INDEPENDENT NEWS

Time For ‘No Jab No Job’ Policy To Go

Published: Sat 8 Jan 2022 08:15 PM
The Don’t Divide Us.nz campaign, which presented a petition to Parliament last month with 87,269 signatures, is calling on the Government to ditch the divisive ‘no jab no job’ policy and allow for the use of COVID rapid antigen testing as an alternative for unvaccinated kiwis to access workplaces, schools, marae, large gatherings, and places of worship.
“Given the developing knowledge on the effectiveness of the vaccine against the Omicron Covid-19 variant, and the Government’s recognition - finally (!) - of the suitability and effectiveness of the rapid antigen tests (RATs), it’s time to give jobs and careers back to teachers, medical professionals, truck drivers, drainlayers, arborists, tennis coaches, scrap yard workers, university students, courier drivers, apprentices, bus drivers, construction workers, volunteer firefighters, office administrators, after-hours cleaners, fruit pickers, grounds maintenance workers, gardeners, volunteer driving instructors, road maintenance workers, after-hours security guards, student farm-workers, and fitness instructors.”
“Let’s get the country working together again in a unified way as we battle the challenges of COVID-19.”
New Zealanders are being excluded from their teaching or nursing job, sporting career, going to their marae, going to church or the mosque or the gym or hair salon, university to study, weddings, visiting family members in prison, attending events – and there are many other examples – because they have chosen out of good conscience not to be vaccinated.
A recent nationwide poll found significant support from New Zealanders for regular testing to be allowed as an option so that kiwis can keep their jobs. Just 27% were opposed (including 30% of those who are already double jabbed).
The Government-appointed independent review group headed by Sir Brian Roche told the Government: “It is critical that we actively promote and achieve widespread testing across the community irrespective of the known presence of the virus in the community. The availability of rapid antigen testing is critical to that.”
There are already changes to allow travellers coming from 105 countries and jurisdictions, where obtaining a PCR test may be difficult or impossible. They will have to provide evidence of a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test result.
In December, a large group of 15 applicants representing 110 Church congregations and 2 Mosques with over 26,000 congregants filed in the Wellington High Court an application for a Judicial Review on the church vaccine mandate. When Governments use regulations to impose restrictions on important rights to protect us from a pandemic it is important that they show the restrictions they put in place are the least restrictive means available to achieve their goals. During lockdowns last year churches were happy to comply because it was important to keep everyone safe. However, now that rapid testing is available to allow for domestic travel – and now some overseas travellers, and now that schools can open when adopting safety measures, churches believe the same options should be available to them. The case should be heard later this month.

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