A group of senior business leaders say unless there is full transparency on the recommendations from a new Government Covid advisory panel it risks being seen as a "cynical tactic" aimed at dampening criticism.
The public call is the latest move by the group which includes chairman of Chorus NZ and Auckland Airport, Patrick Strange; Mercury Energy chair Prue Flacks; The Warehouse Group chairwoman Joan Withers; chairman of SkyCity, Summerset and Tourism Holdings Rob Campbell; and University of Auckland chancellor and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare chairman Scott St John.
Two weeks ago the business leaders spoke out asking for more openness and clarity from the Government on its plan for getting New Zealand back to "Covid normal".
Since then, the Government has appointed a group which includes Rob Fyfe, Dr Debbie Ryan, Professor Phillip Hill, Dr Dale Bramley and chaired by Sir Brian Roche, to provide independent advice on the management and strategic direction of its Covid-19 response.
Strange said the establishment of the group was a start but said it was vital their advice is transparent and recommendations for improvement are publicly reported and acted on decisively.
He said in September the Simpson Roche report highlighted a number of weaknesses in the surveillance and testing regime.
But it took several months for the report to be released publicly and some recommendations still hadn't been actioned.
Joan Withers said progress on vaccinating frontline border workers and health staff had been good to see.
"But when we look at saliva-based PCR testing, businesses have needed to go out independently and set up their own workforce trials in order to support the case for their staff accessing frequent, reliable, and less invasive surveillance testing.
"These are companies who want to ensure their staff have the peace of mind that PPE and operational procedures are working to protect them and their customers. It certainly feels like many innovations or smart thinking initiatives from the private or community sector are getting bogged down in Wellington bureaucracy," she said.
Scott St John said it was clear New Zealand was likely to be living with this virus for a few years yet and warned a lack of clarity on the strategy for the country would be a drag on productivity and business confidence.
"As we face into the challenges of the next few years our success will be built on collectively understanding the phasing and timing of critical steps on the path to recovery. Yes, we might be adjusting our sails as we go along but we need to be clear on the destination we're navigating to," said St John.
Strange said the Government needed to ensure it didn't waste the benefits provided by the independent expertise of the advisory group.
"It certainly feels like the Government has already lost some ground by not committing fully to implementing the more than a dozen recommendations from the Simpson Roche report of six months ago.
"I would strongly encourage it to prioritise any findings and opportunities for improvement identified by this group."
Strange said for it to be truly independent there also needed to be regular, timely, public reporting of key outcomes and for the Government to actively consider how these translate into action.
"They've done well gathering together such a strong panel of advisors, but without a mechanism for full transparency and regular reporting the group risks being viewed as a cynical government tactic aimed at dampening down criticism."