Draconian Tourism or no Tourism?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 27th, 2020 - 192 comments
Categories: climate change, covid-19, Economy, employment, Environment, human rights, International, jobs, surveillance, tourism, transport - Tags: , , , , ,

Warning: this blog contains material that may offend Lefties and Greenies.

Thanks to a tiny little virus, the NZ economy is gasping for air. One of the hardest hit sectors is the tourism sector, international tourism, to be more specific, although domestic tourism is dead too now. This was a mega industry turning over billions of dollars each year that was growing rapidly and employing over 200,000 people.

Kiwis love to travel too. Last year there were more than 3 million New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals.

Nobody knows when our borders will open again and what travel and tourism will look like in the near future. I think I have seen some dire predictions that it could take 12-18 months before we return to normal, which is likely a new normal. What might this look like and how would it work?

In contrast to all those people and businesses that are directly and indirectly affected by turning off the tourism tap, there are some positives too. For example, pollution levels in major cities have dropped heaps due to the Level 4 lockdown keeping most of us at home in our bubbles and out of our cars. In addition, one of our single largest polluters has almost come to a complete standstill. Tourism spots that had come under enormous pressure because of the sheer number of tourists and were reaching breaking point, in one way or another, now have time to recover if not heal. Arguably, tourism was putting pressure on people, communities, and infrastructure. And on Nature, of course.

New Zealand will be an even more attractive tourism destination once the pandemic has been declared over. Thanks to a large dose of good luck, mixed with good leadership, management, and a high compliance rate among the population, the NZ COVID-19 stats have become the envy of many countries. If we do manage to completely eliminate the virus from NZ, international visitors will want to flock to this safe, clean, pure, and healthy (and healing) place. Many of us would welcome them with open arms and empty wallets as long as they don’t bring the virus with them!

So, it seems that one of the questions is how do we keep the virus out once we open the ajar to international travel again. It is hard to imagine that tourists would come if they were quarantined for 14 days upon arrival. Would the NZ Taxpayer have to pay for that? An Immunity Passport appears to be a no-go too.

Could a combination of antibody testing and testing for the presence of virus, i.e. the current gold standard for testing for infection, be sufficient to rule out if a person is a carrier and/or immune to COVID-19? If the test performance improves and the number of false negatives goes down, it might lower the risk of letting a carrier into the country by accident. For example, one day before departure, they take the test and if negative, they are allowed to board the plane to NZ. Upon arrival, they are tested again and maybe once every few days or once a week. This could work well if the test would be based on a saliva sample, for example, rather than the more invasive and technically more difficult nasal swap.

It would require many testing stations throughout the country but quite possibly existing medical labs & centres and GP practices could be involved. As long as the tests come back negative, they are free to go on their way, spend generously, and enjoy our wonderful country and people. Test data will be uploaded to their Health Status Passport. However, as soon as they test positive – the false positive rate is very low – they have to go immediately into full mandatory quarantine and this might include all their travel companions.

How would we do contact tracing? Here comes another tricky bit. Upon arrival in the country, each visitor is given an electronic device that they must wear all the time, day and night, e.g. an ankle bracelet. This will track their location in real time, 24/7. If they don’t comply with this and/or with the testing, they will be arrested and deported immediately, which could affect their chances of getting a VISA to NZ in future. Zero tolerance.

This kind of Draconian approach one would expect in totalitarian countries and one could argue that this is totally unacceptable and a breach of personal freedom, privacy, human rights, or what have you. Indeed, it might be but under exceptional circumstances, these kinds of measures not only are necessary, they also are accepted and tolerated. A recent poll revealed that 73% of adults would support Police and Health authorities using their personal mobile data to help track and trace those who have been in contact with COVID-19. Even though we are still in the midst of the pandemic, this still is surprisingly high. This could suggest that resistance against wearing a tracking device while on holiday here in NZ may not be as high as one would think. Even less so if it is to keep yourself and others safe and free from COVID-19.

The other aspect of contact tracing is, of course, being able to trace the Kiwis who have been in contact with a traveller who tested positive. I would like to think that the same reasoning could apply to them as well. Especially those who stand to gain from overseas visitors coming here and spending may be more inclined to play their part in setting up an effective and efficient contact tracing network. Whether this would rely on mobile phones, a CovidCard, manual tracing as we do now, or a combination of technologies is something that doesn’t seem to be an insurmountable hurdle. In any case, it would be good to have something in place and practiced for when the next pandemic knocks on our door.

None of the above may work or lower the risk enough to gain any traction. However, the number of cases worldwide will drop, testing will get better and faster, the urge to travel will increase, and the pressure to take the travel and tourism industry off life support at the Taxpayers’ expense will mount. In any case, it seems unlikely we will see the same number of arrivals as before, and maybe we don’t want to, but we Kiwis also want to be able to visit overseas relatives again and travel for work, et cetera. I don’t think we can afford to wait until global COVID-19 numbers have dropped to zero – it might never happen – or until they have developed an effective vaccine – that might never happen either.

I would like to see a discussion of these and other ideas beyond a rudimentary level of ‘this is stupid’, ‘it will never work’, or ‘tourism is bad for CC’, for example. That is not to say that we cannot or should not discuss how to do tourism and air-travel differently 😉

192 comments on “Draconian Tourism or no Tourism? ”

  1. swordfish 1

    Awww, this is stupid, it will never work, tourism is bad for CC.

  2. KJT 2

    Hasn't upset this lefty.

    A fairly balanced view.

    But, do we want international tourism as it was?

    Apart from the carbon footprint of all those jets and cruise ships, the cost to local communities, often without much net benefit, is high.

    Jumping back into a low wage, boom/bust extractive industry, again.

    How about imagining something better?

    Encouraging tourists to stay local, for example. The virus will do that in the short term, so we can see how it works. To keep our balance of payments positive, and tourism less resource hungry.

  3. If the test performance improves and the number of false negatives goes down…

    That's a big if! I'm assuming that level of testing won't be available in the next few months, so anyone whose business is based on international tourists had better start looking for something else to do and the government had better start thinking about how to help them with it, because it's unlikely we'll be opening up anytime soon to people who can't/won't do 14 days in quarantine.

    Also: "tourism is bad for CC" might be annoyingly self-evident in any discussion of this subject, but it's the elephant in the room so it won't be easy to have a discussion without it.

  4. barry 4

    Tourism is fucked! It was never good for the environment or for the economy. It is low paid and shit work in general. So it is hard to get NZers to do it, so it drove low skilled immigration. It is also a reason why our productivity is so low.

    However we are still going to want to allow movement of people. Certainly 2 weeks of quarantine (paid for by the traveller of course) is a serious commitment which is going to stop the casual traveller. I don't see a problem. Maybe we can relax it for people from countries with a serious approach to eliminating the virus.

    The virus is still going to get here sometimes. (14 days is not enough to guarantee non-infection, or someone might get infected in quarantine, or quarantine workers might catch it …) so we need to keep up the testing and tracing. The bluetooth apps won't work (they haven't anywhere else). So we need to be able to be able to track people. WE NEED TO STOP GETTING PRECIOUS ABOUT PRIVACY AND CARRY ID CARDS (like most of the rest of the world). It needs to have a QR code or smart chip so that we can scan people into transport, shops, restaurants etc. Tourists buy a card on entry and surrender it on leaving (so that it can be checked later in case of incident). If we start now we can get something in place in 2 months, with NZ doing most of the development.

    • Concerned 4.1

      we need to be able to be able to track people. WE NEED TO STOP GETTING PRECIOUS ABOUT PRIVACY AND CARRY ID CARDS (like most of the rest of the world). It needs to have a QR code or smart chip so that we can scan people into transport, shops, restaurants etc

      Wow, did you walk out of a George Orwell novel? It's comments and views like yours that make me fear for the rights of humanity. There's a reason many people are too scared for this route to be taken. Totalitarianism.

  5. Cinny 5

    Create affordable tourism for Kiwi's to explore NZ.

    People will always want to visit NZ, that's a given and once the virus is sorted they will return. No need to rush.

    Looking forward to walking in the national parks this summer, my guess it won't be choked up with overseas visitors.

