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We are in unprecedented times right now. It seems as though that line is said at least once every hour now, and repeated regularly, but, unfortunately, it’s true.

Covid-19 has affected the whole world and devastated economies. I have never experienced something like this in my lifetime, and a lot of you will be the same.

Responses around the world have varied. New Zealand has not been immune, we’ve seen the case numbers surge as the virus spreads and more tests are carried out.

New Zealanders naturally have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to things. But the health officials have laid out what we all have to do to help combat covid-19, and we have to do it. It will be tough but generations of Kiwis have, throughout history, made great sacrifices to safeguard our way of life. This is our turn.

The National Party supports the Government as it takes action against this virus. We’ve talked to experts, we’ve listened to them every day and we’ve seen the international experience. The spread of Covid-19 is relentless internationally. So we stand alongside the Government, supporting and assisting the orderly shutdown of New Zealand.

What we know right now, is that if we didn’t go into lockdown, thousands of lives could be lost. I don’t want to see that and I know New Zealand doesn’t want to see that either.

National will continue to take a constructive and principled approach to scrutinising the Government’s response to Covid-19 through the Epidemic Response Committee. It’s important there is strong scrutiny of our nation’s response to this pandemic as it will affect future generations, both in terms of lives but also in terms of the billions of dollars being spent by the Government.

National will be asking the questions that New Zealanders want answered.

We want to protect workers and their jobs as much as possible, we want to see businesses reopen once this period of isolation is over.

A huge thank you to our supermarket workers, our petrol station attendants, our IT professionals, our essential infrastructure and health workers all over this nation, our police and defence and other first responders, plus many, many more keeping New Zealand going.

While we are all stuck at home, it’s important you still check on your loved ones across the country, and on your neighbours. While that check may have to be a phone call, you cannot underestimate how important that will be, especially for our elderly.

We are all in this together without exception, united against Covid-19.

Stay safe, stay home and save lives.

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