Covid D day

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, October 11th, 2021 - 159 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, jacinda ardern, national, same old national - Tags:

Some big decisions are due to happen today.  What happens to Auckland’s Covid status?  Should the lockdown level be reduced or should the Government think about putting it back up?

At least at a superficial level it appears that Lockdown level 3 has not worked.  Yesterday there were 60 new infections.  The R value has been assessed at greater than one.  If it keeps growing we could have a surge of infections that will place considerable pressure on the health system.

At the same time our vaccination rates have surged.  New Zealand has resumed top spot in the OECD in terms of daily vaccinations per head of population and with 81% of the population having had at least one dose the country is looking to be in good shape.

From Rowan Quinn at Radio New Zealand:

There were 56 cases in the city yesterday, the highest since 1 September, with three in Waikato and one in the Bay of Plenty.

But there was also hope, as first-dose vaccination rates hit 86 percent.

Covid-19 modeller professor Shaun Hendy said as cases trend upwards, the outbreak was at a critical point.

“It is possible that we could end up in the triple digits so that’s something that the government should be considering and it should be developing a plan for what happens … because that will put real strain on the health system in Auckland,” he said.

Numbers like that could require a dip back to alert level 4 as a circuit breaker, he said.

And there was another worrying number emerging – there were still about 400 case contacts health authorities had yet to get in touch with, to check that they know to isolate and get a test.

And the handling of the borders must be causing intense analysis with separate proposals that a hard line be drawn across the central of the North Island or that the South Island be isolated gaining traction.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

Epidemiologist Nick Wilson and his team were calling on the government to tighten the border around Auckland.

Only those doing the most essential jobs should be allowed out and they should have to stop for 15 minutes at the border for a rapid antigen test, he said.

“It does seem that some people are getting across that border for pretty flimsy reasons and documentation,” he said.

In the meantime, authorities could keep the level 3 parts of the country walled off from the rest – literally – using concrete blocks and containers on some roads, perhaps at the Central Plateau, he said.

Keeping Covid out of the rest of the country could also help Auckland, by creating backup if the city’s health resources became overwhelmed.

There was some good news overnight with the Katikati case now testing negative and his family members also testing negative.  He had been double vaccinated.  The chances of spread sourced from him appear to be very low.

Other good news was the extraordinary performance of Middlemore Hospital that had been dealing with the brunt of the infection’s incursion has so far successfully treated 80 cases without reinfection.

But the Northland incursion is still of major concern with the second female involved still at large.  The first person was alleged to be a prostitute.  If so this will complicate contact tracing as it is very likely her close contacts will not want to subject themselves to official oversight.

Meanwhile National, who for the last 18 months have complained bitterly about how Jacinda Ardern has been fronting too many 1 pm press conferences is now complaining that she did not front in the past couple of days.  I wish they would make their mind up.

She has spent the last few days on the East Coast in an intensive effort to get among locals urging them to be vaccinated.

This is what real leadership looks like.

Today will be an interesting day.  My preference is that the Government holds the line in Auckland as well as the Waikato and Northland.  Level four appeared to be working although there is an argument that because of the nature of the latest incursion, involving our poorest and most disaffected, level four would have made no difference.

And they should mandate compulsory vaccinations for all teachers unless there are medical reasons not to do so.  Schools could become significant vectors of the spread of the disease

Meanwhile make sure you and your whanau are vaccinated.

159 comments on “Covid D day ”

  1. Ad 1

    Great to see Ardern using that star power in the provinces to such direct policy results.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Yes Jacinda could not personally do too much more than one on one encouragements as she did on weekend.

      Hone Harawira and the hard working members of Tai Tokerau Border Control have set a great example also. People travelling are stopped and advised to go home if out without a good reason, assisted if needing food and other support, and turned around if they are obviously unauthorised or taking the piss e.g. essential worker with jet ski behind the vehicle.

      The authorities are not going to totally protect regional populations and should not be relied upon to do so. Communities need to organise and defend themselves– ideally in consultation with NZ Police–but not subservient to the cops.

      Harder boundaries sound like a good idea. It is not too late for Govt. to take a number of measures aimed more at working class people –bring in even a temporary basic income paid to all citizens via IRD, widely advertise existing assistance re food and payments for waiting time for test results, fare free public transport and free Wifi nationwide.
      No doubt any one of those measures would cause most of the Labour Caucus to fill their proverbials–but these are extraordinary times.

      • Gezza 1.1.1

        I was initially a bit dubious about local community leaders like Hone Harawira setting up their own checkpoints to vet cars from Covid-outbreak areas heading into Covid-free areas.

        But as time has gone by, & the early complaints from Māori communities that the MOH had adopted a completely wrong bureaucratic (priority age group & booking) strategy that ensured too many Māori were not actually getting priority for vaccinations have proven to be 100% correct, I’ve come to the conclusion Harawira has actually been doing a stellar job of ensuring Northland communities (Pākeha & Māori) are getting properly protected.

        • Sacha

          The Māori community leaders who sprung into action fast when Covid first appeared had not forgotten the lessons of 1918 and subsequent epidemics where their people were not protected by government agencies.

          Here is Hone Harawira speaking to Kim Hill this morning (7m)

        • garibaldi

          Hone has always done a great job and he was one of the hardest working MPs. However because he is a Maori activist he is despised intensely by, shall we say, those with Settler mentality. Full credit to Hone and the work he has done for his people over the years.

          • Gezza

            Yes, I spent 3 weeks up in the Far North in November/December 2017 & spent quite a bit of time chatting to a Māori wahine toa e-friend in her 60s who is originally from the East Coast but is now living with her partner in the Hokianga. She said exactly the same things about Hone. Couldn’t speak well enuf of the good works he does for his hapu iwi & Māori & Pākehā communities generally up there.

            Hone’s problem is that when he gets riled up he’s apt to blurt out something blaming “Pākehās”.

            Because many nga Pākehā are not personally guilty of whatever he’s just blamed Pākehās for, this gets a lot of Pākehā people’s backs up unnecessarily – & of course the tv & online & print media LOVES IT, when he does this. Gets them attention.

            The real message or issue sometimes gets lost in the furore over the headlines.

            • Simbit

              No, individual Pakeha are not to blame. However, all Pakeha have benefited from colonisation and many continue to do so. So, arh, could y'all help decolonise?

              • Gezza

                I is already always doin me best, e hoa.

                Decolonise has become a bit of a vague buzzword, tho.

                Could you give me some specific pointers for exactly what, & how, you want me to help decolonise?

          • Tiger Mountain

            Yes, I have known Hone since the late 70s when we worked in the South Auckland car assembly industry, and in the ’81 Springbok tour movement and various actions over later years and Mana.

