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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, December 20th, 2020 - 22 comments
Without much fanfare, Minister Robertson has used 2020’s crisis to bury the historic scourge of monetarism and within it the excuses of the governments that used it as a pretext to sell off our key government income generators.
Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, December 20th, 2020 - 30 comments
Donald Trump has spent the past week stuffing up the vaccine roll out in some states, fighting attempts to cancel the Trump wall and blaming China for Russian hacks on American institutions and corporations.
Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, December 9th, 2020 - 16 comments
Humans have created the most recent virtual super-continent. At least as far as species movement has been concerned world wide. We’ve picked up species from around the world and transplanted them almost everywhere else – including microbiological. Pandemics will be the inevitable result. Could be amphibians dying off. It could be us. Perhaps it is time to have an intelligent discussion about the risks.
Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, December 4th, 2020 - 60 comments
The United Kingdom has used emergency procedures to approve for general use the Pfizer Covid vaccine. But this will nor provide overnight respite from Covid. How do you handle the mass vaccination of pretty well the whole planet? And what are the implications for New Zealand’s border policy?
Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, November 27th, 2020 - 34 comments
The government is simultaneously grappling with the Covid, economic and housing crises, but its failure to act urgently and boldly on the crisis in our Fourth Estate may have the most damaging longer-term effect. Bernard Hickey has lashed out at Broadcasting and Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Jacinda Ardern, for their fiddling-while-Rome-burns response to an industry in meltdown.
Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, November 27th, 2020 - 21 comments
I’m sure one needs a particular depth of political nerdiness to give a flying fig about such things, but since I am one of those, these are my highlights from the speech from the throne to Parliament this week.
Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, November 24th, 2020 - 62 comments
National wants to work out what went wrong during the last election.
Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, November 19th, 2020 - 16 comments
During a week in which two Covid vaccines have been announced there is disturbing news coming out of Australia where a new more potent strain of the virus has appeared in South Australia.
Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 11th, 2020 - 36 comments
IF the discovery of a potential Covid vaccine looks like a new dawn, let’s not forget that this is the accelerating point of the K-shaped recovery New Zealand have been dreading. Our already rich are on the line heading upwards. They are getting richer because of a range of our Government policies.
Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, November 7th, 2020 - 39 comments
I hope that I am not tempting fate by saying this but a Biden presidency seems almost inevitable. But presuming he prevails the transition is going to be one of the most difficult and most important in America’s history.
Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, November 1st, 2020 - 51 comments
A surge in Covid infections in Europe and in the United States is raising the specter that the most pessimistic predictions about the disease and its effect on the health system may occur. And right wing governments appear to be spectacularly unable to deal with the crisis.
Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, October 29th, 2020 - 55 comments
Fox News has seized upon a four month old video of Jacinda Ardern to suggest that New Zealand has a terrifying new response to the disease and are throwing people into quarantine camps.
Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 27th, 2020 - 15 comments
Yesterday the city of Melbourne recorded its first day of no new reported covid infections in nearly five months. At the same time in America the White House has effectively said that control is too difficult and that it is giving up.
Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, October 8th, 2020 - 13 comments
Why is the Ministry of Health not stepping in to ensure nationwide standards for covid testing, and ensuring that isolation facilities meet our Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights?
Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, October 4th, 2020 - 44 comments
A large wildfire has destroyed many homes in the village of Ohau in the Mackenzie Country, and hundreds of people have been evacuated.
Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2020 - 79 comments
An occasional series
Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, October 3rd, 2020 - 122 comments
News that Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid will have a significant effect on the US election as well as our local election. It raises the issue who will you trust to lead the country against this most agile yet deadly virus?
Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, September 24th, 2020 - 12 comments
On Tuesday National announced the fifth variation of its Covid border policy this year.
Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 19th, 2020 - 55 comments
Despite claiming that the PREFU figures were catastrophic and despite stating a month ago that it would not do this National has come out with a policy of temporary tax cuts favouring the rich. They must be desperate.
Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 18th, 2020 - 104 comments
A brief look at steady state economics and the values of enough rather than more.
Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, September 14th, 2020 - 132 comments
While a few in the media leapt at the opportunity to vilify a small evangelical community at the latest COVID 19 spread, the really big COVID 19-conspiracy story landed by the thousand this weekend. It’s overdue we woke up to QAnon here.
Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, September 10th, 2020 - 123 comments
There has been disturbing local news that some members of a local evangelical church, influenced by American equivalents, refused to accept the threat posed by the virus. And in America a new book from Bob Woodward suggests strongly that Donald Trump knew how big a threat Covid would be but chose for political reasons to downplay the risk.
Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, September 6th, 2020 - 83 comments
Simon Thornley is claiming that New Zealand’s covid response is a failure and we should be more like Sweden. But it appears that in more recent times Sweden has toughened its stringency tests so that they are similar to New Zealand’s.
Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 5th, 2020 - 43 comments
Our cities are the nation’s lungs; they recycle and accelerate external goods and transform them internally into faster circulation. Auckland and Christchurch have had tens of billions invested in them over successive local and central governments, but has this improved our strength or wealth as a country at all?