National to announce border policy - 'we would make sure it would work'

Source: 1News

National is releasing its border policy next week, leader Judith Collins announced today, after questioning by Q+A host Jack Tame over what the party would do differently if it were in Government.

"We would have confidence in our borders, we would have confidence in the contact tracing, we would have confidence we would have enough gloves and masks for our frontline workers, which is something the Government has yet again failed on," Ms Collins said. 

"We would have a far more competent system and we would make sure it would work."

Tame said the party so far had not "been able to articulate anything you would do differently for that far more competent system". 

"That's very unfair," Ms Collins replied. "What is fair is that we would not promise and then fail to deliver."

Ms Collins said the Government not being able to tell the country where the community-based outbreak originated from "should be very concerning to every New Zealander". 

Currently, Auckland is in Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country is in Alert Level 2 after a community-based outbreak. 

Ms Collins also said pushing back the election, currently set for September 19 with advanced voting beginning on September 5, was "the right and fair thing to do". 

"The democratic fairness is absolutely crucial. People who are voting should be able to have access to candidates, to policies, to be able to get that sort of scrutiny of those policies."

She said if the country was to move down to Alert Level 1 on August 26, that would leave only just over a week prior to the polling booths opening on September 5 for advanced voting. 

"There's 1.7 million New Zealanders in lockdown at the moment, who can't go about their normal business and they're actually worried about their health and their businesses, not worried about the conservation policy of the Green Party."

"We can't hold public meetings at the moment... it's even getting out pamphlets to people. 

"We would help the Government if they wanted to push it out until next year."

When asked if it was due to National's poll results, with the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll on July 30 seeing the party on 32 per cent, Ms Collins said, "imagine if it was a National-led Government that is saying, 'we're going to charge ahead with an election', when we've got a level of anxiety in the public". 

Earlier on Q+A, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said the Electoral Commission was prepared to hold an election under Alert Level 2