By Simon Bridges, National Party Leader.
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.
I have never experienced something like this in my lifetime, and a lot of you will be the same.
New Zealanders naturally have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to things. We can be a bit blasé.
But the health officials have laid out what we all have to do to help combat coronavirus, and we have to do it.
We have to stay at home not just for ourselves but for our parents, our grandparents, our immune-comprised friends and family members.
It will be tough but generations of Kiwis have, throughout history, made great sacrifices to safeguard our way of life. This is our turn.
This is an incredibly important time for our nation, and will come at a cost.
With New Zealand effectively shutting down while everyone is in isolation, jobs will be lost, businesses will close and may not reopen their doors.
That’s not to sound doom and gloom, but these things are our reality now.
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.
Because this is about lives and livelihoods and for the good of our country, not politics.
The Government will continue to have our support as long as they are moving expeditiously to protect those lives and livelihoods.
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.
We want to protect workers and their jobs as much as possible.
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.
I want to thank 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. You are heroes.
I may sound like a broken record when I say this but please remember to wash your hands, listen to the advice coming from our health professionals, and please stay calm.
We need to look after each other. We will get through this.
Simon Bridges is leader of the National Party.