The Nats come up with a Covid plan – and the Greens come up with nonsense to rebut it

Latest from the Beehive

One of two new announcements, when we checked the Beehive website around noon, changes the managed isolation system for health workers.  The other is a progress report on the government’s aim to make it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information.

Since then Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced that NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place.

But the press statement that grabbed our attention came from the Green Party, posted on the Scoop website and headed National’s Irresponsible COVID Plan Will Cost Lives

This is arrant nonsense, of course, because – and here, we confess to getting into the dodgy business of future-gazing – it won’t cost lives.

We confidently say this after counting the number of votes National commands in our House of Representatives.

Guess what?  According to our calculations the Nats don’t have the numbers to put their plan into effect before the next general election.

We can only guess what will have happened to Covid-19 in the meantime – and we aren’t putting our money on the Nats becoming the next government.

But fair to say, their plan provides stuff for a robust political debate.

It was launched by Opposition leader Judith Collins as 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.”

Highlights of National’s plan include:

  1. Immediate support to help businesses survive the lockdown.
  2. Short-term tax cuts and incentives for businesses and workers.
  3. Targeted support for hospitality, accommodation, tourism and events.

“We are also calling on the Government to commit to reopening our economy once we achieve National’s vaccination milestone of 85–90 per cent, or 1 December, whichever comes first.”

And on which side of the House of Representatives are we likely to find the Nats on 1 December?

Oh yes – on the Opposition benches, struggling to get any of their policy proposals converted into government action.

The Back in Business plan is HERE, to help nurture the aforementioned debate.

Health Minister Andrew Little announced the Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector.

At the moment, healthcare and disability workers deemed critical to the country are eligible for MIQ rooms set aside for people with “time-sensitive” travel.

But they are competing with others in this category, making it harder for our health services to get some of the people they need, Little said.

Under the changes he announced, the Ministry of Health will have priority access to 300 MIQ rooms a month and will work with District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations to allocate them to the people we need to get here the fastest.

The new system comes into effect on November 1, with the first rooms allocated in late November.

But stand by for another big announcement from Andrew Little.

Something to do with the health system reforms he has masterminded and the racially segregated health structure he is hellbent on introducing.

Latest from the Beehive

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.

Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions

Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers

The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector.

Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities

Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law.

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