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Aotearoa New Zealand is a hell hole paradise dystopian democracy

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, October 29th, 2020 - 55 comments
Categories: covid-19, election 2020, health, jacinda ardern, making shit up, spin, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

It has been interesting seeing overseas attempts to present Aotearoa in the last couple of days.  I mean did someone turn up the international stupid dial to maximum?

First there was UK former Conservative Party then UKIP Party journalist Suzanne Evans accusing New Zealand of having a fascist Government.  Her evidence?  Our lockdown policies.

Then things got really weird when the TV channel that celebrated the locking up of kids and their forceful separation from their parents thought that our policies were too extreme.

The problem was that the post was completely lacking in that characteristic that all media should aspire to achieve and that was it was a complete misrepresentation of reality.

They also had this text on their website:

Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson condemned New Zealand‘s institution of coronavirus quarantine “camps” on “The Ingraham Angle” Tuesday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, of the center-left New Zealand Labour Party, announced in a video that if people sent to the camp refuse to be tested, they will be required to remain another two weeks after their initial two-week stay.

Ardern called the warning a “pretty good incentive” to get tested for COVID-19.

“You either get your test done and make sure you are cleared, or we will keep you in a facility longer,” she said. “So I think most people look at that and say, ‘I will take the test.'”

Hanson told host Laura Ingraham that such draconian measures that Ardern’s orders make no sense given how little the pandemic has affected the island nation.

“They have a nation of 5 million people,” Hanson explained. “They’ve only lost, tragically, but they lost 25 people. That’s an astoundingly low number to throw away personal freedom.”

Feel your brain clench as you read this?  Wonder if Hanson may have contemplated the possibility that having more “personal freedom” US style may have resulted in many more deaths?   I guess we should expect such stupidity because the Hoover Institute is a right wing think tank based in the States.

The Ardern film relied on by Fox was from June 29, 2020, which by my calculations was 4 months ago.  Suggesting that it was a “terrifying new response” is rather overbaked and brings an entirely new meaning to the phrase.  Or ignores its meaning completely.

I accept there are constraints on our freedoms.  Currently there are about 5,000 returning kiwis or visitors who are in managed isolation.  They are subject to two tests over 14 days.  Recently I am aware of one person whose stay was extended by a further 14 days because she did not want to do the test because of the threat of nose bleeds.  The health professionals made a call.  Myself, I preferred they exercise caution.

The places they have to stay in are pretty good.  Four and five star hotels.  They get fed and they can purchase alcohol.

For those currently with symptoms they go into quarantine.  There are currently 66 active cases in the country.  Quarantine places are also hotels but with stricter health measures.

Is this a limitation on our freedoms.  Of course it is.

Our Bill of Rights Act which protects freedoms states that “the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”.

Unlike America we have an independent and robust judiciary.  Our judges are selected on merit, not which side of the culture war they occupy.

Our courts had a look at the lock down orders and concluded that they were initially technically in breach of the law for a short period of time but that this was subsequently remedied and that they were justified.  From the judgment:

Although we have concluded that there was for nine days an unlawful limitation of certain rights and freedoms, that must be seen in the context of the rapidly developing public health emergency the nation was facing. We agree with Mr Borrowdale that – although not prescribed by law – the limits were nevertheless reasonable, necessary and proportionate. Moreover, they were limits that could have been imposed lawfully by the Director-General at the time, simply by issuing an order. And the unlawfulness has long since been remedied.

New Zealand has made the call.  Rather than face the prospect of tens of thousands of loved ones dying and long term health effects that we are still discovering we decided instead to socially distance and wash our hands regularly.  And make sure that people returning from disease hotbeds like the United States were quarantined, so that our elders and those with compromised health systems did not have to go through what their counterparts in the States are going through.

The handling of the pandemic is popular with the people of Aotearoa and saw Labour reelected to power with an unprecedented level of support in an MMP election.

And while we are on the subject of democracy Trump America is not in a position to criticise us about anything.  We recently held an election where over 80% of eligible voters exercised their democratic right to vote.  Voting was a breeze.  It did not matter if you lived in a wealthy or a poor area queues were short and people were encouraged to vote early.  People did not have to line up in queues for 8 hours to vote.  Rolls were not purged so that mainly poor people and people of colour were disenfranchised for no valid reason.  And the whole election was run by an entity that was independent of the parties.

I get it that the States is in the middle of an election and that the right wing candidate, who has made a complete mess of handling the disease, is under intense pressure in an election campaign that if run properly should see him lose.  But making up stories and criticising us because we took the hard decisions to hold the disease at bay?

