Why the Government will never hold a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Covid response

It should be a no brainer that we have a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Covid response. The economic cost is well over $100 billion, let alone the health costs. If we have a RCI into Cave Creek and the Christchurch Earthquake of course we should have one into the largest pandemic in living memory.

Judith Collins has said that such an inquiry should look into:

The reasons for the slow vaccine rollout

•         The performance of the vaccine rollout itself, particularly for Māori

•         The preparedness of the health system for the outbreak, particularly ICU

•         The MIQ and quarantine system

•         Failure to adopt testing technologies like rapid antigen testing and saliva testing

•         Preparedness of the education system for the outbreak

•         Spending from the Covid Response Fund

•         The decision-making behind Alert Level changes and new step and traffic light systems

And of course all these areas should be inquired into, so we know how to do better next time. But there is no chance the Government will agree – because it goes to the heart of their decision making.

When an earthquake or a mine disaster occurs, the Government will hold an inquiry because it is highly unlikely it will find Ministerial decision making is at fault. Sure it will identify law changes needed in the future, but that is less sensitive.

But in the case of Covid-19, the entire issue is about how the pandemic occurred (as that was totally outside out control), but how the Government responded. And the last thing the Government wants is a report detailing all the areas of poor performance.

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