“The ACT Party has today responded to overwhelming demand for the return of the Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) with a special unofficial committee being held at midday,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“When the ERC was held during the first lockdown it gave scrutiny to the Government’s response. Not only did Ministers and officials appear, but everyday Kiwis whose lives were turned on their heads.
“It gave a public platform for concerns to be heard. It was so effective that the Government has tried to stop it from happening again.
“ACT has been contacted by many in the hospitality sector who want their concerns to be heard. So today we will hold a forum, chaired by myself and ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie, who also owns a bar and restaurant.
“We will hear firsthand from those in the hospitality sector across New Zealand, whether they’re in Level 4 in Auckland, or Level 2 around the rest of New Zealand.
"We will be joined by up to a dozen bar and restaurant owners and the Chief Executives of the Restaurant Association and Hospitality Association.
“We have invited Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash to attend also.
“The committee will be live streamed on my Facebook page and journalists will be invited to join to watch.
“The hospitality sector is on its knees and ACT believes the resurgence payment should be made available weekly, even in Level 2 given the heavy restrictions that these businesses face.
“The Government might be prepared to turn a blind eye to these people but ACT is listening. If the Ministers won’t front, we will prepare a report for them on what we’ve heard today.
“It’s time for transparency and action.”
Notes to editors: Details of the livestream and login details will be sent to media later this morning.