            As a Far Northerner you soon get an appreciation of how busy he has been and is–even currently involved in an “outlaw” Northland Rugby League competition–he is increasingly known as “Papa Hone” by all and sundry.

            He could be the first Māori Far North District Council Mayor, but hopefully he won’t, deserves a break.

  2. tc 2

    Border schmorder Micky. Makes SFA difference if police can't be f'd enforcing them and people keep doing the wrong thing.

    It's on us.

    • Clive Macann 2.1

      Re borders. Thousands of complaints of breaches to police and only 17 charged.

      That has to change drastically for things to improve.

      The general public are feeling let down and confidence in policing is dropping like flies.

      • Forget now 2.1.1

        When was there ever confidence in policing? Not around my parts, that's for sure!

        • Gezza

          I think there was, for a short period, but you have to go back to the 60s & early to mid 70s, when cops still walked the beat, you could literally ask them for the time, they knew their communities, & the communities knew them.

          Nowadays they’re far too few, & they’re too remote in their patrol cars being sent this way & that from one “incident” job to another.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Yep Waikato is difficult. Too many roads …

      The centre of the North Island is simpler, there are about 4 main roads and these can be policed more heavily. The South Island should be relatively easy to isolate.

      • weka 2.2.1

        it's the small roads that will also be an issue for people wanting to circumvent the rules. What's that like in the Central Plateau?

        Even within the SI, it's pretty easy to separate regions geographically eg there are four roads total out of Otago/Southland.

        • Craig Hall

          Agree, lots of natural barriers like rivers and mountain ranges. Obviously people can theoretically traverse the Southern Alps without using the roads or cross the Waitaki River etc. on boats, but it's quite the effort.

      • tc 2.2.2

        Wasn't hard previously mickey.

        Police check points absent around port waikato exits to the waikato…. Epic fail.

      • Enough is Enough 2.2.3

        There is no border in the Waikato. It is purely an honesty system.

        The very few locations of interest in the Waikato (other than Raglan) would suggest the outbreak is largely contained. However, if it isn't contained it will be heading south very shortly, because people are free to travel as they please.

        • GreenBus

          The road is blocked from Waikato to Taranaki at Mokau which is the boundary and also the one and only road south.

          I'd like to see volunteers or contractors setup at strategic country roads to stop the determined. There aren't enough cops, shouldn't need cops. If someone runs thru without stopping take photos then whistle the cops then. They would get caught for sure.

          • Enough is Enough

            That's an iwi road block isn't it.

            The reality is you either lockdown the whole of the North Island, or rely on honesty.

            I live in Hamilton but was in Taupo when the Waikato lockdown begun. I drove back into Hamilton on Thursday. At no point anywhere on that route did I see any type of physical border. No Police presence, no signange, no nothing.

            As you say we don't have the resources, so it 100% reliant on everyone playing by the rules. Who thinks that will happen?

            • georgecom

              police are there as well that I have seen

            • weka

              why can't they put a series of road check points across the NI south of Taupo?

              • Enough is Enough

                Well you probably could, but you are getting to the point then that you have vast majority of the North Island's population and busninesses captured in your lockdown.

                Is that the best use of Police resources?

                Better to just cover the whole Island then and let the Police get back to their day jobs

                • weka

                  Above the line doesn't have to be in lockdown, and south of the line would still be separated from the top and from the Mainland. So more like we're all in a new state, and some of those areas have harder lock downs than others. It's not like Taupo would be worse off then Palmerston North, other than being on teh same side of the line as Auckland.

    • bwaghorn 2.3

      Internal boarder controls are just like house door locks, they only work on honest people.

      • weka 2.3.1

        Otago (and thus Southland) border with Canterbury is three roads: two bridges on the Waitaki, the Lindis Pass road to Tekapo. Then there is the Haast Pass to the West Coast. Four roads total.

        Yes, people might cross the Waitaki in a boat if they were keen, but I suspect very few would be going overland on the Passes. Paper roads or old gold mining roads might be an issue in Lindis area or top of the Waitaki, and there'd need to be a degree of trust in farmers/land owners? But not that difficult to control as a border.

  3. weka 3

    And they should mandate compulsory vaccinations for all teachers unless there are medical reasons not to do so

    Can you please rephrase that? Because New Zealanders still have legal rights to not be forced into medical treatment against their will. Individual teachers can still say no, we can't enforce compulsory vaccination unless we change those very fundamental human rights.

    Whether teachers can be fired for not being vaccinated is presumably an employment law issue, I'd be interested to know what the current situation is (I thought it was illegal to terminate someone's employment, but that someone could be required to not be in a specific position for public health reasons).

    There are a few reasons for a more nuanced approach. One is the impact on the vaccine hesitant people medium and long term. Some will respond to a hard measure by becoming anti-vax. Compulsory vaccination is that holy grail of anti-vax belief, the thing they will go hardest on. This then presents the state with a worse division in society than we already have. Whether what happens as a result is worth the short term gain when we have other options should be debated. I am doubtful that punishment and ostracisation will result in more people being ok to be vaccinated long term and maybe not even now.

    The other reason is that depriving people of employment is a very big step for the left. Maybe teachers can be put on temporary leave, or be given jobs teaching remotely. What happens if a teacher is removed from a class room and there is no-one to take their place?

    I'm not arguing for unvaccinated classrooms here, just for not going hard out authoritarian.

    If a teacher has a medical reason to not be vaccinated, but an unvaccinated teacher is a risk to the community, how is this conflict resolved?

    • KJT 3.1

      If Teachers are not responsible enough to be vaccinated to protect their charges.

      Or follow mumbo jumbo, not the scientific evidence.

      Should they be teaching?

      As for Teachers with a medical reason not to be vaccinated. I have a great deal of sympathy for them.
      If I was their employer however, there is the dilemma of keeping them safe, as well as their students.

      • weka 3.1.1

        92I Medical officer of health may give directions to individual posing public health risk

        In no case may a direction require an individual to submit to compulsory treatment.

        What is being suggested would require repealing that part of the Public Health Act. And that would require major input from civil liberty organisations as well as the public.

        (don't think Micky is suggesting compulsory treatment, but others here are).

        I argued for nuance. So the question isn't 'should unvaccinated teachers be teaching?', but 'should unvaccinated teachers be in a closed classroom with 30 kids in an area that has community spread of covid?'

        This opens the door to a number of things.

        1. how many teachers can teach from home or remotely or be support staff to frontline teachers, in the interim?
        2. how can this issue be managed alongside other aspects of protecting communities from transmission? eg is there a need for banning teachers in the SI? Is it a permanent ban?
        3. Should we be looking at more teaching outside? What if education shifted to being more outside and/or movement based? (nature schools!). We already know that being outside is seen as a huge benefit in controlling covid.

