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Lockdown decision – which way will it go?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 20th, 2021 - 171 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, covid-19, health - Tags:

Cabinet meets today to decide on the future of the lockdown levels in Aotearoa and more specifically on Tamaki Makaurau.

Yesterday I thought it was on a knife edge.  Numbers of cases had plateaued and most new infections had been quickly linked to existing cases.  The virus is that spreadable that households with 7 or 8 people were succumbing and the numbers were being affected by these results.

And, take a bow Aotearoa, the vaccination rates have surged, particularly in Tamaki Makaurau.  Latest reports are that 73% of the eligible population have had at least one vaccination shot.

There is some resistance to the lockdown. Wealthy people are struggling with the concept that a lockdown means no movement and no contact unless it is for limited purposes.  Reports of trips to Wanaka, Taupo and Wellington have surfaced and there has been some right wing indignation that no contact means not even having drinkies with your wealthy friends in your car port.

The rest of us are getting on with it.

I was cautiously confident that the increased vaccination levels and the decline in community cases with no clear source could mean that Tamaki Makaurau could go to level three.

But news this morning of an infection in the Waikato suggests that not only will level 4 be maintained but the geographical area may be extended.  From the Herald:

A leading expert says Waikato may have to move up an alert level following three positive cases in the region – including two school children, one of whom was symptomatic while in class.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker says the three new positive cases are “very frustrating” and now complicates things as Auckland waits to see if it will come out of alert level 4.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast on Monday, he said the cases – contacts of an on-bail Auckland prisoner who tested positive for the virus late last week – now threatens that move down in alert levels.

Baker added that officials may also now look at whether the Waikato region may have to move up to alert level 3, at least, as a result of the new positive cases.

When the response to the single initial Delta case appearing in Auckland a month ago it is difficult to see how the Government could do anything but the same to the Waikato.  And while there are any Auckland cases who have been infectious in the community the same approach would mean that the same level of caution will be required.

I am sorry people but I would be very surprised if Tamaki Makaurau’s levels were moved downwards today.  Although I expect the Cabinet will want to review the decision in the near future, presumably in a week’s time.

171 comments on “Lockdown decision – which way will it go? ”

  1. Ad 1

    Sure hope the Minister of Justice Andrew Little picked up the phone to the Chief District Court judge and gave them a bollocking for the fool judge who allowed the prisoner to be released on bail outside of the Auckland Level 4 area.

    And same goes for the lawyer who applied for such release in the first place.

    You would have thought the District Court bench had learned from the last covid breach from one of their children to keep it tight.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      the fool judge

      District Court judge Mary Beth Sharp, perhaps?

      Why were these kids at school, one being symptomatic? Have people learned nothing?

      The PM was happy to put the blowtorch on families at the centre of the February outbreak, warning of consequences for not doing the right thing.

      Why the shift in policy? Too much pressure from the media?

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        Someone on twitter had the point that if the parents are both low-wage "essential", wtf can they realistically do if a kid has a slight sniffle? Sure, and the school should have immediately sent the kid home, but what if there was nobody at home?

        Upshot being that the country's vulnerabilities to covid are the long term structural problems we've done fuckall about for forty years.

        • Muttonbird 1.1.1.1

          No argument about long term structural problems, but there is support available for exactly this scenario, ie caregivers staying at home with sick kids.

          The message clearly isn't getting through.

          You can tell I'm angry and upset. With every passing week my whole industry is increasingly under threat. Once gone it might never return. I have people depending on me.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            but there is support available for exactly this scenario, ie caregivers staying at home with sick kids.

            What support is there for that?

            • Muttonbird 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The Unite against Covid-19 website says:

              If you are sick

              If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

              By getting a test, you are helping keep your community safe. Testing is always free for everyone.

              Staying at home if you are sick is one way to stop any possible spread of COVID-19.

              So the correct thing to do is to stay at home and call the healthline.

              Financial support

              COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

              If you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, it is important you stay home until you get a negative result.

              If you cannot work from home, your employer can apply for the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment for you so you can continue to get paid.

              With regards to the message getting through I accept that info on a government website it's going to reach everyone. That is where private sector employers in essential worker industries have to step up. Support is there, but it is driven by employers. Vulnerable employees need to know exactly what to do in each circumstance during a pandemic.

              https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/protect-yourself-and-others-from-covid-19/stay-home-if-youre-sick/

              • weka

                that's for people with covid or waiting for a test. I'm asking what support there is for someone with a child with respiratory symptoms when that person can't stay home and look after them.