    I'm internally celebrating the loss of freedom campers in our region and their poo. Shout out to young Pacey in Mot, love your work 🙂 https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/motueka-18-year-old-calls-freedom-camper-using-street-toilet

    Let's do the food export thing to help our economy. People are always hungry. Food from corona free NZ, that has a nice ring to it.

    Yes the overseas tourists pay more, but should making lots of money be the motivator? The world has changed. Let's create affordable NZ tourism for kiwi's. I think planning for the return of overseas tourism in the currently climate is really jumping the gun.

  6. Wayne 6

    The first four comments all seem to be against virtually any international tourism. But unless New Zealand becomes like an Iron curtain country of the 1950's and 1960's, international tourism is going to happen. And probably in much the same mix as before. Just less of it. I reckon it will be five years before we see another 5 million tourists per year.

    Being an essentially free country means we don't get to impose that many controls on people, post pandemic. By and large the market will dictate who comes to New Zealand.

    • KJT 6.1

      Well done Wayne, for following the script.

      Just seen the "communist" dog whistle from 4 right wing commentators on 4 different media this morning.

      Do you all get a memo?

      "Dancing Cossacks" is so unoriginal.

      With the disadvantages of an unregulated "free market" fresh in peoples minds, and to reduce the next incoming disaster, Global warming, the "freedom" which was only ever for a few, to travel around polluting the world, will be diminished. Most likely by worldwide carbon taxes and carbon quotas.

      I doubt if we will ever see five million tourists annually, and the associated costs, again. And indeed, why would we want to, after we have seen the advantages of having our country, back.

    • McFlock 6.2

      "Post pandemic" being the operative bit.

      During the pandemic, screw tourism. Quarantine them all. Gone are they days of jumping in a flying tube, crossing the world in 24hrs, complaining of jetlag for three days, touring for 10 days, and bunging it on insta.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        During the pandemic, screw tourism.

        And exactly how does that sound to a fellow kiwi whose tourism related business or job is hugely uncertain right now?

        Kind, caring and inclusive?

        • KJT

          International Tourism employed back packers and immigrants on the lowest wages they could get away with.

          It is more caring and inclusive to get local people, including the stranded former cheap labour, working in something better.

          Something that has a long term future.

          And. Being "kind, caring and inclusive" in reality, not just weeping crocodile tears about people they never cared about, like so many blethering about job losses, now, I don't mind some of my taxes going into helping those businesses, and workers, to adapt.

          A "Just transition".

          • RedLogix

            Something that has a long term future.

            So far not obvious what that 'something' will be. I'm all for being optimistic about our ability to adapt to change, but some transitions are more painful than others.

            And it's certainly not obvious to me that the first step in any such change is telling the people most affected that they can 'get screwed'.

            • KJT

              Who is telling them to get screwed?

              • RedLogix

                erm … my reply was to Mc Flock's "screw tourism" line above. Sure you are going to try and claim there is a difference between the industry and the people in it.

                My point is this isn't going to be so obvious to the people whose lives are deeply invested in it and most affected.

                • KJT

                  Doesn't change anything. AGW adaptation was going to "screw" international tourism in time, anyway.

                  The virus has just "screwed" it sooner.

                  I don't expect a vaccine or treatment within several years, countries like the USA will be reservoirs of infection for even longer, and only the stupid will risk flying or floating Petri dishes for some time to come.

                  It is immaterial if anyone wants it to be "screwed". It already is. As Sabine said, we have to find something for displaced workers, including the small business owners.

                  • RedLogix

                    Everyone accepts the high volume, low value industry tourism we've seen up to now has gone for the foreseeable future. It will need to reconfigure itself, and I think we both agree that would be a good thing.

                    That's not the same as saying it's screwed.

                    As for the AGW aspect; that's a whole other discussion. It's a weak assumption to think travel always implies high CO2 impacts.

                    • KJT

                      Bit hard to fly around without CO2 impacts, is it not.

                      Most international tourism depended on cheap flights.

                      If you know of a way to travel to NZ in less than weeks or months without CO2 impacts, let me know.

                      I smell a business opportunity?

                    • RedLogix

                      A couple of electric aircraft targeted at short-haul have already flown, and hydrogen fueled planes have long been considered achievable.

                      Or hybrid designs that combine lighter than air bodies with some aerodynamic lift also look promising.

                      It's always hard for new designs to replace existing types in an already mature market, but COVID 19 could well provide the instability trigger. Especially if the big builders like Boeing or even Airbus get into more trouble than they already are.

                    • KJT

                      I agree hydrogen powered ships and aircraft, look like the future. Something we have been following closely. The company I currently work for has been funding some of the research.

                      But, it is not there yet. And it depends on the source of hydrogen if it is carbon neutral.

                      Long haul battery aircraft are decades away, if ever.

                      Airships, maybe.

                    • RedLogix

                      Agree that long haul to places like NZ will be a challenge to make carbon free in the foreseeable future, but this kind of flight is only some modest fraction of the global air-mile total.

                      As a bit of guess I'd imagine that if most of the domestic, short haul flights went carbon free within a decade that would be a worthwhile gain. Combine this with solid carbon offsetting for long haul, and while it's not nirvana, it's taken us a long way in the direction we want to go in.

            • KJT

              Labour/Greens and even NZF, and I must include National to be fair, are already looking at what that, something, can be.

              As well as a lot of businesspeople, workers and others up and down the country.

              We have been here before. With thousands out of work. Though, back then, it was Government policy that caused it.

        • Gabby

          They're creative wealth creators. They'll become landlords, or return to their other countries and stop being kiwis for a bit.

    • solkta 6.3

      Being an essentially free country means we don't get to impose that many controls on people, post pandemic.

      Bollocks. The only people who have a right of entry are NZ citizens and permanent residents. For the rest it is a privilege.

      • Wayne 6.3.1


        Technically, yes. But it is only repressive countries that actually tie up their borders and make it difficult for visitors to come as tourists. Once the pandemic is over, and international travel is generally safe again (lets say 12 months from now) New Zealand is not going to impose a dictatorial level of border control.

        • Gabby

          Repressive countries like yankistan you mean.

        • KJT

          Like one of my Russian friends said, "Under the Soviets we weren't allowed to travel, now, we can't afford to travel, and the same people are in charge".

          By the way the USA, "Land of the Free", has some of the worlds most restrictive, border controls.

    • Gabby 6.4

      The market will do as it's told. Preferably the telling will be done by someone longer sighted than a casino manager.

    • weka 6.5

      "Being an essentially free country means we don't get to impose that many controls on people, post pandemic. By and large the market will dictate who comes to New Zealand."

      Bullshit on the first sentence. We impose all sorts of controls on people. Look at what happens to the income of beneficiaries if they go overseas. Or how they are told what they can spend their income on. We control who can work in NZ, who has access to state funded services. Councils and central government have belatedly tried to control where tourists can sleep at night, to stop them shitting on the side lakes and rivers and this has directly removed previous rights of NZers.

      Agreed on the second sentence though, unless we change that 😈

    • swordfish 6.6


      The first four comments all seem to be against virtually any international tourism.


      I would like to see a discussion of these and other ideas beyond a rudimentary level of ‘this is stupid’, ‘it will never work’, or ‘tourism is bad for CC’, for example

      swordfish (pointlessly trolling)

      Awww, this is stupid, it will never work, tourism is bad for CC.

  7. RedLogix 7

    Tourism in NZ has an assured future, within months we will re-open our borders with Australia and possibly Sth Korea and Taiwan. Demand may take a while to rebuild but it will return.

    It is of course an excellent opportunity for the industry to reset, working toward high added value, more retention of profit onshore, and to improve it's CC performance. People are looking beyond pretty mountains and scenery; they want 're-creating' experiences; authentic engagement with people and adventure. Reinventing ourselves as the "Ark at the End of the World", becoming a showcase of truly sustainable, innovative permaculture, and landscape management are all drawcards for the upcoming generations hungry to experience something better.

    NZ was once called the 'social laboratory' of the world, we could become it's 'eco-laboratory'.

    • Francesca 7.1

      Great idea !

      Incidentally why is Vietnam so rarely mentioned as a Covid success story?

      Population 97 million

      270 total cases

      45 active cases

      Zero deaths

      3per million infected

      From worldometer coronavirus as of yesterday

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Thanks. I totally overlooked Vietnam.