55 comments on “Aotearoa New Zealand is a hell hole paradise dystopian democracy ”

  1. Ad 1

    When you have 230,000 dead inside 8 months from a preventable disease, well…

    …freedom's just another word for 'nothin' left to lose'

    Sing along, kids.

  2. AB 2

    Successful responses to the virus are based on:

    • solidarity and collective action
    • believing the lives of all citizens are of equal value and equally worthy of protection
    • viewing economic activity as something that goes on inside (not outside or prior to) a framework of human needs/wellbeing, and that can be adjusted to meet those needs.

    In other words, successful responses to the virus are a dagger to the heart of right-wing ideology and will be discredited by the vehicles and mouthpieces of that ideology. Even if it takes grotesque lies to do so.

    • Unicus 2.1

      This is certainly happening

      Murdoch media in the UK US and Aus has been slandering Jacinda for months – neo libs. are terrified her perceived persona will influence their body politic the way it has here

  3. weka 3

    What's the story with getting in and out of the US at the moment? Can citizens come and go freely?

    • Andre 3.1

      Varies by state for arrivals. New York and some other northeastern states have a two week quarantine for anyone from out-of-state (which includes overseas). But getting through the bureaucracy to even get that far for out-of-country people is very difficult. Hawaii has had a two week quarantine, but recently relaxed that for those that have a negative test (good luck with that!). I'd imagine most other states are less restrictive.

      Americans are free to leave to go anywhere at any time AFAIK, but there aren't many other countries willing to accept them. For instance, Canada and Mexico limit entry for Americans to "essential purposes" which doesn't include tourism.

      • weka 3.1.1

        So incoming, it's up to individual states? And some states have pretty much the same restrictions as NZ? (or harder for US citizens to return home than for NZers to return home).

        • Andre

          Yes, one of the consequences of the Barbecued Bloviator abdicating any attempt to deal with it is the states have had to do it themselves. Sometimes the rules vary even down to county and state level.

          I don’t the exact details of any isolation/quarantine restrictions, but yes, they can be broadly similar to NZ. For my cousin and her husband, they have family in New York that desperately want to visit them in Salt Lake City and help with their new little one, but because they also have family that might need care at short notice in New York, the two week quarantine on return is too big an obstacle. It’s a real mess, and in some ways it’s surprising there hasn’t been even more civil unrest there.

          • weka

            letting the states sort it out is just for covid? Other overseas visitor controls are handled nationally?

            • Andre

              Yep. Covid quarantine (or not) is being handled at state level.

              National border controls are decided in DC at the federal level. Because that's an immigration issue. Citizens and permanent residents have right of return, like here.

              If you're from Chyyyy-nuh, then it's nuh-uh, coz covid, even though there's hardly any there at the moment. Iranians are on the shit-list too. Surprisingly, white folks from Europe aren't allowed in either, not even the smokin' hot young women (but maybe if they blag themselves Einstein visas they can come). Central and South Americans aren't on the shit list yet, even though they've got massive covid problems. Maybe that's because electoral considerations.


              • weka

                what I was getting at was whether US citizens are being treated differently on entering the US. If stupid Americans are calling NZ govt fascist/communist for having mandatory managed isolation (and Q for positive tests) for returning Kiwis, then isn't the US doing the same with its citizens? (so hypocrites as well as stupid).

                But from what I can tell, it depends on where the US citizen flies in. If the state has quarantine then US citizens will have similar treatment to Kiwis returning to NZ. But some states just let US citizens in with no restrictions. Is that right?

    • Matiri 3.2

      An American friend who is also a New Zealand citizen has just come back from a mercy dash to the US to visit a dying relative, she flew to LA/Atlanta/Wyoming and back home to New Zealand two weeks later. The only drama for her was the limited availability of internal flights in the US. Once back here, she spent 14 days in Managed Isolation which she will have to pay for as this is her second trip since our borders were closed. She has both US and NZ passports.

      • weka 3.2.1

        so she didn't have to go into managed isolation going into California?

        • Andre

          California doesn't appear to have travel restrictions, and even if they did they may not apply them to transit passengers.

          There are currently no restrictions for entering California if you are coming from another state in the U.S. The federal government has placed restrictions on certain international travelers. With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who visited certain countries during the past 14 days are prohibited from entry to the United States. All travelers should take safety precautions when considering traveling.


