Air New Zealand must wait for government vaccination
âThe real story behind Air New Zealand’s four-month wait to make vaccination mandatory is that the government’s ICT is not ready,â said David Seymour, head of ACT.
âAs Greg Foran told Q + A ‘In terms of customers, we still have some operational stuff to work out, you know, stay close to the government in terms of travel health reporting and digital solution.’
“What he gently avoids saying is’ the government forgot to give people proof of vaccination other than a piece of purple card that many will have lost, so they are at aquare one and we have to wait four months. ‘
âI first asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about passports allowing New Zealanders to travel abroad in March and then again in April. She said they were working on it.
âSix months later, they’re still working there. Meanwhile, New Zealanders who wish to prove their immunization status abroad must obtain a letter from the Ministry of Health. The ministry says it will endeavor to deliver letters within 20 working days, we are stuck in the pre-Internet age.
âThe lack of proof of vaccination would be understandable if the government’s vaccination program had been rushed, but unfortunately the release of the vaccine in New Zealand was the opposite. As with everything, the lack of proof of vaccination is too little, too late, and New Zealand remains the poor cousin, defined by isolation.
âNow the government will be faced with a nightmare trying to link a new digital vaccine passport to NHI numbers when many vaccinated people will not have provided their NHI when vaccinated.
âPeople will claim they have been vaccinated, but have not shown ID, as the Prime Minister insisted they did not need to. There will be no way to prove that they didn’t.
âWhat the government should have done is upgrade the NZ COVID Tracer app at the start of the year. This should have allowed people to store their status, privately, on their device. This information they held would form a key that could be transferred to any new pass, including those overseas. It might have been very helpful if the developer of the NZ COVID Tracer app had also worked on the NHS health app.
âACT has campaigned for over a year now for the government to tailor a better governed, technology-based COVID response that works with the private sector. It seems New Zealand’s approach to proof of vaccination is just another example of why the government should heed ACT’s advice. “
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