        If we put aside the moralising about vaccination, and look at the pragmatics, a lot of those things make sense. I've seen a few arguments for 'fuck the unvaccinated, let them get sick and die', but this doesn't actually help vax rates or preventing transmission and is likely to make it worse. So what if we brought in a range of measures, used all the tools, so that if we don't get to 90% we have a better chance, and if we do get to 99+% we have an even better chance?

        • Ad

          The most pragmatic issue is that it is highly likely that an unvaccinated teacher in a classroom will get the disease and they will likely have to take a term or a year off anyway. The teacher who is vaccinated is a more effective teacher for that school.

          We can leave the pedagogical niceties about how to teach to the Secretary of Education. The employer is the school board and they will be in court and facing manslaughter or dereliction charges if any teacher is made seriously sick for their action or inaction.

          This is not a time for nuance and carveouts. So many "rights" have been lost over nearly two years that BORA is already looking pretty meaningless.

          • weka

            You seem to be thinking I'm advocating for unvaccinated teachers in the classroom. I'm not.

            This is exactly the time for nuance, and holding on to human rights. Human rights aren't just for when things are going swimmingly.

            • weka

              Also, the whole 'we've lost so many rights since covid, why bother with the others' is central to the anti-govt movement that is arising. Funny to see you agreeing with them on the losses, although the solutions are poles apart. It's those poles apart we should be concerned about.

              • Subliminal

                Good on you Weka. It would be great if we could remain a team of 5 million. I have had my first shot and am due for my second in about 3 weeks but the part I like best about the govt response is it's refusal to demonise and scapegoat. Exactly the path we would be on if National were in charge. And you're right. Humanity means nothing if it collapses at the first couple of hurdles.

                • weka

                  I see the rabbit hole people as holding a kind of conscience that most of NZ wants to exorcise rather than integrate and resolve. It's not that the rabbit hole people are right in the detail, but they often have an important perspective based on sense eg government overreach or the alleged infallibility of science.

            • Stuart Munro

              I think there needs to be a distinction drawn between medical refusal, as in the case of those taking immune suppressing drugs, conscientious refusal, which may entail the suspension or temporary surrender of various other rights like freedom of movement or assembly, and brutish ignorance.

              The latter should not be humored. It is dangerous to the public health that mischievous fools like various marginal religious folk and certain outspoken media persons circulate antivax and anti-lockdown propaganda.

              It is not teachers I would choose as hypothetical examples, but nurses. Nurses are not allowed to exercise vaccination scepticism at the risk of their patients or colleagues. If it means a lot to them, they know they will have to sit this crisis out. Largely speaking of course, they are educated enough not to wish to.

              • weka

                the line between concientious refusal and ignorance is not well appreciated (and hard to judge sometimes).

                • Stuart Munro


                  In this instance though, it may be that clarifying that conscientious refusal is attended by isolation or quarantine requirements may help sort the wheat from the chaff.

                  It seems the decision has been made however.

                  • Gypsy

                    "There are problems with that"

                    Sure, but vaccinated people still get Covid. It seems to me there are other options. As I've said, I am pro vaxx. I dont fully understand the anti-vaxx attitude at all, but being forced to have a medical intervention to keep your job does doesn't sit right with me.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Meh – I got vaccinated for a couple of things in primary school – my right to dissent (if any) wasn't even considered. The vax-dilatory are going to be on the receiving end of an avalanche of public scorn. It will be all we can do to protect the genuine medical exceptions.

                  • Gypsy

                    "I got vaccinated for a couple of things in primary school – my right to dissent (if any) wasn't even considered."

                    Same. But back in those days doctors were god and no-one ever questioned them. We have come a long way in terms of body autonomy since then.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      We have come a long way

                      Not sure that's true. Since the advent of ACC, NZ doctors have enjoyed immunity to being sued, even for their most egregious errors. Though repeat offenders are generally sorted out eventually, patients see little redress.

                      The right to throw a tanty about vaccination isn't really what that's all about – it isn't that godlike doctors are prescribing shock treatment or deep sleep or comparable dubious therapies to a vulnerable subclass, it is a largely benign, rather well-researched measure being applied to everyone including the doctors themselves.

                  • Gypsy

                    "The right to throw a tanty about vaccination isn't really what that's all about "

                    Who's throwing a tanty? I'm pro vaxx, fully vaccinated. But we're not talking about encouraging people to get vaccinated and pushing back against misinformation. We're talking about mandating a medical intervention that, if not adhered to, will cost the person their career, their very livelihood. It amazes me how easily many people are accepting this.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      will cost the person their career, their very livelihood.

                      I guess you imagine that government policies, like mass low-wage immigration, were not costing people their careers and livelihoods for the past thirty years – with no public good justification whatsoever.

                      The jab has a valid public good rationale – it's not something to resist for some pretention to a principle never otherwise honoured.

                  • Gypsy

                    "I guess you imagine that government policies, like mass low-wage immigration, were not costing people their careers and livelihoods for the past thirty years – with no public good justification whatsoever."

                    So it's ok then?

                    "The jab has a valid public good rationale"

                    The jab does, but not the mandate. After all, the PM, the Covid Response Minister and the DG of Health say it wouldn't happen. And people believed them.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yes, the mandate has a valid public good rationale.

                      That's why it's happening.

                      This is not all some conspiracy theory, but a genuine existential threat, like wartime.

                      Your desire to assign blame is typical, but not particularly useful.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Your desire to assign blame is typical, but not particularly useful."

                    Assign blame? No. I'm arguing that coercing people to have medical intervention by threatening them with loss of their jobs is unacceptable. It's also clear that people relied on assurances given by the PM and others. Assurances that have not been honoured.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I'm arguing that coercing people to have medical intervention by threatening them with loss of their jobs is unacceptable.

                      We can agree to disagree. Imho it's acceptable during a global pandemic if it contributes to keeping NZ's per capita COVID-19 death toll at least 300 times lower than countries such as the UK and US.

                      Btw, I hope it's not just a threat – certainty is in such short supply.

                      To be truly ethical, vaccine mandates must be about more than just lifting jab rates
                      However, this still leaves scope for mandates because it is not the same thing as a forced vaccination. Rather, a mandate is a legal requirement that to be in certain settings (such as bars and restaurants), or in certain roles (such as a quarantine facility worker), one must be vaccinated.

                      Vaccine mandates are coming, and I couldn't be happier
                      Vaccine mandates are the last rock we have to throw. And signs of support for them are everywhere.

                      Debate: should Covid vaccination be compulsory for healthcare workers?
                      Being a GP brings a responsibility to protect and set an example to patients
                      I can understand the views of some GP colleagues who do not wish to have Covid vaccination mandated for themselves or their staff. However, there is no doubt that a significant source of Covid infections, and unfortunately some deaths, has been health and care settings, in particular hospitals and care homes. I remember having to have a raft of vaccinations before entry to medical school, for my own as well as my patients’ protection. The hepatitis B vaccine is of course mandatory.

