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Coronavirus: Winston Peters on chartered flights from Peru to New Zealand

coronavirus 02/04/2020

The Ryan Bridge Drive Show speaks with Winston Peters, the Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister about chartered flights to New Zealand and how long the borders will be closed for.

Ryan speaks about the government plan announced by Jacinda Ardern today, to get foreigners out of New Zealand safely without them infecting the country.

When asked how many foreign governments have requested charter flights to bring their nationals home, Peters says a lot of them have talked about it, but most are on the basis of 'if we did this, what would your country's view be.'

Ryan asks if he is 100% confident that if tens of thousands of Germans run towards Auckland Airport, they won't bring Covid-19 from other regions along the way?

Peters explains there are only 35,000 people on the Embassy who want to come to New Zealand, the government is checking their travel condition and health condition, however no one can guarantee it’s safe. 

There are also tens of thousands of New Zealanders who want to get home, he adds.

There is no 100 percent guarantee of no contamination.

Peters shares that there is a chartered plane to New Zealand coming out of Peru, via Santiago, with up to 70 seats for Kiwis.

When asked how long the borders will be closed for, Peter says;

the borders have to shut down.

Despite Ryan suggesting 12 months, Peter says he thinks this is wrong. “Some of these forecasts and dire warnings are seriously premature.”

Are you upset about the demise of Bauer Media? Ryan asks, to which Peters replies,

This wasn't a decision about Covid-19, but it’s a good thing to blame.

Ryan asks whether there is a point where the lockdown becomes so expensive for our economy, that we just let this thing run and keep the eldery at home?

“You could take that view now,” Peters replies, “and let tens of thousands die unnecessarily.”

Listen to the full interview above.