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Covid really is a bastard

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, June 17th, 2020 - 93 comments
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So our outstanding daily run of ducks for new Covid infections was broken yesterday after it was reported that two visitors, here for the death of a family member, tested positive.

This brings into stark relief a debate that happened just over a month ago.  At the time there were repeated claims that the Government was being too cruel some alleged.  They should be more compassionate.  The Government was being too hard.  It was pushed for all it was worth, despite the visiting of hospitals and the gathering of people in close proximity to each other being clear risks for the spread of the disease.

There was one particular case in early May where a son applied urgently for an order allowing him to see his dying father.  He had arrived in New Zealand on April 23, has no symptoms of COVID-19 and was monitored by health professionals at the facility every two days.  His request was refused by the Ministry of Health.  On Judicial Review the refusal was overturned on May 1, 2020.  The refusal appeared to be really cruel but when you are dealing with a world wide pandemic policy responses are always cruel.

The decision of Judge Walker said this:

[66] I have balanced other material factors in the exercise of my discretion. These are principally the public health and safety concerns and the potential ramifications of the grant of relief. I am satisfied that the restrictive conditions I imposed, which include directing the respondent to stipulate additional reasonable conditions, addresses the question of risk.

[67] I have also considered the question of the appropriate deference to the expertise of the decision makers in a time of unprecedented public crisis. No matter how necessary or demonstrably justified the COVID-19 response, decisions must have a clear and certain basis. They must be proportionate to the justified objective of protecting New Zealand bearing in mind the fundamental civil rights at issue – freedom of movement and of assembly in accordance with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

[68] In this particular case, there is a very strong argument that the permission for Mr Christiansen to visit his dying father was not considered on the correct legal grounds and did not take account of relevant mandatory considerations. It had the hallmarks of automatic rejection based on circumscribed criteria rather than a proper exercise of discretion required by the Health Act (Managed Air Arrivals) Order. Indeed, the respondent responsibly acknowledges that on the face of the documentary record, one of the grounds of review can be made out.

The decision was in legal terms conventional.  It did however have a chilling effect on MoH’s response.  There is nothing that medical people hate more than having to go into court to justify their decisions which on the face of it appear to be cruel given the extenuating circumstances of a family member dying.

So the system was loosened up.

Then we had the news yesterday that we have two new infections.

The screening arrangements appear to be sub optimal.  Why the individuals involved were not tested is clearly something that will be investigated further.  If it was up to me every single person presenting themselves at the boarder should be tested.  And before they are permitted to leave quarantine they should be tested again.

I suspect the stuff up theory applies and an operational mistake was made.  This really does highlight how New Zealand should be protecting its borders.  This is backed up by this article in the Herald by Derek Cheng.  He said:

Leave may be granted to see a dying loved one or to grieve a death in a small group, but only if you’ve been in the country for at least a week and have tested negative for Covid-19.

However the rules were put in place on June 9 and the two women arrived on June 7.  They were tested in Wellington and returned the positive tests.

It seems callous and cruel but the rationale is clear.  There should be no exceptions to the policy.  Otherwise we face the possibility of going back into level 4 lockdown.

Surges of infections in Singapore and more recently China show how pernicious the virus is.  We should be taking no change with it.

National has received a glimmer of hope in the news.  Todd Muller has engaged in the most extraordinary somersault in recent political history and complained about lax arrangements while at the same time he has argued that we should loosen up the boarder to allow students in and a bubble formed with Australia.  Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth.

It just makes him sound confused.

Fingers crossed that the persons involved were extremely careful and that the steps they have taken were sufficient to stop the spread of the disease.  But if we are going to beat this bastard of a virus we will need our systems working better than they did on this occasion.

93 comments on “Covid really is a bastard”

  1. Anne 1

    I suspect the stuff up theory applies and an operational mistake was made.

    Yes, it is pretty obvious that is what happened.

    Some people, including the Opposition, are making a meal out of this and demanding the minister resign etc. Apart from the politics, it is addled thinking. If every time an operational mistake occurs the relevant minister or CEO has to resign I doubt there would be many of them left.

