TODAY |

PM rejects Covid-19 conspiracy theories linked to newly formed minority party

The Prime Minister says she rejects any suggestions that Covid-19 is part of a conspiracy after being asked to respond to the questionable views held by a newly formed political alliance announced over the weekend.

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Jacinda Ardern’s comments come after she was asked to respond to the NZ Public Party’s questionable views on the coronavirus. Source: 1 NEWS

Former National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross’ Advance NZ Party merged with the New Zealand Public Party (NZPP) before launching their campaign in Auckland yesterday.

Leader of the NZPP, Billy Te Kahika, told 1 NEWS yesterday the first priority of the coalition would be to repeal the Government’s Covid-19 Response Bill.

Today, Jacinda Ardern was asked by a reporter about her views on the ‘wisdom’ of public discussion generated by the NZPP following its stance against the Bill and the Government’s response to Covid-19.

Jami-Lee Ross' newly formed alliance with NZ Public Party aims to repeal Govt's Covid-19 Response Bill

“I think any suggestion that New Zealanders should not take Covid-19 seriously, any suggestion that people should be wary of life-saving vaccination, any suggestion that Covid somehow is part of a conspiracy, yes I push hard against very strongly,” she said.

One of the top priorities of the new alliance announced yesterday was to “restore democracy” to New Zealand.

Today,Ms Ardern said that “by-in-large” her comments against the conspiracy theory movement would also be shared by “the democracy here in Parliament as well".

She said that the Government was evidence-based and made its decisions on research, science and evidence.

“And all of the decisions have been made in the best interests of looking after the health and well-being of New Zealanders,” she said.

Jami-Lee Ross faces Covid-19, China questions after new Advance NZ party alliance

“We live in an internet age and a social-media age where conspiracy theories, which have always existed, flow more easily and freely. But again, I would just encourage people to feel assured we use a strong evidence base in everything we do."