        It fits with my wider thesis that Aus/NZ would be really smart to pivot toward SE Asia right now for wider strategic reasons, and we have the incredibly good luck that at least three or four of these nations are rapidly heading toward being 'COVID safe'.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        Yep. I wonder.

        Was aware of it through several Vietnam residents, I know.

        • bill

          Yep. I wonder.

          lol – cause it doesn't fit with the 'China cover up' narrative that too many are keen to push?

          • Francesca

            Well we're never too keen on admitting that a communist…nominally at least..country can have better outcomes than a..nominal..democracy

  8. Sabine 8

    Maybe instead of wondering what 'tourism' we will have in 18 – 36 month, we should ask what we will do about 200.000 + long term unemployed people. Or is that too unpleasant?

    • KJT 8.1

      Set them to work on our much neglected infrastructure.

      And in building up sustainable, high quality industry, to supply both our local markets and export. Like countries with functional non commodity export, non sugar rush, economies, do.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        so the women who cleaned hotels and motels?

        the chefs in the kitchen

        the front of house staff in hotels

        the tourist guides

        the waiters

        the janitors

        etc they all gonna go to building neglected infrastructur?


        When they are re-trained? Will they have to pay for the re-training? Get a student loan?

        what industry should they build according to you?

        And in the mean time what shall the country do with 200.000 long term unemployed people from the tourism sector, and an equal number from the retail sector and and and.

        Please, we are taking this seriously yes?

        • RedLogix

          Yes. You are absolutely right on this. There are going to be a lot of people badly hurt if we just turn our backs on them.

          And then there are all the small business owners, the hostels and lodges, the hire companies, the DoC concession holders, the cafes … often with their life savings locked up in these businesses.

          I don't think it's hopeless though. Australia will open back up within months, and they will have nowhere else to go for at least another year. There will be visitors, we just need to make the most of them.

          • Sabine

            Again, you miss my point.

            i honestly don't care about the tourism industry one way or another.

            The idea that people who just lost their jobs can just be used 'to build a new industry' is ludicrous and even without imagination.

            The tourism industry for the next 3 – 5 (up to 10) years is fucked. Simply put. This world wide recession is affecting the lifely hood of about 30 – 40 % of the world population. And with lack of income comes lack of disposable income and thus lack of tourism. And that also applies to OZ, who by the way has also a huge dead Tourism industry as of now.

            So what really needs to be addressed is the FACT of 200.000 plus people currently out of a job – well officially out of a job when the wage subsidy runs out and everyone gives up pretense. And that is tourism alone.

            Now the same applies to retail – it will have to undergo huge changes if it wants to stay viable, and i doubt it can. One in one out, rolling lock downs in the future anytime a new hotspots shows its ugly face are not conducive to keeping a lease and keeping shop.

            So before we dream up any new Tourism, be it by way of Princess Quarantine Ships. or the Quarantine Hotels, we have an issue at hand.

            It is called 30% + unemployemnt, long term unemployment and in certain regions unemployment well above that.

            And OZ can't fix that, cause OZ has the same problem. As does Germany, as do the US, Russia, heck even China. The world has the same problem.

            That is not pessimistic, that is realistic. And it seems that there is a whole lot of people who are deluding themselves by thinking we can go just back to were we were and tinker a bit on the sides and it will all work out splendid.

            • RedLogix

              The idea that people who just lost their jobs can just be used 'to build a new industry' is ludicrous and even without imagination.

              Yes I get that. I was going to say something along those lines, but I figured you'd already made that point. People are not interchangeable parts that can be idly flicked from one job to a totally different one, and there's way more to it than just 're-training'.

              • Sabine

                Well it seems that this is not as understood as you thought.

              • KJT

                Wrong. And short sighted.

                I can speak from personal experience.

                I know what it is like to lose just about everything, including my house that I built because I couldn't carry on my business, for several years, due to circumstances outside my control, not months. And having to start all over again.

                Certainly I empathise with the people affected.

                But, thinking things will just go back to what they were before, is simply, magical thinking.

                You are the ones lacking, "imagination".

            • Poission

              So what really needs to be addressed is the FACT of 200.000 plus people currently out of a job – well officially out of a job when the wage subsidy runs out and everyone gives up pretense. And that is tourism alone.

              A year ago,the tourism industry was signalling that there were acute labour shortages .and needing more migrants and temporary workers to address the problem.

              Low wage industries needing enhanced immigration to meet meet growth were never sustainable.


              • woodart

                it wasnt only the tourism industry that wanted cheap import labour, horticulture, building, truck owners and others were whingeing furiously that they needed more cheap imports.

        • weka

          "Please, we are taking this seriously yes?"

          Yes we are. Are you going to naysay every idea that people put out on this? There's lots of discussion about jobs and what needs to be done. I guess instead we could all wring our hands about how terrible it's going to be, but some people just like to get on with the solutions.

          It's not a Pollyanna situation, but it's not a no hope situations either.

          • Sabine

            Naysay? Why? Because i ask questions to whom should create this new industry and how they should go about it? Oh we are not allowed anymore to ask people to elaborate on their ideas?

            So i hope that if you don't mind, i speak about the unemployed and others speak about the jobs that the unemployed of today can work in the undefined future.

            edit: I would also like to point out that lack of toursim in many places in NZ is the only income. Not some, but ONLY. So yes, if you want to talk about what to do with tourism, then you also need to talk about the 200.000 people who don’t have jobs anymore. And what to do with them now. Not in few years time when this virus has a. run its course, b. eradication has been achieved, or c. a decent working vaccine is made available to all. Until then, tourism as we know it is not viable. And tourism by the very few and very rich is not going to do anything to the very many unemployed.

            • weka

              If you can't tell the difference between naysaying and asking questions that elicit solutions instead of negating them, I can't help you.

              "So yes, if you want to talk about what to do with tourism, then you also need to talk about the 200.000 people who don’t have jobs anymore."

              Do catch up Sabine, some of us have been talking about this for weeks already.

              • Sabine

                i have been reading here for weeks now,

                and frankly if you want to point me to the post that speaks about the unemployed in NZ that are currently still on a wage subsidy i will read the essay.

                so far i have seen nothing, but i have seen lots of people speak about their preferred idea of the future, but nothing about how people are to live in it, pay their bills, and above all work in it.

                So frankly Weka, i left a comment here (without any malice i might add, and i don't actually care if people like you don't like what i have to say or not, you can read on and ignore as i do 🙂 ) and someone answered. If you have an issue with that, let me know in no uncertain terms.

                • weka

                  one thing I see in your comments here is the concern that people want things to go back to normal. Lots of us here don't. We've been talking about that. Some of us have been writing posts.

                  In terms of this idea about 200,000 long term unemployed, well duh, of course the government will need to do something, as well communities, businesses and individuals. Again, lots of people are talking about this already. Some people think it's a short term recession (a few years), others like myself think we are at that start of a longer term drop in BAU capitalism and that this presents an opportunity to do things differently. I also believe it is imperative that we fold the employment crisis into the climate crisis and address them at the same time otherwise we are going to just make the climate crisis worse and set ourselves up for worse employment crises in the future. If we don't have those conversations alongside the ones about how to solve the issues of unemployed people, then we will end up with shit solutions.

                  The people currently on wage subsidy (the one that is set to run for another 8 weeks because the government understood that the priority was to get covid under control and that it would take that long), haven't been forgotten. We're still in a period of time where don't know who exactly is going to lose their job and when. It's a process.

                  Your long list of questions about how and when is kind of odd then, because those are the things that will develop out of the time we are in now, and how they get developed is a highly political question. I doubt there are many people commenting or reading on TS aren't aware that we face a huge unemployment issue. FFS read Ad or Graeme or KJT or any number of people who are already talking about the seriousness of this and what it means in real and pragmatic terms.

                  And you know, people have actually been answering those questions quite a bit, but you seem to think they haven't.

                  Incognito often puts up posts designed to provoke thought, and this is another one of those. There's nothing in their post that denies the employment issues, so your questions also just look like a derail. Maybe you didn't read the post, or maybe you just decided to use it to run your own lines and ignore what the post was about.

                  No-one is saying don't ask your questions, but just like anyone else you are in no way exempt from having your comments critiqued or responded to critically.

            • weka

              Here you go. The Greens want to get green jobs up and running now, not wait for big infrastructure build projects that will take many months to start providing income for people. Lots of those jobs are a reasonable easy transition for many previously working in the tourism industry.


              • Sabine

                Weka, I see absolutely no reason to vote for them. None.

                And besides, i am on a thread on a lefty political blog and not the Greens Party site.

                  • weka

                    I mean I don't know whether to FFS or LOL, but honestly, I give you an example of what you claim you are looking for (immediate jobs for unemployed tourism sector workers), and instead of engaging with the ideas, you make it party political and about your and your voting preferences.

                    It's getting hard to tell if you actually care about people losing their jobs or are just using them to have a moan.

                    Sorry Incog, I'll try and stop now.

              • KJT

                Spot on Weka.

                But. These people don't really care about the unemployed. They didn't before, and they won't now.

                It is just a stick to beat the coalition, and "lefties" with.

                Even though unemployment and failing businesses are caused by the virus. Nothing the Government can do to stop that.

                We can however, use the unemployed from Covid to get some much overdue infrastructure and sustainability projects done. And keep them in meaningful work, at the same time. They may even be paid enough to travel domestically, and revive part of the tourist industry.

        • KJT

          For a start, a lot of them were backpackers, and on temporary visa's, and have now gone home.

          Secondly both Labour and the Greens, are looking at infrastructure building and other projects to soak up unemployment. Right now!

          To say chefs, dishwashers and aircrew cannot change to another job is just nonsence.

          3000 NZ seafarers had to do just that, in the 90's, and that was just one of the industries decimated, at the time.

          • Poission

            There needs also to be a redistribution of work.As say international air arrivals are almost non existent,customs and biosecurity should be redeployed to wharfs and mail centres.

            The enhanced response should see a constraint on the epidemic of illegal drugs,weapons etc.

          • weka

            Lots of tourism work is seasonal, so workers often have other skills/experience and are used to moving between jobs. I think they're going to be one of the better prepared for the changes tbh.

        • Janet

          Train them in the skills needed to further process our primary agricultural and horticultural produce into higher value exportable products ….

    • Cinny 8.2

      Here's an idea…. those who have lost their jobs be given the option of free education (if they have not had FREE tertiary before, like Gen X and women).

      Said education could be limited to modules that would benefit NZ post covid.

      As well bring back the Ministry of Works please and thank you.

  9. McFlock 9

    If it becomes the new normal, we might have to redefine some things. Move to liners rather than planes – quarantine them en route. Or have quarantine hotels that have more spaces and activities than current hotels.

    But if we eradicate this thing, there are no half measures.

    • weka 9.1

      Didn't we established you can't quarantine on a ship?

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Certainly not a cruise ship in current format, with everyone milling about and ventilation/hygeine conforming to the rigourous demands of the cheapest flag of convenience.

        But transatlantic liner style, with everyone in discrete sections rather than classes, decent filters in the aircon, and some other management tweaks?

        Cruise ships are moving feedlots.

        Would a quarantine liner be guaranteed? No, but it minimises the risk of people exposing all of NZ.

  10. Anne 10

    From the post link:

    Seven out of 10 adults will support police and health authorities using their personal mobile data to help track and trace those who have been in contact with COVID-19.

    They would not support such a move if they had ever been on the receiving end of tracking and tracing as happened in the 1970s and 1980s. There were no cell phones then so the methods involved phone-tapping (using remote laser and microwave beams) and manual tracing of a person's movements. There were plenty of so-called 'lefties' who were victimised in this way, sometimes for highly spurious reasons. In my case, it was based on reported falsehoods by a malicious person. It can leave the victim isolated and tainted for years to come.

    It doesn't matter the reason for the tracking, because those being tracked will still feel a sense of stigma and guilt they have done something wrong even when they haven't. Also, the risks of such tracking extending into other areas of a person's life (eg. their politics which are legal and above board but contrary to an authoritarian government) are too high.

  11. John G 11

    I must admit I get confused about people complaining about tracking impinging on their rights. Has anyone taken note of what facebook and it's ilk do ? At least tracking can be argued as part of the greater good. Surely an app or whatever can have a sunset clause on it.

    I do agree that now is a good time to have a reset. The life as we had it is gone. This can be either scarey or exciting.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      We both installed the Australian COVID Safe app last night. Personally I think you are right, it's less intrusive than much of the tracking that goes on already.

    • weka 11.2

      FB doesn't have the ability to remove my income. The government does. There was plenty of left wing analysis of Bill English's big data plans that were going to basically hand surveillance of NZ citizens to the state. They were starting with beneficiaries and the underclass, but as far as I could see the intention was for it to be population wide. You might be ok with IRD having access to your medical records, but there are lots of very important reasons why the state shouldn't have the ability to override individual privacy rights.

      In terms of the post, I wasn't sure if Incog was suggesting that tourists should have tracking anklets, and because we took their rights away, locals should have that too. There's a BIG difference between a tracking bracelet and a phone.

      • Graeme 11.2.1

        The tracking bracelet is a red hearing, there's no need to be punitive when everyone has a phone and the phone does so much more, and can be more inclusive and trust enhancing.

        Yes, we're going to have to get used to border controls and quarantine restrictions and signing in and out of places. Kind of like working on a farm, with bio-security and H&S apps controlling and recording access.

        There's no reason these tracing apps can't be quite open about what they do. Trust is a two way thing. The app would be recording where you have been and matching that to who you have been around. Not much different to going to the supermarket, you are surveilled around the stores on the security cameras and identified when you make go to the checkout. It is a pain to contact trace because it's all manual but it can be and is done. An app would make it all a lot easier and would work everywhere.

        • RedLogix

          The Australian version went live last night. Looks good and dead easy to use.

          • Sacha

            That seems to have some really good safeguards like data auto-deletion and anyone accessing the data for another purpose or forcing you to install the app being liable for prosecution. It is exactly the sort of protection we should expect in the NZ version.

        • Sacha

          The app would be recording where you have been and matching that to who you have been around.

          A common misunderstanding. The app only records other people with the app that you have been around. It does not need to know where you were. Manual contact tracing would fill in that information when needed.

          • Graeme

            Ahh, that makes it more palatable in a western context, I was basing my comment on the Chinese one that seemed a lot more automatic.

            Although I'd assume one a trace was done they'd have access to the cellular data and your phone logs?

            • Sacha

              The Chinese spying on their citizens was already at freaky levels before this.

              If public health officials needed to contact trace you, I guess they could get mobile phone data from your phone company – though it seems they would usually just ask you directly to go through your own phone/bank transactions to help reconstruct where you were. Easier in L4 than L3 which is where NZ's tracing capability becomes so important.

        • KJT

          Anyone who thinks we are not being tracked, now, is living in a dream world.

          Spying and survaillance is already here.

          It just needs a future Government, that wants to use it for control.

          Worrying. At least Facebook and Spark, only want it to make money out of us. But it is available to police already. It is only one law change away from being always available to the State.

          An app for contact tracing, that only does that, is far less, than the capability that is already out there.

        • McFlock

          Not everyone has a phone, and not everyone who has a phone has a late-model phone.

          Many apps don't work on my phone, and them that do often take longer to open than it does for me to get out of a low chair (so – quite some time).

          • KJT

            It doesn't require an app to track phones.

            They can be tracked, every time you connect to a cell tower.

            • The Al1en

              Which for the purpose of contact tracing would be pretty useless information to gather, as all it would show is what general area you were in, along with the other hundreds or thousands of phone users.

          • Anne

            It's summing up the increased velocity required to detach aged bottom from the seat and then steadying the arthritic joints to propel aged bottom and associated anatomy into standing position that's the problem isn't it. 😮

            • McFlock

              Not arthritic, just fat. I do a great impression of a turtle stuck upside down sometimes.

      • RedBaronCV 11.2.2

        The data Bill English collected for his big data plans still exists and is still being added to. Somehow it didn't get deleted but is accessible to the private sector for bulk studies. Called the IDI – discussion on here the other day about how intrusive it is

  12. weka 12

    The big thing here, apart from the joy of mass tourism now being gone from the South Island and not wanting to go back to that, is that we just don't know enough about covid or the pandemic.

