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Friday will change Us As Citizens

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, October 22nd, 2021 - 210 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, human rights, jacinda ardern, tech industry, workers' rights - Tags:

Whatever the timing of the plans announced on Friday, as of January 2022 New Zealand will be ruled by a very different kind of government.

While we may have been lifted out of martial lockdowns and some BORA rights reinstated in limited form, we have in fact surrendered to another more pervasive power.

The governing power we will have is not however what the leftie fantasy of a totalised state perpetually rolling out wealth redistribution. Nope, in the name of public policy it will be a governing power that will track where you are, who you meet with, how you travel to meet with them and travel back, track how you work and who you work with, what kind of risk you are to society whether you’ve done anything wrong ever in your life or not, what kind of job you can have, and whether you continue to inject year after year.

The state will be able to do so not because we collectively assented, or voted in this policy in a manifesto, or because it is law, or because you “allowed cookies”. It will do so because you will let it, or you feel the pervasive economic and social coercion at its disposal and squeeze to civic insignificance the holdouts.

So much a fresh price on our freedom.

That power to command us comes no longer from occasional exercises of Police with tasers and cuffs, or from our armed forces with the residual power of weapons. This is not old-style analogue coercion. It is multinational Big Data taking over government of our lives. Sure we will still have our analogue throwbacks like Brian Tamaki having actual picnics and an actual day in court in front of an actual judge. But this is not how the Team of 5 Million is being regulated.

No, the government that will guide and correct and command us will be one primarily from Big Tech. Our QR code system is run by Amazon. Nationwide use of vaccine ‘certificates’ or ‘passports’ were confirmed by the Prime Minister on October 8th. We don’t yet know the provider but it will be a conglomerate of Big Tech players. There will be an app available for verification, using mobile, or website, and printable. We don’t know whether safeguards will have any real force to them, but given how poorly New Zealand is regulated in any and all of its critical infrastructure I am not optimistic.

As airlines, hotels and restaurants specify “Double-Vaxxed Only”, it will spread to taxis, law firms, malls, builders and tradies, insurers and in fact every single transaction, and there is seriously nothing to stop Foodstuffs and Woolworths doing the same. We will not be provided with a new ‘human right’ to not demonstrate our QR Double Vax Pass. This will spread – even faster than the virus – to our major employers before you are allowed to get in the door. It will quickly erode inside public services like schools once the virus gets going through our children.

We will gauge its power not by whether there’s a knock on the door and you are personally required for an interview ‘down at the station’. No, there will be no due process at all. You will simply be DoS.

There’s a famous book by Robert Higgs called Crisis and Leviathan. It details how after each successive crisis, the government expands the power of the state to deal with the crisis, but almost never releases that accreted power back to the people once the crisis is over. This is what Ardern is announcing on Friday: the tools to calibrate an entirely smaller definition of freedom for New Zealand.

Consider how this works right at the top of power. While Steve Bannon’s Contempt of Congress charge needs to go through 6 different legal evaluation processes and may see the light of day through the DoJ and a Grand Jury over the next year, Big Tech has no such qualms. When President Donald Trump posted with praise for the January 6th insurrectionists, the House response was to form a committee and take a year to get to something. Whereas within hours, Facebook and Twitter suspended his accounts, Amazon, Apple and Google banished Parler, Paypal and Stripe stopped processing all his donor transactions, and Trump’s political operation shrank like a choked snake.

Imagine, in just a small way, if like Trump you decide in 2022 to buck the state, but instead of railing against an election you simply choose to remain unvaccinated. Or even if vaccinated, seek to refuse to disclose such medical records? What digital rights do you have to demand service and entry to any of the great tech portals that rule our lives and now manage our health system down to literally how we breathe? Your right to Apple, or Google, or Amazon, or Facebook, or Twitter? There is no regulator for this power. All we might plead over is the service ‘agreements’ you sign up to. It’s never, ever a right: it is a contract.

Covid19 is seeing the greatest expansion of state power into our lives since the formation of individualised digital IRD accounts. That power resides only in the first instance in the political order, but in exercised reality it is in the hands of Big Tech. Since the government has not had the courage or will to mandate vaccination proof for employers and let that decision be subject to political accountability, it has instead enabled Big Tech to take and deploy that same power over us.

The government through not mandating vaccine proof, has in proxy formed a vast, cruel unregulated market for social exclusion and inclusion in any good or service outside the four walls of your home. In the words of Frank Underhill, you will be entitled to nothing.

Rights to privacy are being swept aside as fast as the Bill of Rights were when the pandemic struck: they are next to useless. Our proposed regulations over ‘harmful’ content within Big Tech will be impossible once these giants have this much societal power: we will beg them to exploit our data, in order to retain access to society. Big Tech is rapidly the primary arbiter of most of our human rights.

The signal I want to see on Friday is that Ardern gets the scale of power she is handing over.
I don’t even think she has the power to stop it happening, even if she wanted to.

210 comments on “Friday will change Us As Citizens ”

  1. Byd0nz 1

    AI will rule. Let's hope it understands what common sense means when it becomes its own regulator. SF has morphed.

    • tc 1.1

      AI is artificially constructed by humans with an end goal.

      Genuine Intelligence is still pure science fiction these are algorithms with designed outcomes using big data to 'learn' how to achieve the outcome more efficiently.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Your article arrived in my mailbox before you even wrote it, Ad – that's how good they are!

    Then, there's this! https://www.facebook.com/photo/

  3. garibaldi 3

    Fantasy my dear man, fantasy . You think you've got it tough, we used to have to get up before we went to bed and walk 10 miles to school in barefeet over broken glass.

    Seriously though I think there are far deeper and more worrying things out there that are coming our way than your scenario.

  4. miravox 4

    Crazy huh? Imagine if everyone – especially in those freedom-loving countries ruled by presidents and prime ministers with the tendencies of a demagogue – had followed standard pandemic protocols and stayed home for a few weeks.

    We wouldn't be needing any of it.

  5. Sabine 5

    the chinese call it social credit. 🙂

  6. Pete 6

    We wouldn't be doing any of it had we taken the real path of freedom. No border limitations, no lockdowns, no mask mandates, vaccines available at GPs simply as a casual personal thing, no MIQ.

    • riffer 6.1

      Possibly true. But that would have come at a great price of many deaths. And the general population would not have accepted that in the slightest.

    • Clive Macann 6.2

      Would we have been well enough or even alive to enjoy our "Freedom" though?

    • Robert Guyton 6.3

      And would the rest of the world allowed us to be "free" – international travel, anyone?

      • alwyn 6.3.1

        Are you "free" to carry out International travel now Robert? Unless you have the right piece of paper from the Government today you might be able to get out of New Zealand but you can't get back.

        Well you can, but only after the Government, or one of the Minister's of the Crown reviews your record, decides you are reliably under their control and gives you a special place in MIQ that bypasses the queue.

        Or, if you are very, very valuable to them because of your special status they will allow you to bypass MIQ and spend the time at home.

        Other than that you can forget it baby. It won't be because of other countries. It will be because your own country doesn't trust you to go overseas, see what things are like there, and then to come back to New Zealand and start telling people that there is a better way that being locked up by Jacinda.

        • Robert Guyton

          oh, alwyn! The Government is hiding the outside world from us? Crikey! Who knew???

          Silly Government though, forgetting that New Zealanders have brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends living "out there" in the Free World, and that we have communication devices that allow us to talk with them? Duffers! Soon, news of the joyous freedoms we are being denied will filter through to us Kiwis, we'll see how we've been duped and we will rise, rampant and revived, and topple the oppressors!

        • Patricia Bremner

          devilSo you'll be leaving then Alwyn?

          • alwyn

            I suppose you know what you are talking about Patricia.

            Can't say that I understand your comment though.

            • Patricia Bremner

              You were inferring people would find it better overseas than being locked down by Jacinda, so I assumed you wanted to leave? devil??

              • alwyn

                I wasn't "inferring" any such thing. Robert seemed to be saying that we, New Zealanders, would be allowed to travel overseas by our Government but that foreign countries might not let us in.

                I was simply doubting the truth of the first part of that statement. Our Government might let us out but the shambles that is MIQ would mean we couldn't return.

                Would I like to travel overseas in the future? Of course I would. I have friends in many countries and I would love to see them again. That doesn't mean I am going to allow the juveniles in our Government from stopping me from exercising my right to return.

        • Tricledrown

          You will be able to isolate at home but if your overseas and a new more virilant variant emerges you might be stuck in sum place like Dubai. Where the cost of everything is astronomical.

  7. tc 7

    Good post Ad. I recommend Jaron laniers 'who owns the future'.

    Jaron imagines an alternative that preserves human dignity over these 'siren servers'.

  8. Capitalism is a literal death cult that is destroying democracy and commoditising everything on Earth, us included.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Roblogic so what's the alternative as Capatilism has control of the world.

      How do you change a system that's so powerful .Not to mention other systems have failed because human greed a survival instinct has always won.