                      US workers overwhelmingly comply with Covid vaccine mandates
                      The only options was [were] to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said. He opted for the Johnson & Johnson jab. The compliance of the vaccine-hesitant has surprised even the authors of some mandates. “The whole process was smoother and less dramatic than I expected,” said Seann Kalagher, the general counsel and chief compliance officer at Manhattanville College.

                      A History of Vaccine Mandates [in the Land of the Free] — And How People Reacted Then and Now

        • Craig Hall

          Covid vaccination orders aren't mandatory treatment currently, they make it unlawful for types of work to be undertaken by unvaccinated people (unless medically exempt). That's obviously a fine distinction.

          • weka

            I think it's a substantial distinction from a human rights pov.

          • chris T

            No it isn't. It is currently this.

            Double standards by the government

            We have 2 women who went up north and one AWOL not saying where they went or met who have Covid the govt is refusing to name or at least show photos so people can know if they ran into them can do something, due to privacy reasons. (Which I agree with actually in a way).

            While at the same time the same goct is demanding workers give out personal medical records to prove they have been vaccinated or if not why not or they lose their jobs.

            It is fricken stupid frankly.

        • Gypsy

          The pragmatics are simple.

          There is a shortage of teachers, in particular ECE teachers. There are thousands of teachers who are not wanting to get vaccinated. A mandate is just a really stupid idea.

          The ethics are simple.

          There is no precedent for forcing a medical procedure onto any human being. This is now smelling of an authoritarian approach that should concern us all.

          The solution is simple.

          Let parents decide. Have the school/centre publish details of it's vaxx policy, and let parents decide.

      • Anne 3.1.2

        "Or follow mumbo jumbo, not the scientific evidence."

        If they follow mumbo jumbo they are definitely not suitable persons to be teaching children – or anyone for that matter. Good way to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    • Ed 3.2

      If a teacher has a medical reason to not be vaccinated, but an unvaccinated teacher is a risk to the community, how is this conflict resolved?

      The teacher with the medical reason to not be vaccinated stays at home, teaches online and prepares resources for teachers at the school.

      The unvaccinated teacher gets vaccinated.

      • weka 3.2.1

        The teacher with the medical reason to not be vaccinated stays at home, teaches online and prepares resources for teachers at the school.

        So other unvaccinated teachers could be offered this too.

        • Ad

          No they should not.

          We need government vaccination mandates for the entire public service. Why we think our feelings are more important than the feelings of the public services of Australia, Fiji or the United States is beyond reason.

          • weka

            The US is a good example of what happens if you don't bring people with you.

            Mandating vaccines for teaching positions going forward is a different issue, because it can be a condition of applying for the job. What laws need to be changed to mandate now?

            • KJT

              I have a problem with people who think their right to spread a potentially deadly and let's face it, also economically and socially damaging disease, overrides their responsibility to get a very safe and effective minor medical procedure.

              Speeding laws are a very good anology in this case. A minor personal inconvenience, prevents the irresponsible from killing people.

              What about the rights of children not to get a potentially deadly or debilitating disease?.

              Mandates do work. Measles vaccination for some jobs is an example. Otherwise why bother with laws, at all.

              • weka

                As I just said, mandating going forward is a different matter, because vaccination can be made a condition of employment, and people then have a choice.

                Mandating once someone is already employed raises a conflict of legal (and probably ethical) rights.

                I think what you are suggesting is not simply that classrooms should always have adults who are fully vaccinated against covid, but that people who don't want to be vaccinated should be compelled to.

                The public health issue here isn't what you or I believe. I'm not arguing for/against a set of binary values, I'm saying that strategically there are better ways to approach this than force and removing people's human rights.

                • Ad

                  Major employers have dealt with massive changes in health and safety all the time and over multiple years. The big ones are well and truly already on top of the COVID legislation. They just want the same government mandates applied as they did over the 2015 Health and Safety At Work Act.

                  • weka

                    please point me to the major employers in NZ sacking unvaccinated employees.

                    • Craig Hall

                      Customs and Aviation Security are two recent cases, Air New Zealand and Auckland Airport are going down the route of mandatory vaccination for most roles currently so I could see that eventually resulting in termination.

                    • KJT

                      As many have until the 30th September, in the already existing mandates, I expect we will see a lot more shortly.

                • KJT

                  If people want to assert their "right" not to be vaccinated.

                  They can do so.

                  But society also has the right to protect others from the consequences of their decision.

                  Same as if you want to drive a car at 200k you have a right to do so. On a race track away from the general public. You are not “free” to inflict the consequences of your “right” onto the general public.

                  General legal principal. Their is no individual right to cause harm to others. Our entire HSE, legislation hinges on that. In fact it goes even further, and puts obligations on individuel employees not to put themselves in danger

                  • weka

                    it's not a right to not be vaccinated, it's a right to not be forced into medical treatment. I've already cited the legislation.

                    But society also has the right to protect others from the consequences of their decision.

                    If course. The debate is about where the lines are and whether we should give up existing legal rights or find a more nuanced approach that doesn't necessitate that.

                    However I will note that people die from other people driving at the speed limit, so your example demonstrates the need for nuance not absolutes. The speed limit used to be 80km/hr. People driving at 100km and killing someone are in fact free to inflict death and disability on other people by accident, because society decided where the line should be drawn.

                    There are lines between someone not being vaccinated and taking other precautions, and someone not being vaccinated and taking no other precautions and being a dick about it, and someone with covid coughing on someone in a supermarket. Those distinctions should be self evident.

                • KJT

                  I am saying that peoples"human rights" not to be vaccinated shouldn't override other "right to life".

                  In my job I'm one of the people in charge of a workforce who have contact with the border.

                  Ethically, how can we accommodate unvaccinated workers, given the proven risk of them taking Covid home to communties or family.

                  Legally there is already a mandate for them to be vaccinated.

                  • weka

                    I am saying that peoples"human rights" not to be vaccinated shouldn't override other "right to life".

                    Just as well it doesn't then. If you think it does, please point to the case law.

                    It's not about leaving unvaccinated people in critical work places, it's about not throwing workers' rights out the window because we're in a crisis. There's a both/and here, and nuance, but I think beliefs people's about vaccination are leading to some strange anti-worker positions (and if I recall correctly, anti-beneficiary).

                    • weka

                      and it's not right to life, people don't inherently die/become disabled because of individual actions. It's about increased or decreased risk, as the speed limit example shows.

                      Whatever you believe about vaccinations, we have protections from compulsory medical treatment for very good reasons. Still waiting for someone to write about why the non-vax rate is so high among disabled people, but I'm guessing some of it is to do with long experience of being treated badly by both the medical establishment and the MoH.

