Keep masks in schools to protect tamariki

The Green Party does not support the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa to ‘orange’, or the removal of mask rules for schools.

“Now is not the time to ease restrictions even further than they have been already,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green spokesperson for COVID-19 response.

“Case numbers are moving around, and people are dying every day. It’s too early to say for sure that we’re at stable levels of cases nationwide. Past the peak doesn’t mean past the risk - as many people will get sick on the way down from the peak as on the way up.

“The Government needs to keep New Zealand at ‘red’ for at least another two weeks, after which the settings can be reviewed.

“Our concern is that removing protections now will put Māori and Pacific whānau, immunocompromised people, disabled people, our under-5s, and whānau on the lowest incomes at risk.

“Not only that, but our frontline health workers will be the ones to pick up the extra workload if we move too quickly, and they are already absolutely exhausted.

“Experts have called for mask rules to remain for schools, with a significant number of children yet to be vaccinated and the winter flu season approaching. The Government should listen to these experts and keep masks in schools at ‘orange’.

“We need to do everything we can to protect these communities and our health system – not only from Omicron but any new variants.

“What the Greens want today is for the Government to announce a plan for the future, including stronger protections in schools, new ventilation standards to improve indoor air quality, a massive boost in vaccination rates to ensure equitable coverage, and free masks for everyone.”

ENDS

Latest Health Announcements

Story

Monkeypox elimination plan is essential

The Green Party is calling on the Government to listen to public health experts and commit to an elimination strategy for monkeypox. 
Read More

Story

Migrant healthcare workers need fair pay as well as residency

Migrant nurses, aged-care and support workers need fair pay as well as equitable pathways to residency, not half-baked measures from National.
Read More

Story

Nurses could face pay cut under National

A National Government would leave nurses behind, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere says wins for health not enough for Māori or Rainbow

Today Greens Te Mātāwaka Chair and Health Spokesperson, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, said “The Greens have long campaigned for an independent Māori Healt...
Read More

Story

Green Party supports nurses’ ERA decision

The Green Party supports nurses’ continued push for pay equity and calls on the Government to deliver the back pay they had expected.
Read More

Story

Allied health workers deserve better conditions

The Green Party is throwing its support behind the 10,000 allied health workers taking work-to-rule industrial action today because of unfair pay a...
Read More

Latest Education Announcements

Story

Time to support te reo Māori as a core subject and as a medium of instruction

On the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition, the Green Party is calling on the Government to make te reo Māori a core curriculum subject...
Read More

Story

Pay parity for early childhood teachers, now

A recent decision by the Minister of Education to hold back pay parity for ECE teachers needs changing urgently, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Free masks a Green win

Following pressure from the Green Party, the Government has announced that medical masks will be available free for everyone, with N95 masks free f...
Read More

Story

Green Party secures free masks in schools

Political pressure from the Green Party has pushed the Government to supply free masks to kids and teachers in schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More

Story

Pay equity for kaiārahi i te reo celebrated

Recognising te reo and tikanga Māori in schools starts with pay equity, says the Green Party.
Read More

Story

Testing removal means domestic protections needed

The Green Party says the removal of pre-departure testing for arrivals into New Zealand means the Government must step up domestic measures to prot...
Read More

Latest Covid19 Response Announcements

Story

Vital public health measures still missing from COVID response

Strong public health measures are more vital than ever, the Green Party says as the Government removes many longstanding COVID-19 restrictions. 
Read More

Story

Better long-term planning needed for COVID

COVID-19 is here to stay and so the Government needs to put in place long-term protection measures, including mandatory ventilation standards, the ...
Read More

Story

Green Party AGM to move online

The Green Party has made the decision to move its 2022 AGM online. Members of the party will not be gathering in Christchurch this weekend.
Read More

Story

Free masks a Green win

Following pressure from the Green Party, the Government has announced that medical masks will be available free for everyone, with N95 masks free f...
Read More

Story

Make N95 masks free for everyone

The Green Party is once again calling on the Government to supply free masks to everyone. 
Read More

Story

Green Party secures free masks in schools

Political pressure from the Green Party has pushed the Government to supply free masks to kids and teachers in schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More