      Workable ideas that don't undermine democracy please.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        one of my small acts of not participating in capitalism is not shopping at all with amazon/ali baba shit, kmart, walmart, and other assorted mass produced goods.

        There are plenty bookshops, dressmakers, shoemakers, candy makers, butchers, bakers and cabinetmakers to get what i need in live made here by a real person who will feed that money back into the local economy.

        I will also not buy an electric vehicle and use the tax payer to pay parts of it, i can still cycle, and use public transport. For when i need a car i can lease or share a ride.

        Pretty much anything i eat can be produced and chances are is produced locally. No need for a supermarket to eat imported soylent green.

        And so on and so forth. It takes a bit of effort, but it actually works.

        We don't need the govenrment to tell us to be socially minded, we can do that on our own.

        Non of this would undermine democracy, and fwiw, depending on where you live and what sex you are democracy be something that only applies every now and then.

        • Ad


          No easy task. Great resolve there.

        • Patricia Bremner

          smiley yes. We try, but at 80 we find our wee car necessary to visit Dr. chemist and friends. But, we do support local as much as possible.

      • roblogic 8.1.2

        Capitalism will fall due to its own internal contradictions. It is a Wizard of Oz shell game built on lies. Like all historic movements it too shall pass. I refer you to this quote:

        “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”

        ― Ursula K. Le Guin

        Signs of the end:

        • destruction of global supply chains
        • failure of the banking system due to endemic corruption
        • widespread chaos due to climate change
        • war, pandemics, famines

        Highly interventionist government will become the norm. The "free hand" of the market is the agent of chaos and the enemy of human flourishing. Something like the Paris commune would be ideal, but with a unique Kiwi aspect. As long as the CIA doesn't ruin it like they have done to so many left wing movements. It is already happening. The world is ripe for a massive change. I can feel it in the air.

      • Michael 8.1.3

        Thomas Piketty, "Time for Socialism: Dispatches From A World On Fire" (Yale UP, 2021). A collection of his articles in "Le Monde" over these years. I haven't finished reading it yet but I do recommend Piketty's "Capital and Ideology" (Belknap Press 2020), which I have read thoroughly and greatly enjoyed.

      • roblogic 8.1.4

        The Empire is already dead, but the corpse is still twitching.

    • Subliminal 8.2

      Thanks for the link roblogic. A wonderful interpretation of Marx. I often struggle with his style but really feel the demonic religious aspect of capitalism. Such as those that put the economy before people. Something to be worshiped or invoke the invisible hand. This speaks to that reality. Capitalism really is just another religion with all of a religions power that must be torn down.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Higgs's thesis is so compelling that it has become the dominant paradigm for understanding the so-called ratchet effect: government grows during crisis and then retrenches afterwards, but not to the same level as before.

    This book is absolutely essential for anyone who seeks to understand the dynamics of government growth and the loss of liberty.


    An icon of capitalism, once ubiquitous even in Aoteroa, always fronted with this slogan: "What, me worry?" As an adolescent it always got me pondering.


  10. Sanctuary 10

    Wow, if you are not vaccinated then your life is now basically over. You won't be able to go anywhere or do anything without a vaccination certificate.

    You won't be able to go to that cafe or bakery where the owner is nod nod wink wink anti-lockdown either, since they will be subject to so many restrictions they might as well shut up shop – oh and NO financnial support from the government for businesses that don’t require vax certificates,

    Welcome to the new normal!

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      So….get vaxxed?

      • Sanctuary 10.1.1

        You don't have to get vaxxed. But if you don't, you might as well go live in a cave on the Auckland Islands.

        • Dennis Frank

          Be positive. Think of it as a marvellous exercise in social engineering. Coercion as govt strategy may seem normal to us oldies, but several younger generations will struggle to adapt. The social darwinism will be something to watch. Fun times ahead for culture vultures…

          • Robert Guyton

            It is fascinating…like the farmers who claim (wrongly) that there's a rural/urban divide, the anti-vaxxers are claiming they're being ostracised. Which for ostriches, is a bit rich 🙂

    • Sabine 10.2

      or like me an some others here in town,

      you put your plague door in and do only cubby hole transactions. No one gets in, no one gets out, and i don't have to police for the state – who can't be arsed policing these shitty rules themselves – what people have or have not done.

    • Ad 10.3

      It will be particularly interesting to see how Auckland Council forms policy to limit its own risk in allowing/denying access to its facilities which include its …………

      ………………… libraries, halls, childcare centres, gyms, public pools, boat ramps and wharves, Council chambers, concert halls, regional parks, pedestrian-only streets, car parks, bus fleets, rail stations and carriages, council housing, Council counter staff, and of course elected member meetings.

      Council will need to form whole digital security systems of alerts, traffic lights, and entry gates similar to those used for HOP cards and gym memberships.

      This will take some mighty digital architecture.

    • garibaldi 10.4

      Welcome to the new normal. "Bbbb baby – you ain't seen nothing yet", as the song goes. That will probably be our national anthem soon with what is coming our way on so many fronts. Our social cohesion is going to be stretched to say the least. Metaphorically speaking, the weeds in our society will destroy lawn order sooner or later.

    • roblogic 10.5

      It's gonna pose some tricky dilemmas for churches that want to open up to everyone regardless of vaxx status.

      Even in Green level, if they have a policy of anything goes, then social distancing and gathering limits will apply.

      Personally I think if someone doesn't want to "love thy neighbour" by taking basic health precautions, thus putting vulnerable people at risk, they should go exercise their "freedumb" somewhere else.

      View post on imgur.com

    • Patricia Bremner 10.6

      ‘Welcome to the new normal’ Fair enough, I don't want my tax going to people like Eftpostle Brian and c/o and anti science idiots. A special exemption pass issued by the health department for the few exceptions would cover those cases. We are in a pandemic trying to get control of it before Delta's ugly sister arrives.

  11. Maurice 11

    The true face of "kindness" starkly revealed?

    • fender 11.1

      Yeah be kind, get vaccinated.

      • Maurice 11.1.1

        Yeah – "Be a GOOD Kiwi"

        Have a copy of my old neighbours papers – issued in 1938

        Will they do?

      • In Vino 11.1.2

        Why bother getting vaxed when obviously a ubiquitous certificate will be cheaply copied and sold for next to nothing over the internet?

        • Dennis Frank

          Same thought occurred to me! surprise Big Brother is gonna have his mettle sorely tested, if you don't mind my early 20th century English. Will he cope?

        • Maurice

          Just get the APP ….. the Jizzy one?

          • In Vino

            It is going to take some miraculous new combination of paper/plastic/magnetic strips and rigorous testing gear wielded by all host bodies (let alone apps on bloody cell phones) to make any of this effective to my mind.

            How is it going to be done?

            Oh – maybe those alleged microchips in the injections? (A Joke, just to be clear.)

        • Patricia Bremner

          False papers might get you into the venue, but you may get more than you expected as a reminder of your outing.

    • Gabby 11.2

      Kindness isn't unconditional or infinite, unless you're god.

  12. RedLogix 12

    I came across a chilling thread two nights ago – that detailed all of this and more that is happening in China right now. Only worse than your post paints. I didn't link to it because the provenance looked uncertain, but it had enough video and pics to convey something to make your blood run cold.

    Authoritarianism in both it hard left and right forms is on the rise again. The way it is done is to eliminate the moderates:

    • Macro 12.1

      Well I wouldn't mind if this "moderate" was "eliminated" ie removed from the Senate as soon as possible. A living DINOsaur*. He and his co-conspirator Kyrsten Sinema are effectively holding not only the US from making progress on social justice and reduction in GHG emissions, but the whole world. The US can never move on making significant reductions in GHG emissions until the Senate agrees. He and Sinema are the the 2 votes required for that to happen.

      *Reptilian Democrat In Name Only

    • Sanctuary 12.2

      What a load of neoliberal tosh that is.

      At its base, one of the repeated themes of neoliberalism is this canonical idea that the logical final outcome of any action by the state is the gulag. This aversion to the state, this stataphobia that the state can't do anything well and if it does it is authoritarianism, is why since the 1970s boomer so-called 'moderates' and 'liberals' have persuaded themselves that collective, fraternal action (socialism in other words) is antithetical to their 'freedom' – itself a loaded term used to mean a rather narrow narcissistic individualism built around a cult of choice. That is why while you will often hear self-described moderates, left liberals or middle class Greens decrying global warming or the excesses of globalisation or the failure of the Anglospheres covid response they refuse to offer any sort of solution other than useless, atomised individualised action. If you say "well shall we centre power back into the sovereign nation state and use the state to set targets for and take over the means of carbon emissions and curb the excesses of globalisation and demand you get vaccinated then?" You'll get all sorts of pearl clutching "Oh no! Not that! That would be communism! Telling people what to do is authoritarianism! My body, my right!" Not so much "One No, Many Yeses" as "Many Noes and No Yeses" then.

      COVID-19, the excesses of globalisation, climate change – these all demand a re-assessment of the centrality of the role of the state, which is why tired, tedious centrist blustering about the “authoritarianism” of someone daring to pose the idea that you have no choice about something like getting vaccinated these days amounts to nothing more than the defense of a zombie neoliberal consensus.