    Thanks for the clarity of your post ms. Hope the hot heads read it.

    • Agree completely@Anne – and with your comment at 3.2.2 on OM:

      "Put the blame fairly and squarely on the shoulders where it lies – the person or persons who did not follow correct process at the border and/or the person/persons who allowed the women to travel to Wellington even though they had not been tested"

      WHATEVER their rank.

      Because it becomes a problem when the stuff ups are never-ending and nothing gets done about it.

      In this case I doubt it's about Ashley B, as many would like it to be, but rather one or two people being a bit casual.

      Elsewhere, where masters-of-the-universe are at play, fuckups are now so regular they have the potential to put a dent in many of the positive efforts the government has made.

      • OnceWasTim 1.1.1

        Oh, AND where the 'correct process' is not working or is no longer fit for purpose – then fucking change it, and make sure both worker-bees and management understand it and actually 'get it'. And nor should master-of-the-universe generic managers be allowed to hide behind any repeated failings of their underlings. After all, it's supposedly what they get paid the big bucks for

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Allow Kiwis to mourn their loved ones

    The Nats had been using funeral exemptions as a stick with which to beat the government with.

    This was Bridges' strategy of course.

    They should be heavily criticised for uttering so much as a peep about their policy which has caused risk and annoyance for 5 million hardworking Kiwis.

    You can be very sure that if Bridges or Muller were in charge there would be 20 cases like this every single week.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    A simple fucking test the day before they went would have stopped this happening,

    Not good enough

    This one ain't the nats fault.

    • Chris 3.1

      It wouldn't have happened if we'd had a nat government because if we had a nat government we’d have 5000 cases, 300 deaths and still well and truly in lock down.

    • Naki man 3.2

      True, one of the women even had symptoms and still no test.

      There has been a series of fuck ups, it was just a matter of time.

      Someone needs to be sacked.

  4. observer 4

    The whole debate in NZ is really weird. It's as if we've all beamed down from another planet with zero understanding of human beings.

    Basic maths: It is certain that the greater the number of people involved, the greater the risk of human error. One option is to increase the number of people (more visitors arriving = more officials monitoring them, more interaction between the arrivals and the "system", which is people). Those new people could be students, tourists, workers, family in Queensland, anybody really. Every exception has a reason.

    It's arguable that the economic and social benefits make the greater risk worthwhile. It's arguable that the human benefits (AKA compassion) make the greater risk worthwhile.

    But nobody is saying "You know what, let's increase the risks, and accept the consequences, because we can handle a number of cases now, with contact tracing etc." That would not be popular – but it would be honest.

    No, the fantasy is that we should now significantly increase the risk of the virus AND expect to live without the virus. And then act "outraged' when the entirely predictable happens.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      What contact traceing? I'm yet to notice a q code . Usually it's a voluntary scratching of ones ph number in the occasional book that provided.

      • roblogic 4.1.1

        The annoying thing is the fragmented approach, several QR codes floating around. Good that most places provide hand sanitiser, though

        • bwaghorn 4.1.1.1

          It needs to really big and obvious, if I've got something I'm thinking on ( these cogs never stop) I dont realy see little flyers on doors ,once I've been trained by repetition I would remember to look .

          • In Vino 4.1.1.1.1

            Thank you Observer for the best comment so far. Unfortunately, it requires sustained attention.

    • mauī 4.2

      I don't see it as a human error, it's a systemic error. We've been loose with arrivals since Corona began and relied on handing them a leaflet at the airport and then trusting that they "self-quarantine" at home. The safeguards haven't been there – like immediate test on arrival into the country.

      • observer 4.2.1

        That description of what happens at the airport is months out of date.

        "If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, you will go to the quarantine hotel. Otherwise, you will go to one of the hotels being used for managed isolation.

        While in quarantine or managed isolation, you will be tested for COVID-19."

  5. Reality 5

    MS – how refreshing to read something sensible and reasoned. All too often in the last few weeks there has been pressure from the usual headline hunters to relax the rules. We don’t know at this stage, but the two women may have been very persuasive at getting the official to agree to their request to leave quarantine early.

