Winston Peters: Health an imperative 'but not at all costs... we'll be broke'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Apr 2020, 9:14AM
Photo / NZ Herald

Winston Peters: Health an imperative 'but not at all costs... we'll be broke'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Apr 2020, 9:14AM

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has spoken of the "huge tensions" between looking after the health of New Zealanders but also saving the country's economy - and he wants to come out of the level 4 lockdown as quickly as possible.

"We are hearing the calls [about the economy] and the calls are massive all around the country in every respect. In terms of the economic analysis, we have a lot of work going on as to what this all means," Peters told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB today.

"The number one priority is to get us out of this level 4 to some level far more manageable, sustainable and durable while we rebuild the economy.

"Health is an imperative but it cannot be at all costs. If it's at all costs, we can't afford to pay for it. We'll be broke. We have to be rational, sane and keep our feet on the ground and keep a commonsense approach.

"There are huge tensions but enabling the economy to pay for the health delivery that is going to be critical here and in the months ahead is also very important."

Peters acknowledged they were hearing about concerns from small businesses who are struggling at the moment.

He said greater assessments needed to be made for those businesses that effectively could remain open because of the nature of them.

"We cannot afford to make mistakes on the way through," he said.