          However, California does appear to have stay-at-home orders in place that vary in strictness on a county-by-county basis, as explained in the link above. Georgia (Atlanta) and Wyoming (Wild West, baby!) are very unlikely to have imposed any restrictions, or really even asked their citizens to take even minimal precautions.

          edit: in case you’re interested, New York’s rules are in the link below.


    • Jen 3.3

      They never could come freely. And at the moment nobody is leaving either, because no country let's them in.

      • weka 3.3.1

        I was asking about US citizens getting back into the US. That was easy before covid, right?

  4. Anker 4
    • Their stupidity or deliberate distortion (lying), disgusts me. Same with the UK women.
    • i have never felt more grateful to live in this country in my life.

    god helpAmerica. It’s in a huge. Amount of trouble

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Anker Please specify which UK women and give a link please. So we know what this is about. I think I know but others won't. Ta.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        I think anker meant "woman" – the right wing female woman blasted Jacinda Ardern and NZ a day or two ago.

        • greywarshark

          Right now we need the link even to the former reporting on TS. If this is intended to be a useful public forum for information it has to do more and be more than allusions and in-group comments that a small percentage know about.

        • Tricledrown

          Laura Inghram a Disgrace .

          But I bet she gets paid millions for her sycophantic rants.

          Just shows how desperate the Trump campaign is.

      • anker 4.1.2

        Sorry Gray, Suzanne Evans. Link is in the above article.

        Some times I post when I am about to go to work and I am not as careful as I should be!

        • greywarshark

          Yes sory to be a moaner but I feel that TS is the one strong staunch people's voice and information sheet, so to speak. And I think that people in authority will look at it FTTT for clues on what is going on in left-leaning people's heads. And they may get some good ideas. So the combination of good thinkers with good mods following good procedures has led to a good informed spot that also is interesting, not boring! Lots of goods may multiply – crosses fingers!

  5. greywarshark 5

    This is the song for Trump's supporters and the Republican Party in USA.

    Take Me Higher (like the Covid-19 measurement) by D-Stroyer.

    And this is the reality today for people who have no certainty of good things happening in their locale, their country. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ2DylAPBpg

  6. Anne 6

    Jealousy mickysavage – plain, unadulterated jealousy. That a tin-pot country at the bottom of the world (who has a leader infinitely more admired and respected throughout the world than their leader) can do so much better than them in every way. That is anathema to the current US administration bully boys and girls and their broad posse of thugs in the media and elsewhere.

  7. America's reaction illustrates the self-centred nature of neoliberalism and ultimately its destructive effect on the human species.

    If we are going to get through the pandemic, and the much more ominous climate change, we are going to have to work collectively, and inevitably give up some individual freedoms.

    If we don't then we are doomed, I tells ya, doomed!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      If we don't then we are doomed, I tells ya, doomed!

      Pretty much.

      Unless we do start acting collectively and not at the whims of the rich and greedy.

  8. RedLogix 8

    I'm less inclined to join in a smug pile on here; the USA was always a different place to NZ. It's a far more diverse and and polarised nation. Extremes of virtually every human condition can be found flourishing within it's borders in substantial numbers.

    Trump's utterly deficient leadership aside, the US nation's weak and divided public health systems were never going to cope, their deeply fractious state system was never going to be unified, and the people themselves were never going to submit uniformly to mass lockdowns, much less basic shit like mask wearing.

    Failure has been evident at every level and institution and the outcomes have been appalling, despite dedicated and sacrificial efforts by thousands of medical people. In the aftermath of this crisis and humiliation the US will respond and adapt. Indeed once the Americans think something's worth doing, they also believe it's worth over-doing. Exactly how this plays out is something to watch in this next decade. It will likely be worth watching.

    • Gabby 8.1

      Yankistan must be the best, regardless of what the facts indicate. Anyone bester must be disappeared.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Yankistan must be the best,

        Yes the idea of American exceptionalism totters on some very bad presumptions. Mostly what is unique about the USA relates to their remarkably benign geography; they're a nation who almost cannot help but be prosperous no matter how hard they try to fuck it up.

        One of the fuck up factors we really don't appreciate is just how unequal their education system is. Well educated Americans are remarkably capable, but the vast majority come through a crippled hobgoblin of a system that serves them very poorly indeed.

        The US dominates so much of our discourse for the simple reason that there are so many moving parts to it, so much complexity and nuance. Characterising it with one derogatory term 'Yankistan' is either lazy or sadly ignorant.

        • Gabby

          We have them to thank for the spattering of 'nuance' over every surface when excusing arseholery too.