    As for Todd Muller wanting to open up to students etc, most may follow the rules, but some young people notoriously also break the rules.

  6. Sabine 6

    Consider the likelihood that we won't be 'beating this' any time soon. That in fact it will be with us for many years, not because of anything we (NZ) does / do wrong, but because the rest of the world can't get it under control, or as is the case in the US might not even want to get it under control.

    What can and what should be done to allow people to be human in the presence of death and other lifetime events.

    How can people be transported across the country within the measures of quarantine to see their loved ones for hte last time? Be present at the funeral? Or even something like a baptism, a wedding etc. Or maybe just be able to go to an old folks home and give Mum/Dad a hug. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil-hugs/in-brazil-the-elderly-and-loved-ones-reunite-with-a-little-ingenuity-idUSKBN23926A

    At some stage it might make more sense to start looking longterm at the future rather then just act on a week to week basis.

    This virus is mutating, it does many different things to different people, it affects the young, the very young, the not so young, and it kills quite indiscriminatly and considering that one may have it more then once it might be a silent killer just taking its time.

    Short of locking the doors and throwing away the keys – and keeping everyone in NZ without fault in and letting no one from the outside in (inclusive the suits in parliament) there is currently no way we can stay 'free' of this a hundred percent.

    So we might just get used at getting used to it and to manage it without going to complete lockdown every few weeks.

    • common sense 6.1

      I think your correct with all of the above.

      I feel exactly the same.. People are so invested now with the decisions that have been made that i think the hardest part is not pointing the blame stick at someone everytime theres a problem. There is going to be mistakes , i think we all need to accept this.

      So do we behave as humans and offer compassion to others , or do we sit in fear and lash out at those that may impact our safety?

      Was the approach we took ever likely to lead to success in a world that relies on international travel. Our futures economy is heavily reliant on tourisim , we had to open the borders sooner or later

      We have already let a large crew in for the avatar movie. Is it likely that someone slipped through the net ? possibly

      Maybe as a collective we need to decide our future movements. The status quo at the moment makes no sense to me.. either lock it down or dont because this indecisive shit letting dribs and drabs through is never going to work

  7. AB 7

    Muller has been given an opening to play the 'çompetence' card. Yeah – the myth of Tory competence is utterly infuriating and unjustified, but extremely difficult to kill. Which is why it must never be given a chance to rise from the crypt where it belongs.

    Muller is effectively saying that National is so much more competent than Labour, that even with tens of thousands of additional foreign students arriving, they could implement a system so much better, that no leakage or stuff-ups would occur. This is obviously bollocks – but he has dressed it up in the aspirational gibberish of the corporate meeting room, e.g. "being ambitious". Some interviewer needs to tell Muller that he's not in 'business' now, he's actually out in the real world.

    • observer 7.1

      It was frustrating listening to him get a free pass on students' quarantine. National's policy specifically states that the universities and institutions will be responsible for this.

      Anybody who's ever encountered uni bureaucracy will be laughing hysterically, and taking bets on the next cluster.

      • Canterbury University even left a body in a student room for weeks last year!

        Perhaps the fault of the sub-contractors, but those same people would, under the Natz plan, be responsible for the pastoral care of the quarantining foreign students.

    • Chris 7.2

      What's even more frustrating is that Ardern's chosen style and approach prevents her, in a strange kind of way, from responding with the most accurate analysis.

  8. Policy Parrot 8

    The fault of this breach lies with these two women, not the health professionals, or those monitoring them.

    They asked for a compassionate exemption to the quarantine knowing full well that one of them had COVID like symptoms. However, they downplayed it as something else knowing full well that if they had of been more honest/open, that their exemption would not been granted.

    NZ Healthcare professionals took them at their word and let them go. The only thing that can realistically change is that there shouldn't be any exemptions, fullstop. They literally took the mickey out of us. I am sorry that their parent died, but how many more parents may potentially die because of their choice?