                • Muttonbird

                  The correct thing to do is to call the healthline or doctor who would then advise to go get a test. You are to stay at home until the test result. There is financial support available for that.

                  • weka

                    You said,

                    Why were these kids at school, one being symptomatic? Have people learned nothing?

                    I'm asking what the parents of those kids should if they are unable to stay home from work to be with the kids so the kids don't go to school. In the first instance it's not anything to do with any of those people having covid.

                    What financial support is there for those parents in that situation? Be specific. And include financial support for parents who cannot stay home with the kids as well as those that can if they'd still get paid.

                    • weka

                      Because it sounds to me like NZ has learned nothing.

                    • alwyn

                      "Because it sounds to me like NZ has learned nothing".

                      Wo do you mean when you say NZ Weka? Everyone, or do you mean The Government and Officialdom?

                      Personally I think it quite fair to say that it is the Government and its Departments but not all the people in the country.

                    • weka

                      I was just riffing off Muttonbird's intolerance. You don't need to take it personally or universally. But obviously poverty in a NZ is a factor in the challenges to our covid response and much of NZ votes in the governments we have that have let poverty develop to this extent.

            • KJT 1.1.1.1.1.2

              As child care workers don't want to look after sick kids, and employers generally take a dim view of staying away from work, to look after sick kids, many parents face a no win situation, if their kids are sick

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2

            I agree, and sympathise. I'm also waiting for a fairly stable employer to start announcing staff cuts if this all goes on too much longer.

            But maybe the message on what services are available isn't getting through, or maybe there was nobody available in that area, etc etc etc.

            This isn't necessarily someone just assuming everything will be fine and ignoring the rules like someone running to their holiday home (but sure, it might be). It could be that people are again being left hanging while being "essential".

            • weka 1.1.1.1.2.1

              what support is available for workers who can't stay home with a sick kid?

              • McFlock

                yeah I wondered that. A quick google early suggested that they can get a free caregiver for kids up to 13, but doesn't mention sick kids and said something about caregivers being restricted to one per bubble. So if one isn't available in your area, sounded like you might be screwed.

                Only found a press release, though, not like an application form or anything. So that's an issue, too.

                • weka

                  people I know are managing this via extended bubbles eg families whose kids get on doing shared care, but even when we were under L4 there was no local transmission. And they weren't getting financial or structural assistance.

                  • weka

                    which highlights a gap in the system, but maybe some people could hold back on the judgemental approach given the long term issues and the immediate ones.

    • Sabine 1.2

      i agree the Minister of Health should pick up the phone, to call the Minister of Corrections and the Minister of Justice – at haste – to create a legal frame work in regards to remand prisoners, bail applications, etc. As todays news show, how ever it is handled atm seems to have a colander effect, and puts the community and the health sector at great risk. And for what its worth, i am sure they are frantically trying to fix it now.

    • That judge needs to be arrested under the Health Orders for breaching the border.

      And he/she needs to be struck off

      • Ad 1.3.1

        At very least both judges need to be recused from any sentencing concerning border breaches.

      • Incognito 1.3.2

        <groan>

        The Judge’s job is not to undertake nasal swabs but to decide matters before the Court. The person was bailed on 8 September and tested on 16 September, which returned a positive test result. The judge would have been so lucky to know the Lotto numbers in advance.

      • Craig Hall 1.3.3

        The Bail Act does not refer to epidemics or Covid as reasons for setting bail conditions. Schedule 5 of the current Covid Public Health Response Order regarding alert level requirements (https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2021/0237/latest/LMS545109.html) provides for permitted reasons for travel into, out of or through a level 4 area, some of which relate to people complying with court orders and leaving prison ("detention") and include a person picking them up.

        11 Leave or change their home or place of residence as required by—

        (a) a court order (other than a parenting order, an interim parenting order, or an order to settle a dispute between guardians); or

        (b) anyone exercising a power under any enactment to—

        (i) order the person to be detained; or

        (ii) order the person to change their place of detention; or

        (iii) determine the person’s place of residence:

        Example of power

        A direction of the New Zealand Parole Board or a probation officer

        12 Leave or change a home or a place of residence after a period of requirement, detention, or determination described in item 11

        13 Collect a person referred to in item 11 or 12 for the purpose of accompanying them to their home or place of residence (or intended principal home or place of residence) in New Zealand

    • Sanctuary 1.4

      Angry minister dumps on chief district court judge.