    We have no idea if people will develop immunity, or if there will be a vaccine more effective than the flu vaccines. We don't know if covid will turn into a seasonal illness. We don't know to what extent we will end up with effective testing. Or how to deal with asymptomatic transmission. Much of that will become clearer over the next year or so, but I suspect that the idea of a highly effective vaccine that will allow people to travel again is more a wishful thinking now.

    I also suspect that the degrees of disability that are emerging from people that don't die is going to change a lot of thinking around going back to a new normal. It's not just death tolls we should be looking at.

    There's also the issue of whether NZ eliminates covid or eradicates the virus, and when that might happen.

    And, those thinking a domestic tourism is going to save the day, has anyone looked at how many NZers are going to have enough free income in the coming year to be able to afford big holidays and paying tourism industry prices? (there is a big opportunity here to look at what NZers want, and maybe we want holidays again, more like we used to do traditionally, than all the bells and whistles stuff).

    In light of all that uncertainty, I don't see how we can plan much, and it makes sense in that case to not try and resurrect a highly polluting and resource depleting industry that's been increasingly destroying the quality of life of New Zealanders, and instead create new local economies that are sustainable and resilient.

    (lol, managed a whole comment without mentioning cl*m*te).

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Plan C

      But vaccine’s aren’t easy. None has ever been turned around in just 18 months. Most take years, if not decades, before they are reliable enough to be released for public use.

      “We need to prepare for a world where we don’t have a vaccine,” Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease Professor Ravi Gupta told Huffington Post. “To base public policy on the hope of a vaccine is a desperate measure. We should hope for a vaccine but we shouldn’t expect one in the next year and a half. Anyone who says we can is bonkers.”

      So, what’s Plan C?

      • Graeme 12.1.1

        There's going to be the seven stages of grief as we mourn the loss of our previous mobility. It'll take a while for the realities to sink in, hopefully we'll get there without loosing the plot.

      • Sabine 12.1.2

        You go out, you live your life, and at the end of it you die.

        there is no Plan C. And it is time for people to aquaint themselves with that idea.

        And all the other stuff that comes with it.

      • Gabby 12.1.3

        Pray exposure leads to immunity.

    • Sacha 12.2

      I also suspect that the degrees of disability that are emerging from people that don't die is going to change a lot of thinking around going back to a new normal.

      Big need for accessible tourism infrastructure, for a start. Wonder what the cost/benefit ratio is on that over coming decades?

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.2.1


        'Accessible tourism infrastructure '

        How long has this been talked about Sacha?


        Start with DOC….Peter and I happy to act as advisors. Official, of course, because our previous guerrilla methods simply haven't been effective. 😉

        Hmm. I wonder if there would be funding available for doing accessibility modifications on private B&B type accommodation?

        • Sacha

          Lack of will rather than lack of advice. Maybe ringfenced $$ will unlock some resistance.

        • gsays

          "Hmm. I wonder if there would be funding available for doing accessibility modifications on private B&B type accommodation?"

          That sounds like an idea worth monetizing on the internet.

      • Graeme 12.2.2

        In our gallery the cost has been minimal, just having the displays a bit lower than normal, which probably costs us a few sales to tall people who won't bend down a bit, and making sure there's a metre gap between fittings to get a chair around.

        The benefit has been dramatic, the effort is appreciated and rewarded.

        But Queenstown does pretty well in this market segment, there's a few muppets that don't get it, but the majority of businesses have products to suit, or the product starts at that point. There's a huge swing up Skippers and their chair product is probably their best option.

        • Sacha

          Thank you. It makes great business sense when so many of your customers may be seniors. The ones who packed cruise ships will need to take their tourism somewhere..

  13. Graeme 13

    This crisis is like previous socio-economic crisis, the result of human activity getting ahead of it's self. In 1930's, 1987 and 2008 it was financial markets that got over heated, this time it's human mobility that's gone beyond the limits of society and biology to absorb the effects of that mobility. If this virus had emerged 30 years ago, pre mobility, it would have been a curious occurrence in a city in central China that killed 10,000 people that we only found out about 20 years later.

    I think we can look at the international airline industry as completely dead in it's previous form. The low cost, volume carriers are all over. Capacity will reduce dramatically, with a corresponding increase in fares. I expect the industry will look a lot like it did in the late 70's by the this time next year. We had international tourists then, and we were starting to go overseas ourselves, but airfares were about the same as pre-Covid. Putting those 1975 airfares into 2020 dollars is staggering, your $2000 return airfare to London in 1975 would be $21,000 today.

    But at those fares we could have a sustainable industry. Travel would be a slower, more considered undertaking. Visitors would come here for several months, and the first two or three weeks would be at a remote resort where they would do quarantine, in pretty good surroundings, with the best that New Zealand can offer. Then they spend a couple of months traveling around the country. They'd probably spend a fair bit with our creative sectors as well to remember their time here.

    We would have our country back with the mass market gone and be taking holidays like we did in the 70's supporting the base of the industry at all levels. We'll always have tourism, the international product is an extension of the domestic product and sometimes it's hard to see where and how it goes from one to the other.

    • weka 13.1

      This is one of the best visions on what to do about tourism I've heard thus far.

      I'd love for NZers to create a new form of holiday making akin to what we had in the 70s and earlier. One example is the families that used to go to the same place ever year for 2 – 4 weeks. They got to know other families and the place they were staying in. This meant that they cared for it more too. The memories that some of us have from those times are sustaining. There are families that still do this now, some have been going to the same place for decades, and intergenerationally.

      But it's been harder, as camp grounds have converted to chasing the tourism dollar. Why hire out a site to a family for a month at a bulk rate when you can charge a campervan $50/night.

      The other issue there is that many NZers won't be able to afford tourism prices, so a reinventing of how we do holidays works on that level too. And of course there are all the NZers who haven't been able to afford holidays for a long time pre-covid.

      • Graeme 13.1.1

        Hopefully there's going to be a major asset revaluation come out of this crisis, both of physical assets, like traditional camping grounds, and human assets like labour. A lot of the universality of the family holiday in the past was that lower income New Zealanders had more discretionary spending ability then, rather than it being cheaper.

        The downside of making things cheaper is that the more able buy more, limiting the supply to the less able. Kind of what happened to the camping grounds.

        • Sacha

          I like your thinking on this, Graeme. Yes, broader economic equity will be needed alongside other changes to the tourism industry lest we get the worst of both the 70s and 20s.

    • RedLogix 13.2

      Good constructive thinking. You are dead right about the airline industry, any airline that went into this crisis in a weak financial position is gone. Afterward we'll see two trends, big mergers and rationalisation, and more state ownership stakes. In this part of the world we may only have Qantas and AirNZ left operating. Both will have strong state mandates to operate in the national interest.
      We may also see vertical integration with airports as an alternative path.

      There is of course the wild card of China. Their airlines have unlimited credit to buy up the carcasses of what's left globally. Hard to quantify this scenario, but possible.

      As you say travel will become a more considered matter. Authentic experience will count for more than scenery and cities to be ticked off. It's a trend that plays to NZ's strong points if we were smart enough to market it right.

      • Graeme 13.2.1

        What's the value of a failed airline right now? Possibly not a hell of a lot more than the scrap metal for those with aluminium fleets.

        As for which airlines are in a weak financial position, well that's pretty much all of them, although some are much worse than others. Flag carriers could be all that's left. Most of the Chinese carriers are cash constrained, a factor in the VA demise, so I doubt they will be having a buyup unless it's to secure modern technology at good prices.

        • RedLogix

          You're probably right about the Chinese airlines being cash constrained, but if the CCP can see a strategic advantage in getting it's hands on a fleet of modern aircraft cheaply … then a spot of carpetbagging could well be on the cards.

          As for the value of disused aircraft right now … you may be amused by this story of mongrel behaviour.

          But with fewer airlines operating and the freight business becoming more important, I can foresee more than a few airport executives running the numbers on what it would take to become more vertically integrated.

          • KJT

            Air freight may be rather cheap for a while. Especially with low oil prices.

            They will be competing with box boats though, which will be even cheaper.

            • Stunned Mullet

              I have it on good authority that international air freight is currently outrageously expensive.

              • KJT


                Delay in repurposing passenger aircraft.