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      +1. I'm pretty angry about this. Everyone in this country spent 9 weeks being ultra careful, self aware and compliant.

      But here are these two swanning in from England, where Covid 19 response has been woeful, political, confused, loose and diluted. Result 41,969 dead.

      I feel like those who are here, and did what we did, deserve better than being hijacked by a couple of ex-pats who like to slide through the system when they can.

    • Enough is Enough 8.2

      So you think we should have a system of everyone just being honest. And if people aren't honest then its their fault?

      This is too fucking important to simply rely on people's honesty.

      Quarantine is quarantine. The government must ensure that people returning from covid countries are fully isolated from the public for two weeks and are not released until negative tests are returned. That is the price you must pay for coming to New Zealand.

    • roy cartland 8.3

      I agree. Compassionate grounds, my arse. I had to miss a very close funeral as it would have pushed the gathering over 100; and that was just between Auckland and Wellington. I'm far from the only one.

      Now these people who have chosen to live as far away as humanly possible from their 'loved one' are suddenly all about compassion. How about some of that flowing the other way, i.e. towards everyone they've put at risk.

      People will always have a bias towards their own interests, especially in times of distress, so the policy needs to be airtight.

    • joe90 8.4

      An acquaintance was unable to attend the very difficult birth of his twins yet these blow-ins deliberately misled authorities in order to attend to a corpse.

      He's incandescent and everyone else I've talked to this AM are livid.

      • mpledger 8.4.1

        To be fair, it was probably more about the other parent. And I don't think they knew they had covid-19 because they have exposed their parent to covid-19. If the older one is 45 ("in their fourties") and their parent had that child at 25 that would make that parent 70. There is no way you are going near a 70 year old knowingly with covid-19.

        • joe90 8.4.1.1

          To be fair, it was probably more about the other parent.

          To be fair, a young woman didn't endure difficult first time births without the support of her partner and family so that two entitled, typhoid Mary shit-birds could go swanning about the country because of a parent's feelings.

          //

          .

          • In Vino 8.4.1.1.1

            Simmer down. Are you on a high sugar intake? That 'protests too much' Shakespearian line comes to mind.

            • joe90 8.4.1.1.1.1

              I'm entitled to be as filthy as I fucking like about this shit fight.

              Your sanctimonious gibbering does little to quell my rising bile.

  9. Well written and to the point. Totally agree with everything said.

    Just one distracting point, you should use the correct spelling of border.

    Perhaps your spell checker has let you down!

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Slightly off topic, but a report on the eugenics approach in Sweden from a Swedish doctor. The Swedish approach is criminal.

    Worth watching all the way through.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      The world's first feminist government eh?

      Let me clear on this, I think Ardern has done a brilliant job with COVID and I'm incredibly proud of how she's led NZ to an outstanding outcome so far.

      But to my mind the credit for this must go to who she is as a person, and much less to any 'ism label we're so fond of attaching to people.

      • solkta 10.1.1

        WTF?

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          Well Sanctuary called it a 'criminal response' and I linked direct to a Swedish govt website claim. Making the connection is something no-one on the far left wants to do, but it's there lying in the open like a dead cat done bouncing.

  11. Paaparakauta 11

    There is nothing like a brush with death to awake survival instincts. We have to assume the virus is here and adopt realistic preventive measures without losing our common sense and social integration.

    • common sense 11.1

      Perhaps its time to ask US as a country how we tackle this problem instead of being told.

      We are the ones wearing the consequences , Its the collective future that is at stake, perhaps the collective should decide on the rules?

      Referendum?

      I dont think our current approach can work sustainably unless a cure presents itself in the short term, How do others feel?

      We were told we had done the right thing . Now we are back where we started..

      Did those 2 new cases stop for food, stop for gas , interact with the public? do we take their word for it?

      Will there now be an explosion cluster pop up because people have let their gaurd down?

      Do we concede that this is not beatable and just carry on life as usual? Nz was supposed to be the beacon of light that showed the world it was beatable..

