Chris Hipkins, the former minister for the Covid-19 response, has told a television interviewer he wishes Aucklanders hadn’t been kept in lockdown for so long in spring of last year.
Asked this morning by Q+A’s Jack Tame what he would do differently if he had his time as Covid minister over again, he said he’d move more quickly to end the lockdown the city weathered from August 17 to December 2, a total of 107 days.
However Hipkins noted the government was only able to make decisions with the information it currently had to hand.
“There were probably some areas we could have moved more quickly to step down some restrictions,” he told Tame. “That lockdown in Auckland at the end of 2021 – I think nerves were pretty frayed by the end of that. And we should acknowledge that. Aucklanders played a big price for our ongoing suppression of delta while we got our vaccination rates up and so on.”
Hipkins left the Covid-19 response role in the recent cabinet reshuffle, taking over the police portfolio from Poto Williams.