    • Anne 8.2

      Nicely summed up Redlogix. Thank-you.

      It's hard sometimes not to be scathing of them and attack as though they're all the same. They're not. My heart goes out to all the decent Americans – a majority if the truth were known – who don't deserve a regime like the current one.

      For their sakes, I hope there is a leadership change next week.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        My heart goes out to all the decent Americans

        As I've related elsewhere over the years, I've had the exceptional good fortune to work alongside people from many countries. It's left me with an enduring respect and appreciation of just how decent most people really are.

        And underneath all the political shennanigans, we should remember to cling tightly to this common humanity we all share.

        • greywarshark

          Everything is up for grabs when it comes to humans and our protean intelligence. Decency can be a moving thing. In The Handmaids Tale it is one thing to one lot of people, and others have different standards and viewpoint about 'decency'. We construct our society with words, thoughts and actions, and need to question ourselves and our values. At present the appearance of niceness and tidiness and being well-dressed and furnished etc can convey the 'decent' classification on us.

          Even common humanity isn't common. We should love those who have it and hold them in esteem and support and encourage them as much as possible. But to be really decent requires thoughtful action and acceptance of the human condition not just cant.

          I have just been reading Jane Tolerton's book on Ettie Rout who was determined to help the soldiers in WW1 to keep themselves free from sexual disease especially syphilus. Of course it was just not 'decent' for anybody, especially a woman, to talk about it. She did, she followed with thoughtful action, and there are many people alive in NZ today whose grand-fathers would have been too diseased to pass their genes successfully, if Ettie and her small band hadn't acted so faithfully in their caring humanity.

          The call for a fair society comes with thoughts about 'decency'. Fair societies depend on all showing common humanity to each other, not just demanding rights, but accepting reasonable responsibilites on ourselves too. This Radionz item may mention that or just be a sort of shopping list of wants and homilies. I haven't heard it yet.


        • Ad

          All the Americans I know here of elsewhere are awesome, hardworking, generous, Democrat-leaning, and fun. The ones I work with right now are pretty embarrassed.

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Recently I am aware of one person whose stay was extended by a further 14 days because she did not want to do the test because of the threat of nose bleeds.

    She was quite willing to do the test – just through another means than having something pushed up her nose that could cause her to bleed to death.

    Myself, I preferred they exercise caution.

    I prefer that they stick to the processes outlined that allowed her to have the prescribed alternate test rather than making up rules on their whim.

  10. joe90 11

    'Murican exceptionalism..


    • Andre 11.1

      I've learned to be wary of leaping to judgement over stuff like that.

      Pretty much the same thing happened while I was visiting a friend in Philly, and I was well on my way to putting my foot in it with a righteous rant, when I got told the background picture. It turned out the old guy was the founder and patriarch of the family pizza joint, and liked to feel he was still contributing to the family business and liked to keep connected to his long-term customers. Seems he was also pretty good at turning new customers into repeat customers.

  11. Roy Cartland 12

    I like it. Everyone who thinks our policies suck can stay away. Win win.

  12. McFlock 13

    If we're totalitarian, they're less incompetent.

    Fox propagandising, especially their "opinion" folk like Inghram, has the objective of trying to make dolt45 look less bad. Tory apologists do the same thing for the same objective.

    Be clear: they know people are dying because their countries' leaderships are wilfully negligent. They know the deaths are preventable. The are deliberately misleading people into the framing that they believe in freedom over safety, when really they want neither. Because if they believed in freedom, they would tell the truth.

    • woodart 13.1

      define freedom. freedom to do to others as you please? freedom from having to share? freedom to say "im all right, phuck you"? freedom is a good two syllable word that looks good on a T shirt , but like waving a flag, is very open to interpretation. when it comes to attention grabbing freedom comes a poor second to free sex. put that on a T shirt ,and everybody looks! interesting to see that the biggest pushers of freedom want to buy and sell sex…..

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Esepecially in the case of the USA, it's a fuzzy thing that's part of their national myth – oft cited, never defined.

        But you see their purpose in your imperative for a definition. Such a heady, abstract discussion. That's their purpose:

        "Thousands of my neighbours are sick"

        It's sad, but nothing could be done

        "Yes it could have. Look at New Zealand"

        But NZ has covid gulags, we are a nation that believes in freedom

        "What sort of freedom? Freedom to die?"

        Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither. We are a special nation, and will withstand great hardship for freedom. Our citizens will not cower just because of a virus.

        Just to justify why they didn't tell people to wear a fucking mask.