      If the gov still lets people through the border for any reason we will always be vulnerable

      my ultimate path forward would be a public debate on the issue , televised so that the public can make an informed decision , Then a referendum with the right questions to take the country forward united in a true sense. There would need to be a law passed that if any person involved in the discussion gave misinformation knowingly in the public forum then there must be consequences of incarceration

      • Paaparakauta 11.1.1

        .. so Napoleon and Wellington should have fought via referendum ?

        • common sense 11.1.1.1

          I cant see your context sorry?

          We live in the greatest information age of recorded history with an infrastructure that can easily support collective progression.

          Are you saying that we shouldnt have a say in our future. I respect your right to your own opinions and perceptions but i think that is a little self rightous if thats what you are saying

          wars are deception , the people that normally fight them are doing the bidding of people that wont personally enter the battlefield . Lusitania , gulf of tonkin, 911 weapons of mass destruction? An informed public making its own decisions can at least hold itself responsible for childrens blood on its hands.

          • In Vino 11.1.1.1.1

            Your optimism is refreshing. We do NOT have a well-informed public, in case you had not noticed. Sorry..

      • anker 11.1.2

        common sense, many many polls have shown that the public hugely support the response.

        Lets not give up yet

        • common sense 11.1.2.1

          Im not giving up..

          Polls have their purpose. So does public debate..

          Im just not sure we are making the right decisions. I used to play rugby league, i didnt train for my strengths , i tried to remove the holes in my game.. sometimes i couldnt see the holes in my game and had to rely on outside council to see them.

          I also have a fetish for parachutes , This activity allows me to look at emotional fear and logical fear in a way that i have to be honest with myself. It is very easy to allow emotional fear to override ones better judgement

          This to me is a multi facet decision that isnt as simple as one definitive decision or direction. To me we are stumbling through the darkness with a candle , only able to see a few feet into the darkness.

          There are so many contradictions in the official narrative that baffle me. An example is we borrow billions to keep the country locked down then in the same breath allow a film crew come in for bussiness reasons that are peanuts in the grand scheme of things.

          To me this is a slap in the face for those that sacrificed their time and resources. so that some impatient people who cant wait for us as a country to get our affairs and priorities in order can have their way like spoilt little children

  12. observer 12

    No new cases today. Phew.

    (Todd Muller kicks the furniture … "Not fair, I can't catch a break").

  13. joe90 13

    First night out at the pub after a three month lock-down and 16 friends contracted C19.

    https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/06/15/woman-15-friends-test-positive-for-coronavirus-after-night-out-at-lynchs/

  14. anker 14

    Yes a big mistake, but actually the plan around them coming to Wellington was good and if they are to be believed then only one other potential transmission sadly to their relative in Wellington. Here's hoping not. I am still bemused that these women didn't consider the possibility they were infected. I travelled to London in mid Feb and returned on 28th to visit a sick relative. Covid was nothing like now, but I was completely mindful that I could pick it up and bring it back and was scrupulous about hand hygiene social distancing etc. I offered to have a test on arrival and on return, when I had very minor symptoms……

    If the women are true to their word it will be contained in Wellington (hopefully neither of them will need hospital care. All the others in Ak being tested would have had to be tested anyway when it was discovered they had covid as surely a test would have been done before they left quarantine. Something for the military to look into.

  15. Peter 15

    Question time had the Nats orgasmic about the quarantine error. This was to be their big moment with the help of the ET (Epsom Twerp).

    If they're relying on some health worker stuffing up to be the big game changer they're well and truly stuffed themselves.

  16. Anne 16

    I caught the question time of Jacinda Ardern's special press conference. She was superb.

    mickeysavage is correct. The protocols were in place… the staff on the ground in this case did not follow proper procedures as laid down by the Govt. back in March. She's called in the Deputy Chief of Defence to oversee all future protocols are carried out in accordance with instructions.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340651

  17. Reality 17

    Jacinda has again shown what a natural leader she is. Superb response to all that has happened in the last day.