                An adaptation problem, as we had with flour.

                Airfreight was an add on, on board passenger aircraft, where the cost of the flight was mostly paid by the passengers.

                A new business model, of planes full of freight has yet to start.

              • Graeme

                Wait 'till they start flying people around again and see what that's going to cost, as well as the travel insurance.

                Even parcel / courier freight is hard, and slow. We’ve got consignments out of the gallery that were dispatched mid March that are still in transit.

                • KJT

                  Air, or sea freight?

                  • Graeme

                    NZ Post Courier, so air, into Europe and UK. Had 4 arrive in China right at the start of it there that took 6 weeks to clear through customs and deliver too, that got nervous, thought we were going to get them back.

          • Graeme

            Well Melbourne Airport did the same with an airplane with Helen Clark on it when Ansett went tits up. I wan't surprised about that Perth incident at all, pretty normal commercial practice when the shit hits the fan and millions are owed.

            Not so sure about the health of airports now either, I can see a lot of them getting just as far into the crap as the airlines. A bit much debt right now and things could get very tricky, it's a very capital intensive business.

            Our local airport just paid $136 million for a piece of land it's probably never going to need now, ooops.

            • gsays

              That's a big community garden.

              Occasional jets landing will not upset the brassicas.

              • Graeme

                Parking for the rental cars, well was until the vendor undercut the Airport with a similar sized area across the road. Vendor and Airport have an interesting relationship

    • KJT 13.3

      This is what I am getting at.

      How we deal with a considerably changed world.

      It won't go back to what it was, anytime soon. No matter how much the magical thinkers want it.

      We will have to have something for thousands of unemployed, instead of just dumping them, like we did in the 1990's.

      Despite all the bloviating and pretend concern, I doubt if those who are prosperous through this will give a shit. Just as they didn't when whole towns were full of the recently unemployed in the 90's. And they voted for Richardson's, reducing unemployment benefits. .

      I still remember farmers cheering the Government on, in the 90's, as they put thousands of seafarers out of work.

    • AB 13.4

      This is as good a vision as any. Though I wouldn't assume that we will be able to force future tourism into what we consider a 'desirable' form – because there will be plenty of alternative visions contending for supremacy. And that includes a 'vision' that believes we should not have visions at all – but just let markets operate. (I recall in the 90's a commentator called Owen McShane whose basic schtick was that all planning is bad and only markets produce good outcomes. Expect to see this nonsense back with a vengeance.)

      However this vision does leave the problem of what happens to the thousands of people in our current tourism industry. As several people have noted – you can't quickly re-train, re-locate and do whatever is needed to put these people into jobs that don't exist yet. The immediate thing that needs doing is to give them enough money to keep their lives going and keep demand in the economy – otherwise the contagion spreads to other sectors. Plus ensure that any training/education they want to get is free. I have always been suspicious of UBI – as it could become a tool to simply chuck society's unwanted, excess labour into a depressing, unfulfilling dead-end with barely enough money to survive. But now may be the time for it. Funding it is the issue. I don't see how this can be done without taking some of the money that has accumulated at the top of the socioeconomic tree and chucking it in at the bottom. It can then start re-circulating in the real economy – rather than being locked up in speculative activity.

      • Graeme 13.4.1

        The industry wouldn't shrink all that much, just refocus away from the mass market.

        A major caveat here, that's assuming that our government, and those around us, are able to keep their economies functioning in a safe manner. There's every indication that is the intention, with lots of ideas coming forward for short and longer term activity to keep the cash flowing.

        The Green Party package in the other thread is part of this and some of the 'shovel ready' ideas / projects being put forward around here will suck up a serious amount of labour, and are very much inline with GP thinking. There's a few that were going nowhere through the boom too, but the last person to realise that an idea is not a goer is often the promoter.

  14. Blazer 14

    So long as we focus on the Americas Cup …all will be well.

    The economic stimulus will be…Huge!

  15. Foreign waka 15

    Be aware of fascism finding a back door. Easier than you think. NZlanders have no experience how that happens, often asking why people did this or that when confronted with the hindsight scenarios of other countries.

    We are already being conditioned in many areas via apps on phones etc.

    To call any "new normal"exiting is a bit naive. Freedom was fought for in many wars, what we take for granted has been a long battle. Anybody just giving away that hard won gain needs to read up in the history of the world. The question that needs to be asked is: what if you are on the wrong side of the fence in a totalitarian state, sanctioned by those who do not know better? And if we have another calamity with another virus or other issues, are we going to build stronger controls still and reduce the circle of any freedom left even further? What is personal responsibility and where do we need to make sure that everybody's rights are protected? And I mean literally everybody's.

    What is fascism?

    Fascism is a movement that promotes the idea of a forcibly monolithic, regimented nation under the control of an autocratic ruler. The word fascism comes from fascio, the Italian word for bundle, which in this case represents bundles of people. Its origins go back to Ancient Rome, when the fasces was a bundle of wood with an ax head, carried by leaders.

    • weka 15.1

      I'm a bit concerned at the number of people on twitter being casual about the privacy issues when talking about contact tracing tech. I'm relieved that Ardern has taken the trouble to point out that in NZ, because of who we are, such apps will be voluntary (and the sharing of information from them with the state will be too afaik). But I'm also mindful that we could have had Bill English or John Key or Christopher Luxton in charge, and they're all proto-fascists.

    • Anne 15.2

      The question that needs to be asked is: what if you are on the wrong side of the fence in a totalitarian state, sanctioned by those who do not know better?

      Exactly Foreign waka.

      There will be many people who sneer at those of us with such concerns. They will be people who have never been on the receiving end.

      In NZ we had the hint of such a situation between the mid 1970s through to the mid-1980s when a certain gentleman now dead and gone was PM. There were plenty of people who felt the wrath of that government in a variety of insidious ways.

      I have no problem with this government's intentions to introduce tracking devices given the current circumstances. But I do have a problem with a future government using such a system for ulterior motives.

      As Fw alludes to… fascism will always find a back door if we are stupid enough to leave it open. In my view the 'intentions' need to have an end date so that it cannot be mis-used at a future time.

      • KJT 15.2.1

        The repressive instinct is always there.

        Had a demonstration myself, a bit after that "Gentleman" was gone.

        I was rather shocked they would even bother, with someone who had as little power as I did.

        Then there was Nicky Hagar.

        • Anne

          My experiences also continued for some years after the gentleman was gone. I, too, had no power or influence (nor aspired to them) which made the nonsense I was forced to endure beyond ludicrous. Public Service gone mad.

          At least Nicky Hager knew the cause of the angst and hostility towards him so he was able to take legal action against those responsible.

          • KJT

            Another family member had an even more recent experience.

            When she exposed one of National's goons, for the liar he was.

            • Anne

              Wow… now that is interesting.

              There was a strong political element to my former experiences and I have long since known that some of the incidents were associated with a few ultra right-wing individuals associated with the leading founding members of the ACT Party.

              That was 25-30 years ago but it sounds like its still going on among their right wing successors. Love to know more but understand why that is not possible.

              If only more people knew the lengths these thuggish types go in order to threaten and intimidate people who stand up to them.

    • McFlock 15.3

      Symbol of the judicial authority – rods for beating, axe for beheading.

  16. common sense 16

    Maybe once the fear and more importantly the suppression of data into the public debate starts to recede we may find ourselves back to normal sooner than we think..

    The deaths numbers have been fudged

    The statistics have been fudged

    We still don't have the correct information to be making any decisions or forecast..

    From my standpoint the antibodies tests that are being conducted in New York etc are indicating this is no worse than a common flu death rate ..

    Maybe we will soon work out we just destroyed our economy and gave away our true freedom because the collective cant manage fear of the unknown.

    Maybe , like everyone else ive got absolutely no idea and im just making assumptions but I think this is all going to go away shortly and we are all going to feel like drama queens.

    My bets are on the fact most of us have got it already and we are just asymptomatic..

    Prove me wrong (you cant) or maybe we can get our proverbial together and start antibodies testing so you can..

    • Gabby 16.1

      Prove your maybe reckons wrong? Tricky.

      • common sense 16.1.1

        Every decision that has been made so far is based on " maybe reckons" . The modelling that we have used to date has been so inaccurate its laughable.