                    • weka

                      Fast forward, NACT are in power, and because Labour set the bar for compelling people to be vaccinated, NACT are now mandating that beneficiaries have to receive medical treatment in order to get their benefit. Not vaccines, medical treatment as decided by one of WINZ's designated doctors. We're actually not so far from that happening and giving up fundamental human rights where there are other options is frankly mind boggling.

                    • KJT

                      "Workers rights" include the safety from harm to themselves and their families in the workplace.

                    • McFlock

                      Fast forward, NACT are in power, and because Labour set the bar for compelling people to be vaccinated, NACT are now mandating that beneficiaries have to receive medical treatment in order to get their benefit. Not vaccines, medical treatment as decided by one of WINZ's designated doctors. We're actually not so far from that happening and giving up fundamental human rights where there are other options is frankly mind boggling.

                      I suggest that there are three fundamental differences between making employment conditional on vaccination and making benefits contingent upon medical procedures.

                      1. vaccination is about protecting others from harm as it is about protecting onself. there is a significant and clear public health imperative. The benefit thing would be, at best, about minimising public expenditure.
                      2. Specific benefits are still entitlements, ISTR. Specific jobs are not entitlements.
                      3. ICUs are not likely to be overloaded if 10-20% of beneficiaries choose to not get medical procedures.

                      And yes, it is a right to life issue. Just because one doesn't know exactly who might be adversely affected by a personal choice, it doesn't mean one isn't responsible for the harm one recklessly causes, or even the risk of harm.

                      It's one of those stochastic things: we know enough that if people screw around with this, lots of people will die. Just because we can't, in advance, name the specific victims or perpetrators of an act (or inaction) does not give speedsters a free pass unless they actually kill someone.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Nuance is nice, but does team NZ have the resources to implement effective nuanced strategies at multiple coal faces as Covid cases rise?
                    Nuance on a Covid "knife edge" is a tricky balancing act – risks abound.

                    New cases in the last 24 hours are down (35 cases in the community) – that's apparently typical for Mondays.

                    Unite against COVID-19

                • KJT

                  If you consider that "compulsion" means not being able to work in teaching, child care, elderly care and other occupations where others are put at risk.


                  If someone chooses not to be vaccinated then they also "choose" the responsibility and consequences of that action.

                  The problem is that anti vaccers want others to accept the consequences of "their choice" but they refuse to accept consequences for themselves

            • KJT

              The USA is a good example of a disfunctional education system and corporate funders with antisocial aims putting their puppets in charge.

              Unfortunately starting to happen, here.

            • Ad

              Not a helpful comparison. As we have shown over a year and a half, New Zealand society has a completely different cultural approach to compliance than the United States.

              At the moment school boards along with any employer have to make that decision. But there is zero support in the Employment Court so far for BORA cases trying to get carveouts for COVID vaccination compliance.

              This government is great on the carrot and weak on the stick. There's no room for anarchists, fools, hippies or religious exclusions on this one. Teach and vaccinate, or there are several consequences:

              • Reverse picketing from parents who won't want unvaccinated teachers
              • Dead teachers. And teachers who get the disease from the vaccinated 90% and simply can't work again – at teaching or much else.
              • weka

                so what's the actual legal status on firing someone for not being vaccinated? Pretty sure I've seen union people saying it's not legal.

                Not a helpful comparison. As we have shown over a year and a half, New Zealand society has a completely different cultural approach to compliance than the United States.

                But following a NZ version of that path. In the past 18 months we've also seen the rise of anti-government movements similar to the US. Both National and ACT are pursuing trumpian politics and making use of the dogwhistles available to them for those angry at government overreach. Add into the mix the poverty and disenfranchisement of a bit chunk of society, and social media giant mercenaries with social ineptitude in managing their platforms.

                Imagine ten years on, Ardern is no longer Labour leader, NACT have found a Key replacement, and climate change is now biting hard. The housing crisis is worse, poverty still endemic, and there's a large group of people now politicised around hating the government.

                • Craig Hall

                  If the requirement is a legal one e.g. a Covid vaccination order, the employer is covered if they offered to reassign the worker to work which does not require vaccination and the worker refused reassignment, or if the employer has no work available which does not require vaccination. This was what the recent Customs case was about.

                  If an employer has done a Health and Safety risk assessment and concluded that some (or all) of their work cannot be done safely by unvaccinated workers even with all manner of PPE (personal protective equipment e.g. masks), they may also have grounds to terminate if they can't reassign the unvaccinated worker to work that doesn't require vaccination either because they don't have any work, or the worker refuses reassignment. Because of the potential for PPE, that will be a high bar.

                  • weka

                    Thank you, this is exactly the kind of nuance I was going for.

                    Offering another position makes sense, and the customs case was one I was thinking of too.

                    if we stepped out of punishment and moralising mode, I think we’d see a bigger range of solutions.

                    I’ve been heartened to hear employers on the radio talking about incentivising vaccination and there’s not been a hint of negativity towards those not yet vaccinated. Just focused on encouragement and being good to people, keeping the doors open.

                    • Gypsy

                      Unfortunately offering a teacher in an ECE centre another position is not an option. There just aren't enough teachers to fill the gaps, and there aren't other positions to fill.

                • barry

                  The Customs case proved that it can be legal to sack people for not being vaccinated. It requires a clear statement that vaccination is needed and that there is no alternative role available for the person.

                  I would like a clear statement that all public service public contact roles (including classroom teaching) are mandatory, and that private companies can mandate this too.

                  I also want everyone in my office (no public contact) vaccinated. Again there should be a clear statement that all employers can mandate this.

                  It should also be part of health and safety controls. No person should be required to work with unvaccinated people.

                  • weka

                    Didn’t the customs case revolve around the worker offered another position and not being willing to take it? So not a cut and dried vax or be fired.

            • Craig Hall

              None, the Covid-19 Health Response Act 2020 already allows for making an order which mandates that people must not carry out certain types of work unless vaccinated – this was the Act under which the current vaccination order was made. I don't think the Minister even has to make a new order, arguably he could just amend the current one by expanding the list of types of work.

     is the Act and is the Order.

    • Pingao 3.3

      I don't think teachers should have mandatory vaccination for the same reasons that Weka describes, mainly that it will likely harden anti-vaccination views and that it is unethical and harmful to change people's contracts and then fire them. We also need MORE teachers according to various articles and news items I have seen over the last few years. In addition there are a huge number of public facing jobs that include contact with children, older people and people for who vaccination doesn't adequately protect so why just stop at teachers.

      One way forward might be to have unvaccinated teachers positions with older children (i.e. older than 12 years) until there is a vaccine for younger children and enough time for uptake. Early childhood teaching is problematic until there is an acceptable vaccination.

      Another idea that has been put forward is that allowing some of the natural virus to circulate in the general population of the very young will build a better immune response throughout the whole population (assuming a high percentage of vaccination).