    Despite no blame being laid at the actions of the two women, they seem to have taken advantage of the procedure in Auckland. One would think they should have abided by the well known quarantine time. Was the official persuaded, or pleaded with to allow them to leave. Or that person felt in a good mood and cheerfully told them to go early.

  18. Adrian 18

    I have a suspicion as to what has happened here, as the military has now been called in to run quarantine and isolation its my bet that this is a private contractors fuck-up., someone like Armourgard staffed by people who never really paid attention in school.

    I'm pretty sure DOH doesn't have enough staff to do this sort of security.

    Private enterprise eh, who would have thought they could possibly fuck up.

    • mac1 18.1

      Adrian, someone made a comment that if Muller had his way and we had lots of overseas students quarantined in Queenstown, that the same authorities/contractors who allowed a body to lie for weeks in a hostel bed would be in charge of their security.

      Probably Todd Muller is touting another little earner for private security companies. Never waste a crisis….. who said that?

    • RedBaronCV 18.2

      Likely Outsourced contract private security creaming it at the top and not bothering to supervise the minimum wage staff at the bottom. What could go wrong ?

      • Adrian 18.2.1

        If the military have been brought in immediately it is almost certain that this isn't the first failure of process. I hope there are really big penalties for these failures and of course the loss of what almost certainly as you say, is a grossly overpriced contract.

        The poor buggers at the bottom will be out of a job but the lesson there is pay more bloody attention in school. Mind you, I can't talk,my record there was patchy at best.
        I see Todd being caught out on this one too, Mac.

  19. RedBaronCV 19

    Isn't it time that dedicated quarantine facility's are organised? According to a RNZ story the hotels being used are also still being used for other guests ( much as the wellington hotel is) so everybody has to be much more vigilant. If we used some total dedicated hotels then they could be split into wings with appropriate outdoor areas and separated out by date of arrival in the country with site entry controlled so the couriers had somewhere to drop off the shopping. And the testing crew could visit daily. I've stayed in places close to the airport that would be ideal – have large grounds and lots of car parks. It has to beat trotting people around busy Auckland central streets on a daily walk. And minimise the staff at the premises by delivering meals in bulk from airline kitchens, and deep cleaning only as people leave. They can do their own day to day stuff?

    Brook Sabin made a very good point in stuff. The economic, social and emotional costs from lockdown or covoid resurgence are gong to be large and borne by others in the community.

    Lastly is the management of these facilities outsourced. That never seems to be mentioned.One of the epidemic specialists was saying it was complicated because so many different groups where involved.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419184/covid-19-isolation-and-quarantine-facilities-to-be-inspected

  20. anker 20

    I also think the guy who took the govt to court and won to get to see his dying relative has some responsibility here……I cannot believe people's selfishness. Many of us don't get to funeral's see our loved ones in their last hours etc under the best of circumstances…….

    Many NZders made these sacrifices during lockdown. If there's one thing I have learnt about Covid it is how f…g selfish some people are.

  21. observer 21

    Questions for Michael Woodhouse (which won't be answered):

    Mr W, you are National's health spokesman.

    When you were told about stranger(s) having close physical contact with these positive cases of Covid-19, did you advise your informant to self-isolate?

    Did you also advise your informant to get tested? and to inform relevant health authorities? and to inform their own close contacts, to assist tracing?

    Did you take any other action, to protect public health? If not, why not?

    • mary_a 21.1

      Well said Observer (21).

      As this is a very serious public health issue with far reaching consequences, perhaps Mr Woodhouse could produce some form of evidence to support his claim.

      • Anne 21.1.1

        I am not normally a conspiracy theorist but I have some suspicions about this story. It has the smell of a set-up about it and Woodhouse has been taken for a ride.

        It would be hilariously funny if it turned out to be true. 😀

          • Anne 21.1.1.1.1

            Yes. I have just seen the article and it has a nasty smell about it.

            It doesn't seem likely the acquaintances who lent the two women a car would have contacted Woodhouse but somebody did.

            It looks to me like this person – plus Woodhouse – have behaved in an irresponsible manner and tried to make political capital out of a deadly serious situation. I hope it backfires on them big time.

