Royal Commission into Covid response announced The government has confirmed a Royal Commission of Inquiry looking into New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Set to begin in February next year, the inquiry will assess the success of the elimination strategy and following minimisation strategy and help prepare New Zealand for any future pandemics. You can read all the detail on the newly announced inquiry on The Spinoff here. Below is the TLDR version: ”Every country in the world has grappled with Covid-19 and there was no playbook for managing it,” said prime minister Jacinda Ardern. ”It had been over 100 years since we experienced a pandemic of this scale, so it’s critical we compile what worked and what we can learn from it should it ever happen again.” The inquiry will be chaired by Australian-based epidemiologist professor Tony Blakely alongside former cabinet minister Hekia Parata and ex-treasury secretary John Whitehead. The inquiry’s terms of reference state that it will look at ”the overall response, including the economic response, identify what we can learn from it and how that can be applied to any future pandemic”. Ardern confirmed that would include the use of vaccine mandates, though the terms of reference specify that any discussion on the ”efficacy” of vaccines will be out of scope. There was some confusion as to whether or not the Reserve Bank’s role in the pandemic would be analysed by the Royal Commission. Ardern said that monetary policy would be included but that individual decisions of the Reserve Bank were excluded. You can tune into the prime minister’s weekly post-cabinet press conference below.
Author: Stewart Sowman-Lund https://thespinoff.co.nz/authors/stewart-sowman-lund
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