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Too much too far?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 23rd, 2021 - 61 comments

As we lead up to Budget 2021, there’s much more shape to the whole direction of this government.

National’s very bad day

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, April 22nd, 2021 - 80 comments

Yesterday was a day where National focussed on dog whistle racism, supported religious extremists and moaned about workers receiving a modest increase in the minimum wage.

DHBs to go

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, April 21st, 2021 - 101 comments

Television New Zealand has reported that Andrew Little is to announce that district health boards are to go

Oh Canada! – let us not follow you.

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, April 17th, 2021 - 23 comments

Looking at the vaccination program in NZ, I feel that many people are focusing on the wrong things. The most dangerous period in pandemic life cycle – gaining a sufficient population immunity fast enough to stop the inevitable complacency that allows another wave of infections. Ontario appears to have managed to get a new wave of infection rising as they are trying to run their vaccination program. That is the last thing we need.

The politics of the Covid vaccination roll out

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, April 12th, 2021 - 91 comments

Poor National.  Faced with a Government response to Covid that has been superb it is reduced to criticising the Government for not rolling out the Covid vaccine quickly enough.

The Covid India issue

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, April 9th, 2021 - 29 comments

This is a desperately difficult issue. India is currently experiencing a surge in Covid cases.  And faced with the prospect of quarantine beds being overrun if current trends continue the Government has taken the step of banning people entering the country if they have been in India during the two weeks prior to travel.

Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 6th, 2021 - 42 comments

An announcement on the Trans Tasman bubble is expected this afternoon.

Doocey is taking the piss

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, March 26th, 2021 - 12 comments

Private member’s bills are an important feature of Parliament.  They give all MPs the chance to change the law to address real or perceived issues and problems.  So what does National MP Matt Doocey think is the country’s most pressing problem?

Something big but not like that

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, March 23rd, 2021 - 41 comments

I am going out on a limb here but I think that Comrade Chris Trotter suggesting that Jacinda Ardern may resign as Prime Minister may be overhashed.

Covid Zeitgeist

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, March 21st, 2021 - 31 comments

NZ politics needs recharging and renewal to move forward. We need more charging stations.

Vaccine Diplomacy

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, March 15th, 2021 - 19 comments

Vaccines have had a place in diplomacy since the Cold War. The country that can manufacture and distribute lifesaving injections to others less fortunate sees a return on its investment in the form of soft power. Today the country moving fastest towards consolidating these gains may be China.

The trans Tasman bubble

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, March 11th, 2021 - 72 comments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said New Zealanders have an unfettered ability to travel to Australia for a holiday.  Reality would suggest that he is wrong.

She might have saved us from Covid but she does not drink beer with Soper

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, March 9th, 2021 - 99 comments

Newstalk ZB, Mike Hosking and Barry Soper are shocked, I tell you, shocked that Jacinda Ardern will no longer regularly appear on the Mike Hosking show.

Sugar is evil

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, March 6th, 2021 - 20 comments

With the recent High Court trial brought by three academics highlighting the undeserved attacks on their reputations by entities associated with the food industry now having concluded it is time for the Government to think about banning sugary drinks from schools.  And a sugar tax.

Senior Business Leaders Call Out To Government. Again

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, March 3rd, 2021 - 41 comments

Senior business leaders have called for more openness and clarity from the Government on its plan for getting New Zealand to “COVID normal”.  But have failed to say what they would do to contribute or what they are doing to help.

Level 3 again … be kind

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, February 28th, 2021 - 136 comments

Auckland is back into level three lockdown.

The case for mandatory legislative review

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, February 24th, 2021 - 15 comments

You can’t read legislation for very long without finding instances of weird edge cases. But is also why we have kids trying to walk or bike on gravel roads with no sidewalks to get to school. When modern cars travel these narrow lanes at up to 100km/hour. Parliament has no systematic way to review obsolete legislation.