            • Herodotus 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Really !!!! – These 2 from leaving the Novotel in Ellerslie 50m from a motorway on ramp got lost. Their actions have stuffed it up for many others who are in a similar situation with sick family, funerals etc. You blame Woodhouse for this – He wasn't the one who got us in this position.
              And did the car or their phones not have google maps or some other travel mapping ?
              As the story grows the PM, Minister, MOH and others have been "unknowingly" telling an incomplete story. Someone needs to get the full story and take ownership to this.

              • Anne

                You blame Woodhouse for this –

                I did nothing of the sort. My gripe is he sat on information he received and didn't do the responsible thing and advise either the minister or someone in the MoH response unit. Instead he sits on it and then uses it in the House in an attempt to undermine the Health Minister and the Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield.

                What a pathetic little man.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  I don't think the Minister of Health needs any help to be undermined.

                  It's the one and only area he's been proven to have a special skill, certainly he's the most incompetent Minister of Health we've had in NZ for many years.

                • Herodotus

                  How do you know he sat on it for so many days ? and if he came out immediately without checking imagine the outrage of an unsubstantiated accusation and wasting MoH and others time, from my reading below this has only been 4 days brewing.

                  Min of Heath needs no help to be undermined.

                  "According to a Facebook post by Felicia Alkin, the owner and founder of Highland Park's Lioness Gym for Women, the unnamed member was in contact with the two women on Saturday."

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340830

                  • Anne

                    Because I read an article that he sat on it for up up to two days. That may have been an exaggeration but he sat on it for quite a while.

                    Why don’t you go to Kiwiblog. Your reckons are far more in tune with them.

                    • Herodotus

                      Any link that would help to your claim of 2 days ?
                      interesting when challenged you suggest me to go elsewhere especially as the initial commentary was that this was Made up 😉 which I note you were willing to accept.

                      perhaps you should visit TDB many of my concerns are mirrored there. Interesting that !!

            • Maggy Wassilieff 21.1.1.1.1.2

              It's not Woodhouse at fault.

              Folks just need to check their facts..

              and other folks just need to check that their minions are performing the tasks they are paid to perform.

              It's not rocket science.

              • observer

                No, it's medical science.

                And the facts are that the man who wants to be Minister of Health put a "gotcha" ahead of public health.

                I note you have not addressed any of the questions I listed above. Maybe you – and Woodhouse – think they don't matter … politically. But for public health they certainly do.

    • Adrian 21.2

      Why did Woodhouse wait over 18 hours to do the big reveal ?. Because I don't think even he trusts the story and needed Parliamentary Privilege to tell it so he didn't get sued.

      A very manipulative shit.

  22. Anker 22

    Did these women lie about having no contact with anyone between the hotel an Wellington?

    woman speaking to Lisa own on checkpoint who is currently in the hotel the women were. We were offered a test on the third day but we didn’t want one ffs. Bloody selfish

    • Leighton 22.1

      Given the mood of the nation you would have to be a special kind of stupid to voluntarily appear on national radio to declare that you've swanned in to the country at level 1 and are refusing to take a test.

  23. Ad 23

    Until about this point I saw Ardern as 'all heart no spine'. Just way too moist.

    But calling the military down on the Police and the MoH after this fuckup, going full Command and Control on their ass.

    Now she's showing something.

  24. anker 24

    I agree Leighton, but that is what the woman said on the interview with Checkpoint.

    I am astounded that nurses would only ask "are you o.k.?" Was it nurses or hotel staff?

    I am livid at the possibility these women may have lied. I am livid they were so stupid as not to report symptoms!

    I am really livid about the whole thing…………………

  25. Pat 25

    Covid is a bastard…but what is a bigger bastard is MoH staff who fail to do the basics of their job.

    there is no way to excuse this lack of competence by those on the ground.

    • Anne 25.1

      If it was MOH staff Pat. Bloomfield is currently investigating what actually happened so I guess we need to be patient and wait for the findings.

