Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Prime Minister All At Sea On Saliva

“Seldom has the Prime Minister shown up to Parliament and given a poorer performance than she did at Question Time today on the issue of PCR testing, which is all the more surprising given what a specialist topic COVID-19 has become for her over the past year,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I accept there is a lot on her plate today, but still, it was not an encouraging display.

“Some very clear questions have been asked in recent days about why New Zealand, unlike Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and numerous other jurisdictions still isn’t using widespread, daily saliva PCR testing as an adjunct to nasal PCR testing.

“But the Prime Minister can’t seem to give credible answers to those questions.

“She says she’s been relying on advice from Health officials – advice she has not released – about the technology needing to be verified, despite it having been verified the world over.

“And remember, the Simpson-Roche report her Government commissioned, which she received in September, said saliva PCR testing should be implemented ‘as soon as possible.’

“The Prime Minister also seemed to become confused, suggesting the opposition was asking for saliva PCR testing to be used instead of nasal PCR testing.

“But we never have.

“It’s been clear to anyone with an interest in the matter right from the outset that saliva PCR testing has been suggested as an additional, more frequent test, not a replacement for nasal PCR testing.

“In fact, the Simpson-Roche report made that very point – they formed the view last year that officials were blaming the slow rollout on an assumption that saliva PCR testing might at some point replace nasal PCR testing.

“They said very clearly that one need not replace the other, saying the two ‘could well be complementary.’

“It should be remembered that the Simpson-Roche report was based on extensive interviews with the Health officials the Prime Minister is now saying are still advising her a slower rollout of saliva PCR testing should occur in New Zealand than elsewhere.

“It stands to reason that if Ms Simpson and Mr Roche agreed with that point of view they wouldn’t have made the recommendation ‘All efforts should be made to introduce saliva testing as soon as possible.’

“If the Prime Minister does indeed have advice that says New Zealand should be moving this slowly, she should release it for everyone to get their heads around.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Fudging On Child Poverty, And America’s Diplomatic Dance With Iran

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>


Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>




InfoPages News Channels