V for vaccine

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, February 22nd, 2021 - 30 comments

The Covid pandemic is entering into an interesting stage with vaccinations being administered at an increasing rate and infection rates declining.  The opportunities for politicising the issue continue however.

The Very, Very Lucky Country

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 17th, 2021 - 5 comments

While Australia is rightly branded The Lucky Country, it looks like we can reasonably be called the Very, Very Lucky Country.

Pandemic to endemic covid-19

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 13th, 2021 - 84 comments

Back in May, I wrote a post “Covid-19: may be endemic“. That is looking like it is more and more likely. The depth of infection in world populations means that recombinant variants are likely. Vaccines and previous immunity will reduce the death rates and infection rates. But won’t stop reinfection. Human behaviour will keep covid-19 as an endemic disease.

Managed isolation cleaners should be paid a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, February 12th, 2021 - 39 comments

Managed isolation facility cleaners, who the country desperately relies on, are struggling to survive on low wages while performing an absolutely vital role.

Covid19 Vaccine Rollout and Global Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, February 2nd, 2021 - 24 comments

2023-2024 for a global rollout 0f the Covid vaccine will put stark lines of demarcation between which populations can trade and travel easily, and those who can’t. 

Twelve months of living with Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, February 1st, 2021 - 21 comments

One year on from the declaration by the WTO that Covid was a public health emergency and with the benefit of hindsight it is interesting to see who heeded the scientific advice and how it worked out.

Queue jumping the Covid vaccine rollout

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, January 27th, 2021 - 96 comments

National and ACT are concerned that New Zealand is not at the front of the queue obtaining Covid vaccine supplies.  Even though our Covid status is still outstanding with no community transmission having happened for months, and even though to realistically open our borders every country in the world will have had to achieve herd immunity.

Scan, wash your hands and wear a freakin mask

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, January 25th, 2021 - 85 comments

Another case of Covid has appeared in the community. A 54 year old woman who lives south of Whangarei who returned overseas and went through quarantine has developed Covid after being released from quarantine.

PM Ardern and President Biden as a comparison

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 23rd, 2021 - 34 comments

On his first day in office Joe Biden executed 17 executive orders making wide scale change to the Trump Administration’s policies.

Covid-19 lessons from a plagued flight

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 pm, January 11th, 2021 - 22 comments

In September there was a 18 hour flight Dubai that ended in Auckland. A relatively close group on that plane showed infection after arrival, and a genetically similar version. The evidence of in-flight infection is very strong and points to the on-going issues with shipping virus hosts around the world. This has some pretty strong implications for long-haul flights in particular. But also to the risks of having travel ‘bubbles’ without enforced quarantine.

The UK is now the world’s Covid cot case

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, January 6th, 2021 - 25 comments

Well after the emergence of a mutated Covid virus that is much easier to spread and faced with surging infection rates Boris Johnson has put England into a lockdown similar but not as strong as New Zealand’s original lockdown.  But the question is, has he done too little too late?

Chris Bishop goes woof woof on variant ‘B.1.1.7’

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, December 28th, 2020 - 43 comments

I realise that this would normally be our silly season, but it seems a bit macabre with the northern winter death toll. But nothing really excuses Chris Bishop for being a complete dickhead in barking for immediate offshore testing for travellers from the UK. It is pointless. The government are a bit more sensible. They’re instituting an extra test at our border.

Plan B activists still think NZ should be like Sweden

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, December 26th, 2020 - 171 comments

In a letter published in the Royal New Zealand College of Medical Practitioners journal Plan B academics have criticised the Government’s Covid elimination strategy because of the economic effects at the same time that recently announced growth figures show the economy grew in the past 12 months despite Covid.

Beefing up the border – expensive and essential

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, December 21st, 2020 - 30 comments

From a few days ago (it seems like an eternity), RNZ reported “Govt to pump almost $3 billion into its Covid-19 response after report identified failings”. There were several points I’d make about the border controls and generally with our border and the long slow years in constraining this pandemic. But the Sydney outbreak and the UK Xmas Grinch appear to be making them for me already.

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