The PM disapproves of politicking when it questions Covid-19 policies – but not (it seems) if it supports them

Kiwiblog drew our attention to Labour’s politicking to exploit its response to the Covid-19 virus.

National – on the other hand – has announced it supports the government’s decision to move the country towards Level 4 of the Covid-19 alert system over the next 48 hours and to extend the economic package for all businesses.

Opposition leader Simon Bridges said:

“This is an unprecedented situation and we support any measures that will protect the health and safety of New Zealanders.

“I understand that this will be a worrying and stressful time for New Zealanders. I encourage everyone to stay calm and follow the rules that are now in place.

“We will work in a supportive and constructive way with the Government in the interests of bringing New Zealand through this crisis together.

“I have offered the Government the services of our MPs and staff to assist where we can.”

More significantly, Bridges said in a separate statement he has asked all MPs and candidates to put campaigning on hold.

“This morning I have asked all of our MPs to suspend any form of campaigning.

“Our MPs and candidates will still be in their communities offering help and advice to their constituents, giving out important information and advocating for them.”

He also said:

“We will support the Government where we can. But we won’t always agree and we will continue to let the Government know when we don’t.”

The Opposition would “continue to play an important role to ensure the best decisions are being made in the interests of all New Zealanders”

But:

“We won’t be campaigning for the foreseeable future, however.”

Let’s see for how long he and his party can stick to this commitment when Labour MPs – according to Kiwiblog – are running ads like the one pictured above up and down the country and as paid ads on Facebook.

David Farrar is disapproving:

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and Labour MPs are trying to win votes by talking about the recovery from COVID-19.

“Could you imagine the outcry if National MPs were running adverts just days after the Christchurch earthquakes boasting of how well placed the recovery is.

“Labour has been pretty much demanding that National not criticise anything they decide, as that is politicising an emergency – yet they think it is fine for them to run adverts seeking to gain political capital from the pandemic.”

Farrar has updated his post to highlight another Labour ad and to note that the Greens are fundraising off the pandemic:

I am about to ask you for the most important donation to our campaign this year, but first I want to tell you why it is so important.

The most significant financial decisions of this election campaign will be made on 1 April. These decisions will determine how effective and successful our campaign will be and what kind of future we will be leaving for our kids and grandkids.

In these uncertain times for our Green whānau I have an unshakable belief in us as a community. In the last two months, we have gone through a lot. So there has never been a more important time to come together as a community.That is why today I’m only asking for $3 to show your solidarity. Will you support our campaign?

Farrar muses:

So the Greens have let out of the bag another financial package on 1 April, and are using the pandemic as a fundraiser.

Less than a fortnight ago Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was accusing Bridges of scaremongering and being irresponsible when he challenged the Government on its coronavirus plan in Parliament.

Bridges had  asked:

“Does she have a specific plan for Covid-19 in writing?”

Ardern went further:

“The New Zealand influenza pandemic plan is comprehensive and states on page one that it could reasonably apply to other respiratory pandemics such as SARS,” Ms
Ardern said. “It is totally relevant.

“If the member wishes to criticise it, he may want to remember it was produced in 2017 under his Government.

“This is a global issue and not a time for scaremongering and politicking like that member continues to do.”

But if it’s Labour politicking?  Presumably she is okay with that.

One thought on “The PM disapproves of politicking when it questions Covid-19 policies – but not (it seems) if it supports them

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