    • McFlock 3.4

      Hasn't the Employment Relations Authority already sorted that question?

      Teachers might have a right to refuse vaccination, but they don't have a right to be employed as teachers.

      • Craig Hall 3.4.1

        That's also what the Covid Vaccination Order actually says – it requires vaccination (or a medical exemption) to undertake certain types of work, not just a blanket requirement to get vaccinated. Obviously that's a fine distinction, and Hobson's Choice to some extent, but as you and the ERA say, the choice is still there.

      • weka 3.4.2

        What Craig said. And, from your link,

        The woman’s case against unjustified dismissal is still to be heard by the Employment Court.

        Not sure if it's the same case, but one of the early cases was a border's worker who was offered a different position and declined, which suggests that offering people a choice is possible.

        There's more nuance to the situation than your 'fire 'em' position, already covered in the thread.

        • McFlock

          They're appealing against an ERA finding and lost their challenge against the regulations, so maybe not all that much nuance has been unearthed so far.

          The real question is whether employers are even required to offer a choice of non-contact work (if available). Sure, go good faith and give them plenty of opportunity, but if they can do something to keep themselves (and others) safe in their workplace and refuse, sooner or later someone's going to figure out employers don't have a lot of legal discretion in the matter.

          • weka

            are you saying they're not the worker who was offered a different position?

            • McFlock

              No, I'm saying that sooner or later someone will get a breakthrough case of covid that gets traced to a wilfully unvaccinated work contact and they'll sue their employer for tens of thousands of dollars in damages. And they'll win, because it's a reasonably preventable hazard. And that's if OSH doesn't see a few cases come across their table and start prosecuting off their own bat.

              As for the "GF" worker, so far the process has said that if you get offered the work nobody wants because it's the only contactless work available then you either take it, get vaxxed, or leave.

              What if a school doesn't need or want or can't afford a full time teacher doing admin instead of teaching? One of those options is off the table.

          • weka

            always so interesting to see lefties argue for less workers' rights. And no, I'm not saying don't do anything, I'm saying there's more than two options here.

            • solkta

              Lefties putting the collective good before individual rights – who would have thought?

              • weka

                nope, lefties putting authoritarian approaches ahead of consensus ones.

                • McFlock

                  Consensus isn't always an option.

                  • weka

                    depends on how you understand consensus (some models allow for disagreement and still work). Authoritarianism isn't the only option if consensus fails.

                    • McFlock

                      Well if we're going to get semantic about it, giving someone a choice between keeping themselves and their colleagues safe vs not working in a particular job isn't "authoritarianism".

                    • weka

                      That's right. But Micky used the word compulsory, and I've seen lefties here promoted the idea (yourself included in the past iirc).

                      I really wish we could move on from the binary debate. I've been clear that the problem here isn't vaccinated workplaces, it's how we get there.

                      "…not working in a particular job…"

                      QED, lefties dropping worker rights when it suits. So technically true, but in reality it's often not that easy for many people to just find another job.

                    • KJT

                      Not at all.
                      Balancing workers rights. Those who "choose" not to get vaccinated, against other workers rights, and their families, to be safe, not to be infected, at work.

                    • weka

                      You're still not understanding my argument KJT (or maybe you are ignoring it?). I'm not arguing for an unvaccinated education and health workplace.

                    • McFlock

                      I haven't seen anyone, on the left or the right, argue that everyone has a right to the exact job they want with the exact employer.

                      Good faith and fairness in the employment relationship, yes. Lots of lefties want that.

                      That cuts both ways. When personal choices endanger other people's lives after reasonable efforts have been made to address those behaviours, that has been grounds for instant dismissal for decades. And rightly so.

                • KJT

                  "Authoritarian"? Like requiring the wealthy to pay taxes, for example.

                  I think you will find the “concensus” is for vaccination.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    I think this argument is depending on a very simplistic view of how the vaccines work. If the vaccine is 95% effective (which it may be) then 1 in 20 cases it doesn't work. This is effectively the same as if your teacher is not vaccinated anyway. So the question is why your mandating something which doesn't work that frequently. I also don't think the vaccines are stopping transmission, so the argument that they are protecting others looks suspiciously like a gesture.

                    • KJT

                      It looks "suspiciously like" you either don't know how statistical probability works with this. Or you are pretending not to, to reinforce an anti vaccers, meme.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      I have a (vastly) greater than 80% skill at knowing how probability works. How do you propose testing if what I am saying is from the true or false side of my distribution?

                    • KJT

                      That some vaccinations don’t “take” is really an extremely good reason to get as many vaccinated as possible.

                      And there have been several large scale studies already that show vaccination greatly reduces the frequency of transmission, the “R” number, so also a reason to get the proportion of vaccinated as high as possible.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      NZ is not used to thousands of covid infections in the country. Everywhere that has opened up has observed a significant increase in infections. If people are saying that measures are mandatory to protect the public, and what we see in a large increase in domestic infections despite the measures, then your going to see backlash against the measures. Unfortunately thats how politics works.

                    • KJT

                      I think most New Zealanders know how to count.

                      And can see what lack of measures, such as lockdowns and vaccinations, can do. Or a too early reliance on vaccination, when too few have been vaccinated.

                      There are no shortage of comparable examples.

                    • weka

                      yeah, I think the reliance on vaccination is an eggs in one basket that has potential for a lot of blow back.

              • miravox

                It's not individual rights vs collective good. It's an issue of conflicting individual rights.

                The right to body autonomy and freedom of movement is at times not absolute. When someone's unvaccinated 'freedom' could very well be other people's constraints e.g. people with health conditions who are at greater risk of poor outcomes if they come into contact with covid. I don't think many people with a greater risk of really bad outcomes from covid are interested in spending their lives alone indoors. They have rights too.

                These rights must be determined and negotiated or circumscribed. We all have a view of what side we're on – or if we're somewhere in the middle.

                • KJT

                  It is both individual and collective rights.

                  We can try and ignore the societal effects of a large number of covid cases.
                  But the effects of covid “getting away” in other countries are obvious.

                  The shortage of many things we get from Auckland and countries where covid has let rip, are becoming more apparent, with MT supermarket shelves and necessary work going unfinished.

                  But they exist. You can see them already

                  “We do not care what the current strategy is called as long as we persist with border protection and public health measures until we achieve close to universal vaccination. Otherwise, many thousands of New Zealanders will be hospitalised, die or experience long COVID”.

                  The effects on us as a whole of letting covid, “get away on us”” will be horrendous. The costs in lives, livelihoods and health will challenge us all.

                  We have, due to the response so far, one shot at this. Or become NSW.