      • roblogic 12.2.1

        Thank-you Sanc for much needed perspective. From my reading, Ad's post is mainly concerned by the power exercised by Big Tech and the lack of government power in restraining their Orwellian nature.

        Ronald Reagan claimed: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

        That is a neat inversion of reality. The calamity afflicting most of the world has been made much worse by poor government and lack of leadership, obsessed with profits over people.

        • Sanctuary

          No one ever said in response to “my house my choice” well "we will offer financial support for blackout curtains and urge everyone to use them, once we get to 100% use we'll be safe from the Luftwaffe."

          They said – "get blackout curtains and use them, penalty for non compliance is six days in the slammer and and a big fine."

          • Patricia Bremner


          • roblogic

            True, true. The govt had the balls to lock everyone up for goddamn ages. So what's the difference with legislating a vaccine mandate.

            I suspect it's still a tool that is being considered, but for now the public health advice is to keep everyone on side as much as possible via a good-will vaccination campaign.

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              Our Bill of Rights doesnt allow the Govt to mandate medical treatment for all. There are exceptions like a pandemic and when its reasonable and required.

              Thats why we so far have limited compulsion from the government in work places where those requirements can be met.

              Interestingly Australia has only limited rights in its constitutuon ( free speech from government limitations isnt one of them) and doesnt have a wide ranging Bill of Rights like we have.

              The Courts would rule out a compulsion that is for most work places as illegal.

              They could of course legislate to restrict the choice of medical treatment but I dont think there would be a majority in labours caucus to do so.

              • Andre

                "No jab, no job" is not compulsion. If someone really really doesn't want to get jabbed, they still have plenty of choices and options.

                They can figure out how to earn a living from home. Plenty of people already do that.

                But at this stage, the unvaccinated are the cause of actual rights being taken away from over 1.5 million Aucklanders, with no options or choices we can possibly make to get those rights back.

                If it's that important to someone to not be vaccinated, they should live the lockdown life on their own, not force it onto the rest of us. And they will still have the choice and option to come out of lockdown at any time of their choosing, by doing the rational sensible thing for themselves and the community by getting vaccinated. Unlike the zero-choice lockdown they have successfully extended for Aucklanders.

                • Shanreagh

                  Yes those are very good points.

                  If it's that important to someone to not be vaccinated, they should live the lockdown life on their own, not force it onto the rest of us.

                  The voices of vaccine unreason are so upon us though that sensible points like these get howled down in some circles as discriminatory, losing our freedoms etc etc.

                • Kris

                  The government is the cause of your rights being taken away, not the unvaccinated.

                  The govt is just using the unvaccinated as a scapegoat, they could at any time just remove all restrictions and let people get on with their lives, but that would mean giving up their control over everyones lives.

                  • Andre

                    That would also quickly result in a medical system overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid patients. To the point that people needing care for anything else could very well miss out.

                    Unless the government were to also issue explicit instructions that unvaccinated covid patients are first to get triaged out when the system gets overwhelmed.

            • McFlock

              At this stage it would be about getting the not-quite-"hesitant"-but-late-adopters to get off their chuffs and get it done.

              That would then clear up whether the remaining access issues and the genuinely misled are large enough problems to actually affect our hospital workloads and the crematoria shift schedules. Frankly, when push comes to "you get essential services only" I think the actual number of folks who believe the vaccine poses a real danger will be very small indeed.

            • Andre

              As one who is subject to an ongoing actual compulsory removal of my actual Bill of Rights rights for the sake of pandering to antisocial moron vaccine refusers, my good-will is now gone.

              Minor consequences resulting from exercising the choice to refuse a vaccine is in no way equivalent to the draconian actual compulsory removal of actual rights that is ongoing now.

        • Sanctuary

          Part of the problem is globalisation has weakened the state, while moments of crisis like covid reveal to the public the entrails of how politics works in our globalised neoliberal consensus to manufacture consent and launder decisions.

          A simple example of this is the anti-MSM backlash that accompanied the revelation to the general public of how the media worked as part of the establishment during the 1pm standups. The public were able to see the "moving parts" of part of the system in a crisis and were astonished and revolted by it. Hence, the anxiousness of right wing journalists like Luke Malpass to end the 1pm press conference so the elites (which the press gallery counts itself amongst) can get back to conducting business amongst themselves. The constant assault of globalisation and neoliberalism on the state has also led to confusion arising as to where the centre of power – where sovereignty – actually lies. Does it lies in globalised corporations that can act as quasi governments or does it lie within the nation state? Or perhaps somewhere else? The public strongly supports the democratic nation state. The establishment elites, who have hitched their wagon to globalisation and the neoliberal star, no so much.

          That is why a particularly strong narrative in the globalised liberal elite consensus is that the idea of national sovereignty is ridiculous. They simply can't deal with the idea – hence the failure of remain in the Brexit referendum, the failure of the US Democrats vs Trump, the "hermit kingdom" narrative and agitation against MIQ of the NZ political right. Instead they promote a divisive and fatalistic form of anti-authority anti-politics and a shallow middle class cosmopolitanism that imagines the world not united as fraternal brothers and sisters in collective action but rather one of dissolved communities (with no borders for their travel convenience) and the destruction of the ability to act in local, collective action. Hence, that is why centrists and liberals now defend "internationalism" and free trade as if they are left wing ideas! The strand of anti-authority is also how, intellectually, anti-authority liberal left wingers can morph so quickly to libertarian right wing free traders. They've always hated the state, once they start getting a buck from conforming they quickly adjust their rhetoric to suit.

          But there is no politics without sovereignty because the heart of politics is about where people seek supremacy of authority. If globalisation has peaked and neoliberalism is crumbling in the face of the public desire for stronger statism, what is the road ahead? What is to be done? That I guess brings us back to OP's discussion – if the public don't want big tech/big business making the decisions and hold little sympathy for a narcissistic cult of choice then perhaps we ought to be considering a lot harder the limits of the newly empowered nation state.

          • Patricia Bremner

            yes Thank you Sanctuary. Spot on. The difficulty of "Unintended consequences"

          • roblogic

            Agree one hundy.

            The archetypal “Somewhere” citizen has a conservative disposition. They prioritise group loyalty and security over autonomy and choice. Given these traits, the Somewhere is less likely to travel abroad, and more likely to remain in close proximity to the area where they grew up. In contrast, the “Anywhere” citizen has an individualistic outlook and resists any ties that bind them to one place. These global citizens welcome fluidity of borders and diversity. Somewheres tend to have more ‘authoritarian’ attitudes, while Anywheres are usually ‘libertarian’.

          • RedLogix

            Why did you have to frame that into a classic binary thinking trap? You had a number of perfectly decent points to make – but creating a false dichotomy between neo-liberalism and libertarianism on the one hand, and the nation-state makes for a nice rant, but not much else.

            Our complex societies have evolved to encompass ever widening layers of in-group preference. Our starting point was probably no different to that of our great ape cousins, loyal to our immediate genetic relatives only, but humans managed the trick of crashing beyond that hard biological limit into creating much larger tribal and ethnic groups based on cultural behviours. Then came the city state that formalised the role of the ruling class and built larger societies based on authority and discipline.

            The phase we've just spent roughly the past millennia in established the nation state – that crucially posited we should governed by rules rather than rulers. The notion that everyone was equal before the law as an individual with both rights and entitlements created the space in which human creativity and innovation directly led to the Scientific/Industrial revolution and everything about modernity we all benefit from.

            Note carefully – that at each of the three major stages, essential aspects of the prior one were subsumed but not discarded either. As the hunter-gatherer clan life transitioned into tribal life a new balance between the life of the clan and that of the new broader social grouping had to be struck. But the family did not disappear either – and even now it remains the bed-rock of our social life.

            Successively our tribal and ethnic loyalties have not vanished either, their continued survival being essential to the diversity of our world. In the same theme it's obvious to me that the nation-state will endure as well – even as it has to strike a new balance with the inevitable rise of a global world order that subsumes some of it's traditional uncontested sovereignty.

            If globalisation has peaked and neoliberalism is crumbling in the face of the public desire for stronger statism, what is the road ahead?

            Nuclear deterrence will only take us so far; the unrestrained right to declare war for example is something the nation state will eventually be compelled to abdicate in favour of a global order with the authority to regulate planetary affairs between the nations. Globalisation arrived in the 1800's and despite both great successes and failures since then – it's not going away. My answer to your question is not a shallow jingoistic revivalism, it's to suggest that the ancient pattern of the past will repeat itself – that prior social orders strike a new balance with the emerging larger ones.

            The weakness of globalisation to this point is that in 2021 qw live in a deeply interconnected and interdependent world (COVID is evidence enough of this), but we have yet to fully develop the formal institutions capable of imposing true order upon it. The unrestrained power of BigTech is a good example of a problem with global scale, that the nation states no matter how empowered can never effectively grapple with. In this light we can see that most of the big problems we face are global in nature, but we lack the democratically accountable institutions with the scope, authority and means to address them at that same scale.