  13. Ad 14

    As Statistics New Zealand reports this week, the Covid-19 crisis has actually been great for our terms of trade:


    "Imports, especially of fuel and cars, fell sharply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while exports held up, leading to a $1.7 billion annual goods trade surplus in the year ended September 2020, Stats NZ said yesterday. Imports fell $5.9 billion in the September 2020 year. A similar large fall in trade occurred during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago when both imports and exports dropped.

    This year, exports have held up well despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Imports have fallen since February 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak started spreading around the world and international travel restrictions were imposed.

    The fall in imports was led by crude oil (down $1.7 billion) and cars (down $1.1 billion). These falls were partly offset by rises in warships (up $395 million, largely driven by the arrival of Navy ship HMNZS Aotearoa in June 2020), face masks (up $216 million), and laptops (up $133 million).

    “New Zealand imported more face masks in the wake of the global pandemic,” senior insights analyst Nicholas Cox said.
    “Imports of laptops also rose, as more people worked from home during the lockdowns earlier in the year.”

    The total value of goods exports for the September 2020 year rose $1.2 billion from 2019. The rise in annual exports was led by milk powder, butter, and cheese (up $1.4 billion), beef (up $433 million), and gold kiwifruit (up $377 million).

    “New Zealand also exported more breathing equipment, which is in high demand worldwide because of COVID-19,” Mr Cox said. Exports of respiration apparatus rose $348 million in the September 2020 year.

    The goods trade surplus for the September 2020 year was $1.7 billion, the largest surplus since 2014 when dairy prices were at very high levels. “For most of the past 20 years, New Zealand had a goods trade shortfall, importing much more than it exports,” Mr Cox said. “The goods trade surplus in September 2020 is unusually high because of the rapid drop in imports since February.”

    Christmas will probably see us reverting to our bad old importing ways, but hey, it's a pretty good upside. Thanks to all those who worked in sheep, beef, dairy, horticulture, and medical technology for pushing our export-led recovery along.

    I wouldn't mind hearing some commentary on how we are spending within the domestic economy as well.

  14. tc 15

    Fox does as it's allowed to, thanks largely to Reagan abolishing the 'fairness' tests, even vetoed it's attempted reintroduction.

    What's our excuse for allowing MSM here to mislead, not declare conflicts of interest, apologise properly etc etc i.e. be held genuinely accountable in any way.

  15. Herodotus 16

    Are not all confirmed cases in NZ now ALL cases in NZ ?

    In places like the US this data is only a subset. This subset comprising of only those that have been tested with Covid19 ? So those that are not tested and either recover "naturally" or display no symptoms but are invected are not counted.

    • Andre 17.1

      If policies vary at the subnational level, the index is shown as the response level of the strictest sub-region.

      Dunno whether that means the index simply reflects the strictest composite measure for one specific region, possibly New York City, or whether it reflects a composite of the strictest subregion measures such as California's stay-at-home order combined with New York's two-week quarantine for travellers etc.

      Certainly there's large parts of the US where free-dumb overrules taking any sensible precautions at all and the local stringency index would be lower than even the minimal measures we have here right now.

  16. kester macfarlane 18

    Last August we took a three-week cruise around the Baltic and Scotland on the “Seabourn Ovation”.

    The guy in the suite next to ours was a gay maths teacher from San Francisco called Curtis Ingraham. Curtis is the older brother of that crazy Fox News host Laura Ingraham who is currently in the news about her take on our Prime Minister, our country and our Covid quarantine camps. Curtis and I would have 6 am-ish morning coffee up in the observation bar on deck eleven and then meet up again in the same bar for pre-dinner slurps. He told me about his sister. I had never heard of her, mainly because I never watch Fox. He talked about their raving alcoholic father who had pictures of Hitler and the Nazi flag in his den when they were growing up in Connecticut. “He was an American Nazi,” Curtis said. His sister hates gays calling them sodomites although she has softened her views after Curtis’s partner, Richard Smith died of AIDS in 1997. Curtis is a really nice polite and charming person but he just can’t stand his sister's extreme views. Last year he was quoted in the Washington Post attacking her after she compared Greta Thunberg to the 'Children of the Corn’ and in an interview with the Daily Beast he said: “I think she’s a monster, she’s very smart, she’s well-spoken, but her emotional heart is just kind of dead.”

    It's pretty obvious that most of Laura Ingraham’s DNA came from her Nazi father whilst Curtis seems to have been spared.

    Kester Macfarlane

    Ruby Bay

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