Lessons must be learned from Delta response

Lessons must be learned from the Government's response to the Delta outbreak, which the Ministry of Health confirmed today left Māori, Pacific, and disabled communities at greater risk.

“The Green Party has been clear from the outset that the Government’s response to the pandemic must keep everybody safe on an equal basis. Today we can see that is not what happened in response to the Delta outbreak – and lessons must be learned,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green Party spokesperson for COVID-19 Response.

“The Green Party highlighted concerns at the time and warned that the Government’s approach to Delta would put the wellbeing of whānau and communities at greater risk than the rest of the population.

“Today’s report from the Ministry of Health shows that we were right to raise these concerns.

“As we said at the time, an equitable response to Delta should have included prioritising Māori and Pacific providers in the vaccination rollout, as well as making sure people had what they needed to provide for themselves and their families when they needed to isolate themselves.

“One of the first priorities for the new COVID-19 response Minister, Ayesha Verrall, must be to implement the lessons of this report.

“The Green Party wants to see the needs to Māori, Pacific peoples and disabled communities put at the heart of the ongoing pandemic response.

“We also urge Minister Verrall to implement a COVID Action Plan for schools.

“Our tamariki are growing and learning alongside severe threats to their wellbeing and that of their families.

“Communities need an expert-led plan to support children’s access to education, and protect children, school staff, and their families from COVID-19 and other winter respiratory infections.

“And, as this report highlights, we need it to meet the needs of everyone,” says Teanau Tuiono.

ENDS

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