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Government’s 3-stage Omicron plan is light on strategy, short on consultation, and fails to understand what “critical worker” means in the real world says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.

“Health officials had the whole world to watch and learn from. Instead, we have an impossible environment to deal with and a plan that includes a “stamp it out” phase – really, how unrealistic is this” Mr Barnett said.

The focus should be on mitigation with sensible safeguards like mask wearing, split shifts and use of rapid antigen testing as a go to, to keep people in work. For nearly twelve months the Ministry of Health ignored the Chamber and others when we sought approval for additional suppliers to have supply ready for deployment to maintain lives and livelihoods across the economy.

Late to the party with approving suppliers and slow to build stocks as Omicron has made its way here MOH has failed to work in partnership with a willing and able private sector. The “we know best” approach needs to change.

“It’s time to listen up and have a proper conversation with the private sector,” Mr Barnett said. “The focus has to be on getting a workable environment to keep supply chains operating and business ticking over for the sake of the whole of society.”

For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber