Judith Collins says the Government is being inconsistent with its moves in and out of Covid-19 lockdown, which could start to foster “resistance” from people to follow Covid-19 rules.
Speaking on Breakfast, the National leader said she wasn’t opposed to going into lockdown. But, when it was used, it needed to be done correctly “so we don’t come back into it again”.
“What I’m concerned about is we could end up with people not complying because, of course, our system really does require people to voluntarily comply with the Covid scanning, masks … with social distancing.
“And then you start getting people saying ‘ugh here we go, this week it’s a lockdown, next week it’s not’. You get that sort of resistance,” she said.
Her comments come as Auckland remains at Alert Level 1 after three Covid-19 cases in the community were detected yesterday - all connected to the cluster around Papatoetoe High School.
“What we saw [last week] was three cases go into lockdown in a few hours. Four days later, three more cases and we come out of lockdown,” Collins said.
She said yesterday’s cases seemed to be similar to last week.
“Suddenly we’ve got all these other cases that we don’t know.”
But, it’s a contrast to the Government’s stance. Yesterday, when the first of the three new cases announced in the past day was revealed, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Cabinet would not have changed its decision to move Auckland down to Alert Level 1 if it had known the news.
Hipkins said this was because health authorities did expect new Covid-19 cases to emerge from the cluster. He said they were all connected to each other, meaning there was no unknown transmission in the community.
Genome sequencing on the three new Covid-19 cases confirmed yesterday in Auckland show they are closely linked to Cases A and B at Papatoetoe High School.
Breakfast host John Campbell asked Collins whether National leaders, past and present, were exacerbating the “resistance” to the lockdown by using emotional phrases when referring to businesses facing a “devastating blow” and “haemorrhaging” because of lockdowns.
Collins said “very fairly we supported the Government on the latest lockdown” and that lockdowns really were “devastating” for people and businesses.
National’s criticisms were based on the information they got from the media because they didn’t have the same information as the Government, she said.
“It is really important that we represent people who are saying, quite rightly, we need to know what’s going on.”