                • weka

                  I largely agree with this Miravox, my argument today isn't that non-vaccinated people should have absolute freedom, it's about how we go about resolving that conflict so that some people aren't just ostracised. Personally I care about those people, but even for the people that don't care about them, there are strategic reasons to not shun them.

                  My guess is that the government is currently assuming that this policy will mean most hesitant teachers and health workers will get vaccinated. If they're wrong, I guess we will find out eventually if there is fall out from that. Would be interested to know how many teachers and health workers are hesitant.

                  "I don't think many people with a greater risk of really bad outcomes from covid are interested in spending their lives alone indoors."

                  The thing that fucks me off about the left running this argument is that lots of NZers were already in that situation pre-covid, long term disabled beneficiaries. All beneficiaries have restrictions on international travel if they want to keep their benefit. I haven't see much concern about that. In that sense I see similarities between vax hesitant/anti-vaxxers, and some on the left who are willing to give rights now and were willing to ignore rights before. Everyone has their own belief systems and priorities. My main concern is how we're going to manage the rolling crises of the next hundred years. Covid is a starter, and while I think NZ has done extraordinarily well by global standards, I think we're still short sighted and narrow visioned.

                  • miravox

                    " it's about how we go about resolving that conflict so that some people aren't just ostracised."

                    The PM was right last year when she said this country wasn’t about forcing people to get vaccinated.

                    We’ve always had pretty good systems for getting people up to the required level – when we’ve bothered, and often there are regional plans that show we know what works. See e.g. Counties-Manukau DHB Outreach Programme even if has to be tailored for areas/communities.

                    I recognise Delta and on-line misinformation has changed everything since the PM's statement, however like you, I don’t believe all options have been negotiated. A question here though is do we have time to negotiate?

                    I’m acutely aware of how many kids have asthma, allergies, supposed 3rd word infections etc that may put them at greater risk of serious illness or unnecessarily strain an already creaking health system– or they take it home to mum and dad and granny and grandpa – unless they live with restrictions. And I for one, am not happy about that, but nor do I want to be blamed for ‘forcing’ the hesitant to vaccinate.

                    Like you, I’m rather cynical about this caring for the disabled moment. I wish it came with some enlightenment, but I can’t see it.

                    The number of people who are vaccine-hesitant is scary and backing people who are terrified the vaccine will harm them into a corner will just entrench their beliefs (e.g. there are so many people who believe if you’re on immune-suppressants that the vaccine is dangerous, when real concern is that the immune system might not respond well enough for the vax to actually be protective).

                    Others are vehemently opposed to being forced to have medical procedures (often anti-vax and anti-lockdown… go figure – thank you Pentecostal churches everywhere?)

                    Looking for these groups to do something because it’s a community good doesn’t work on its own – they need reassurance and recognition of their rights and explanation of the turnaround from no mandatory vaccination to enable them to recognise the rights of others to live a full life and hospital employees right to a safe workplace. Otherwise – watch for the protests. This Saturday, according to Facebook. Timing! – clashing with the vax-a-thon.

                    I believe there is still time to turn this around without mandating vaccines just yet. And yes, that may involve teachers teaching on-line for a while. This could be a small price to pay for future personal decisions to vaccinate.

                    • weka

                      Agree re delta, less convinced about increases in hard core anti vax rates or information (are there studies on an increase?) so much as people who would normally vax are hestitant about this particular one. Yes, there are hard core anti-vaxxers, but it's the hestitant population that is the real issue here I think.

                      And yes, I agree there probably isn't time. But this is a function of neoliberalism as much as delta. We do have other choices, they're just not ones Labour will consider, yet.

                      My point about bringing people with us, wasn't to oppose mandating covid vax in some work places, it was that while we do that, we should be bringing people in not shunning them. There was a thread on twitter last night about if you were planning a dinner party would you uninvite people who were unvaxed. I completely get why people are thinking this, but it's also disturbing that more people can only see the short term in front of them and not the bigger picture around ostracisation. We alreadly know that ostracisation radicalises people in ways that are unpredictable and sometimes harmful.

                      A friend told me the other day she will probably get vaxxed because she can see how difficult life will be if she doesn't, what's coming down the road. Her kids are fully vaxxed so she's not anit-vax, she just wasn't sure about this particular vaccine. That the system is unwilling or unable to meet her and help her isn't surprising to me (this is the MoH after all), but it's still not good if things are going to get nasty.

                      Ardern said reassuring things last year, but it was always clear that if we have a bad enough outbreak, vaccines would be mandated. Now she's harsh on it. I can understand they don't want to be kind to vax hesitant people, but it does rather highlight the limits of 'be kind', again.

                      I think the reassurance, and messaging around making other people safe in workplaces is good.

                      Others are vehemently opposed to being forced to have medical procedures (often anti-vax and anti-lockdown… go figure – thank you Pentecostal churches everywhere?)

                      Don't know if it's still there, but there used to be a thing on the form for applying for Invalid's Benefit that said you agreed to treatment or you could lose your benefit, something like that. That lefties are currently willing to just throw away the rights of disabled people is again not surprising, but now that it's being discussed it's still alarming.

                      No-one should be forced into medical treatment, and the debate currently is about how much coercion should be applied. Lots of people think coercion is justified according to their beliefs, and that’s scary.

  4. weka 4

    And there was another worrying number emerging – there were still about 400 case contacts health authorities had yet to get in touch with, to check that they know to isolate and get a test.

    The switch to alert level 3 meant contact tracers could not keep up with cases as quickly as they needed to, and was illustrated by the cases with no known links turning up to hospitals or because of surveillance testing, Hendy said.

    ok, that's not good. But surely a logistical issue of number of workers at the MoH?

  5. Reality 5

    Couldn't believe it hearing Judith Collins complaining the PM should not be on the East Coast highlighting the need to vaccinate, but should still be having a televised press conference. Collins is erratic to say the least.

    After all the immense pressure put on the Government to open up so business and hospitality can operate more freely, I wonder what their reaction will be if infections keep rising.

    • georgecom 5.1

      Collins had her opportunity last week to dress up and pretend she was a big person at the Nats "Covid Plan Tea Party". Now the plastic play tea pot and cups have been packed away, play time is over and the adults are making decisions. Sure, it's messy and it's not perfect. That's what happens when you have to fairly quickly change pace from eliminate to live with.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      Ashleigh should've given her a list of the day's announcements and let her crash and burn onscreen.

  6. Gezza 6

    From the post: "Meanwhile National, who for the last 18 months have complained bitterly about how Jacinda Ardern has been fronting too many 1 pm press conferences is now complaining that she did not front in the past couple of days. I wish they would make their mind up."


    Oh, do you really? 🤔

    As it seems to be Collins who's doing all the moaning, aren't you really actually rather glad that such complete 180° flip flops just make her continue to look ridiculous & as a shallow as a petrie dish?