            • Dennis Frank

              rules rather than rulers

              More user-friendly. Too bad we got no opportunity to co-create those rules. That's the problem with the inertial inheritance of social systems. Rules issued by the ruling class preserve tradition.

              prior social orders strike a new balance with the emerging larger ones

              Practical holism is indeed how nature & human society operate. Thank Jan Smuts for that gnosis!

              democratically accountable institutions

              These imaginal social organisms are normally distinguished by their lack of accountability. The lack stops them becoming real. The gfc proved the point yet again. Yet again everyone moved on instead of solving the problem. Too-hard basket full to over-flowing…

              • RedLogix

                None of these great social transitions happened without much resistance and turbulence. Look for example the centuries of war that Europe had to endure in order for the medieval aristocratic ruler based system to find a new balance with the 'rule of law' based nation state.

                And I'm certain that back then there would be plenty of people claiming that this 'new fangled nation' would be 'too hard' and undemocratic.

            • roblogic

              "BigTech is a good example of a problem with global scale, that the nation states no matter how empowered can never effectively grapple with"

              Germany has a law explicitly against Nazi-ism which means their social media is not infected with RW Nazi adjacent crap. China has a unique lack of compunction in reining in oligarchs and tech titans. It can be done. But here in NZ we bow and scrape before global parasites like Peter Thiel and movie moguls.

      • Anne 12.2.2

        Phew, glad you're back Sanctuary. This site needs your clear understanding and perspective.

        Back in the 1990s I did something quite unusual in the scheme of things. It was a time in my life when I was looking for a fresh start and to do something new. I hit upon joining the ACT Party. At the time I had little understanding of its political philosophy but I did know a number of people who were involved.

        A couple of years later I came away shell shocked from the experience. The lack of a level of comprehension concerning the reality of NZ's problems were simply staggering. I may write the story of that involvement one day but at present I am struggling to recover form a very nasty gastro bug,

        • roblogic

          "I am struggling to recover form a very nasty gastro bug,"

          An understandable reaction to hanging out with ACT

          • Anne

            Thank-you for helping me to smile again. 🙂

            • Patricia Bremner

              devil Anne was it eggs or chicken?

              • Anne

                I normally by my veges and fruit from a local fruit mart because they wash them before putting them on sale. I was in a hurry and grabbed some unwashed carrots from the local supermarket and didn't give them a proper clean. The one I eat raw tasted funny. Think that was the source or it might have been an egg,

                Whatever, the moral of the story – only purchase raw vegs and fruit you know have been washed, and wash them again when you get home.

                I've been crook for 10 days and am still far from fully recovered.

                Life is such fun sometimes. 🙁

                • Patricia Bremner

                  I wash all veg and then soak for 5 min in a mix of white vinegar and water or salty water and re-rinse for raw eating, and eat it freshly prepared..

                  The water they spray veg with at the supermarket can be full of bugs.

                  This has worked for us for 30 years since a similar experience. You need to keep your fluids up and when you can face it real yoghurt repopulates the system. All the very best.

                  • Anne

                    Thanks for that tip re white vinegar. I am normally vigilante about washing fruit and vegs, but have slackened off during these Covid times. Yeah, lets blame it on Covid. 🙂

      • RedLogix 12.2.3

        Trotting out the word 'neo-liberalism' repeatedly is what passes for left wing thought still. You do realise the 80s was quite some time ago.

        At a time when the state is intervening in our lives as never before, I'm saddened to see people so frightened and mistrustful of their own agency that they demand only more.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Imho it's saddening indeed to see so many throwing their toys out of the cot over 'state intervention' during a global pandemic – mind you, some may have more to throw and be bigger tossers than others.

          Pandemic Politics: Red state governors are in trouble for their Covid leadership


          • Patricia Bremner

            Thanks Drowsy M Kram, "bigger tossers than others". Lol laughyes

          • RedLogix

            You've already had your pandemic state intervention. It was entirely justified on the basis of a temporary emergency, but using this to extend it into a permanent condition is a whole other matter.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              You've already had your pandemic state intervention.

              We’ve each endured and/or benefitted from those interventions – pleased (and frankly amazed) that effective vaccines against Covid-19 were developed and rolled out so quickly.

              6.8 billion doses have been administered globally, and 24.37 million are now administered each day.
              Only 3% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

              Pity about Delta, but the vaccines and improved treatments may give our public health professionals a fighting chance as the virus spreads through NZ.

              It was entirely justified on the basis of a temporary emergency, but using this to extend it into a permanent condition is a whole other matter.

              Do you believe this "temporary emergency" is over? I wish it was so – indeed I wish this pandemic had never happened. But it did happen, and it's still happening. They may be just numbers to some, but imho global daily new Covid-19 cases and deaths won't be back down to their 2nd of October 2020 levels anytime this year, and that's a fair few more people not living with Covid, any way you slice it.

              I don't expect "pandemic state intervention" will be "a permanent condition", but I do expect some form of intervention (be it public health measures, financial support for affected businesses, or whatever) to continue for the duration. Those calling for an end to state intervention/support, just when case numbers are taking off, baffle me, but they must have their reasons.

              On a happier note, we 'won' last Thursday's lottery and managed to organise an MIQ voucher for Dad to fly back to NZ (on Xmas day no less!) after 16 mostly happy years in Queensland. Trans-Tasman travel may be a free-for-all by then, but I've found that the best remedy for pandemic uncertainty is patience – and getting vaccinated, of course.

              • RedLogix

                That is very good news for you – and I trust your father's return goes smoothly for you all. The opportunity to travel is very much woven into our modern lives and while I accept the shape of it will alter in the next few years, there are literally millions of people around the world trapped into making very sub-optimal choices this past two years who will greatly welcome it's resumption.

                Back in WW2 the British people accepted all manner of impositions and sacrifices toward the war effort, and the leader who inspired them through that duration is still remembered and deeply revered despite his manifest flaws. Yet it's instructive to also remember all that state intervention into people's lives was not exactly welcomed either – and at the first moment possible – Churchill was promptly voted out of office.

                • KJT

                  And the Labour parties "interventionist" welfare state was immediately voted in.

                  In both the UK and NZ.

                  • RedLogix

                    Fair call. But there is difference in nature between the kind of wartime intervention that demands your sons die in battle, you line up for ration books, your children get evacuated to places far away – right down to the local Home Guard being empowered to barge into your home to enforce black out – all of these being very personal, intimate interventions.

                    Your post-war Labour parties implemented policies that intervened in ways people found far less personally intrusive – and largely welcomed them for this. The harsh wartime lesson about the power of collective sacrifice and action persisted for at least another generation, but people still hankered to reclaim their personal lives and agency.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Yet it's instructive to also remember all that state intervention into people's lives was not exactly welcomed either – and at the first moment possible – Churchill was promptly voted out of office.

                  It's also instructive to remember that not all state impositions and citizen sacrifices ended with the cessation of WWII hostilities.

                  The end of the war saw additional cuts. Bread, which was never rationed during wartime, was put on the ration in July 1946. It was not until the early 1950s that most commodities came 'off the ration'. Meat was the last item to be de-rationed and food rationing ended completely in 1954.

                  The U.K. has lost ~140,000 people to Covid-19 so far (although the death toll for the last seven weeks has averaged barely 130 per day), which is small beans compared to the lives lost during WWII (384,000 soldiers killed in combat, and 70,000 civilians), or during the Spanish flu.

                  Far too little, too late”: what happened when Spanish Flu hit Britain?
                  By the summer of 1919, when the flu pandemic subsided, 228,000 people had died in Britain. Letters to newspapers condemned the government’s slowness to demobilise doctors at the front, the authorities’ “timidity” to act, and “armchair complacency”. A correspondent in the Hackney Gazette of 8 November 1918 had complained: “Schemes for checking these terrible visitations need to be thought out and prepared beforehand,” while another observer had remarked in the Perthshire Advertiser, 26 October 1918: “We possess much more stringent laws in regard to the health of animals than to that of human beings.

                  It's a different story in the US, where Covid-19 deaths to date outnumber total WWII deaths (405,399) approximately 2-to-1. By comparison, the 28 tragic Covid-19 deaths in NZ pale into insignificance against the 12,000 NZ soldiers killed during WWII.

                  My point is that the Covid-19 pandemic is a significant on-going global 'event', requiring serious state interventions and impositions. I'll be disappointed if public reaction to these interventions costs our government the next general election, because in my opinion govt MPs have generally acted in the best interests of the team throughout.

                  • RedLogix

                    I'll be disappointed if public reaction to these interventions costs our government the next general election, because in my opinion our political leaders have generally acted in the best interests of the team throughout.

                    That may be true – but this is no grounds for complacency. The extraordinary rise of ACT, who for several decades have struggled to rise out of the statistical noise floor, is no coincidence.

                    The reasons are not hard to divine – ACT's polling will not likely be driven by their economic policies – but by a perceived narrative that they're they only party willing to stand up for the legitimate role of the individual in balance with that of the state.

                    You don't have to be an anti-state, anarchist libertarian to want to tick that box.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      You don't have to be an anti-state, anarchist libertarian to want to tick that box.

                      Thanks for the helpful reminder to all those with a hankering "to tick that box" of who they'd be voting with – the self-interested.

                    • RedLogix

                      That's a sword that cuts both ways – how many people might vote Labour except they don't want to run with the hard-left, cult of woke identitarian crowd?

                      Every political leaning has it's extremists who take a good idea and go too damn far with it – and who treat moderates as their mortal enemy.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Your could be right about some voters believing that Labour is "hard-left", but do you believe it? I'll settle for a NZ government genuinely trying to act in the best interests of all Kiwis.

                    • roblogic

                      I watched the traffic light thing on Friday and for the first time I actually h8ted the PM. Keeping us locked down with no solid end in sight was a huge disappointment. After the "Vaxathon" there was so much positivity and hope that we would get out of this thing together.

                      But no. We get a crappy alert system reminiscent of the failed War on Terror. It is such bollocks. Just let the DHBs go back to managing public health as normal. Stop locking us all up FFS. It was an emergency measure for a limited time.

                      Labour's overreach is becoming politically toxic and all the good work that Labour and the Greens have done to address some of the worst systemic injustices in Aotearoa are about to be undone by the rise of ACT and the incomprehensible resurrection of Judith Collins.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I watched the traffic light thing on Friday and for the first time I actually h8ted the PM.

                      Stop locking us all up FFS. It was an emergency measure for a limited time.

                      Roblogic, you'll get your wish soon I reckon, and the cost of our govt’s acts of political pragmatism won't be shared evenly, that’s for sure.

                      Delta deaths expose Australia’s great disadvantage divide [11 October 2021]
                      Experts say the spread of coronavirus among lower socioeconomic communities in NSW and Victoria was ‘utterly predictable’
                      We have to recognise this policy response federally and at the state level has been silent when it comes to social equity. There should have been much better prioritisation of these populations.

                    • roblogic

                      I think we have reached the point where public health advice has to be weighed against what is politically feasible. Goodwill has run out. Labour's Orwellian lockdown addiction will be its downfall. 1.8 million locked at home vs an unknown number of potential covid cases.

                      It's a shitty situation and there are no good options. The resentment is brewing, whether it is fair or justified is another question.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Goodwill will be in short supply in Auckland, but "run out"? The purpose of alert level 3 measures is to limit the freedom of the Covid-19 virus to spread and cause more illness and death.

                      What are the actual rules for the current Covid (Delta) alert level 3 – are 1.8 million really "locked at home"?

                      During shitty periods of history, such as global pandemics, resentment often grows and spreads (lightening fast in these modern times of social media) – just like a virus. Since it's pointless resenting a virus, thank goodness our govt is on hand to be a lightning rod for all that public anger and resentment welling up.

                      Tbh, I'm less concerned about "an unknown number of potential covid cases" than I am about the unknown number of serious (hospitalised) cases and deaths.

                      Advice for Auckland
                      Aucklanders can travel anywhere within the Auckland region for outdoor exercise and recreation. You cannot stay overnight at your bach, holiday home or at a campground. You also cannot travel to Waiheke Island or Great Barrier Island (Aotea Island) for recreation unless you are a resident there.

                      All recreational activities must be day trips only.

                      People in Auckland can now participate in a wider range of recreation activities that were previously not permitted at Alert Level 3.

                      These include:

                      • water-based activities involving sailing boats, motorised boats or other craft like jet skis, and scuba diving
                      • driving to the beach, even if it is not local
                      • outdoor exercise classes — for example, yoga or bootcamp, if they do not involve any physical contact with others
                      • fishing from a motorised boat or vessel.

                      Commercial boating companies should not operate. Boating activities should be limited to people from the same household.

                      Outdoor exercise classes can take place with a maximum of 10 people from 10 households. The 10-person limit includes the instructor taking the class. Everyone must stay 2 metres apart. We encourage you to wear a face covering when you are not exercising. You will not be able to use any indoor changing facilities.

                      Outdoor playgrounds can open.

                      Gyms and indoor recreation facilities must remain closed.

              • Patricia Bremner

                yes Great news Enjoy your Christmas and New Year.

            • KJT

              Which is far from "over".

        • KJT

          You do realise that the Neo-liberal disaster inflicted on us since the 80's, is still very real for the majority of New Zealanders.

          Those of us that were recently being lauded as essential workers, for example.

          Many now going to be thrown back into under or no employment again, as the supply of "Globalised" cheap labour resumes.

      • RedLogix 12.2.4

        At its base, one of the repeated themes of neoliberalism is this canonical idea that the logical final outcome of any action by the state is the gulag.

        When it's being cheered on by people here who seem to be auditioning for as camp guards- then maybe the thought isn't quite a silly as you claim.

        • KJT


          I notice the reaction to a post, a while back of mine, about the previous Governments extension of “search and survelliance laws” got a resounding “Meh!’

          That gross overreach of State power didn’t seem to worry the “moderates”.

          And then we get conniptions about “Police States”, when we have entirely justified during a pandemic, public health rules to protect people from dying and don’t forget losing health, businesses and jobs if covid takes off.

          Inconsistant much.

    • Robert Guyton 12.3

      You are scaring yourself, RedLogix! Turn of the Scare-a-tron!

  13. Drowsy M. Kram 13

    Prescient catastrophising – I felt a few pre-'A.I. quake' tremors only 30 minutes ago.

    It’s one way to spent political capital – if only I had a cellphone.


  14. Cricklewood 14

    Well although im a week away from my second vax , I'm not going to participate in the show me your papers authoritarianism thats going to cleave 5-10 percent of people from normal NZ society and pit the vaxxed v the unvaxxed.

    This is going to be an absolute shit show that will tear us apart. We've already got people blaming Maori that we arnt already at 90 percent and able to move to red.

    • Sanctuary 14.1

      Enjoy doing… well, not a lot.

    • Bearded Git 14.2

      That 5-10 per cent are threatening us all with covid …so stuff those so called free thinkers as they call themselves (arrogant…moi?) let them exist only in their weird non vaxxed world with their mate Brian

      • Grumpy 14.2.1

        So you agree with National and if you are not vaccinated – you had your chance!

      • chris T 14.2.2

        Getting vaccinated doesn't magically stop you getting covid and spreading it all over the place.

        Are vaccinated who get covid threatening us all, or does this only apply to un-vaccinated?

        • roblogic

          Non vaccinated correlates with spreading COVID. RWNJ correlates with spreading lies.

        • I Feel Love

          You're peddling misinformation Chris, vaccinated people are able to catch & spread, yes, but are LESS LIKELY to. Unvaccinated are wide open to the virus.

          • chris T

            " vaccinated people are able to catch & spread, yes, but are LESS LIKELY to. "

            Care to post a reliable link to this finding, though I might have missed this finding, but no offence, but think you might be a tad mistaken in your understanding.

            The vaccination makes you massively more unlikely to require intense medical treatment and clog up and screw our health system, because your immunity system has been taught to recognise it and deal with it as best as possible.

            I personally have read nothing that says it means you are less likely to spread it if you get it. It doesn't magically mutate the virus and make it less spready.

            • Andre

              It appears that there is real world data to say that the few vaccinated people that get covid are then less likely to pass it on.


              or a much more readable report of the same study:


              A key point, though, is that to transmit covid, you first have to have got it yourself. The vaccine still does a very good job against this, even if it's slightly less effective against Delta than it is against the original strain.


              To put some numbers to it, it appears Delta has an R0 (basic reproduction number) of about 6 in an unvaccinated population. Meaning on average, someone that gets Delta will infect 6 other unvaccinated people.

              Pfizer effectiveness against Delta has wildly varying estimates, at least partly depending on whether vaccinated people are regular tested (such as healthcare workers) and asymptomatic infections are detected, in which case Pfizer effectiveness might be as low as 60%, or just symptomatic infections are recorded, in which case Pfizer effectiveness might be up around 80%.

              For the sake of illustration, let's use the 80% effectiveness number, since there's some evidence that asymptomatic infections are very unlikely to result in transmission.

              So then our original R0 of 6 gets reduced to an Rvaccinated of 1.2 in a 100% vaccinated population. That is, of the 6 people that would have got a symptomatic infection, 80% are protected by the vaccine, so only 1.2 of them get infected. R is still greater than 1, so the outbreak still grows.

              But if a vaccinated person is even just 20% less likely to pass on their infection to someone else, that R value drops to 0.96 (1.2*0.8). Ta daa, R is less than one, so the outbreak dies out, slowly. Now, if other control measures such as masking and distancing are also used, dropping R still further, then the outbreak dies out faster.

              • chris T

                From your link

                This was my point

                "It's likely that people who have been vaccinated clear the infectious virus from the body faster."

              • chris T

                Apologies. Realsied the post you were answering wasn't one that said it.

                I have said the vaccine probably makes you spreadable for less time as your body gets rid of it quicker.

                But while infectious and you are spreadable you aren't less spreading it just because you have been vaxed

                • Andre

                  Given that there's real world data showing that the few vaxed people that end up getting infected transmit less than unvaxed infected people, the exact reasons why seem kinda pointlessly theoretical.

                  Nevertheless, there are issues around viral loads deeper in lungs being different vaxed to unvaxed and that the finer aerosols responsible for transmission are mostly generated deeper in the lungs, that suggest there's more to it than just the time duration of infection.

                  Probably there's still yet other factors that nobody has yet thought of and investigated.

        • georgecom

          it is correct Chris, vaccinated can get covid. less likely yo, less likely to spread it on, far less likely be in hospital or a coffin. vaccinated folk have done the right thing.

          • chris T

            I might believe less likely to spread for the same length of time as probably get over it quicker, and it is subsided to nearly zich, but pushing it to believe in the time frame of getting it and them being transmitters to non transmitters they are less likely to give it to a vaxed person.

            You may not have read my other posts btw way re vaccination. I ain't anti. Had my first. Having my second probably next Friday. Just need some man up pills before hand and I am not ruining a long weekend, if it turns out like the first.

          • chris T

            That was a very ugly post btw sorry, re-reading it.

            Probably should have just said.

            I need a reliable link to show vaxed people spread less while when in a transmissable state of having Covid over non vaxed.

            But I would under stand if for vaxed people this period is probably a lot shorter, given the immunity system actually knowing how to fight the f'er

    • Robert Guyton 14.3

      "People" already blamed Maori: what's new? You're not "going to participate"? Bold claim! Happy to stay at home, are you?

      • Cricklewood 14.3.1

        Sure, I've got my plant collection to keep me occupied, can always get outside and walk so some fishing etc.

        Not the end of the world.

        I take it you're happy to see a chunk of people cleaved off from society whats 5% of 5000000…

    • Patricia Bremner 14.4

      Do you use a bank card? an AA card? Credit card? Retail card? Club card? Community Services Card? They know all about you already. Those who choose not to be vaccinated have made a choice not to support the Health and Safety Mandate to use the vaccination card.

      Fine, that precludes them joining large groups because they could be sick and in one visit make 6 other people sick.

      • I Feel Love 14.4.1

        A smart phone? A computer online? Even your smart tv collects & sends information on you.

      • Cricklewood 14.4.2

        Um, of course. What I'm saying is I wont be using the Vax passport system as rolled out. Nothing to do with data im well aware that information is endlessly collected.

        Thats because I dont agree with a system that is going to pit the vaxxed against the unvaxxed when targets dont get reached.

        The societal cost of that is too high, why not say the 'red' phase starts from 1 December regardless?

    • Patricia Bremner 14.5

      Many admitted today, the FOMO would make them get vaxed.

  15. Adrian 15

    I don’t want to be anywhere near the dipshit dingbat anti-vaxxers anyway, the further they revert back in to their dark age caves with the likes of the Taliban and the Wahabbis the better. Get vacced or fuck off.

  16. Adrian 16

    Apology to the Taliban, who are welcoming in the UN and with women medics, to administer the polio VACCINE to those who need it. You are nowhere near as backward and ignorant as our very own dipshit dingbat antis. Good on you.

  17. dv 17

    Dumb question.
    Is the ref to 90% for single or both jabs?

    seems to be both jab 90%

  18. Patricia Bremner 18

    NOW… DHB's have to be accountable!! Yes.smiley If that is draconian, bring it on.

  19. Doogs 19

    My god Mr Advantage – I’m not sure whether to have a bloody good laugh, nod sagely or cower under my bed for the next month. You seem to have found a rabbit hole of quite a different calibre. Neither nodding nor cowering is my thing but slow head shaking is.

  20. Its Friday. The world did not end. I am looking forward to my vax card so I can support the businesses that keep me safe while I am shopping.

    I am optimistic to think that those 'playing' at saying they are anti vax will find that in fact losing access to the world is a bridge too far, and that others will be encouraged to get off their chuffs and be vaccinated.

    Hostile anti vaxxers can be ignored. We as a country have been held to ransom by these people for too long.

    • Patricia Bremner 20.1


    • Ad 20.2

      The Maori and Polynesian non-vaxxed I now encounter are actually just pissed off and scared.

      • Patricia Bremner 20.2.1

        I am scared as I did not cope well.

        If offered, I will accept the Booster.

        Why? Because I have had a virus which badly affected my breathing. It was horrible, and I would do anything to avoid that. Believe me.

        That does not even look at the other horrible effects of Delta. That is the truth of it as far as I am concerned.

        I feel sorry for anyone who has gone down the rabbit hole. It is a scary situation made worse by some preying on those fears.

        The sad fact is some people in positions of trust are peddling false ideas which does not help those trying to decide to vaccinate.

        Maori have a greater number of their population in the last cohorts to be vaccinated, so their % seem low by comparison with other cohorts.

    • Sabine 20.3

      It is October, we started vaccinating in earnest on July 28th when group 3 was ok to book, then it took off. We got 750 000 doses shipped in in September by the Danes and Spaniards so that we would not run out before our next delivery which should arrive next week, again around the 28th.

      In that time we went from somewhere 15% vaccinated to near on 80+ double dosed vaccinated. With all due respect, no one was held back for any longer then needed, considering that we really just started vaccinating in large numbers from mid august on. That would be 2.5 month ago.

      Anit vaxxers are annoying, but they are not what held us back until now. Access to vaccines held us up until July 28th this year. 3 month ago.

  21. Reality 21

    Phew, reading these posts is like going to a weird Halloween gathering with spooky people trying to outdo each other jumping out of dark places. I hope a greater proportion of the population just keeps calm and carries on. No one I know is running round in a panicked frenzy.

  22. DS 22

    As airlines, hotels and restaurants specify “Double-Vaxxed Only”, it will spread to taxis, law firms, malls, builders and tradies, insurers and in fact every single transaction, and there is seriously nothing to stop Foodstuffs and Woolworths doing the same. We will not be provided with a new ‘human right’ to not demonstrate our QR Double Vax Pass. This will spread – even faster than the virus – to our major employers before you are allowed to get in the door. It will quickly erode inside public services like schools once the virus gets going through our children.

    You say this like it's a bad thing. There is no human right to endanger others because of your own stupidity.

    • chris T 22.1

      "You say this like it's a bad thing. There is no human right to endanger others because of your own stupidity.:"

      I think having access to food is a human right. If you think this is a bad thing, then I disagree.

      • Patricia Bremner 22.1.1

        The PM said "the vaccination card would not be required to get foods or medicines." on the stand up today.

        • chris T

          Good. Thanks!

          This has come up before in my off site conversations and people saying stop them going to supermarkets as well.

          When I point out people need to feed their families, I tend to get after their thinking for a bit. "There is nothing stopping the anti vaxed getting it delivered"

          I then point out the obvious issue is the most un-vaccinated areas tend to co-incide with the most poverty stricken areas.

          The people most likely to have issues stringing together enough for any groceries each week and now you think they can afford to add a $20 delivery. While using their imaginary internet connection on their imaginery device to do it, as they can't afford that either.

          Tends to shut them up.

          Cool. Doesn't happen often, but I agree and congratulate Ardern for something. 🙂

      • DS 22.1.2

        Get your friends, family, or neighbours to buy the food for you.

        Or you could, you know, get vaxxed, and stop endangering everyone else. Poverty isn't an obstacle – Pasifika numbers are very good. The problem is anti-social idiocy, and people need to stop making excuses.

        • chris T

          Well obviously not. But this doesn't change the fact the hardest people that seem to get vaxed are the most in poverty.

          It is what it is and short of tearing down their front door and ramming it into their throat Dexter style, they still need to buy food.

          As some also tend to have a shed load of kids to feed.

          • DS

            Elderly Maori are vaccinated, so pretending this is some racist plot is nonsense. South Auckland Pasifika – dirt poor – are vaccinated. Blaming poverty is absolute nonsense.

            Again – friends, family, or neighbours. Or vaxx. It's not bloody hard. As for kids going hungry in that situation – I'd arrest the parents for child abuse.

            • chris T

              Who is blaming poverty?

              I just pointed out the least vaxed placed also seem to correlate with least wealthy.

              Maybe it also correlates with most lazy medical wise. I don't know, no one measures it

  23. chris T 23

    "nothing to stop Foodstuffs and Woolworths doing the same."

    Yes there is if they don't want their shops potentially burnt down by one of the few nuttier than the other ones.

    Demanding it in places of leisure is one thing, and frankly not that big a deal, but peoples ability to feed their families is a ridiculous notion.

    a) Would never happen

    b) If it did it I would be atrocious and I frankly
    would be as a so far one jabbed person out there with all the lot that protest over it and block their front entrances.

    If you want to see NZ get ugly though, that would be a good way to do it.

    • I Feel Love 23.1

      1 jab is basically no jab. Get the second, with the possible booster we may need once a year til something better comes along.

      • chris T 23.1.1


        I will get the second. Just have to build up the balls and drink a cup of concrete beforehand, after my issues with the first.

        Will probably do it next Friday.

        I actually think the science goes 1 jab, massive less chance of ICU if unlucky enough to have to go to hospital which atm is rare.

        Second massive less chance of needing to actually go to hospital.

        Booster. Oh shit it has mutated again and we have discovered this starts to wear off

      • RedLogix 23.1.2

        There went the goalposts again.

      • Sabine 23.1.3

        once every 6 month more likely. so say in a 1.5 years you would be on your fourth injection. Double initially and your second booster.

      • Julian 23.1.4

        Or take life as it is. Science is backing it (1-2% mortality), long term natural immunity achieved from variants coming due to fearful mass vax.

        Latest news, no unexpected deaths due to old age since March.

        • McFlock

          Latest news, no unexpected deaths due to old age since March.

          Not sure I've ever seen a primary cause of death coded up as "old age". Old people dying from cancer, infections, heart diseases, pneumonias, injury, all sorts of things.

          But deaths due to "old age"? Which ICD10 code would that be?

  24. pat 24

    The 'opening' period has been decided….pre Xmas….all the rest is charade to encourage the highest possible vaccination rate, hence the somewhat ambiguous ,confused messaging.

  25. georgecom 25

    The government has basically declared a health intervention – double vaxed or face impediments. Covid lockdowns are a health intervention. So too are quarantining people who get TB and come into the country. Other health interventions include banning smoking in buildings, the massive increases in tax on tobacco was a health intervention. Requiring people to wear a seat belt is a health intervention, it reduces the risk of being injured in a car crash. However you chose to describe it, it's a health intervention.

  26. Ghostwhowalksnz 26

    Covid19 is seeing the greatest expansion of state power into our lives since the formation of individualised digital IRD accounts

    I cant say I ever seen anything so bizarre… individual IRD account numbers have been around since they bought in PAYE in the 1950s.

    Digital accounts would have been on the first IRD computers. You have a national health index number too NHI, since the mid 80s?

    These sorts of claims of intrusions of state power are fantacists stuff.

    • RedLogix 26.1

      In the real world your IRD number is something you may only think about a few times a year, if that.

      This expansion is already being used to track and constrain people multiple times a day – if you cannot detect the difference then maybe you do lack much imagination.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 26.1.1

        This is exactly what I mean by the claims of fantacists….something only you and cognoscenti know about of course.

        There is definetly things I ruthlessly prune on my phone to see what permisions the apps decide they want to know about.

        would you prefer to be like the old days when it required a visit to a local IRD office where someone would use their own work computer to tell you some minor point.

    • McFlock 26.2

      The biggest intrusion of state power was switching to mandatory carrying of drivers licenses. And that's led to them as default access to licensed premises and other services for decades.

      But no, the covid card is the issue, lol.

  27. chris T 27

    From purely personal opinion I think it is getting a bit silly.

    I heard people who were vaxed today on talkback blaming Maori for the lockdown still being their and calling anyone who was hesitant to getting it an anti-vaxer.

    I heard people hesitant to be vaxed hand out the most stupid reasons since Trev who hypothetically drives a milk truck every morning for not getting it.

    Geezes. The whole thing relies on the govt roll out Vax certs, and gear to scanthem throughout the country, and let's face it. They will screw it up like everything else big they have tried to organise.

    And while I am at it 90% is a stupidly too high figure. I know she wants to try to get higher countries, for kudos, but a bit of realism.

    It is not healthy having your own govt promote a "them and us" attitude. We have seen it before in other countries

    • Drowsy M. Kram 27.1

      They [our govt] will screw it up like everything else big they have tried to organise.

      Claptrap. Since February 2020 the NZ government has coordinated a pandemic response that resulted in a per capita Covid-19 death rate at least 300 times lower than the UK/US. Anyone who believes that's screwing up has a screw loose, imho.

      Whereas the Nats screwed up organising a govt in 2017, and the dwindling number of Nat pollies left over from the downright dirty ‘before times’ have been screwing up ever since – it's embarrassing.

      One year on, what has Judith Collins achieved?

    • Tricledrown 27.2

      Chris T for Christ's sake you sticking up for Brian Tamaki now.

      • chris T 27.2.1

        Not at all.

        I just think both fellow vaxed people. Anti vaxers. Hesitant to get vaxed people and the govt should grow the f up and realise purposefully creating division between each other is a dim thing to do.

        Not sure where you got me sticking up for the leech Tamaki from that post tbh.

        • gsays

          I was talking to a mate in the back blocks up north yesty.

          He made the point that the PM is responsible for creating, driving and maintaining the wedge that is dividing society. Then keeping that resentment stoked.

          'Are you upset about lockdowns? It is their fault.

          Can't see relatives? Blame them.

          Christmas looking threatened? It's up to that 10%.'

          A week ago, I would have laughed it off and had a wee eyeroll. The last week round these parts (TS), is a shining example of this fracture.

          • chris T

            "'Are you upset about lockdowns? It is their fault."

            Not at all

            For the majority of times, I think it was the right thing to do. So not sure where you get that from either.

            My point wasn't even about lockdowns. It is purely this "Them and us" crap that is beginning to simmer.

            It is not that big an exaggeration to say it is starting to turn a bit Springbok tourish IMHO.

            I just think the worst way to get some idiot to actually decide to vax is to alienate the crap out of them, as the idiots will just get more billigerent and stubborn.

            • Andre

              What do you think might be a successful way to persuade some idiot to get vaccinated?

              It's a genuine question. I've spent many hours already talking to a few vaccine hesitants (politely and respectfully, which is no doubt going to be surprising to readers of my comments here), trying to get them to look at accurate information and providing reasons and talking about how vaccination is simply a routine normal part of life for most of us. I think I've been reasonably successful, I'm fairly sure I'm mostly responsible for one success, and a second feels close.

              But the simple fact that they really don't think their refusal to get vaccinated will ever affect their choices and lifestyle seems to be the biggest obstacle to them changing their minds and getting vaccinated.

              • chris T

                I doubt that many people in the 15% are anti-vax. They will either just be lazy, or young and not that worried sbout it and need some video of people in ICU shoved in their face.

                Just get in their face and go more mobile vans.

                I wouldn't have said it has to be 90% in the first place. What is wrong with 85%?

                It is a stupidly high number, and purely picked to make the govt look good if they get to it.

                Now they have palmed it off to be the DHB's fault if they don't achieve it in each region. It is pathetic IMO

                • Andre

                  While I support trying to make vaccinations easier and more convenient by bringing the vaccinations closer to people, I really doubt it will actually make much difference.

                  My acquaintances that I know that have so far refused the vaccination have plenty of mobility and time to get vaccinated. Walk-ins any day at any time have been available to them for over five weeks. It's as easy to get vaccinated as it is to go to the supermarket. But still they refuse.

                  In more remote areas, I'll give you the example of Hokianga Health (Hauora Hokianga). They're a locally led and controlled organisation that is apparently well-regarded for its outreach and inclusivity and ability to get results in difficult to reach communities. They've already been doing mobile clinics and outreach and trying to vaccinate entire families and associates whenever one of a group turns up for vaccination. They've already been doing everything being touted as solutions for the "hard to reach". Since May. Yet Hokianga South and Hokianga North still are among the lowest vaccinated areas in the country. Indeed, as of early October, only 60% of the workforce of Hokianga Health was vaccinated.

                  I agree yesterday's announcements were pathetic. They might have been adequate six weeks ago, but the scale and intractability of vaccine refusal since then has made it abundantly clear much stronger measures are needed to encourage vaccinations up to a level consistent with restoring rights and freedoms without breaking our health system.

                  • chris T

                    Yeah maybe.

                    The whole changing it to DHBs to get to 90% thing or else stay locked down has actually got on my tits more than most of these things do.

                    It just screams manipulative politician's PR people setting up a if a particular region can't it is the DHB's fault now, and not the govts for rolling it out so slow.

                    If they all do it and hit 90%. Hey Ardern did that. It is amazing! She's the greatest!

              • gsays

                Its an old saying, something like – "Those convinced against their will hold their own opinions still."

                Because you have 'seen the light', (and there is an almost born again fervour amongst some vax enthusiasts) doesn't mean others have.

                I would suggest more listening and less telling. As frustrating and testing of the patience that it is.

                • Andre

                  I've done a ton of listening. And learned that some people think their feels and reckons and whatever imaginings they come up with under the influence of whatever is more valid than actual facts and evidence and repeatable controlled testing.

                  Unpersuadable morons, in other words. In evidence aplenty even here on this site.

                  The only thing I can see that the government might do to shift them is to make it clear that the losses of rights and freedoms that have been imposed on all of us are soon only going to apply to those antisocial asshole morons that refuse to do their bit to safeguard public health.

                  • gsays

                    You just don't get it mate.

                    With "unpersuadable morons/ antisocial asshole morons" you strengthen resolve and gird the loins if those you disingenually claim to want to help.

