Simeon opened by recognising the seriousness of our current situation and paying credit to NZ leadership across the entire political spectrum, as well as health workers and he generally gave credit to “team NZ” on progress and results to date.
It is now 5 weeks since parliament closed, Simeon and his team have been receiving more queries than any time before. They have handled numerous issues from business support to access to medical services and the anguish of loved ones passing alone and then no funeral.
He and his team have set up a network of street captains which has been very successful in establishing connectedness and providing another, very direct, channel of communication to people on their own or vulnerable.
Simeon also paid credit to the parliamentary Epidemic Response Committee, observing that the pandemic and the aftermath has and will trigger some of the most significant fiscal, social and community responses in our history. Among others $52 bn being spent on relief packages and the health service response, and the quarantine lockdown. In these circumstances parliamentary accountability remains essential.
Simeon emphasized that National is committed to cross party consensus and constructive participation in a truly “NZ” effort to beat the virus and not politicize the issue. Equally however they recognize that this is not only the biggest health crisis for 100 years but also an unprecedented economic crisis and the party will provide a vigilant, vital and very active opposition.
An excellent address, many thanks Simeon.