      • Pat 25.1.1

        No testing (contrary to direction)…if thats not the responsibility of MoH then id be bloody surprised

  26. RedBaronCV 26

    And the advice to aircrew updated 16 June:

    If the aircrew have been in a "high Risk" situation overseas

    On return
    • Complete arrivals health assessment.

    • Must complete self-isolation at home for 2 nights (48
    hours) after their arrival, have a COVID-19 test and continue
    to self-isolate at home until the result of their test is known.

    • Guidelines for self-isolation can be found here:
    https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-andconditions/
    covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-healthadvice-
    general-public/covid-19-self-isolation-closecontacts-
    and-travellers

    May fly domestically to their home to complete the self isolation.

    Who dreamed this lot up? A crew can go overseas be exposed in a high risk situation then come back here fly domestic to their home ( and infect the rest of the flight) and then self isolate. After the large loan that AirNZ has they should be able to rotate and quarantine all crews. Yes it would cost more but a lot less than the billions spent on covid relief so far. An overseas aircrew should just go to quarantine & return back to their plane. And I hope they blue light all these Planes before anyone even steps onto them to try cleaning them or remove rubbish

  27. Muttonbird 27

    Something is up with this case.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419252/ministry-confirms-women-with-covid-19-did-stop-on-trip

    The Novotel Ellerslie is literally on top of the Southern motorway jammed hard up against the Greenlane interchange. Apparently they got lost between the hotel and the motorway, a drive less than 500m…yeah, right.

    Someone is still lying.

    • RedBaronCV 27.1

      One supposes that if they are citizens they may have been to Auckland at some previous point and could therefore find their way to the motorway. Even if they checked up on the sun I'm sure they could have found their way south without a map.

      At this point I think they need to be stuffed back into this magic long range car to drive themselves back to Auckland under police escort and shoved into isolation and then be charged with whatever offences are appropriate.. If they have lied about this then I imagine their version of self isolation consists of having all the friends and family around to their place. Not to mention that both Ash and Jacinda put their credibility on the line by saying they had followed the rules. Another 100 contacts no doubt. Not people that can be trusted obviously.

  28. Peter Barrett 28

    So here they are, two digital natives driving out of the Novotel Ellerslie with freshly charged phones and Google Maps at the ready, and they've gone around the Greenlane roundabout and oops headed for the city and what…? They call a mate they haven't seen for years but whose number they have and say "We're terribly lost!" and they reply "Stop where you are!" and get into their car and some minutes later, maybe 10 or 15, turn up like Roadside Rescue to the point where they dropped a pin and say to the bewildered pair "Sorry to hear about your Mum|Dad, turn around and take the on-ramp next to the off-ramp you came off and follow the signs to Hamilton!", then get a hug and a kiss from the relieved siblings and off they go. A vital rescue mission for two New Zealanders returning from the UK unable to find the Southern Motorway that's been out their hotel window for days, involving close physical contact? Come on. Noddy and Big Ears could do better than that.

    • Muttonbird 28.1

      If they have deliberately broken the agreed travel plan (can't believe there is such a thing!) to drop in on friends in Auckland, they are in serious trouble.

    • Leighton 28.2

      Check Google Street view. The approach from the Novotel Ellerslie onto the south-bound Southern Motorway is a direct left turn from the far left lane. Nothing complicated at all about it. You don't even need to go around the Greenlane roundabout, the turn-off is just before that.

      Not knowing how familiar they were with Auckland and taking into account that they were probably not firing on all cylinders given their parent had just died, it is possible that they had no idea where they were going and got themselves stuck in the inside lane from which the only option is to get onto the northbound motorway. But given the incorrect information which has been provided to date I wouldn't bet my house on that being the explanation (I will be needing my house for the next lockdown).

  29. RedBaronCV 29

    Apparently diplomats and their families are exempt and don't have to quarantine either. FFS.

    Just dis accredit them

  30. Maggy Wassilieff 30

    Not much pressure on Gang affiliates to return to quarantine on time, either..

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/hamilton-runaways-fled-authorities-after-attending-funeral-of-mongrel-mob-member/

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