National calls on Government to end vaccine mandates once Omicron peaks

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 21, 2022 |

Photo: National Party Leader Christopher Luxon

National has called on the Government to begin removing vaccine mandates progressively once the country is through the peak of Omicron.

In a Facebook live video, National Leader Christopher Luxon said “National is strongly pro-vaccination, but the public health rationale for mandates is much less than it was just a few months ago.

“Omicron is just so infections and busts through vaccination, including boosters.”

 “New Zealanders have done the right thing. We got vaccinated in record numbers. We’re getting boosted. We get tested. We’ve tolerated being shut off from the rest of the world for two years.”

 “The Government must step up and begin to heal the deep divisions it has created in our society before they get worse. Key to that is a plan on what criteria they will use to begin lifting vaccine mandates.”

In his speech Luxon said “I entered politics because I wanted to help create a society where Kiwis can get ahead. Where if you’re willing to put in an honest day’s work, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.  That’s my vision for New Zealand – a society of opportunity.”

 “But what we’re experiencing under Labour is a society divided.”

 “The Prime Minister talks about the team of five million, but actually she leads the most divisive Government in recent memory.”

 “Renters versus landlords. Business owners versus workers. Farmers versus cities. Kiwis at home versus those stuck abroad.”

 “The vaccinated versus the unvaccinated.”

 “What we are seeing outside Parliament, and the reaction to it, is the culmination of underlying issues that have been rumbling along in our communities for some time.”

“It’s driven by Covid and vaccine mandates, yes, but the frustrations shared by many Kiwis are also driven by a Government that seems to be stalling.”

 “The cost of living is through the roof. The dream of home ownership is turning into a nightmare. Long-term benefit dependency is skyrocketing.”

 “Then add to the mix Labour’s approach to Covid, which relies far too heavily on controlling all aspects of everyday life, rather than using tools like rapid antigen tests to manage risk and give Kiwis more personal responsibility.”

 “No wonder Kiwis are frustrated.”

 “Mandates are becoming increasingly less relevant in our highly-vaccinated population and as Covid becomes endemic. They should begin to be removed progressively once we are through the peak of Omicron.”

“The areas where Government mandates should be removed first are vaccination requirements for border workers, vaccine pass requirements for children’s sport and vaccine pass requirements for hospitality businesses.”

 “Hospitality businesses around New Zealand are doing the hard yards under current settings – despite officials specifically telling Labour not to apply vaccine pass requirements to bars, restaurants and cafes.”

“The Government also needs to open up the border right now for Kiwis coming home from anywhere in the world. We should quickly open to tourists and other visa holders too, and we should get rid self-isolation requirements unless someone tests positive when they land.”

 “National is the party of law and order, and we condemn the illegal and antisocial behaviour of those involved in the protest. MPs cannot engage with law-breakers while roads are illegally occupied and death threats hang in the air.”

“But we should not ignore the wider frustrations of law-abiding New Zealanders and businesses doing it tough.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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