SunLive         

This past week saw some momentous announcements as our government pulled out all the stops to protect the health of New Zealanders and the health of our economy in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The best protection for our economy is getting the virus under control, which is why we are investing half a billion dollars in frontline health services to fight COVID-19.

I’m proud to be a member of this Government which has acted at all times using science and the best medical advice to limit risk.

As government we are going hard with our health response and now we’re going hard with our financial assistance - our $12.1 billion economic package is worth 4 per cent of our total GDP.

This is a much more far-reaching plan than that implemented in response to the Global Financial Crisis and is also comparatively larger (as a percentage of GDP) than relief packages announced to date in Australia, the UK and the US.

The package includes the following comprehensive actions in response to the covid-19 pandemic: wage subsidies for the businesses most exposed to the economic downturn due to COVID-19, support for businesses (including sole-traders and self-employed) with people in self-isolation, tax changes to help businesses free-up cash-flow, support for worker redeployment, specific support for the aviation industry, more funding for the health response and income assistance for vulnerable parts of the population (eg. people receiving benefits and those receiving winter energy payments).

The package includes the following comprehensive actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

- wage subsidies for the businesses most exposed to the economic downturn due to COVID-19;

- support for businesses (including sole-traders and self-employed) with people in self-isolation;

- tax changes to help businesses free-up cash-flow;

- support for worker redeployment;

- specific support for the aviation industry;

- more funding for the health response and income assistance for vulnerable parts of the population (eg. people receiving benefits and those receiving winter energy payments).

I encourage you all to continue following social distancing and good hygiene practices by washing your hands, coughing into elbows, keeping in touch with neighbours, friends and family but staying home if you are unwell or showing any symptoms of the virus. 

For general health advice, information about self-isolation, and other resources, visit the Ministry of Health’s website: https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or need to self-isolate, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.

Lastly, I thought it timely to remind ourselves of other positive news and a win for the Papamoa community with the police station becoming staffed 24/7.

That’s right – we’ll have the police stationed 24/7 in Papamoa at night as well now. I’m delighted that we’ve got the police numbers to support 24/7 staffing of the fastest growing suburb in our city. I'll be continuing to work to improve community policing in our wider electorate. Watch this space. 

Angie Warren-Clark
Labour MP