be understandable, but repeating our mistakes if it comes back next year is totally unacceptable.”

Crisis thinking was very different from honest reflection on what could have done better and he called for “open, honest debate”.

He believed the Commission would need international guidance because too many players were invested in the Government’s response.

I think April 2021 may be too ambitious. But I do think the RC should look at responses around the world and see how our response could be improved.

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