Has the Government officially abandoned the elimination strategy for tackling Covid-19? Well, it seems that it depends which minister you ask.
In this week's episode of On the Tiles, the NZ Herald's new politics podcast, deputy political editor Derek Cheng and senior political reporter Thomas Coughlan are joined by special guest, Newsroom's political editor Jo Moir, to discuss the latest developments from the Beehive - and once again, it has been a week dominated by Covid-19.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand is "transitioning from our current strategy, into a new way of doing things" - suggesting the end to the elimination strategy that has dominated the country's response to Covid-19.
But as the panel discusses today, the end to elimination and the pivot to eradication is not crystal clear - with mixed messages coming from the various ministers. And, thanks to some light reading of Beehive press conference transcripts, it appears the exact definition of our elimination strategy has never been entirely crystal clear.
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They also discuss the most recent political polls and whether the dip in support for Labour during the outbreak has had any impact on their decision-making. Plus, the panel discusses how the other parties have handled the recent developments, from National pushing back on gang involvement to the Greens taking their strongest stance yet against the response.
Vaccinations have also been a big discussion point this week, with the Government announcing a vaccine passport would be coming in November for the double vaccinated in order to attend large-scale events.
It has sparked debate around whether vaccine mandates are needed for some key sectors, including teachers and early childhood educators - will the Government be able to make them get the jab?