“Was there a new idea? Clark Gayford ignores John’s comments on government response to COVID-19

Sir John Key attacks government COVID-19 response – “Fear and hope is not a strategy”. Videos / Newsstock ZB

New Zealand’s first man Clark Gayford offered a scathing criticism of Sir John Key’s comments that the country should no longer exist “in a hermit kingdom of smog”, saying they have contributed to partisan politics. and the use of vaccinations against COVID-19. Not in deployment.

The former prime minister’s opinion, published in the Herald on Sunday, said the government had not shared with the public any coherent plan on when and how New Zealand’s international borders could open. .

He criticized: “The only emergency we have seen in months is the enthusiasm to lock down our country, lock down our people and lock down our citizens living abroad. “

Keys called for a financial incentive rather than a fear strategy to increase the number of vaccinations.

He said: “The goal should no longer exist in a kingdom of sufficient hermits, but to return to a life where New Zealanders can travel abroad – for whatever reason – knowing that they can return home. at home when they want, and where we welcome visitors to this country again ”.

But today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s partner Gayford said Key should have been the “golden ticket” to help New Zealanders “recover” from the vaccination campaign.

Gayford posted on Twitter: “It was such a shame that the use of slings and propaganda divided his contributions to partisan politics.”

“Because here’s the thing. All the paths to a semi-normal life without the restrictions that weigh on everyone involve getting vaccinated. It really is that simple and yet just as important.

He urged people to persuade friends and family who “hesitate” to receive the vaccine.

“Talk to friends, talk to family, talk to neighbors about a long wanoo, beg them, bribe them, support them, avoid visiting your kids, offer car rides or computer reservation skills, which does all you can, be it a carrot or a stick, to find a way to incorporate the hesitations around you.

Gayford also suggested that Key’s opinion did not add any new insight to the community’s handling of the outbreak.

“Now that the dust has settled a bit, are we in a position to rationally consider what Sir John Key really added to the conversation and the reason for our response generation after pandemic? Is there something new? What was the idea that was not already planned, discussed or on the train? “

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her partner Clark Gayford.  photo / NZME
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her partner Clark Gayford. photo / NZME

Ardern also dismissed Key’s comments on Monday.

She told the AM show that “hope and luck” found the OECD country to have the lowest number of cases, lowest death rates, an economy that is not back to pre-Covid levels and some of the weakest restrictions a country has seen. made.

“It wasn’t luck, it was a plan.”

The key came to the Herald yesterday with a five-point plan:

1. Offer financial incentives to Maori and Pacific health providers for each person vaccinated over the next six weeks.

2. Give each person aged 12 to 29 a $ 25 voucher of their choice if they get vaccinated before December 1st.

3. Only allow vaccinated people into authorized premises (and park the Shot Bro bus outside some nightclubs as an incentive).

4. Tell New Zealanders when the borders will reopen. This can encourage more people to get bitten.

5. Stop ruling out of fear. Instead, reassure people that as long as you are vaccinated, it is possible to live with the virus. Fund Pharma to invest in proven treatments to help fight the virus, strengthen our hospital capacity and workforce, use saliva tests for COVID, subsidize home test kits for Covid and boosters Take positive action like ordering injections.

Ardern acknowledged that Key’s Covid response ideas were reasonable – but noted that the government was already working on some of the measures he was proposing.


Some of these ideas concern the reopening of the border; The government had said there would be a change from the start of 2022.

In terms of incentives, providers in the field were already doing it. The same was happening with employers who offered incentives to vaccinate their employees.

He said plans for managed isolation are also already under consideration.



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