                    • Andre

                      What do you suggest needs to be done differently to lift vaccination rates. Specific suggestions please, not some kind of whines about how peoples fee-fees and reckons aren't being adequately coddled.

                      Polite and respectful has been done. Softly softly touchy feely has been done. Pretty much everyone that might be swayed by those already has been swayed.

                      What we've got left are asshole morons that lean towards asshole moronic things like Drumpf-support-adjacency.

                    • roblogic

                      Who are the unvaccinated? The "Be Kind" post does make the salient point that poverty. disability, and social disconnection make it more difficult for some people.

                      But it's been what, 3 months since eligibility was opened to everyone?

                      I have a few acquaintances (probably more are wisely being quiet about it) who are not just vaccine "hesitant" they are openly skeptical and their heads are full of brainworms making up insane conspiracy theories as to why they should not take basic health measure to protect themselves and their families.

                      The alternative medicine spruiker who thinks he's smarter than everyone else. The stressed out lawyer who sees corruption everywhere. The fundamentalist-leaning conservative Christian who blathers on about freedom.

                      It's not a lack of information or opportunity, it is their personal preference for disinformation, and attempts to spread fear uncertainty and doubt to everyone on social media. A certain personality type feels the need to fight society & the sheeple over their misguided cause.

                      And now they need to face social exclusion for their anti-social choices.

              • Robert Guyton

                Relax, Andre, it's no longer something any individual is required to do; society is doing the job for you. Our elected representatives have set in motion a process that will bring in all but the very recalcitrant (plus the genuinely medically un-able). We only need now, to ease their anguish, thank them for playing their part in keeping us thoughtful. Dumping on them isn't going to help anything. One thing I thought about last night, was what happens when one group demeans another; that is, the "anti-vaxxers" calling us ordinary folk, "sheeple". I feel that was a big mistake on their part and resulted, to a degree, in the situation they find themselves in now; deep down, we sheep took revenge for the slight. We should be careful not to do that same thing.

                • Andre

                  Smug sanctimonoius reckons from the wops of Southland that haven't been suffering through what Auckland has had for the last nine weeks and will continue for the foreseeable future really aren't useful at this point.

                  What do you suggest to do differently to actually lift vaccination rates in your area, Robert?

                  • gsays

                    The likes of you, Andre, maintaining 'radio silence' would help your cause.

                    • Andre


                      Somebody wants a nice cuddly fluffy echo-chamber where they're protected from hearing other people's actual opinions. (Actually somewhat sanitised to reduce moderator workload).

                      Soz that I'm spoiling it for you.


                • chris T

                  I wouldn't get to excited. The govt has to actually roll out the millions of vax cert's first and work a way to scan them.

                  Given their record organisation wise. Can't see this before christmas.

              • chris T

                Sorry for the extreme delay.

                Another thing they should do is fast track other fax options to be available.

                A lot of the vax hesitant people I have spoken to seem to have an issue with the particular Pfeizer one.

                (Yes I realise some will auto have an issue with the other one as well but if it gets more people vaxed who gives a shit?)

                • Andre

                  Given that the decision to refuse almost certainly came before choosing a reason for the refusal, getting a different vaccine will mostly only catch those with a sense of embarrassment about their bluff getting called. A sense of embarrassment seems to be kind of a rare thing these days.

                  Still, as you say, even if it's just a handful more, it's still a handful more.

            • gsays

              Sorry Chris, I could have made it clearer, none of that was aimed at you.

              The questions and answers were a representation of the daily narrative from the podium.

              Fueling a supreme othering.

              Your last paragraph is spot on, it is where I find myself now. I must sign up to this ever-changing regime of vaccines, boosters and possibly any other compulsory medication the powers-that-be deem necessary eg flu jabs.. to keep a $25 an hour lawn-mowing and maintenance job.

              I have gone from seeing both sides- the fear at the heart of the positions. Fear of a disease and its ravages and fear of the mandates and compulsion, as Red Logix has pointed out the shifting goal posts moved by Big Pharma and the state.
              Now I am listening to the wary, shy, reluctant, resistant, fearful and belligerent with a far more compassionate and empathetic ear.

              • gsays

                Anyhoo, it is a glorious day today in the 'Tu, time to get outside feel the sun on my skin, listen to the cacophony of the birdlife and get into a few jobs around the house.

                Have a great Labour weekend everyone.

  28. tsmithfield 28

    A question worth pondering is whether our society is becoming like 1970's South Africa except society is being divided on vaccination status rather than race.

    I think society is becoming very ugly at the moment stoked along by our government.

    I am double vaxxed myself and would encourage others to do the same. And I understand the health imperatives involved. But are we creating a two-tier society at the moment and is that a good thing in the long run? If we can do this on vaccination status what else can we do it on?

    Another point worth considering: We have given up huge amounts of freedoms at the moment due to Covid. But the problem is that once this crisis is over there is no guarantee we will get back all the freedoms we previously had.

    • pat 28.1

      We musnt stand in the way of BAU…..and the unvaccinated are.

      It is imperative we promote 'growth'

    • Andre 28.2

      There is a simple, but so significant, difference between vaccination status and apartheid that it makes the comparison ludicrous.

      Anyone finding that consequences of their unvaccinated status are becoming uncomfortable can get vaccinated at any time, and start to enjoy any all the extras given to the vaccinated (which at the moment are precisely zero).

      Under apartheid, there was no possible way to change one's status.

      • RedLogix 28.2.1

        Yes I agree – comparisons with apartheid are not the most apt. I'd go with medieval witch burning mania's.

        • tsmithfield

          Yes, probably a better analogy. I imagine some will soon be baying for the unvaccinated to have needles forcibly shoved into their arms.

          • KJT

            You want a choice, you also have to be an adult and take responsibility for the effects of that choice.

            If your "choice" is likely to help spread a deadly disease to people who don't have the choice to be effectively vaccinated, society as a whole has a right to protect them from you.

            Choices have consequences. The problem with anti-vaccers is that they refuse to accept personal consequences for their 'choice" while thinking it is fine to place the consequences of their choice on others. To endanger fellow workers and others around them.

            Not much difference from the smokers, who insisted on their "choice" to smoke indoors near non smokers. Inflicting the health problems of their "choice" on non -smokers.

            Vaccine mandates for schools, old peoples homes, crowded workplaces, and other places where you may endanger people who cannot be vaccinated, or their health means vaccines don't work for them, are entirely appropriate.

            I don’t support blocking the unvaccinated from supermarkets and health care.

            But if they choose to remain unvaccinated they are making the choice not to work in places like old peoples homes, or workplaces like mine. .

            Their choice!

            • mauī

              I find it troubling you've turned a personal medical decision on it's head into one that is more concerned with other's health. All the vaccines I've had in my life have been about protecting myself from disease/illness first and foremost. I imagine this is the case for others too, No? A secondary benefit is that it may go towards wiping out whatever disease the vax was for. (We know that with the fizer this can't happen though)

              I would also hazard a guess that an anti has thought much more deeply and broadly about the consequences of vaccination than most.

              • McFlock

                All the vaccines I've had in my life have been about protecting myself from disease/illness first and foremost.

                But not solely.

              • KJT

                Rubbish. Vaccination has always been about protecting populations, other people, as well as yourself.

                Smallpox and polio eradication for example.

                Prime example recently was the deaths on Samoa due to lack of vaccinations for measles.

                A disease which could have been eradicated in NZ if it wasn't for anti-vaccers.

                Anti-vaccers are just choosing to ignore overwhelming scientific research in favour of vaccination, since the 18th century.

                And vaccination plus other public health measures could eradicate Covid. It is simply that the world has decided that BAU, including drug company profits, is more important.

                • mauī

                  So you're unhappy that some people aren't taking a vaccine for public health reasons, even though the vax in question has a much greater personal benefit than public health benefit as it doesn't stop spread.

                  The way you've characterised antis looks very inaccurate to me. If you wanted to convince them how about trying to understand them and make arguments in good faith. As someone once said, public health is about trust and you can't gain public trust if you don't trust the public.

      • alwyn 28.2.2

        There are a couple of answers to your comment.

        You could change your status if you were in a group that SA really wanted to have in the country. Didn't Bryan Williams and 3 or 4 others become classified as an "honorary white" by the SA Government so that an All Black tour could happen?

        The other thing is that, after the traffic lights come in they won't cover the whole country. Suppose residents of Auckland get vaccinated and the Auckland area goes to a green status. Meanwhile some DHB in the rest of the country hasn't reached 90%. I, a fully vaccinated resident of a highly vaccinated DHB area will not be allowed the freedom of an Auckland resident. That is an apartheid status that I can't change unless I, God forbid, move North to Gomorrah on the Manakau.

        That would be just like Basil D'Olivera who fled apartheid SA for England wouldn't it?

        • chris T

          TBF. I think personally from current experience (may just be by locale) It is getting a bit them and us thing. Agree no where near apartheid comparisons or idiots going on about Hitler, which I found funny. But she is getting a bit them and us, and will probably get worse I reckon.

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