    I don't think either One News at 6 OR Newshub bothered to show her complaining last night. That's how little impact she makes these days.

  7. mac1 7

    Two articles in my local paper today have referred to the issue of trust about Covid take up.

    The first came from a young local Iwi leader who I know and respect. He made the point that the kōrero, the discussion, between whanau is the key. Advice from local people who are their trusted whanau- good decisions from good information.

    The other was from a Pakeha woman lawyer who wrote of how equity is needed for equality. The issue of inequity for Māori in society over generations in for example health outcomes and imprisonment rates has led to lack of trust.

    Lack of trust by the receivers of this inequity, and non-understanding by the majority of this, and then moral judgments and entitlement opinions has led to the situation we now have.

    It has a certain shadenfreude about it. We all as a community need to pull together. But one of the key protections for the majority is the trust and the cooperation, the buy-in, of the marginalised, the poor, the victims of discrimination.

    It has a reflection of a similar nature in a song by Dick Gaughan, 'The Workers Song' on his album 'Handful of Earth'- "we are expected to die for the land of our birth who never have owned one handful of earth."

  8. observer 8

    This outbreak has many side effects, but Don Brash and Winston Peters now arguing about gangs is one of the strangest.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    We need to go back to lock down level 4 only those fully vaccinated should be allowed to work with testing as vaccinated people can still transmit covid 19.

    2 weeks to give vaccinations a chance to get higher.

    Public mask wearing,no travel except for work.

    It will be unpopular but even countries with high vaccination rates have reinstated tougher lock downs.

    • Craig Hall 9.1

      I don't think the problem is level 4 vs level 3, it's that a small minority of people aren't complying either way.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.1

        Level 4 is gone forever. We would never have come out of it, if it was part of our future strategy.

        • McFlock

          well, I suspect that depends on how bad the numbers get, particularly hospitalisations.

          If shit looks like overloading ED/ICU in two weeks from the observation, L4max might turn up – full Sleeping Dogs.

          • aj

            Adern has not ruled out a return to level 4. Unless I heard what I wanted to hear, rather than what she actually said.

  10. swordfish 10

    Didn’t realise they were gonna take me seriously:

    • Ad 10.1

      Other important developments:

      – Mass production of talisman necklaces to ward off infection consisting of reproductions of Ardern's top four teeth.

      – Deification of Phil Goff into the White Wizard to command all Aucklanders to ward off further provincial proletariat pro-freedom marches

      – Boeing accelerates development of its Towoomba military drone plant to enable all Christmas presents to land by Santa-dressed flying drone

      – Start Facebook rumour that Air New Zealand has made free "Golden Tickets" that are one-way to Australia for everyone with a criminal record, or are nearly at NZSuper age, or infected. Or if you're all three you can bring the family.

      – Slip Logan's Run into Treasury's bedtime reading and steel-shutter your windows Purge-like

      • Barfly 10.1.1

        And in breaking news the “Apostle Tamaki" will be crucified live on TV

        Xtra The TAB has opened odds on "Apostle Tamaki" rising after three days

        • Patricia Bremner

          You both Ad and Barfly clearly have been locked down too longdevillaughlaugh Could have offered to “Hang draw and quarter” some rude journalists.

  11. observer 11

    The headline is 35 cases today, all in Auckland, so that's good not so bad.

    The bigger story is that people who work in hospitals and are fully vaccinated are testing positive and infectious, 3 different locations in Akl now. This has long been the norm in other countries, and is one part of "living with Covid" that the promoters gloss over.

  12. georgecom 12

    Auckland remaining at level 3 (or current 2.9) for at least another couple of weeks. Schools closed there for at least that long. Reviewable in 2 weeks time. Mandatory vaccination for teachers.

    Current vaccine rates using MOH data as of Sunday.

    56% of eligible population double vaccine shots – currently going up about 1.5% per day

    82% of eligible population first vaccine shot – currently going up around 0.4% per day

    If you look at the NSW 'freedom day' announcement, that was premised on 70% double vaxed and, I think, 85%+ with 1 dose. We are about 10 days off that in NZ at present rates.
    86.1% of Auckland now received 1 shot so that continues to climb

    On the matter of a southern border. Maybe so. Important thing for people in the South Island to consider, there will likely be more shortages on top of the current shortages. Some things will be even slower and more difficult to get to the South. If that is something they are prepared to stand then all good. Last thing I will want to hear is a clamour for a south island border and then howls of moans about how certain items and materials are not reaching them. Make a decision and then accept what it brings.

  13. Adrian 13

    We are already reforming the Home Guard to defend the beaches here in TeTauihu. Have to settle for Chinese drones from the Warehouse for Air Support. Howhasitcome to this we are doomed I tell you..doomed.

    • mac1 13.1

      We will fight them on the beaches. We will fight them in the holiday baches. We will fight them in the vineyards, on our cycleways and in our craft beer bars, in our cafės and our eateries. We will deny them our whitebait and our trout, our mussels and our prime lamb. We will give no quarter-pounders, no cheese toasties, no battered oysters.

      They can keep their Waiheke Island vino, their yacht races and their Ranfurly Shield……..


  14. Maurice 14

    Not so much D-Day as much nearer Crossing the Rhine (Cook Straight!) Day

  15. Ad 15

    Rare and good for a Prime Minister to numerically demonstrate her own leadership assisting directly in a policy rollout as important as the Waikato vaccination rollout.

    Good on Ardern for fronting with the staff and the people.

  16. observer 16

    Some dimwit Qs from reporters (as usual). They get excited at playing detective in the Northland case, seem to think they're in a movie and the SWAT team is on its way.

    That story is nowhere near as important (long term) as the vaccination mandates and other policy announcements. But it's a sex/mystery/crime story, so that's what they latch onto first.

    • Gezza 16.1

      Aww…maybe don’t be too hard on them. Most of them seem to be cub reporters, straight out of churnalism school. The old editors & subbies have long ago been put out to pasture & the new kidz just don’t seem to know any better. ☹️

    • georgecom 16.2

      if one of the media actually want to do something more than ask silly questions, publish a picture of the hooker from hawkes bay. anyone thinking they might have had contact with her can at least get a test

  17. SPC 17

    On current policy settings it will go to 100 day this month.

    With the government still signalling an easing down of restrictions, it is snookering itself into meeting expectations of doing this by November, so cases look likely to reach 1000 a day in December.

    I just hope those with health vulnerabilities are part of the plans for boosters and health workers too – given the likelihood break through infections could decimate that workforce in coming months.

  18. Tricledrown 18

    Now we have Seymour pushing to open up suburbs with high vaccination rates .

    If only we could vaccinate for stupidity.

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    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    1 day ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    2 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    2 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    2 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    2 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    2 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    2 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    4 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    6 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    6 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    6 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    6 days ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    6 days ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    1 week ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago

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