Bridges wants to leave level 4, but “safety first”

Simon Bridges in RNZ studios. File image. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

New Zealand should move out of alert level 4 next week, but with a safety-first system, Simon Bridges says.

Simon, the National Party leader and chair of the Epidemic Response Committee, told Morning Report: "When we think about the health effect of staying in lockdown, I'm coming to a pretty clear view ... that we should come out of lockdown next week and we should be working to safely to get businesses and workers back.

"I do want to get to (alert level) 2 ... we are trying to get that business and work back, but ... I am realistic. I am not suggesting suddenly that we are going to be at 2 overnight. I do say though that we should be agile and trying to get there."

He wants to move away from just essential services being allowed to work, but added that he is not suggesting the country had overreacted and supports going into lockdown.

"I still think that was the right thing to do."

Simon says he takes "the point that we don't want to be on this rollercoaster" where the country might move to a lower alert level and have to go back to a stricter level.

But he thinks with the right measures in place in terms of quarantining, wider surveillance testing, and faster contact tracing, work will be able to restart.

"I'd say when the Cabinet makes the decision next week, I'd opt for coming out and safely letting more business and workers get back onto it because the consequences of not doing it are so harmful."

He agrees with the government's $3b tax break package and agreed that if we had to spend $20b to avoid unemployment over 10 percent, that's what we had to do.

"The social and health consequences of rampant unemployment are intolerable."


More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

Thank You

Posted on 20-04-2020 18:59 | By Merlin

Simon is giving advice to the Government and at the same time is looking for holes to score politically.This has been a major operation logistically it would have been a massive exercise behind the scenes so THANK YOU to all those MSD,Health and Essential workers for your efforts and stepping up to the challenges.


Posted on 16-04-2020 15:53 | By morepork

I agree with you that it is good to see Government and Opposition working together in the face of a problem that transcends politics. I sometimes wonder whether we are really best served by an adversarial system that leads to a lot of showboating and politicking, instead of getting on with governing. It should be about WHAT’s right, not WHO’s right and the purpose of Opposition should be to keep the Government honest by debating their policies and not just to score points off them. I know it won’t change, but, like you, I found it refreshing and reassuring to know we had "all hands on deck" for this. (And Jacinda is a brilliant "Captain"...and Simon is an excellent Bosun. We are lucky to have the people we do have.)


Posted on 15-04-2020 14:45 | By Merlin

Why does Simon Bridges want to follow what Australia is doing Gangs now Covid 19 to Level 2


Posted on 15-04-2020 13:47 | By morepork

The end for level 4 is certainly in sight, but I agree it needs to be done SAFELY. We should follow the plan, BUT if there is unanimous agreement by all experts that the risk is acceptable, then we could go with that. My strong objection would be to breaking the lockdown "immediately" as was suggested by the Mayor.


Posted on 15-04-2020 13:02 | By clingon

And who makes sure that the Prime Minister is doing the right thing? Who is in Parliament to make sure she is on track? The opposition of course. And the leader of the opposition is Simon Bridges and well said by him to question her decisions and lend his support when the decisions are right for the citizens of NZ. Great to see our parlimentarians working together for everyone’s good...

Govt and Opposition should reach agreement

Posted on 15-04-2020 11:43 | By

I can’t help but think this should be a medical decision and not a political one. All differences aside Jacinda and Simon should get together on this one. They can work together and wasn’t it Simon who wanted serious measure such as lockdown earlier?

Thank you Mr Bridges

Posted on 15-04-2020 11:29 | By

Simon Bridges has a right to voice his stance – in fact he has an obligation to do so as an elected member of parliament. His tempered aim, to move out of 4 as soon as possible and safely, is good sense and an echo of the PM’s thoughts on the matter. This is not surprising news people, so why act like it’s so bad? I am surprised at 2ups claim that this decision is all on the PM’s head. The PM herself has said she is taking advice from a number of sources. She is reasonable that way.

Just wait

Posted on 15-04-2020 10:08 | By Merlin

Just wait and see the government are currently looking at the next step with the experts and advisors from the health sector Etc. This does not help before the announcement on the 20th.It is only 5 days to the announcement.Not good timimg or political move?

Trying to stay relevant

Posted on 15-04-2020 09:48 | By 2up

We have a prime minister to advise us on the next move.