Experts support Covid-19 inquiry

The Herald reports:

Scientists are pushing for an official inquiry into New Zealand’s response to Covid-19, arguing it would better prepare the country for the next big crisis.

While the Government launched an inquiry into urgent legislation it used to implement its alert level system and lockdown, it hasn’t announced an independent probe into its wider response – something Act leader David Seymour has repeatedly called for.

Now, a group of Otago University experts have also asked for one, pointing out that while New Zealand had done an “extraordinarily successful job” of stopping the virus, a wide-ranging inquiry was still critical.

The scientists – professors Michael Baker and Nick Wilson, Associate Professor George Thomson, and Drs Jennifer Summers, Amanda Kvalsvig and Matt Boyd – argued the country needed to know the effectiveness of the various pandemic controls, and if they could be improved in the short and longer term.

This is a no brainer. The cost to the country of the response to Covid-19 is around $140 billion of extra borrowing. Anything less than a Royal Commission of Inquiry into our response would be farcical.

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