      Angry chief district court judge dumps on district court judge.

      Angry judge dumps onto some hapless 25 year old legal aid lawyer, who gets the blame from everyone and eventually moves to Sydney.

      Everyone senior goes back to BAU.

      Thus the world is, and thus it always shall be…

      • Ad 1.4.1

        Bail isn't a right, it's a privilege. And the world is pretty weird right now. Even judges have to learn.

        • Craig Hall 1.4.1.1

          Not being locked up is a right, and being charged with something, but not convicted, shouldn't abrogate that right without some serious safeguards. Bail is legal recognition of that right.

          • Andre 1.4.1.1.1

            Not being locked up is a right

            I wonder how many of us Aucklanders read that and immediately thought "if only".

            The public health emergency we're labouring under and the risk of prolonging that emergency and spreading it to other parts of the country seems pretty good grounds to restrict that right. Temporarily.

  2. Andre 2

    It's time to start serious talk about vaccine mandates and passports. Vaccine mandates work:

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-bcs-covid-19-vaccine-passport-system-succeeds-where-albertas/

    https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/more-than-6000-people-received-their-first-dose-of-the-covid-19-vaccines-to-attend-the-raiders-game-at-allegiant-stadium/

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/12/us/lollapalooza-covid-19-cases/index.html

    We're now at the stage where most of those that haven't yet had their first jab are avoiding it. We've got capacity well beyond what we had just after lockdown where 90,000 a day were getting jabbed. But rates have dropped to about 60,000 a day. Most people in NZ could get a jab as a walk-in or drive-in today, tomorrow, anytime this week. Anything to lift those numbers is a good thing. People that feel coerced will mostly get over it fairly quickly.

    It's also time to communicate a bit more about the difference in expected transmission between level 3 and level 4. By any objective assessment, level 3 is still a harsh lockdown. Basically it's level 4, but with work for those that can distance at work plus takeaway KFC and coffee. There should even exist data from previous level 3 lockdowns.

    • Poission 2.1

      Lets look at a jurisdiction where there is heavy vaccination,high quality health care,mandatory mask wearing and miq controls.

      Here with a similar population to NZ,Singapore has over a 1000 cases for the second day,showing the risk of high density urban areas.

      https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/singapore-covid-19-1009-new-local-cases-nursing-home-cluster-sep-19-2188246

    • weka 2.2

      "We're now at the stage where most of those that haven't yet had their first jab are avoiding it."

      Citation needed.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Apologies – I should have added a weasel word to make it "are probably avoiding it".

        Evidence for that is the declining rate of first jabs even as there's massively increased availability, and the Horizon Research polls that say around 20% of New Zelanders are "definitely not" or "very unlikely" to get vaccinated, which also lines up with only 81% of New Zealanders saying it is important that everyone that can get vaccinated does so.

        https://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/621/june-2021-7

        As of midnight Thursday we were at 72% eligibles had had their first jab, by now we're probably roughly 75%. There's not many left between that 75% and that 80% threshold where we get into the "probably nots".

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          it's only a weasel word if you believe your reckons are fact.

        • weka 2.2.1.2

          Your link says 10% of respondents definitely won't get a vaccine. Why you would want to lump probably won't in with them I have no idea, other than that you are fatalistic and refuse to look at why people are vaccine hesitant, instead prefering your hive mind, judgemental, punitive view.

          Meanwhile, as I mentioned the other day, the number of hesitant people who are disabled is a huge concern. It's almost like there's are groups of people in NZ who have good reason to not trust mainstream medicine or the government. Chickens coming home to roost there alongside the poverty and housing crisis ones. Neoliberalism is eating itself at this point. Ooops.

    • weka 2.3

      "People that feel coerced will mostly get over it fairly quickly."

      Fortunately for NZ public health, the MoH and the government understand that coercing people creates both resistance to the thing being coerced, including in other people, and creates greater division in society making public health harder going forward.

      • Andre 2.3.1

        If people really want to reject all the advice and evidence from actual experts that spend their lives studying and developing stuff,and reject one of the most thoroughly tested, safest, cheapest, and most effective medical treatments ever devised, to go with their feels and reckons and other ways of knowing, all I ask is that they keep to themselves and don't be a willful health and safety risk to the rest of us.

        And that when it turns to shit on them, that they keep their faith in their feels and reckons and other ways of knowing, and don't clog up and break the medical system that they have previously rejected. But I doubt they have the decency and integrity to do that.

  3. Leighton 3

    I don't quite understand why the fact that a person bailed to the Waikato has spread it amongst his household contacts should affect whether Auckland moves down an alert level? My prediction is that Auckland comes down to level 3 from Wednesday as planned. The government boxed itself into a corner with the "agreement in principle" announced last week, and in my view nothing sufficiently unexpected has arisen in Auckland over the last week for them to be able to politically justify a change of course. I don't think they will move Waikato up until there is evidence of transmission outside the one household.

  4. tc 4

    L3 for the waikato today I reckon thanks to corrections and the entitled few who game the system, charter flights etc.

    Anything less risks a surge IMO, it is what it is as delta spreads like wildfire.

    • Treetop 4.1

      I to think L3 for the Waikato. I think Auckland will go to L3, tentatively. Unless testing is done for the Delta strain it could be lurking undetected where not expected.

      There are 2 weeks of school left in term 3. The school holidays would help to pick up a rogue case were it to occur in a school in the next 2 weeks.

      There is nothing like an outbreak to increase vaccination numbers.

    • Enough is Enough 4.2

      Practically I am not sure you can do a Waikato lockdown. Where is the boundary and how on earth can we police hundreds of roads? There are multiple ways to exit. We'd need to bring the military in, because the Police couldn't do it on their own.

      It would only work with 100% co-operation from the public – and thats not going to happen.

    • AB 4.3

      The Waikato border is likely to be way more complicated and harder to control than the border into the Auckland isthmus. Waikato connects to the Bay of Plenty, King Country and Central Plateau with (I'd think) plenty of back roads crossing it. There may be some discussion of pushing the whole North Island into L3 – but they probably won't risk the resulting outrage.

      • Enough is Enough 4.3.1

        That's what I think. It would have to be the whole North Island to level 3.

        • alwyn 4.3.1.1

          It would be quite feasible to leave Wellington out of the area. Then we could go down to Level 1 along with the South Island. Yippee!

          You could put a line across from the sea to the Tararua Range just north of Manakau. That is Manakau, not Manukau for the Aucklanders among us. The only road that would go through it would be SH1. That should provide a pretty good boundary on the West Coast.

          The you would need a different line somewhere on the part of SH2 that goes over the Remutaka Range. Again that is the only road.

          Then we could be free of the pestilence from the North.

          Well I suppose I am allowed to dream, aren't I?

          • Gezza 4.3.1.1.1

            (Hi alwyn

            On a separate matter we discussed yesterday – just gonna post you something in the Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori thread.)

      • Treetop 4.3.2

        The whole of the North Island going to L3 would be a preemptive strike.

        More community cases at the end of the week in new North Island regions I would not exclude a L3 North Island lock down.

  5. swordfish 5

    .

    Hard Border north of Taupo … Hadrians Wall-style, with manned watch towers at spaced intervals to stop frantic northerners flooding south. Suppress any signs of a northern outbreak with periodic strafing raids over Auckers, Hamilton & Tauranga by fighter jets loyal to the south. Hedonistic Level 1 party atmos south of the border vs post-war ration coupon Austerity to the north.

    Remember, southerners, loose lips sink ships. Be on your guard against the vile sausage-sucking northern hun & his machiavellian machinations.

  6. McFlock 6

    Some interesting news about possible data (i.e. pop media take on a study, not the paper itself) on PCR tests before flying: 5 in 10,000 passengers still have it either immediately boefore or after travel.

    All well and good when going from plagueland to plagueland, but that's easily 5 people a week coming into NZ under restricted travel, with a piece of paper that some would argue should let them bypass MIQ.

    That goes down to 1 with another test immediately before departure. Still would one person a week through, though.

  7. Jenny how to get there 7

    Good Call MS

  8. Adrian 8

    Has anybody bothered to look up the Auckland Covid Border? Whakatiwai where the house he was sent to is, is inside the border just north of Miranda, the children go to Mangatangi School which is on the border. Nobody fucked up but did not account for the children’s class mates possibly spreading it south of Mangatangi.

    This is gotcha reporting, too fucking lazy and thick to read a map.

    Also take into account that maybe the prisoner was picked up, held in police cells, appeared in court and bailed to Whakatiwai and never went in to a Corrections facility. But I may be wrong, but I can read a bloody map.

  9. Adrian 9

    Although I am slightly disappointed as I would relish Swordfish’s response being activated, it would be strongly supported here in the Republic of Te Wai Pounamu.

    • weka 9.1

      how much of the South Island's food comes from the North Island?

      • roblogic 9.1.1

        No more Pukekohe spuds and onions. No more Ohakune carrots. No more kiwifruit

        • Poission 9.1.1.1

          None of which are not grown in the SI.

          • Adrian 9.1.1.1.1

            You really do need to get out more. South Canterbury probably grows more spuds than Pukekohe or more carrots than Ohakune , plenty of kiwifuit in Te Tau Ihu as well as, now don't go into panic mode, all of the hops and grain for craft beer or any beer for that matter. In other words, we are self sufficient, but where are you getting your cheeky little Central Otago Pinots, or luscious Marlborough Savvies or frisky Pinot Gris's, thats going to put a dampener on those illegal carport knees-ups, eh!

            Aucklanders don't need any more reason to feel smug but the BORDER, has reinforced their conviction that there isn't anything south of the Bombay Hills.

            • Poission 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Read what I said.

            • roblogic 9.1.1.1.1.2

              OK OK. Swap ya 2 crates of Lion Red & Waikato Draught for some of that Marlborough stuff

              • mac1

                Marlborough beers like Renaissance and Moa in exchange for that? My home brews are better……….

                Marlborough grows kumera, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, yams, taro, avocados, bananas, citrus, kiwifruit, peppers, eggplants, hops, garlic, brussel sprouts, leeks, berries, asparagus, broad beans, pears, quinces, apples. I know, because I do (except avocados, taro and bananas which grow near here).

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.3

              those tomatoes and cucumbers in the supermarket at the moment weren't grown in the SI. Not that it would be a huge hardship to eat seasonally, but I suspect the supply lines we currently have mean a fair chunk of what the SI eats comes from up north.

            • Sacha 9.1.1.1.1.4

              Mainland spuds are still the best I've had. Glad to see some companies turning them into chips now as well.

      • Adrian 9.1.2

        Only that inedible shit that comes out of factories.

      • Sacha 9.1.3

        avocados

  10. Adrian 10

    The Auckland Provincial border is at Miranda, the Police have a checkpoint just north of Whakatiwai, so anyone looking up where Whakatiwai is will be informed that it is in Auckland Province.

  11. Jenny how to get there 11

    Lockdown decision – which way will it go?

    MICKYSAVAGE – 9:00 am, today

    Mayor Goff makes it very clear which way he wants it to go.

    Covid-19: Auckland Mayor calls for shift to level 3 this week

    9:06 am today

    Auckland's mayor wants the region shifted down to alert level 3 this week, and says the cost to stay at level 4 is too high…….

    "The psychological pressures of the long level 4 lockdown are growing, and the financial pressures on businesses and jobs. Families are separated, there's people who don't have income coming in… there are lot of people who are just on the edge at the moment…..

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/451877/covid-19-auckland-mayor-calls-for-shift-to-level-3-this-week?

    Mayor Goff makes a good point about the financial stress on families and small business that will be caused by a continued lockdown.

    Rent and mortgage relief would go along way to ease the financial stress on small busnesses and families.

    A rent and mortgage moratorium is not an unprecedented measure, it is what the First Labour Government did to provide relief to New Zealanders during the Great Depression.

    The great beauty of a mortgage and rent moratorium, is it that it costs the tax payer nothing.

    Also, the Aussie owned banks that take $3.5 billion out of our country every year, can easily afford it.

    • Jenny how to get there 11.1

      Share the burden with the banks.

      While everyone else’s livelyhood has been constrained, and in some cases completely stopped. The banks are still draining New Zealander’s accounts.

      Everyone pays a mortgage. (Renters are just paying someone else’s).

      A rent and mortgage moratorium now.

      …..by 1931, it was clear that further intervention was necessary to prevent widespread foreclosures and mortgagee sales…..

      ….Although mortgage relief was frequently discussed at some length by
      contemporary commentators, and by some historians in the 1950s and
      1960s, it has been relegated to a few lines at most in more recent works.'

      …..This Act also extended to lessees [renters] the same protection
      that had been granted to mortgagors,

      The modification of mortgage conditions was not new in New Zealand. A 'mortgage moratorium' had been imposed as a war measure in 1914,

      http://www.nzjh.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1987/NZJH_21_2_03.pdf

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.2

      Goff makes the usual mistake of ignoring the other side of the equation.

      "the cost to stay at level 4 is too high……."

      ??

      What is the cost of uncontrolled spread of Covid?

  12. Incognito 12

    Are the authorities confident enough that they are as close as they can be to the leading edges of the outbreak, e.g., by rapid contact tracing and testing & isolation, in order to deal (i.e. control) with this long hard tail under Level 3 settings?

    Do they have a plan and protocols in place, and the resources, to ring-fence current known clusters more assertively and get ahead of leading edges, i.e., pro-actively prevent them from growing and spreading?

    Each day we seem to have about 25% of new cases who have been infectious in the community. As long as these don’t spread further, it doesn’t give rise to concern, but obviously, the number needs to come down to zero over a number of consecutive days.

    • Cricklewood 12.1

      I'd say they dont, they cant quite keep ahead on it under level 4 given we seem to have a few new cases everyday that have been out in the community.

      If you were to take someone like the bailed prisoner is he going to tell contact tracers everything ie if a mate came to visit perhaps in breach of bail conditions?

      Very hard to trace in communties of people who have very little trust in govt or authority.

      I suspect political pressue will mean a drop in level for Auckland then we'll see a slow uptick in cases and then its either yoyo between levels or it spreads outwards into the regions.

      Only shitty choices really its just a case of picking the least shit one.

  13. Chris T 13

    Any one one want to take bets on how long it takes Ardern to actually say the levels after the usual cliche crap?

    I say 21 minutes 9 seconds

  14. L4 might be the correct thing in an ideal world but L3 is a more practical level which allows some semblance of connection to whanau and a bit of civilisation. If we stay in L4 we will see increased flouting of the oppressive lockdown rules, and I can't blame people for that.

    My money is on L3, it's the pragmatic option, and Jacinda is still a politician

    • observer 14.1

      Broadly I agree, except that the D-G will give health advice to Cabinet and the PM will be asked today if she (Cabinet) followed it. Followed by OIA requests no doubt.

      If Dr B (who is cautious) says keep Level 4 in Auckland, Jacinda will have to be the politician who over-rules … legally no problem, but politically awkward.

      • observer 14.1.1

        Reading between the lines, it looks like Dr B (who is nobody's fool) gave Cabinet the advice they wanted to hear, while preserving a de facto Level 4 under the Health Act, for the latest outbreak in Miranda area.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.2

      We can be confident that the virus will respect pragmatism.

  15. observer 15

    Remember this, from Judith Collins:

    “The evidence from overseas is clear; decisive action to prevent further community spread is what is needed when it comes to the highly-transmissible Delta variant.

    “It is better to act now to stamp out the spread of Covid-19 than to take half measures which do not work and result in it taking longer to shut down the spread."

    (Lockdown Day 1, August 17)

    Let's hope she doesn't call for "half-measures which do not work" after today's announcement.

    • Chris T 15.1

      Who cares what Collins says.

      I get the need for you to grasp whataboutism but it is Ardern and her govt and her it rides on today. No one else

      • observer 15.1.1

        Let's face it, National and ACT have both written 2 opposite versions of their press release already, stating "The decision is wrong because …". They will delete one version and send out the other at 5 pm.

      • Chris 15.1.2

        It matters what she says because if she called for "half-measures that do not work" it'll add fuel to the not-that-well-hidden fire of resentment sitting amongst the business sector. But she's not going to call for that – she's going to say we need to stay cautious etc etc, so that if things go awry she'll have the moral high ground.

  16. Poission 16

    Jacinda is still a politician

    So was Neville Chamberlain,a substantial part of the country will not accept appeasement.

  17. Drowsy M. Kram 17

    I say 21 minutes 9 seconds

    If these pressers are as much fun for the PM as some would have us believe, why not?

  18. Chris T 18

    14 minutes 9 seconds left.

    No team of 5 million yet. Reckon I will win

  19. Chris T 19

    The whole just saying levels thing is hard for them.

    Soray. Just find it funny

  20. Chris T 20

    7 minutes left

  21. Chris T 21

    Ah bollocks.

    18 minutes and 23 seconds.

    Apologies. Kind of quick for her

    • observer 21.1

      You seem to be including the first 10 minutes when the PM wasn't even there. Need to repair your broken stopwatch.

      • Chris T 21.1.1

        Apologies.

        Forgot we are supposed to guess how late she will be after saying 4 pm

        Has she thought about replacing her assistants

        • In Vino 21.1.1.1

          I was listening in my car, and RNZ said they would switch to it at about 4.14, which is pretty much how it worked out. It probably did take about 8 minutes from then, but I would agree that explaining the new situation in Hauraki plains should have had priority, so your beat-up is crap.

  22. Yayyyyy!!! L3 L3 L3… on Wednesday

  23. Andre 23

    So the cage gets a little bit bigger. Now it includes work, KFC, and takeaway coffee, and not much more.

    Still, it's a necessary step in the right direction.

    • Chris T 23.1

      It is basically them admitting finally we lost given the numbers and unknowns.

      Fair play though. Should have done it a wee while ago impo

      • weka 23.1.1

        "It is basically them admitting finally we lost given the numbers and unknowns."

        Ardern just said exactly the opposite.

        • Chris T 23.1.1.1

          I know she did.

          The numbers are higher than when we moved to 4 nationwide.

          It isn't rocket science to realise they have faced realism.

          • weka 23.1.1.1.1

            you're making shit up. If you disagree with their rationales, make the argument. But just saying they've gone L3 because we've lost the fight against zero covid is just your unfounded reckons which don't take into account the strategy and how this outbreak is playing out.

            • Chris T 23.1.1.1.1.1

              It isn't really worth arguing about. All I would say is numbers.

              Maybe I am wrong. I don't know. Above my pay grade.

              In the interim I am happy for Aucklanders. Still shite. But less sHite. Any fast food coupon codes needed let me knowblush

              • weka

                daily numbers is a pretty abstract view of a strategy that takes a really large and complex number of variables into account.

              • Incognito

                Maybe I am wrong. I don't know. Above my pay grade.

                Yes, you are, indeed, you don’t, and correct, it’s beyond you, which is why you make up shit, again, and as usual.

                It appears you’re craving attention today, from Moderators; I’ll let them know that you’re in need of some TLC.

        • weka 23.1.1.2

          Bloomfield saying the same thing, with more explanation and detail. eg vaccination makes L3 more effective than last year.

      • Andre 23.1.2

        Dunno about shoulda done it a while ago.

        Every day of extra vaccinations makes quite a lot of difference. Even the reduced rate of people fronting up now will help take the edge off the problems coming at the health system.

    • Brigid 23.2

      KFC, and takeaway coffee

      But contactless

      • Andre 23.2.1

        Yeah, nah. I don't actually buy either.

        But when Monday night pizza time rolls around, the delivery boy better just drop that bad boy and run so he doesn't end up as collateral damage in the feeding frenzy.

    • Enough is Enough 23.3

      Not just takeaways – Construction starts again. That's a real risk area on some of the big Auckland projects

    • georgecom 23.4

      a cage gilded with takeaway wrappers and disposable coffee cups

  24. weka 24

    If most of the transmission is happening within households, how are those households getting infected?

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      Loads of people ignoring the rules. Outside my house right now someone has driven up and has hand delivered items to a member of the household down the back. In their bubble? Doubt it. No masks.

      This example is a light breach. Many households/individuals simply don’t understand or don’t care.

      I've turned into a curtain twitcher, ffs. Lol.

      • weka 24.1.1

        lol, all of us. Lots of discussion down south about what would trigger someone to dob someone else in.

        So are they getting all/most of the links between households clear?

  25. observer 25

    People think the press conferences help Ardern because she can give a speech. But what really helps her is the idiot questions. That's when the general audience goes from grumbling about the PM to shouting at the reporters.

  26. Chris T 26

    Famous 5 mate!

    On special. Google kfc vouchers nz.

    And congrats

  27. weka 27

    Ardern has just clarified that the prisoner most likely got covid from people who transported them who had been in Auckland, and that it's very unlikely they got covid from the prison they were in, or from their household.

    • weka 27.1

      they're still waiting for genome sequencing.

    • Craig Hall 27.2

      And that the reason Corrections didn't drop them off is that wasn't in the bail conditions, although she also made the point that would be unusual.

      • weka 27.2.1

        I missed that bit. Corrections didn't do the transport from Auckland to Waikato?

        • Craig Hall 27.2.1.1

          No, a specified person did – they aren't saying who, but it was part of the bail conditions.

