“Once again the Ardern Government has reacted to crisis instead of being proactive and getting out in front of it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“ACT has been campaigning for over a year now for the Government to adapt a tech-enabled, better governed COVID response that works with the private sector. It appears New Zealand’s approach to proof of vaccination is just another example of why the Government should have heeded ACT’s advice.
“Now the Government will face a nightmare trying to link a new digital vaccine passport with NHI numbers, while many vaccinated people will not have provided their NHI when being vaccinated.
“People will claim they were vaccinated, but did not show ID, as the Prime Minister has insisted they don’t need to. There will be no way to prove they didn’t.
“The UK has had an app in place since May and the EU and Israel since July. Once again this Government has New Zealand coming last but is jumping up and down and popping champagne like it’s a winner.
“In the meantime, New Zealanders overseas have struggled to have their vaccinations recognised.
“Compulsion is not the answer. Businesses and events organisers should be able to decide how and when they use it.
“What the Government should have done is have the NZ COVID Tracer App upgraded at the beginning of the year. It should have allowed for people to store their status, privately, on their device. That information they held would form a key that could be transferred to any new pass, including those overseas. It might have been very helpful that the developer of the NZ COVID Tracer App also worked on the NHS health app.”