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New Zealand Passport Now More Use In Aussie

“New Zealand’s passport now gives you better access to Australia than New Zealand, and this extraordinary fact shows how backward our approach at the border has become,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour

"New Zealand risks becoming the East Berlin of Australasia, as the walls come down around with almost all Australian states allowing quarantine-free travel from each other and New Zealand.

“If you hold a New Zealand passport, you can show up at any eastern State; Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania, and go straight in. They will sensibly screen you for risks such as a high temperature, then send you freely on your way.

“If you bring your New Zealand Passport to New Zealand, on the other hand, you’ll go into 14 days of mandatory state-run isolation, likely paying for the privilege.

“Mandatory state run isolation sounds draconian, but New Zealanders are grateful if their Government agrees to lock them up for a fortnight at their own expense. Many New Zealand passport holders miss out and cannot enter the country at all. Thousands find that MIQ is booked up for months, and they cannot enter the country even if it means heart-wrenching separation from loved-ones.

“Beside the emotional impact of separation, tourism businesses are getting increasingly desperate as they wait for the border to reopen. A Government committed to serious policy making would carry out a cost benefit analysis of opening the border. It appears this Government, bolstered by cheap money from the Reserve Bank, is not interested in the costs of its policies.

“ACT said as early as July that New Zealand should adopt a risk-proportionate approach to COVID-19 and have different rules for travelers from different places, depending on risk. There is now no explanation for why our borders are closed to COVID-free states of Australia.

The Announcement comes off the back of mediocre performance on the Cook Islands.

"The announcement yesterday of a Cook Islands travel bubble sometime in the first quarter of next year - something most people thought would have been delivered by now - was nothing more than a smokescreen designed to cover up months of delay.

"Tragically, some people are still falling for this PR nonsense. There is no good reason we can’t move freely between New Zealand and the Cook Islands today.’

“The Prime Minister should front up and open New Zealand for Christmas, or is she taking the rest of the year off?

“Launching a Bluetooth capable COVID-tracing App, as the Government did four days ago, should have been a major milestone in fighting COVID. Astonishingly, the Government has said nothing more about it, even the App statistics have not been updated since Friday, when they were poor.

"There has been no update on whether people are switching on the bluetooth capability in the NZ COVID Tracer App, who knows if it's being used enough to make a difference?

“The ability to rapidly trace outbreaks could save New Zealand from damaging lockdowns while allowing us to safely reconnect with the rest of the world. It has been a long time coming, now it’s here the Government treats it like an afterthought.

“Since a single press release on Wednesday, there has been no commentary, no update, just radio silence from the Government on its COVID Tracer App. The Minister for COVID-19 Response and the Prime Minister haven’t so much as tweeted about the upgraded NZ COVID Tracer App, as if the new Bluetooth capability doesn’t exist. The Prime Minister did find time to share pictures of herself in a 1998 High School Science competition on Friday though. Where is the leadership?

“The App only works if there is widespread uptake. It should be showing leadership and explaining why it’s so important to for everyone to use the new bluetooth capability so it will be effective. There has been no noticeable advertising campaign from the Government either.

“The Government's silence leads us to wonder: Does it believe in its own App? If yes, why is there not more encouragement for New Zealanders to download it and switch on Bluetooth tracing? If no, then why should any of us bother?

“There hasn’t been an update on uptake or data since Friday, although it appears nothing remarkable has happened with the number of people using the app having plummeted over the past six months. Sadly, Friday’s figures were not flash.

“ACT has been saying since July that the Government should augment its approach to COVID-19 with better technology since July. The release of a Bluetooth capable App is a major milestone, if only the Government would get in behind and promote it.

© Scoop Media

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