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


Missed opportunity for Govt to increase vaccine uptake

The Government’s admission it isn’t using an obvious lever to increase uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine demonstrates its failure to recognise the need to ramp up our vaccine rollout, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Social Development Minister Sepuloni admitted at Select Committee today that Ministry of Social Development (MSD) frontline staff have no brief to help communicate information about the Covid-19 vaccine despite the fact they have regular contact with hundreds of thousands New Zealanders.

“MSD has direct contact and relationships with many New Zealanders who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 including Māori, Pasifika, seniors and those with underlying health conditions and disabilities.

“That means they are well placed to provide information to people about the vaccine and assist them with tasks such as vaccination bookings.

“A golden opportunity to utilise one of New Zealand’s largest government departments in the vaccination roll out has been squandered.

“We’ve known for more than a year we would be rolling out a mass vaccination programme and that uptake in our vulnerable communities would be critical. So the fact it simply never occurred to anyone in the Government to make use of the considerable resources and community connections MSD has is baffling.

“The Government should enlist MSD to help maximise vaccine uptake. The one in 12 New Zealanders who are dependent on the Government for income should not be placed under further stress through being unvaccinated.

“Not everyone, for example, has access to the internet and phones. Even if MSD provided basic support to help people in these circumstances book their vaccine test, provide locations of the nearest testing centres and general vaccination information, that would be a good start.

“We often hear nice words from Ministers about ‘all of government’ initiatives and collaboration between different departments. Ms Sepuloni’s glib response that uptake of the vaccine is not ‘front of mind’ demonstrates the hollowness of these words.

“If ever there was an initiative that required co-operation between government departments, the roll out of a vaccination to protect against a global pandemic would be it.

“The Government should act with urgency to enlist the government department that interacts with over 350,000 New Zealanders to assist with our vaccination efforts.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels