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Jacinda Ardern: Tear Down This Wall

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, October 17th, 2021 - 109 comments
Categories: capitalism, covid-19, Economy, health, immigration, jacinda ardern, labour - Tags:

Prime Minister Ardern will soon announce what a vaccine passport is and what it will do. Currently it is to be used for entry into massed gatherings. Our driver’s license was never meant to be a form of identification, but that is primarily what it is now.

So the role of the vaccine passport will grow as soon as it is launched, and will be particularly important as we start to imagine where we could be again. So many of us have plans for our venture into the world in the near year, young and old, rich and worker, as we have had for New Zealand’s entire existence. We have ambition beyond the re-regulated life.

In the coming months Fortress New Zealand will be dismantled. It was necessary to retain a period of introspection as the great COVID19 policies were rolled out. But that needs to go. We need to put away looking to the government to provide answers to our lives as we have done for 18 months and counting. We need our own personal plan for 2022 that compels us to action far away from the overwhelming state.

Beyond the plans of those held here, COVID19 has frozen immigration. I can bet it’s had an impact on fertility as well. This demographic shock will be greater than whether the cherry farms of Ettrick get their cherries to Tokyo in December. Immigration has been a primary lifeblood of growth and dynamism in New Zealand, and it is high time New Zealand employers and public services put unequivocal pressure on this government to open us up to the exceptional minds, concepts and capital that we need. Many of them were from New Zealand in the first place, and indeed the idea of the ’empowered return’ is part of the social contract of New Zealand. We need you back more than ever now.

The COVID-accentuated shortage of materials and people together tells us a simple thing about New Zealand: we can’t do this on our own. We’re not the Lucky Country Australia where they just dig another hole and build another empire. So instead we’ve built this country on international networks of markets and people. The longer we sever those networks the more New Zealand will diminish.

The fortress is running out of rationality. Auckland will within a week get to 90% vaccinated first shot with likely 95% by Christmas, and the rest of the country not far behind other than in isolated rural hamlets. If we can vaccinate a country with such speed we can re-make our own plans with similar speed.

We don’t want New Zealand to be a little nation, anxious about the world and disposed to erect more barriers around us. We want that feeling we had when we won great things contesting against the world, achieved unreasonable feats, built rocket ships, woollen shoes, outrageous movies, and world-best gin. It is better to be what we have always been joining internationally, than to diminish alone.

As we have done with all living things trying to get through our border, New Zealand has been exceptionally vigilant filtering pathogens and disease as we will be with future COVID variants, but we have to remain self-assured and bold enough to keep these risks in perspective. We are actually pretty good at biosecurity, as the rare and small COVID19 outbreaks have shown.

New Zealand prosperity and security depends on our engagement with the world. Every company in New Zealand with international ambition, every young person frustrated with New Zealand’s limitations, every family with an ambitious plan – we must all make a plan to re-engage with the world. The role for the government in 2022 is much smaller although important: form the system to enable travel and exchange just as they did with the global airport and airline security system after 9/11.

At our best, New Zealanders are adventurers, a small country with a remarkable sense of adventure and boldness. We need the great world to let us reveal of ourselves wheat New Zealand alone cannot, and in turn reveal anew New Zealand that is so profoundly good and fresh that the best of the world will choose us again.

Fortress New Zealand is a diminished New Zealand. Prime Minister Ardern, tear down this wall.

109 comments on “Jacinda Ardern: Tear Down This Wall ”

  1. I think NZ is doing fine and when it is safe New Zealand will open up to the rest of the world.

    The world has changed with Covid and we will be a different world when we all open up so don't expect it to bounce back to exactly as it was before Covid

    • higherstandard 1.1

      What is 'safe' Margaret ?

      I expect your and my definitions might be quite different to other peoples.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Bummer for Nashnull & ACT is upwards of 70% in recent polling still do not support throwing in the towel on COVID and fully opening up. Even Sirkey did not get much cut through despite all his media channel mates chipping in.

        • higherstandard

          What on earth has anything in this post or my question to Margaret got to do with National and ACT ?

          Please don't answer that question I've got no intention to correspond with you after this comment.

    • Andre 1.2

      Some idiots will try to use the idea of "it's not safe" to try to keep us locked down and locked away forever. Maybe it aligns with their fantasies of what they would like New Zealand to be, or whatevs.

      My preference is framing it as coming out of internal lockdowns and closed external borders in stages consistent with the protection of our population we have already achieved, and are likely to further achieve within the reasonable near future.

      There are some areas of New Zealand that are unlikely to ever lift vaccination rates and adopt other public health measures to get to what most of us would call "safe". Do we lock them away forever, or does there come a time when we accept "this is the best we'll get", and do our best to deal with the really ugly consequences of loosening restrictions? I'm not quite at that point yet, but I'm not far away.

      • Ed1 1.2.1

        The problem is that as stated above your "safe" may not be my "safe," and in fact none of us really know how "safe" we will be even if we achieve say 90% of total (not just 'eligible' )population. Presently we are quoting numbers that exclude all below age 12 – that is a lot of New Zealanders not vaccinated; we know they have different (and lower) infection rates and severity, but still we have seen those under 12 dying overseas . . .

        I believe we need to take it carefully, with levels changing to reflect actual incidence and assessed risk – and then when we get that sorted there may be another variant just to confuse us more. It s not just the opposition that is calling for firm decisions before facts are known. Our economic results have been better than expected – let us not forget that there can be advantages in the sort of balanced approach that values lives as well as business profits. . . .

        Immigration is another matter entirely – Higher wages in Australia have meant that they worked harder at automation – we have seen how machinery enables some crops to be picked largely by machine. We have also seen that we need a lot more building to house those that are here now – perhaps we should not rush to extend that problem for another decade.

      • KJT 1.2.2

        We have too many examples of impatience to get back to "business as usual" to hurry just because "the children" in the media and some business expect and want "certainty".

        Asking for "Opening up" at set dates is like demanding the "date the war ends", when the battle is still ongoing.

        We should”open up” as circumstances allow. When the health and economic costs will be limited to a practical level. Not forgetting that businesses don’t do well when many people are sick, also.

        • Andre

          I'm getting really sick of people outside Auckland sanctimoniously going on about it just being businesses wanting to get back to making money. Or carrying on like preventing all disease is the one and only consideration, that nothing else is important.

          There really are serious costs to people's lives of being in lockdown. Young people in particular, that are going through really influential phases of their educations and early careers. I'm getting really fucked off at the lack of acknowledgement of this.

          I'm really at the point now that I consider it a serious fail on the part of our government that it hasn't made it absolutely clear that exercising the idiot choice to refuse vaccination will have consequences that seriously restrict the lifestyles of refusers.

          • KJT

            Agree about vaccines.

            “Choices” have consequences.

            But the costs of lockdowns is exceeded, at least at present, by the even greater cost of not having them.

            By the way we own a business that has lost out with the Northland lockdowns

            However the 18 months at level one, and people spending locally instead of on overseas trips, has been good for the majority of local businesses. It would have been much worse for many, including ours if Covid was like the UK, and our customers had stayed away the whole time. I have friends in Oz, USA and UK who are a lot worse off.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Here it is mainly Chris T wanting "Certainty" in a Pandemic!!

          • KJT

            Chris T is indicative of how many people think.

            Unfortunately most get their information from the media, who have been pushing for the "opening up" crowd since the beggining.

          • chris T

            You keep throwing out the word certainty, with out actually reading my posts.

            It would be funny if it waasn't so silly. RWAD MY WORDS and NOT WAHT YOU READ INTO THEM

      • Gabby 1.2.3

        Some idiots will continue to put their own prosperity before public safety.

  2. Ah, the old neoliberal mantra of 'infinite growth in a finite world' being pushed on The Standard.

    Well I never, as my grandmother used to say.

    • KJT 2.1

      I thing someone is gone "stir crazy"?

    • Couldn't agree more Tony V.

      I still support (as do 70% of the population and many epidemiologists) a short sharp L4 elimination strategy in Akl followed by opening the borders gradually when we have 95% of over 5yo's vaxxed in about a year's time.

      By then I think more will be known about Covid, vaccines and there may even be a steralizing vaccine available, where you cannot pass Covid on.

      • DukeEll 2.2.1

        So you live in Auckland?

        • Andre

          Nah. Somewhere near Wanaka if I recall correctly.

          Bearded Git is the kind of idiot Green that whinges about wind turbines spoiling his views on his recent road trips (plural) around Spain. And tells us he's in Darwin when the travel bubble with Australia was open earlier this year.

          • Bearded Git

            You have done your homework Andre. Except you missed out that I support offshore windfarms and I strongly support solar, including solar farms. (Incredible that in Central Otago it isn’t mandatory to have solar roof panels on new-builds.) Solar is much less intrusive than the huge industrial landscape wrecking windfarm towers.

            I went to Kakadu when there were a handful of cases in Oz, mostly in NSW, and most people still thought the Oz bubble was OK. I guess there were quite a few people like me who got this wrong.

            But I have stuck rigidly to Jacinda's Covid rules and I know it is a big ask of Auckland (I have friends and family there) but the rest of NZ would be eternally grateful if Auckland accepted L4 for 2-4 weeks until the country was Covid free again.

            • DukeEll

              Auckland would be eternally grateful if all other international airports and their surrounds took some of the covid miq strain off Auckland.
              fat chance of that happening while nimbyistic troglodytes like yourself exist

              2-4 weeks. That would the time frame from 26th of august till 10th of September at least.

              Don’t remember zero cases then

              • KJT

                Because spreading Covid equally around the country is such a good idea?

                • DukeEll

                  So all the risk on auckland and auckland needs to suck it up when it isn't contained?

                  You've got popeye as your avatar, but you seem more of a bluto

                  • KJT

                    Admittedly I look more like a Bluto.

                    However I don't see how spreading the risk all around the country will help Auckland.

                    No more borrowing ICU staff from Christchurch, for example.

          • DukeEll


            • garibaldi

              Aw come on DukeEll ,you must admit not all jafas are of the friendly type?

              • DukeEll

                So Everyone will be eternally grateful to the Just another Fucking Aucklander if we go back to level 4 on the off chance it will do what the last level 4 couldn't?

                Sounding really grateful there.

    • Gabby 2.3

      I never thought Johnkey Ponyboy would be a contributor.

    • Castro 2.4


  3. KJT 3

    "Let it rip",Eh?

    After all the glaring examples everywhere, and even here, of why that is a daft idea.

    • georgecom 3.1

      I think we are getting pretty close to the point where easing lockdowns can and should occur. Locking things up was the only safe and sensible solution when we had no other alternatives. It has served us well by and large and the Govt and our health services have done a good job making NZ one of the covid safest countries in the world and one of the freest countries, where we could enjoy our freedoms for long periods of time.

      We however do now have alternatives and the vaccine we are using is one of the most effective, matched by only a handful of other vaccines such as Moderna, Sputnik and some of the newer protein vaccines like Abdala and likely Novavax.

      Auckland is 89% first vax, rest of NZ 85%. NZ as a whole 65% double vaxed and Auckland, without knowing exactly, probably close to 70%. Within a week to 10 days or so NZ will probably be 75% double jabbed and 87% first jab. Auckland will be over 80% and 90%. Those are figures we can start to open up, not throw open the doors and let it rip, but certainly stages 2 and stage 3 of the Auckland plan. If the border is maintained around Auckland, maybe so. If the South put up a hard border, maybe so.

      Some will point to the communities who are not highly vaccinated. There are also those who cannot be vaccinated and those who choose not to be for whatever reason. There are some who cannot be vaccinated, I acknowledge they are at risk. I do not have a ready answer to that. Some cannot take the Pfizer jab, they may be able to get the Janssen vaccine when it arrives (it has to be soon). For the vast majority who can be vaccinated with pfizer, the opportunity is now. Take it or not.

      If significant numbers of people in the likes of Raglan, Murupara, Westcoast, Kaio etc choose not to get vaccinated I don't support putting things on hold too much longer. Sandra Goudie says she will wait for the Novavax vaccine (3-6 months away probably), I don't support waiting for her to get vaccinated. The opportunity is now to be vaccinated, we won't wait forever.

      Auckland has had 8 weeks of level 4 and 3. Waikato is heading into it’s third week of Level 3 (and may stay there for the duration) after a shortish hiatus when we went to level 2. Northland might be at level 3 a while longer as well. People in Auckland and the Waikato particularly, and other parts of the country are not going to wait too much longer. The majority of us have done the right thing and the time is close to move on. Provided we can keep our hospitals from being over run with covid cases then those who haven’t done the right thing, I think the clock is ticking down quite quickly

    • DukeEll 3.2

      What’s your minimum vaccination rate then?

      • georgecom 3.2.1

        I don't have one set figure to start the easing process. Aussie states started 70-80% double vaxed and high 80s first vax. I think a full reopening needs 90% minimum fully vaccinated, 75% fully vaxed is very close for Auckland, 80% for them and 75% for NZ before the end of October I reckon. Starting opening now is silly, waiting for weeks and weeks more I think is just not tenable either though.

        • Ed1

          Every time a percentage vaccinated is given, it should refer to whether it is of total population or just those eligible. Also bear in mind that those vaccinated early are getting close to needing a booster – and the results of boosters are only beginning to be experienced overseas in vastly different infection circumstances to that of NZ currently.

          • georgecom

            I use eligible population, thus quoted NZ and Aussie figures based on eligible.

            Yes some will need boosters. Whilst antibody levels drop for people we still retain memory cells which provide a strong defence to combating the virus. Most people likely won't require a booster after just a period of months as they will have a strong immune response to covid. From the looks boosters overseas are being given to the old and those with weak immune systems, not entire populations. Might well be that over time a third shot is recommended for everyone, but at the moment my pick is it is probably a 'might be nice to have' rather than a 'must have' for the general populace.

    • Enough is Enough 3.3

      What examples are you referring to?

      You may call it a daft idea, but it is the only long term option available to us.

      • KJT 3.3.1

        We may have to use public health measures plus vaccination for some time to come.

        Sorry I havn't got a crystal ball to put a time limit on it.

        The 1918 flu took a couple of years to burn out.

        We have Singapore, NSW and Victoria as close examples currently.

        Then there is the UK, with "Freedom day".

        • dv

          Singapore84% full vac

          yesterday cases 3348 tot 145,120

          death yesterday 9, tot 224

          Similar pop, but denser.

          Lowish death rate is a plus,

          • Patricia Bremner

            Real worry is other health care, and if we "open up" there will be a large number of deaths and sickness from co-morbidities.

            I think the party people are a little like the champagne and charleston days after WW One "Party for tomorrow we die" mentality, while believing youth will protect them… Yeah Nah!!

  4. left_forward 4

    Oh what a load of twaddle.

    There is everything to be gained from being small and local, even if it means we do not get all the supplies we are used to. We simply adapt and scale down, and reduce our carbon footprint accordingly. Grow some spuds Ad.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Is this piece taking “the Michael” in some post modernist attempt at humour, or is it a retro take on “A Modest proposal”?

    If not the writer should get their head checked out-COVID Delta is currently poised to rip through this country.

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      I wondered that too TM. Or else playing the devil's advocate. It seems to be a bit 'righty' as they often address the PM by her name (and their made up nicknames) instead of the office.

      I don't class us as Fortress NZ, next thing we'll be agreeing with the Hermit Kingdom. As far as I am aware the responses we have made in the past, and undoubtedly will make in the near future have been proportionate to the threat/s we are facing.

      In August the Govt set out its plans for reconnecting us to the world. As far as I am aware this is still the plan and is still being worked to.


      There is everything to be gained from being small and local, even if it means we do not get all the supplies we are used to. We simply adapt and scale down, and reduce our carbon footprint accordingly

      I would rather that somehow our opening was linked or seamlessly segued into climate change rather than planes flying wunderkinder in and NZ adventurers out. It seems too much like BAU. We have the chance to do things differently and giving ourselves a kick in the 'bum' to get us all going climate change wise & regen ag would be a better move than just dismantling everything.

      I support vaccine passports and front facing people being required to have the vaccinations. I support essential workers being required to have a vaccination. Some businesses employing essential workers have been lax in not having the hard conversations with their staff about the need for vaccinations. Movement across the country spreading covid will be very easy once the levels are dropped.

      I found the guest post bleak and not exciting or even provocative.

      There are lots of good responses though, and that may have been the aim.

      A new normal are required everywhere and countries that don't respond are going to the ones that suffer the most, imo. Let's just have a wee think about who we are and what will work for our new normal in this climate of change before rushing to the walls with jackhammers.

  6. AB 6

    I slightly resent the implication that I'm so useless and bereft that I can be saved only by the arrival of all these other brilliant people from somewhere else. But what the hell, I'm too old to take it personally. We'll see what happens.

    • KJT 6.1

      New Zealand culteral cringe in full view.

      Mind you the desire to "import clever people from overseas" is usually just thinly disguised wishes, to get cheaper more compliant people from overseas, to cut wages and training costs.

      • garibaldi 6.1.1

        Exactly KJT. This post is ridiculous.
        It is disastrous for our already inadequate infrastructure problems. It is also disastrous for any chance at all of meeting cc measures if we open our borders to thousands of immigrants. It is also disastrous for our covid vulnerable people.. akin to ethnic cleansing !

        New Zealand should be training its own for our labour needs rather than to continue the folly of relying on "imports" with all the downstream problems. By training our own people we will counter many of the social problems we keep fostering.

      • roblogic 6.1.2

        Let's import 10,000 more multimillionaires on "investor" visas to buy up all the houses so that Kiwis have nowhere to live.

        Let's import 100,000 students to prop up our second rate degree mills.

        Let's re-start hyper-tourism with 4,000,000 visitors trampling and shitting in our public spaces.

        Let's save Queenstown! The town of whining and moaning who agitate for open borders while Auckland pays the price. And all the locals are priced out, and low spending Kiwi tourists are not wanted.

        Fuck this cargo cult economy.

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 7

    I'll give up my 'Covid caution' when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. smiley

  8. miravox 8

    Ahh, I saw the headline and the tags and thought 'yay someone was writing about tearing down the wall of economic orthodoxy that has been dividing us for more than a generation.'

    but nah.

    But seriously, we need to rethink our position in the world. Going back to the old normal is what got us here. Sure we need immigration, sure we need trade, and innovation.

    But do we need mass tourism? Do we need to operate outside the limits of clean, and functioning ecology and environment? Do we need all container loads of stuff that we throw out, or ship back as waste?

    So unlock the gates, as required, welcome people to our family. But knockdown the walls? Emphatically no. Be internationalists, not global capitalists.

    The COVID-accentuated shortage of materials and people together tells us a simple thing about New Zealand: we can’t do this on our own.

    You know as well as anyone, this is not a New Zealand supply-chain problem, it's worldwide problem. Sure, it's more difficult being at our geographical location, we're last in line and have no influence, walls or not, on making the ships move out of China or anywhere, else and order them to sail the seas.

    We’re not the Lucky Country Australia where they just dig another hole and build another empire

    With the climate emergency, even the most stubborn and invested Australians are having to rethink all this digging.

    A new normal are required everywhere and countries that don't respond are going to the ones that suffer the most, imo. Let's just have a wee think about who we are and what will work for our new normal in this climate of change before rushing to the walls with jackhammers.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      smileyyes Expressed so much better!!

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      Well put miravox. I had a brief flash from the header too–yay! retiring Rogernomics, the neo liberal state and monetarism and leaving 5 Eyes…but no…

      A measured response is needed given mass air travel is likely over, and we have had an underclass and alienated group since the late mid to late 80s that was never retrained but cast aside and then demonised for being welfare dependent.

      p.s. Central Australia is close enough to being a burnt out sand pit already without offering it some sort of exemplar.

      NZ population is going to be tested in ways not seen since WWII and the Depression by COVID Delta, Blue Skies fantasies about doubling down on how things were is not appropriate in my view.

      • miravox 8.2.1


        I've been a bit disconcerted recently to read about the spectre of stagflation with the supply chain disruptions. I still despair the 1970s stagflation that led to the neoliberal trauma of the '80s. The last thing we need is a double-down on that.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Two cheerful pieces of news Robertson has a 12 billion fund to assist with transition from Lock down. The Public are assisting Tairawhiti to purchase a mobile clinic for vaccinations and medical needs… They have $88 000 in 20 hours on the Givealittle page from Kiwis. I love NZ. After despair at the number dying in Britain, this gave back some faith in humanity.

          • miravox

            Yay for Kiwis and givealittle. We can be a generous bunch.

            OTOH 12 Billion dollars – a bit of spare change could fund an mobile clinic for to address barriers to healthcare. In this instance for a national priority roll-out of vaccinations to a priority group in one of the poorest regions of NZ.

            A perfect example the 'normal' we need to leave, really.

        • Nic the NZer

          Couple of things around this, this is more general discussion than contradicting anything you necessarily said btw.

          Strictly speaking Monetarism is the idea that there is a strict correspondence between the change in the amount of money in circulation and the inflation rate. Economics moved on around 1986 in NZ when it was found out that this wasn't useful in policy terms. As with most of Milton Friedmans core ideas they turned out to be fictional recons. Mainstream now comes primarily from a school called new-keynesian who instead argue for a concept of the macro economy which keynes explicitely argued against. Neo-liberal is however probably a reasonable description of many policy choices, but its about degrees and even socialist could apply descriptively to many scandinavian countries and by similie NZ.

          There was a clear rise in wages aspect to sustaining the inflation in the 1970s (on top of the OPEC price rises meaning some part of NZ needed to lose income/profits while externally sourced fuel was used to the same extent) (also a fixed exchange rate part to the eventual currency crisis). So unless most people are getting a pay rise supporting their real wages business price hikes due to supply constraints seem unlikely to turn into an inflation spiral.

    • RedLogix 8.3

      Everything about your modern life is critically linked to a story about metals and minerals. Without them you would literally revert to the Stone Age.

      Good luck with that.

      • miravox 8.3.1

        Ah, I guess you're talking about the mining comment. I'm not sure you checked the link? That's the Mineral Council of Australia talking about climate change.

        • RedLogix

          There is a surprising amount of work going on in the industry to work out ways to reduce its carbon footprint.

          For sheer headline value FMGs push into hydrogen and the direct carbon free production of steel is hard to go past. But there are lots of other less glam initiatives like EV haul trucks that are not too far off.

          This decade is going to see heavy industry move towards decarbonisng as fast as the tech allows.

          • In Vino

            It doesn't have to be as fast as the Tech allows, Redlogix.

            It has to be as fast as the planet demands, or we will be arseholed off so fast you won't find any skidmarks.

    • Ed1 8.4

      I have for a long time regarded tourism as a low return activity – it paid for people to live in some beautiful places that enabled more New Zealanders to enjoy holidays within the country, but was hardly a game-changer in terms of return on capital to improve our overall standard of living. I lived in England for a few years and realised that we have more cafes and restaurants in an average street than large cities there – hopefully we come out from Covid with fewer bars, cafes and restaurants, with those businesses being more secure and profitable. Remember it is not too many years since baristas were one of the "essential occupations" that were welcomed as immigrants while our own young people struggles to find jobs . . ..

      • Graeme 8.4.1

        It would be great if solid productive industries could be built up in the current 'tourist' locations, but they are 'tourist' places because that's the best they've been able to do. diversification has been a constant refrain for the last 40 years that I've been around Queenstown. The only diversification has been to increase house building to accommodate people to build more houses.

        One out come of covid response is to attempt to kick start an IT industry here. so far good for the developers, we'll see in 20 years what's come of it….

  9. Patricia Bremner 9

    I looked up your previous posts the last I could find was 2010.

    This is a post I have been watching for All_Your_Base.

    A cry for BAU.

    This talk of "Fortress New Zealand re-regulated life, frozen immigration, pressure applied by business leaders and public service to open up".

    Ambition (aspiration?) own plans (individuality?) over whelming State (prefer small Government?) a nod to good bio security which glosses over Micoplasma bovis, Didymo, Myrtle Rust, Queensland Fruit Fly and associated costs, plus Delta.

    Seeing vaccination as a chance to "stop being a little nation" (hobbits anyone?)

    The final plea to Tear down this Wall PM, reeks of saying we have become Russia or East Berlin, and that Jacinda Ardern alone is responsible for this.

    We will open up to the World. To quote the PM "cautiously and carefully" not "with speed."

    Climate Change is our next ongoing challenge which will need community buy in as well.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      That was sneaky putting it under another name. Well I bit, because nothing will be the same for a number of years, yet it appears many countries are prepared to sacrifice thousands, so if we believe in the face of that we have progressed… no.. not much. Scratch the surface.

  10. Treetop 10

    NZ is in a holding pattern. It can only consider opening up gradually when peak vaccination is achieved, (this will be evident by late December).

    Next will be numbers of returning ex pats and this will become evident as well, probably by Autumn 2022. Then immigration which is fit for purpose. Living with endemic Covid, immigration will be different.

    The screening for long Covid and health conditions caused by Covid for immigration purposes where would you start?

  11. Poission 11

    The fortress is running out of rationality. Auckland will within a week get to 90% vaccinated first shot with likely 95% by Christmas, and the rest of the country not far behind other than in isolated rural hamlets. If we can vaccinate a country with such speed we can re-make our own plans with similar speed.

    Vaccination against the Wuhan strain,whilst a good start,is also the time to look at boosters as against delta it has lower efficacy,and Coronavirus protection is time constrained ie short lived.


    It will still be necessary to have both social controls in place and a rigorous quarantine system.

  12. Maurice 12

    Our only hope is that we have not reached Peak Jacinda yet …. nor that the deliberately engendered division and disdain for determined minorities does not cause a terrible backlash. Peak Hatred is, I fear, in our future.

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Hey Ad, plenty of stroppy fish took your hook! wink I can go with "exceptional minds, concepts and capital" being imported, providing they get deployed on an authentic Green basis. Failure to include that proviso may have provoked the backlash due to apparent advocacy of yet more neoliberalism.

    I hope the govt consults the hermit king in the design of their emergence plan. I think we can rely on him to make a strong case for isolation. However, like you I still see us as part of the world – seen it like that since coming out of adolescence in '65. In those college years we got taught elementary biology, how organisms operate `a semi-permeable membrane'. If the education system hadn't degenerated too much by the time you came along, you'll know it refers to the cell wall operation.

    Clearly that's the right model for the govt to use, right? Keep shit out, eliminate shit produced internally via export. It's why we sent all them crims to Oz in the first place, knowing that they had so many crims there already we could get away with it.

    We need our own personal plan for 2022 that compels us to action far away from the overwhelming state.

    I'm with you. The stroppy fish oughta give that a reread. Govt incentivising personal resilience is definitely a good idea.

  14. Hanswurst 14

    Hi John.

  15. Stuart Munro 15

    Crazy Eddie.

    Once there was a prosperous little island with a population of about 3.25 million people. It fell into moral decay, and wicked viziers pumped up the population with cheap exploitable migrants, until there were 5 million, but only enough hospital space for the original 3.25 million. Then came a terrible plague…

    The wall will have to come down at the glacial pace of meaningful reform, unless we fancy a nasty upset, and all our medicos decamping.

  16. DS 16

    Nope, we need the Flax Curtain now more than ever.

    So long as we keep the borders closed, Covid will eventually burn itself out in New Zealand – though it'll take a while. Meanwhile, we can't open up to the outside world until we see the Northern Hemisphere Winter – basically, what does endemic Covid do to a vaccinated population? If we're looking at 2000+ deaths a year – after vaccination – then screw it. We stay shut off, and whingeing businessmen will have to retrain New Zealanders, rather than import fresh serfs to do their shitty jobs. Vaccination (rather than strict lockdowns) will eventually suppress the cases that do leak through.. but in dealing with those leakages, they really need to move MIQ out of Auckland.

    So yeah – keep Fortress New Zealand, but move MIQ out of Auckland.

  17. chris T 17

    Don't particularly care about the whole vax cert' thing.

    As long as it doesn't stop un vaxed ging to the supermarket, petrol etc.

  18. Byd0nz 18

    Tear down the wall sounds like a slogan for the rich and privileged to go spend their I'll gotten gains in any country but NZ. Typically self centered appeal.

    • chris T 18.1

      Pretty funny that some are still fixated with Trump though.

      People. He is no longer there. Get over it

      • In Vino 18.1.1

        And don't bother trying to learn from anything, because it will just go away, won't it? Sheer genius!

      • Nic the NZer 18.1.2

        You don't think it was a reference to Regans speach. "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

  19. Advantage comes across as an arrogant know all. Very tiresome.
    Profit matters more than health. HShe would make a good Australian [politician.

    The use of “we” is revealing, how many agree with the blog poster?

    Criticise, criticise, criticise, criticise, …….

    In percentage terms how many Kiwis have died, been hospitalised, or put into MIQ?

    Which countries have a better record?

    I realise that profit, and margins matter, so does health and death, (as well as tax payers money

    Does Advantage approve of the Christchurch company that reduce their employees pay by 20 % after taking tax payer funded government wage subsidies Where did that money go?

    Bleats about struggling businesses are understandable.

    Propaganda about fortress walls and "we New Zealanders" is specious, to say the least.

    Obviously Advantage likes to use its moniker. The rest of us can suffer.

    Business rules, OK!

  20. chris T 20

    The govt is obviously not going to tell us a vaxed target as after kiwibuild they are scared shitless by any mention of the word, but guessing they have a figure in cabinet when they just day sod it. (Maybe 80ish second dose?)

    =End of the day we just have to live with Covid Delta and whatever new variants come along. Is what it is.

    What worries me more as mentioned yesterday is other countries, like the UK are getting people to take booster shots as they have 6 months and your a bit screwed, while our govt can't be arsed or don't seem to notice.

    • DS 20.1

      You may have noticed that the UK has wall-to-wall Covid, and as such needs boosters right now. Are you suggesting that NZ push itself to the front of the queue, and buy up supplies that need to go to other places?

      Whether NZ lives (or rather dies) with Covid is our choice. If opening the borders kills 3000 a year (many of them vaccinated), then we don't open the border. Simple as that.

      • chris T 20.1.1

        "re you suggesting that NZ push itself to the front of the queue"

        Yes. Funny enough exactly that. Given the current government said that is where we werre.

        Or maybe…..I don't know…..Mentioning it might be fucking needed. I am sorry, but am losing patience with their lack of actual detail. I know they don't seem to grasp it, but a plan pointed out is a good thing. Targets. We will understand if it is wrong. It is fluid. People aren't as thick as our govt thinks they are. Just fucking say ideal levels, amount of cases not traced bad, amount of cases traced.good, but we at least need to What the proportion of each means moving levels.

        Again. I know the govt doesn't get it, but we aint thick

        • KJT

          "but we aint thick".

          Sure about that?

          Asking for certainty when can't be any, is more than a "bit thick".

          Magical thinking is for demanding children. As is wanting “choices” without personal consequences for that “choice..

          • chris T

            Telling us which scenarios with stats and likely moves they will make is not giving "certainty".

            It is giving dying business and people a guide to likely outcomes from an ever changing beast that no one is going to hold them to in concrete.

            Everybody understands things can change rapidly with Covid. We have all seen it.

            But currently the country is dtrying to drive round blind with a shattered windscreen because the govt refuses to tell anyone likely changes depending on vax and infection levels. Pretty much every other country manages to do it.

            Is it a fear of failure and polls thing?

            • KJT

              They have told us. Some are just not listening.

              Unfortunately many are in the media.

              Just because you don’t like the answers, doesn’t mean they are not there.

              • chris T

                OK then

                Sweet. I must just be thick (Which wouldn't surprise me. Happened before).

                What exactly did they say re vax percentages and opening up?

                They were suddenly hinting 90% is meaningful but I haven't heard what this means opening up wise.

                What did they say as to which businesses will open up if we hit 90% and have low unknown source cases? as appossed to high unknow cause cases? for example?

                • KJT

                  ""What did they say as to which businesses will open up if we hit 90% and have low unknown source cases? as appossed to high unknow cause cases? for example?""

                  I think you already know the answer to that? Auckland is still on level three, because of the number of community cases that are not part of a known cluster. The businesses that can operate at each level are on the covid website.

                  They havn't given percentages, for the obvious reason that it is not as simple as that.

                  Just one example, is the descision to keep Auckland on level three It was influenced by a whole range of criteria. Which has been well explained in the briefings, despite our, so called, "Journalists" mis-guided attempts to muddy the waters. In areas where people have difficulty isolating, are in workplaces with large numbers of people and many people in individual households, plus the health issues of poverty, a higher level was required.

                  With that went the requirement to allow people some of the less dangerous recreational outlets, such as outdoor sports that don't involve close contact, to help minimise lockdown fatigue and non compliance.

                  In Northland there are large numbers of people, both Pakeha and Maori, and others who have good reasons to be suspicious of Government, dating from the destruction in 87 and 92, plus poor access to healthcare which informed the decision to lockdown.
                  Also obvious, from the range given in the modelling, which has proven remarkedly accurate given the constraints, the greater the overall number vaccinated over 90% and the greater the number vaccinated in areas where spread is likely to happen, the more we can open area borders and lower quarenteen requirements. It does depend on a high level of compliance with measures such as masking and distancing as well.

                  I don't agree with all the Governments decisions on covid, but there has been logical and understandable reasoning behind almost all of them. The ones I didn't agree with, have usually been driven by pressure from parties acting in extreme bad faith. Almost as though they want to sabotage our covid response.

    • Poission 20.2

      A target is meaningless,there is no final number.Evolutionary changes with coronavirus is an absolute truth.

      Vaccination does wane under change,and all countries are being advised to issue a third booster to those with immune problems (and suggestions for a third with a targeted delta vaccine is under discussion)


  21. chris T 21

    I actually think Ardern has screwed up a bit.

    She has gone a bit shower head, lightbulb thing like Helen Clark did, with the no fetail on levels

    She should still be alright, given her popularity, but might want to pull finger.

    Wedding thing is going to come out soon as well

  22. Drowsy M. Kram 22

    PM Ardern appears to have "pulled finger" (pardon the crudity), visiting a few towns (not Queenstown though) and attending public meetings over the last couple of weeks, using her popularity to good effect by encouraging Kiwis to get vaccinated.

    Paid off too, if Saturday's feel-good 'vaxathon' is anything to go by.

    Covid ‘vaxathon’: over 2.5% of New Zealanders get jabbed in one day
    Celebrities encourage turnout as response surpasses Jacinda Ardern’s call to administer 100,000 shots
    As of 7 pm local time (0700 BST), health workers had administered 127,342 Pfizer doses on Saturday, jabbing at a higher per capita rate than any day of the rollouts in Australia, the UK, US or Canada.

    Super Saturday Vaxathon sees biggest-ever one-day vaccine update for Māori
    Epidemiologist Michael Baker is calling for more mass vaccination events, saying the first one united the country.

    New Zealand vaccinates 2.5% of population in 'Super Saturday Vaxathon'

    The moaners, whiners, whingers and squawkers will carry on bitching, bleating and bellyaching (since they can't do useful stuff) – I've tuned them out with no ill effects at all.

  23. Castro 23

    Yeah, open No Zealand up to more neo-colonials so more of "us" can be tenants in our own land, just like Jong Kee wanted. Prices can only go up. It's what the filthy underclass expects.

  24. Peter 24

    According to the OCD sufferers the Government should have laid out their exact covid plan in February. 2020.

    They should have known what was to be needed and when, and gone with the plan.

    Having failed that, they should have developed post election a highly specific timeline of what, when. Absolute numerical targets and dates would have been adhered to.

    Is that it? No reference to changing circumstances? No adapting for the new and unknown? With the necessary savaging of the PM of course because reality meant changing the plan was necessary.

  25. Patricia Bremner 25

    A huge number of New Zealanders are sensible, and going by the funding through Givealittle for the medical vehicle for Tairawhiti, they care and want to assist distant areas to be more independent and have the necessary tools.

    That there is a huge outpouring of Aroha and concern to do what needs to be done in a Pandemic is uplifting and empowering. $110 000 !!! Together we can do this!!

    Doctors and Nurses have offered their time as well. That made me so glad to be living here.

  26. "exceptional minds, concepts and capital" are used for technologies to threaten, dominate and destroy. An effective urge for peace and life giving action would abolish that option.


  27. Tricledrown 27

    Chris T 90% is the target its been out there for some time.The reason we have the lowest ICU bed per head of population in the OECD.

  28. Jenny How to get there 28

    Jacinda Ardern: Tear Down This Wall

    Written By: ADVANTAGE

    In the coming months Fortress New Zealand will be dismantled. What will take its place?

    That's an easy one.

    Unnecessary preventable sickness and deaths, on top of; Climate change, Housing unaffordability, & homelessness, Traffic congestion, Road deaths, Air pollution, Biosphere collapse,

    Or as I like to call it. DAU, Destruction As Usual.

    Instead of using this God given opportunity to rebuild our economy, around sustainability and social justice. Hat tip to Ed.

    MAN 2020 – YouTube

  29. coreyjhumm 29

    Wow. The commenters above…


    Me me me me me me. I thought I was on kiwiblog for a second.

    The attitude seems to be "nz is a backwater and I want to go traveling the world". Me me me me.

    It really shows why nz is incapable of having any left wing movement because those who strongly claim to be on the left in this country don't believe in collectivism they believe in "individualism" which is why instead of class solidarity we get "identity politics" in nz, our political parties don't even mention adult poverty during elections and looking at the dialogue of me me me comments above I can see why.

    The nz left is a bunch of rebellious middle to upper middle class people who fancy themselves to smart to be tories.

    If nz had a left wing movement the healthcare system would be the first thing the left mentioned whenever so called lefty's demanded less restrictions. Our healthcare system is always on the brink of collapse. Some of y'all want a full collapse just so you can what? Go for brunch? Go to a concert? Travel to Wanaka?

    Oh yes. Atleast businesses when they do this are actually worried about their businesses and employees y'all are just worried about yourselves.

    How many people must die, how clogged must our hospitals get , so people can float around the country….

    Nz is an I / me society. We're a right wingers fantasy land with no wealth redistribution policies, blind trusts and an economy built on sand.

    Let the country collapse into covid oblivion because I want my caramel late, almond milk of course because I am cruelty free.

    Ohhhh wait ….

    70% of kiwis don't want to give up on elimination…. Crap…. Maybe there is a collectivist movement in nz and it's just the individualists who claim to be left wing who are out of touch…

    Keep telling the country how stupid and selfish we are for chosing our health system and people's lives over your concerts and brunches.

  30. Tricledrown 30

    50,000 new cases a day in the UK with 83% vaccinated

    That would equate to 4,000 a day in NZ.

    That's why lockdowns are needed a long with much higher vax rates.

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