        There is now data starting to emerge that is giving a more clear view of the road ahead , Im happy to debate this .

        At least then the public debate starts to include all relevant information, not just information that supports officials position..

        Its very easy to prove that much of the data is inaccurate in regards to the way it is presented. This inaccurate data is what is guiding public perception and response.. This is very concerning to me

        • Gabby

          The pom death rate being far higher than the recorded death rate, that kind of data?

          • common sense

            AH EXCELLENT!!!

            You can see that the figures are fudged too.. Yes lets discuss this pom issue which is attached to the real issue . the figures are being manipulated..

            Do you think this is ethical that statistics are knowingly being manipulated..

      • I Feel Love 16.1.2

        My reckon is CS has hit the disinfectant a bit early today.

        • Sacha

          It does seem to believe in eugenics.

          • common sense

            Sacha I believe in concepts that are obviously beyond your cognitive comprehension

            You bought nothing information wise to a discussion..

            throwing insults to cover your lack of character ,

            You have been measured and are left wanting……

    • Sacha 16.2

      i've got absolutely no idea and im just making assumptions

      You said it.

      • common sense 16.2.1

        Yes I said it cause its true. .. the data is fudged so its all assumptions.. at least I can concede to that fact.. Can you or are you going to assert than you can filter through the misinformation?

        Do you think you KNOW. im quite willing to bet you don’t

        Your comment implies to me that you think know so please enlighten me??

        Or was that a pathetic attempt to belittle me because your information and argument carries no substace

        • Sacha

          I know enough to know which viewpoints to trust. Yours falls at the first hurdle. How about going outside and enjoying the day where you can harm fewer people.

          • common sense

            Ive never intentionally harmed a person my whole life..

            If you think sharing information or discussing alternative viewpoints is harmful then I question your intellect

            perhaps I should repeat or regurgitate the narrative/ opinion that is the same as yours so that you may feel comfortable and knowledgeable

            Its a rainy day and I thought this was a forum for progressive discussion

            sorry my mistake

            • McFlock

              If you think sharing information or discussing alternative viewpoints is harmful then I question your intellect

              You say that like nobody drank bleach in the last few days.

              • common sense

                you cant legislate nor protect against stupidity..

                People that drink bleach have bigger problems than covid..

                Sometimes nature steps in and natural selection cleans the gene pool..

                Back to subject .

                Im just concerned that we are destroying this country for ignorance and fear .

                If this has a lethality rate of 0.1-0.3 and we ruined the country when there was plenty of information available but know it all peeps went all in on a bullshit narrative then good luck 2020

                WRONG DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE FROM MISINFORMATION and its not just obvious , you have to be delusional not to see it..

                I respect our social fabric and our ability to function and enjoy community spirit.. That’s all going to disintegrate if we hold our current course and plow this country into the ground..

                How much is China going to buy for cents in the dollar.?

                Heres my prediction , more people are going to kill themselves from the fallout of this economically than die from covid.

                • Andre

                  New York city currently has a population fatality rate from COVID-19 that is over 0.2% and still climbing fast, with the official count of the number infected at 1.8%. The most credible estimates I've seen of how many have actually been infected range from 5% to 20%, giving an infection fatality rate of 1% to 4%. From the New York data, there is simply no plausible argument for infection fatality rates as low as 0.1% to 0.3%.

                  There's certainly misinformation going around, but you're the one swallowing and spreading it.


                  • McFlock

                    Total US infection count is knocking on a million cases.

                  • common sense

                    They are manipulating the figures,, what do you define as credible . quote new York times "The city has added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive." Since when do assumptions go on death certificates .. Theres 37% inflation just there in one article.. your the one swallowing it and spreading it..
                    Answer me this should assumptions go on death certificates??

                    Keywords died after CONTRACTING covid not died from covid..

                    • McFlock

                      Assumptions always go on death certificates. Even if you pulled the trigger on the guy yourself, he might have had a heart attack and been dead before the bullet hit him.

                    • Andre

                      Yet by comparing excess deaths compared to expected deaths for the same time period, New York city seems to be getting its COVID deaths fairly close, while almost everywhere else is massively undercounting.


                    • common sense

                      cmon mcflock that's a bit silly and out of context

                      It is a reasonable expectation that a death certificate be as accurate as possible.. The example you gave is unreasonable in context to the discussion . murder by gunshot or heart attack by gunshot scare is still murder by gunman.

                      My example is blatant fudging of figures.
                      Do you think its wise for the world to make decisions on obviously manipulated data?? Not in my world , maybe yours

                      If I have covid and die in a car crash on the way home should the death certificate say covid or car crash . cmon think…..

                      ANDRE looks like excess deaths may be a sound argument, Thankyou ill do some research. one paper with selected countries isn’t enough data for a coclusion in my world but ill look deeper

                    • McFlock

                      Who says the gunshot caused the heart attack?

                      In your car crash example, the obvious proximate cause of death is the crash. But they do also record underlying factors, and a medical event that apparently contributed to the crash would also be recorded (but not identified as primary cause). If there was evidence of death before impact, the medical event would be recorded as the primary cause.

                      When they say deaths from covid, usual practise is primary cause. The distinction between "probable" and "confirmed" is one that really only emerged in the last fifty years or so for most conditions, via diagnostic tests. But covid tests seem to be relatively unreliable compared to e.g. many of your basic STD tests (which most people should be familiar with out of public interest).

                      Prior to lab tests it was autopsy for things like cancer, or differential diagnostics. What are the symptoms, what conditions do they match? The US has over 800k lab-confirmed cases from which to build their case definitions. It's probably pretty precise.

                      If anything, the US and maybe one or two other countries are fudging their covid mortality down. Someone has a heart condition and has a massive probable covid infection (ticks all the symptom boxes, lives closely with another probable covid patient, etc), the temptation is to pressure people to classify it either as something else (unknown-type pneumonia) or put the heart condition as primary, even though the heart wouldn't have been working so hard if the lungs were 100%. Low rates mean good governance, right?

                    • common sense

                      You never answered the question .. is it acceptable to just inflate the figures as cited in my example by 37% ..

                      Speculation only.

                      we are not talking a few people..

                      That's one example.. In one state….

                      please show me examples the other way .. im just not seeing them and yes I am looking

                    • McFlock

                      Ah, I get your boggle. So that total toll includes covid deaths as a secondary contributor, including medical overstretch. People who died because covid cases meant the patient couldn't get a ventilator.

                      It's a debate that arises when the flow-on effects of a situation kill people. Like when rest homes were abandoned by carers during Hurricane Katrina and the vulnerable people there were left to die. They weren't drowned or hit by flying debris, but they're still in the Katrina death toll.

                      That's different to an individual death record. "Problems related to medical facilities and other health care associated with covid19 pandemic" or similar might be attached as a contributing cause to the death, but the primary cause will be e.g. traffic collision.

                      But when assessing how many people this pandemic has killed, not including people who would otherwise have been saved is a highly debatable point, because the objective of the tally is surely to estimate the true cost in lives lost to the community?

                      War deaths also include disease. Up until I think the 19th century most war deaths were actually from disease. To argue that war deaths only included those people killed by enemy weapons would be a highly controversial opinion. Johnny might also have died of the shits in peacetime. But he caught it at Andersonville POW camp, and died there.

                      Edit: The above is contrary to what I said about “usual practise”, but it’s still reasonable. If 3700 people were killed by covid not letting them get medical care, it’s a fair call to make. I’m not used to that sort of analysis, but I’m not uncomfortable with it. It’s far more robust than just sticking with lab-confirmed results in that sort of environment.

                • McFlock

                  You can't legislate against stupidity, but you can stop people (especially the people in charge) encouraging it.

                  Look, Lombardy got 14k dead in a couple of months. They have ten mil, we have five. 7k deaths in a couple of months isn't 80k, sure, but it still about doubles our annual death rate. That's nothing to sniff at.

                  Even if you think the gain doesn't warrant the cost, it was pretty clear this thing could hit the world hard. Best case, minimal cases and deaths. Worst case, 80k deaths (and that was the worst case projection, not the average expectation). So we ensure the best by averting the worst.

                  It's all well and good to say covid is comparable to the flu and argue about the accuracy of that comparison, the problem is assessing the penalty for failure.

