Stuart Smith
National MP Kaikoura

Information

Op ed

It has become abundantly clear that the only way to stop lockdowns and effectively and safely open up New Zealand to the rest of the world, is to have as many people as possible vaccinated.

It is a shame that we find ourselves in this position though, as it could have been avoided if we had a Government who was proactive about procuring vaccines rather than the lack-lustre approach that we saw earlier this year.

That being said, New Zealanders, by in large, have done their best through lockdowns and all the pressures that come with them. But for those who are yet to get their vaccination, it is important that we are all aware that, Covid-19 will inevitably spread to every part of this country. If you are not vaccinated, statistics show that you are putting yourself, your family, your friends and your community at a greater risk.

Just three per cent of all current positive cases in New Zealand are fully vaccinated.

National released our ‘Opening Up’ plan two weeks ago, and throughout the report it talks about ways to incentivise people to get vaccinated. One idea is to commission behavioural scientists to draw upon the best available evidence about what incentives have worked and are working in other jurisdictions, and then quickly invest in a variety of incentive programmes.

These incentives can be as simple as setting up a bacon butty station or a kebab caravan next to a vaccination clinic and tell anyone who gets vaccinated they can get a free dinner. The cost to the Government of a few hundred bacon butties or kebabs is nowhere near the $1 billion losses we are currently bleeding per week by having a lockdown.

A business in my electorate, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is offering staff the chance to win $1,000 if they get vaccinated. The Government can also come to the party on this and help businesses out to incentivise their staff.

The Super Saturday initiative on 16 October is one that any New Zealander who is not vaccinated should get on board with. Fundamentally it is your right to choose to be vaccinated or not, but in doing so, you’re helping other New Zealanders to not only keep the virus at bay but to open up our economy and maintain the Kiwi way of life we all know and love.

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The Government Can Help Businesses to Incentivise Staff to Get Vaccinated
Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith

MP for Kaikoura. Viticulture, EQC.

Reproduced with permission

Reproduced with permission

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