10 Aug 2020

Cook Islands bubble sending 'mixed messages' - Collins

5:30 pm on 10 August 2020

National Party leader Judith Collins says the government needs to explain what would have changed between now and the end of the year, when a Cook Islands bubble is expected to be ready.

Judith Collins talking to media on 10 August 2020

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Collins' media stand-up followed one by Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who spoke about the possibility of a travel bubble with the Cook Islands.

Ardern said she expected there to be a travel bubble in place by the end of the year. Officials will be on the ground in the next 10 days to start planning.

Collins said the announcement was interesting timing and any travel bubble would have to be safe.

She said the government needed to explain why it had chosen the end of the year.

"What I can't understand is quite what's the difference between say October and December. It is saying it's going to take them that long to do anything, is it going to take them that long to decide?"

"It's a very strange announcement to have right now, in the middle of an election campaign, to say they're thinking about having an announcement for something happening in December."

She said the Cook Islands was the obvious place to start, but the government was sending mixed messages.

"On the one hand you've got Ashley Bloomfield as the Director-General of Health starting to talk about Covid level 2 and also face masks, and on the other hand you've got now the government saying that maybe by december it'll be safe to have a travel bubble with the Cook Islands.

"What's going to be different between now and December, I would like them to front up the details on it."

"It sounds very odd. I don't know what's changed and I think they should explain it."

She said it was important to take the advice of medical experts.

Collins supports David Seymour

Collins also asked the people of Epsom to give National the party vote and ACT leader David Seymour the local electorate vote.

She said Seymour had shown "principle" in Parliament and National was open to working with him.

National has historically supported ACT's bid for the electorate, but recent polls have National about 20 percentage points behind Labour.

Meanwhile, ACT has seen a surge in support with One News Colmar Brunton poll placing the party at 5 percent.

Third on the party list and finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith is National's Epsom candidate.

Collins says everybody knows she and Seymour work well together.

"I am very happy to say that we want the party vote please in Epsom please and in this particular electorate you can give the first tick for the electorate to David Seymour.

"I think he is a very good local MP and I would welcome him being part of a National-ACT government," she said.

Collins added that a National-led government will be best served with ACT as its partner.

Earlier today the National Party said it would require drivers to display insurance details on their windscreens.

Vehicles that don't have, as a minimum, third party car insurance would have to have the word 'uninsured' displayed on the registration label

"If anyone was involved in an accident with you, you could literally walk over and see who their insurer was," Collins said.

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