Government must confront its other business after dealing with Christchurch attacks - Tova O'Brien

As it deals with the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks, the Government still needs to keep an eye on its other looming business, Newshub's Political Editor says.

The Christchurch attacks on March 15 have pulled resources from the Government as officials spend time detailing their response, including proposing changes to gun laws, organising visas for victims' families and making sure adequate support is in place for those affected.

While such a response is necessary, the Government will still need to confront its usual business running the country and fulfilling the promises it has made to Kiwis, including sorting budget bids and considering its response to the Tax Working Group report.

"Although the Government has been dealing with the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack, it also has to deal with the general running of Parliament. I think yesterday was the first day the Prime Minister had been able to invest proper time in that," Tova O'Brien told The AM Show.

"Where you have seen officials diverted into dealing with the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks, that's where there will be some delays."

On Monday, at her weekly post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said mental health agencies had been busy with the attacks so a delay to the mental health inquiry response was possible.

"There has been a draw on agencies there, so that is an area where we may yet see a small change in timetables, but yet to see that finally," she said.

But it was later confirmed that the response had been pushed back from this month to the latter part of April.

O'Brien said the vacuum between inquiry reports being released and the Government announcing its response was becoming an issue as it appeared little action was happening - giving the Opposition opportunities to attack.

"[The Government] kicked a lot of things out to big advisory groups, there has been a lot of criticism there - warranted or not - but the problem is in the response, in the way the Government has handled getting those inquiries back," she said.

"There has been a real lag in terms of the inquiries being released and the public being aware of what is in them, and seeing the subsequent Government action.

"What it meant for the Capital Gains Tax, the Tax Working Group report, was this vacuum was created where the National Party could lob all these volleys at the Government over the Capital Gains Tax, be them misleading or otherwise, but the Government set itself up to fail on that."

No delays to the Government's response to the Tax Working Group's report have been announced as a consequence of the Christchurch attacks. It is expected sometime in April.


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