          • weka 27.2.1.1.1

            do you mean bail conditions didn't require Corrections to do the transport?

            • Craig Hall 27.2.1.1.1.1

              Bail conditions include the defendant's residential address where the electronic monitoring will be, how they will be transported to that address, and by whom – in theory that could be Corrections, but in this particular case, it wasn't (and it normally wouldn't be Corrections).

  28. rod 28

    Auckland going down to level 3, so get ready folks, for the usual bunch of moaners and whingers in the msm.

    • Andre 28.1

      Richrdson got in even before the presser with a moan that that the government is wrong whichever way it decides.

      https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/not-level-4ing-well-enough-richardson-says-a-week-of-total-lockdown-with-the-army-on-the-road-preferable-to-drawn-out-alert-levels/ar-AAOCzLx?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBqdg4K

      And if the government actually did what Richardson suggests in his whine, the population would be even more peeved. 3-way wiener for Richardson!

    • Chris T 28.2

      I realise you may not get this. But while Auckland was shut. So was a lot of everyone else's stock replenishment.

      Yes Auckland had it hardest. But this doesn't mean no one else in the country was screwed.

      • roblogic 28.2.1

        Yep. All the Farmers department stores in NZ were closed because their Auckland operation was closed. Building supplies were not getting sent out. Temp workers were stuck in Auckland and couldn't go where they were needed. Warehouses full of stuff for the rest of NZ were paralysed.

        Let's not do L4 again.

        • Barfly 28.2.1.1

          "Let's not do L4 again"

          Let's not have to do L 4again fify

        • Graeme 28.2.1.2

          All of that is more a crippling structural weakness that's been allowed to develop in our economy and society, rather than the Level 4 restrictions.

          There's multiple possibilities that could cut Auckland off from the rest or part of the Country, or restrict / take out completely the Auckland economy. It's beyond stupid to have so much dependant on a single distribution centre in Auckland. The cost to the firms concerned, and the wider economy from this current disruption probably far outweigh any 'efficiencies' gained from centralising everything in Auckland.

          What's going to happen when there's an eruption in Auckland or Central NI

  29. Gezza 29

    I’m still trying to get my head around what a new Level 3 for Auckland actually amounts to, & whether it’s even worth it. Will have to wait for analyses on TV1 & 3.
    … … …

    “Director of General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was issuing a section 70 order requiring people who live or work in the area around Mangatangi, in northern Waikato, to stay at home. Ardern said it was effectively a “bespoke level 4”.

    Bloomfield said the order was for people living in an area north of SH2 centred on Mangatangi.

    “That will effectively extend the road boundary to the east of Maramarua … and also to the southeast of Miranda on the Firth of Thames.””
    … … …

    Is this going to be potentially messy for the police?

  30. georgecom 30

    not just 'rich pricks' flouting lockdown rules. people of all ilk deciding they do not have to abide by them. 2 morons caught on the Waikato/Auckland boarder heading north today with a boot full of KFC, plus $100,000 cash. Looks like P needs to be shipped into Auckland. Self entitled moron if you decide to take a holiday in Wanaka. Self entitled moron if you decide to get your P takings and deliver some KFC. Deliver Peasy/Puber huh.

  31. Chris T 31

    Turns out the parolee dude with covid stopped at 4 different places on the way to his place.

    Was just on the radio news

    Ace

    Can find link if needed

  32. Tricledrown 33

    Collins and Dr Reti caught on Camera not wearing masks in Queenstown cafe.

    Wow how the gang members are savaged for breaking rules.

    Collins has to go.

    • Gezza 33.1

      Ae. Impossible to see how she can seriously expect to survive as leader beyond the next full National caucus meeting or two in Wgtn.

      She’s a constant embarrassment – & a jinx – for the party. They couldn’t probably have made a worse choice voting her in as leader, as it’s clearly turning out.

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  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
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  • Introducing Mr Stick.
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
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    2 weeks ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
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  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
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  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
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  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
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    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
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  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
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  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
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    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
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  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
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  • Judge of the High Court appointed
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  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
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    4 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
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    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
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  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
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  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
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  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
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    4 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
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    5 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
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    5 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
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    5 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
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    5 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
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    5 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
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    5 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
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    6 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
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    6 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
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    6 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
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    7 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
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    7 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
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    1 week ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
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    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
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    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
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  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
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  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
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  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
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    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
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    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
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    1 week ago