NZ Deputy PM slams 'biased' Covid-19 inquiry, calls for independent review

Winston Peters calls out New Zealand's Covid-19 inquiry, citing concerns about its terms and commissioners.

NZ Deputy PM slams 'biased' Covid-19 inquiry, calls for independent review
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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has voiced strong criticism of the current Covid-19 inquiry, arguing that it lacks proper terms of reference and is conducted by biased commissioners.

The coalition government announced the second phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to examine vaccine efficacy, Auckland and Northland lockdowns, and impacts on health, education, and businesses. While Peters supports the need for this phase, he opposes continuing with the same commissioners from the initial inquiry, which he believes are not appropriately qualified.

ACT's Brooke van Velden, the minister overseeing the inquiry, justified maintaining the current commissioners, stating that changing them could set a harmful precedent. Peters, however, dismissed this reasoning, citing inadequate terms of reference and compromised commissioners.

Peters criticised NZ's contentious mainstream media as well as Labour leader and Jacinda Ardern's stand-in PM Chris Hipkins for downplaying his concerns, with Hipkins suggesting Peters was catering to "cookers conspiracy theorists."

Peters responded by attacking the media's fallen integrity, stating:

"Your mainstream media and RNZ accused us of going down a rabbit hole... arrogant behaviour which does not belong in a first-world country."

In an interview with Reality Check Radio, Peters reiterated his stance, explaining the use of the "agree to disagree" clause within the coalition. He argued that the Labour-led inquiry was a cover-up for political inadequacies, underscoring his commitment to a more transparent investigation.

"We have never changed in our lack of belief in the existing commission and our belief in the right commission coming in the future," he said.

Peters also pointed out the conflicts of interest among the commissioners, particularly Australian 'Covid alarmist' epidemiologist Tony Blakely and economist John Whitehead, criticising their past roles and qualifications.

He insisted that New Zealanders were misled about Covid-19, asserting:

"They just know that they weren't told the truth from the so-called podium of truth."

Peters remains adamant about seeking an independent review to ensure a fair and transparent investigation into New Zealand's harsh Covid-19 response.

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