                  And we haven't ruined the country, by any means.

                  • common sense

                    I agree with pretty much all of the above mcflock, Actually all of it , its common sense.

                    Its the misinformation and fear drive that is killing good public debate that is burning my wick

                    people are so heavily invested in fear and the current narrative that they cant entertain any discussion to the contrary,,

                    • McFlock

                      Discussion to the contrary needs to be pretty damned solid and thoroughly considered before it's put forward.

                      These are, as they say, "interesting times". It's one of these situations where it's best that everyone does the same thing than their own thing, even if that thing is not the perfect response. It's also best to err on the side of caution, and economic harm is not as lethal as a decent plague.

                      If you're right and the lockdown was an overreaction, many businesses went under and people made unemployed, but we still have an opportunity to think about the economic path we were on and tweak it with the recovery plan.

                      If the worst case scenario was right several weeks ago and we didn't lock down or half-arsed it, thousands of people died.

                      The absolute worst thing to do in that sort of situation is to become immobilised through bickering. Industries still tank because half the population stays home, but the disease still spreads and causes at least dozens more deaths because half the population thinks it's BS.

  17. Ad 17

    I'd already done a post that covered most of this ground already a few days ago.

    We don't need to worry about tracing data – the Australian government released their own version yesterday, and their citizens are taking to it by the million already.


    The Internal Affairs Minister Dutton has already signaled that New Zealand will be the first country that they will restore travel with. That's a massive chunk of our tourism business coming back already.

    From the Ardern-Malcolm meeting in February this year they had already signalled that they were deep into planning for full biometric testing.

    Australasian surveillance has come along at just the right time for our tourist economy.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Another good read on the COVIDSafe app

      Yes there are reasons to exercise sane caution over allowing yet more intrusions on our privacy, but this one isn't exactly Orwellian.

      And it's pretty much where the South Koreans went six weeks ago as part of their exceptionally effective response. Remember they started out on the back foot with an early and major cluster, but amazingly they got on top of it.

      Learn from countries that have their act together.

  18. bwaghorn 18

    How are people going to prove they are more successful/happy/wealthy if they cant bore us to tears with their travels??

    • Glenn 18.1

      Remember those dreary slide evenings where aquaintances/neighbours etc would bore the pants off you with their trip overseas? Stuck in their lounge looking at poorly taken slides for hours.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Oh yes. I remember one slide evening I was subjected to many years ago consisted of photos of all the airports the recently returned travellers had passed through. The only saving grace was the chocolate cake we were served after the ordeal was over.

      • Herodotus 18.1.2

        I would sooner be bored about a neighbour/friends travel than property prices over a beer at a BBQ 🤓

    • RedLogix 18.2

      As an interesting contrast; tramping club monthly meetings usually have a member or two give a slide show or presentation on a recent trip. Oddly enough I've rarely been disappointed, some are remarkably good.

      It obviously helps to have a shared interest in the first place, but it's not a given that someone talking to their experiences is automatically boring.

      On the other hand anything that goes past 20min is risky. blush

  19. Mad Plumber 20

    Now is the time to have a hard look at the benefits and the down sides and how we will manage the future. Do we still want so called freedom campers shitting everywhere, Tourist drivers, airbnb and its impacts to name a few. Do we restrict numbers. We did a house in Tekapo that was going to be Airbnb but the council did little about it and except for one other house in the street all the others were the same. All cleared out in the morning and then the next lot arrived., was funny watching some of the backing into driveways then you thought shit I might of been on the road with that lot. In between the cleaners arrived some of who traveled from Fairlie as there were no affordable rentals. Of course the cost of buying these lakeside home was being offset by renting and possible driving the property prices up, be interesting to see what the future brings.

  20. Adrian 21

    I would have thought that a huge number of tourism jobs were filled by young overseas visitors anyway. Tourism is very seasonal ,what happens to the "thousands "out of work in the off-season?

    The numbers seem like bullshit, the media is saying 200,000 working in tourism, really? that means in a town of 100,000, given about 3 million of us work that about 7000 have got a tourism related job, see what I mean about bullshit. They must starve in the winter.

    • KJT 21.1

      154 446 temporary work visa's issued in 2019/2020 year.

      There's most of 200 000 jobs, already.

      • Adrian 21.1.1

        Exactly KJT, but a lot of them have probably gone back home already and won't be back for a while. Also a lot of the 154k work in horticulture and dairy etc and even health services so if they haven't left they've got a job to go to. For the first time in a long time 90% of the BOP kiwifruit pickers are NZers according to news reports a few weeks ago.

  21. infused 22

    enough kool aid for you buddy.

    the govt might as well just chip us all and be done with it

    • Incognito 22.1

      Thank you for your contribution. Your idea is succinct yet full of imagination and beautifully articulated.

  22. bill 23

    Lots of employment in tourism is essentially service and retail, right?

    Anyone object to bringing back all "the butcher, baker and candlestick makers" as collectives/cooperatives in place of supermarkets and 'big box' stores…with maybe a little resurgent sense of community on the side?

    • KJT 23.1

      Our local artisans and farmers market people, are popping up on Facebook, with "contactless" options.

      • bill 23.1.1

        An encouraging sign, but my experience here in Dunedin is that prices from those types of producers are generally (though not always) beyond poorer people. I'm not blaming them for that – supermarkets have tied up and then squeezed supply chains…

        So how to go from a 'two tier' system of food affordability to a universally accessible single tier?

        An increase in disposable income for the poorest, and freeing growers from the supermarket supply chains are probably a couple of necessary moves.

        Crafted goods versus factory crap from abroad is probably a tougher nut, but one we should probably try to crack if enhancing the common weal is to be an aim.

  23. Grafton Gully 24

    Drone mediated remote tourism with various special interests catered for, a totally individual personal and unique travelogue opportunity without the inconveniences of mass travel.

  24. Grumpy 25

    Discussed this with a mate who owns restaurants and bars in Queenstown. He reckons if we can get travel between NZ and Aussie going, that, together with NZ domestic tourism will allow survival. Reckons the market in Queenstown was stuffed due to cowboy operators and this is an overdue cleaning out.

  25. Tricledrown 26

    Queenstown has 3,000 unemployed visitors the apple and wine industry could use their help.The govt could help move campervan to where people are needed prop up the campervan hire business as well as hort and viticulture.

  26. Brokenback 27

    IMO , the Tourism industry needs to be preserved as the [last] remaining monument to 'free market' economics .

    Albeit without the hidden subsidies that have enabled it to 'prosper'.

    i.e. The immense CO2 emissions involved in ferrying 2 million plus long haul visitors.[ Transtasman excluded]

    The distortions to the 'free ' labour market and property markets by virtue of open door policies for itinerant work visas .

    The lack of capital gains tax on 'domestic' property being used for commercial gain[ Airbnb] .

    The direct and environmental costs of 'freedom' camping born by the NZ population.

    Road traffic inefficiencies – the dreaded Log Truck/Camper van combo.

    The cost/impact of death and injury from road accidents involving foreign visitors .

    Given that Australia is the origin of nearly 50% of visitors and more than 50% of revenue to NZ owned businesses then it is obvious that any continued 'was' tourism will be focussed on Australia.

    Any long haul tourism needs to be taxed/levied to reflect the true cost of annual visitors in excess of 1.5- 2 million total.

  27. Hunter Thompson II 28

    In the article "Peak Paradise" (NZ Listener, 14 Jan 2107) a senior Dept of Conservation official said the challenge for the department was how to prepare conservation facilities for a 40-50% increase in tourism.

    "New Zealand has open skies, and so you cannot switch it off."

    Covid-19 flicked that switch. Let's not waste the opportunity to get a tourist industry that doesn't lay waste to the environment by sheer weight of numbers.

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  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
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  • The Parent Zone
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  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
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  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
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  • The UK needs proportional representation
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  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
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    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
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  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
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  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
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  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
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  • What has the Government done for you so far?
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  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
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  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
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  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
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    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
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    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
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    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
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  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
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  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
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  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
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    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
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    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
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  • Granny flats popular with all ages
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    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
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    5 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
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    5 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
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    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
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    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
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  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
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  • NZQA Board appointments
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
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    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
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  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
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    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
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  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
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    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
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