'This has gone on too long' - Simon Bridges says NZ should be at Level 2 to help get economy rolling again

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges is continuing to question the Government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic after New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3 yesterday, saying the country should be dropping another level to help kickstart the economy again.

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The Opposition Leader said the Government needs to flatten the curve without flattening the economy. Source: Breakfast

Mr Bridges spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning about his critiques of the Government, reaffirming his comments from last week that New Zealand should be more like Australia regarding its response to the coronavirus.

"I'm sorry to bang on about it but it's just so clear there that for all the talk, their health results are remarkably similar to ours," Mr Bridges said of Australia.

"They're allowing things like boot camps to open homes and picnics, so it seems to me they've got the balance right. And it's this false view that some have that we can't do safety and get New Zealand working again."

With that in mind, Mr Bridges said if he was Prime Minister he would be looking to move New Zealand to Alert Level 2 this week instead of Level 3.

"I think this has gone on too long," he said.

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The Prime Minister said the country is in the “next phase of the battle” against Covid-19, as just three more cases of the virus were announced today. Source: 1 NEWS

"I want to get New Zealand working again - safely, but sooner than later. You talk about flattening the curve but my point is let's not flatten the economy.

"The issue there is the curves we want to see now are growth and jobs and getting back to some sort of normality."

Mr Bridges added people only need to look at yesterday's Pandemic Response Committee meeting, during which random businesses got to tell their stories of how the pandemic was affecting them, for proof that more needs to be done for New Zealand's economy.

"They told their story - they are hurting," he said.

"They absolutely understand the importance of Covid-19 but they feel they've taken disproportionately the pain without the support and ability to get things done.

"We need to support businesses more right now so that they keep people in their jobs and they keep their businesses going."