New Conservative recognises the need for caution and the focus on containing this virus in the fastest and best possible way, but we are concerned that the people of New Zealand are not being trusted by this government to join them in treating this seriously.
Yes, there is a very small proportion of people who are opposed to lockdowns per se, and mandating anything will not stop such people doing what they want. However, the vast majority of New Zealanders do not want Covid, nor the Delta strain, rampaging through the country. We believe the team of five million should be trusted.
We are concerned about the cost of lockdown, economically, socially and health-wise. We have been told that one week of lockdown costs the country $1.2bl, but the costs go far wider than dollars and cents.
Level 4 lockdown shuts everything down other than essential services, many of which are in debate of course. Once again butchers and grocers have been caught with stocks of perishable essentials on hand that they can only watch go to waste. There are many small businesses that could remain open and working in Level 4 under restrictions that would not compromise the goal of restricting the spread of the virus while it is contained.
There are many other lines of work that could continue under the social distancing rules that would help keep the economy rolling, our infrastructure upgraded, and people employed and mentally well. We ask, why do roadworks shut down for example? Surely this is a great time to fix roads with minimal traffic to combat, and the outdoors environment along with social distancing surely minimises risk of spread to almost, if not, zero.
Online purchases with contactless pickup must be a very low risk activity in most sectors of our society. Why is this not able to continue? Couriers are still delivering packages after all. We are able to purchase fuel at gas stations using keypads that have not been cleaned after the previous user. Surely this is higher risk than many other things we could be allowing, trusting Kiwis to walk in wisdom and consideration of others. Kindness cannot be mandated. It needs an environment of freedom in which to operate.
New Conservative calls on the government to lift lockdown on business activities that are able to be carried out with very low risk of spread for the well-being of our people, our families, our businesses and our economy, bringing some hope in the midst of despair.
Kevin Stitt, Chairman, New Conservative