COVID-19: David Seymour rubbishes Chris Hipkins, Government for 'wallowing in dismissive complacency' over Delta

ACT leader David Seymour is rubbishing COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and the Government's response to the Delta outbreak, saying it was "unprepared".

During an interview with TVNZ's Q+A on Sunday, Hipkins admitted the Government's existing measures to keep COVID-19 out were looking "less adequate and robust" as a result of the highly infectious Delta strain. 

"Delta does raise some big questions that we're going to have to grapple with… that does change everything," he said. "It does mean all of our existing protections start to look less adequate and less robust as a result of that, so we're looking very closely at what we can do there," Hipkins told Q+A.

Seymour said in a statement on Sunday Hipkins' comments aren't good enough. The Government needed to lay out how it will increase vaccination rates and boost COVID Tracer App scanning, Seymour said.

"ACT has answers to these questions but the Government has wallowed in dismissive complacency.

"Hipkins showed us this morning what a reactive minister out of his depth looks like."

National leader Judith Collins said on Saturday the Government was "naive and delusional" to claim in December New Zealand would be "front of the queue to be getting vaccines".

"We are in lockdown because the Government did not act with urgency to protect New Zealanders," Collins said in a statement.

"Their complacency and inability to ensure supply and delivery of the vaccine roll-out has left New Zealanders as sitting ducks; completely vulnerable to the Delta variant when it inevitably got into the community.

Judith Collins and David Seymour.
Judith Collins and David Seymour. Photo credit: Newshub.

"It is not enough for the Prime Minister to lock us in our homes and speak from the podium once a day."

Hipkins earlier told TVNZ there was no way New Zealand could have secured the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine - the only jab currently being used in the country - earlier than it did.

A further 21 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, bringing the outbreak total to 51. Forty-five of the infections have been detected in Auckland, and six in Wellington.