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Govt Of Kindness Deeply Cruel

“The Ombudsman’s investigation into the MIQ debacle shows that the Government of kindness has been deeply cruel”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Today, the Ombudsman found that MBIE didn’t adequately take into account the very real impact MIQ would have on people’s lives. It didn’t provide Ministers the quality of free and frank advice required, but the buck doesn’t stop with them. It stops with the Ministers leading them.

“As soon as she cancelled the March 15 commemoration and started to take Covid-19 seriously, Jacinda Ardern’s one-track leadership style was doomed to failure.

“The Prime Minister told us we were fighting a ‘tricky virus’, a ‘killer virus.’ We were told that a ‘team of five million’ was forming a ‘wall of protection.’ The problem is, by focusing on just one thing, she missed New Zealanders’ overall welfare.

“Faced with an enormous fear campaign put on the whole country, it’s no surprise that the public service followed suit and offered limited advice.

“The end result was a cruel, one-size-fits-all MIQ lottery that created misery.

“One New Zealander was even given asylum from the Taliban because our own Government was so mean spirited.

“ACT was the first party to call for MIQ to end as soon as possible – it was a heartless, Hunger Games-style policy. Right up until it followed ACT and called for MIQ to be dumped, National wanted to continue the policy as well.

“From Day 1, ACT called on the Government to take a risk-proportionate approach to managing Covid-19. ACT’s four Covid-19 policy papers said the Government should weigh all the costs and benefits of its response.

“The Covid-19 Royal Commission must inquire into where MIQ failed and how it could have been done better.”

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