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Luxon is still struggling to understand Mask rules

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, July 14th, 2022 - 28 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, covid-19, health, national, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:

National’s brain trust must be worried.  Chris Luxon is developing into a rather negative and somewhat intellectually challenged leader of the opposition whose comments over time are proving to be all over the place.  These are not traits on which a successful campaign to take over the Government benches are built on.

Think I am exaggerating?  Well check the record.

His recent comments show that he has struggled to understand the Covid traffic light system even thought it is pretty simple.

In December 2021 he said that New Zealand should ditch the traffic light system and that with vaccination rates as high as they are, more freedoms should be allowed.  And that we should go to green.  This is what the Herald reported him as saying:

“Why is Auckland in red light? That is designed for when the country has an overwhelmed healthcare system and the Prime Minister says it is fine. And we have some of the highest vaccination rates of any city on planet Earth.”

Luxon said the sector was “ready for Auckland to go straight to green”.

He tried to say that he did not actually advocate going to green and that it was the hospitality sector that said this instead but this is pretty weak.

Then on January 21 he said that he was unsure if shifting to ‘red’ is the right move in the event of an Omicron outbreak because the traffic light criteria was very confusing.  At the time Omicron was overwhelming our border defences such was its ability to spread.  Keeping the country in red brought us valuable time.

Then this week he showed that his understanding has not improved even though he has had six months to get his head around the system.  From Jamie Ensor at Newshub:

National’s Christopher Luxon continues to claim some COVID-19 settings are “very, very confusing” for people and the focus should be on ensuring New Zealanders understand basic health measures, like masks, vaccinations and isolation requirements.

Those are the three measures Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly stressed in recent days as actions Kiwis can take personally to protect themselves against the latest wave of COVID-19 spreading through the community.

Asked whether he believes masks should be required in indoor areas outside of the home, Luxon said it would come down to health advice.

“The bigger point for me is rather than get into all the ins and outs of where masks can or shouldn’t be worn, I want that advice to come through very, very cleanly and very, very simply from our health professionals and then we follow that advice based off the risk they are seeing.”

While the ‘orange’ settings lay out where masks are and aren’t required indoors, the Ministry of Health says that as a “general rule” people are urged to “wear a mask in public indoor settings outside the home and in poorly ventilated spaces or when it is hard to physically distance from other people”.

Luxon went on to say it was “interesting” that during a trip to Singapore, Ireland and the United Kingdom last week in “most of those places, we didn’t have a single COVID conversation”.

“In places like Ireland, there is no mask-wearing at all.”

The National Party leader said on Monday that the “rest of the world is moving on” when it comes to COVID.

How complicated are the rules?  Not very.

And you have to question everything else that he said. Along with the traffic light system he criticised other aspects such as the vaccine rollout, slow availability of rapid antigen tests, and MIQ and described them as a shambles.

This is like shooting fish in a barrel.  Last December Luxon said that Auckland had “some of the highest vaccination rates of any city on planet Earth” yet now he is describing the vaccination roll out as a shambles.  The much hyped rapid antigen test shortage turned out to be a figment of his imagination and MIQ kept us safe and is one of the major reasons that our death rate is still one of the lowest in the western world.

As for his comments that the world has moved on, the daily death count would suggest otherwise.

He has also recently suggested that nurses whose roles were terminated because they were not vaccinated should be allowed to return.  I prefer that my medical professional actually believes in the science.

His hyped up managerial speak may have worked for a while but it is clear that when interviewers ask him questions about the detail (hat tip Susie Ferguson) he founders.

The leader of the opposition has the toughest job in politics.  Weaknesses are identified pretty quickly and given the unrelenting attention paid to the job these weaknesses are tested thoroughly.

National strategists must be working on a Christopher Luxon 2.0.  Because version 1.0 has some pretty major bugs in it.

28 comments on “Luxon is still struggling to understand Mask rules ”

  1. Patricia Bremner 2

    Yes Micky, the first occasion I heard him backtrack I thought, "Wow, that was a quick shift of gears and direction. "

    It has become a feature of his pronouncements. Yesterday was gold.

    He was "Suzied," and in the afternoon he had a "stand up" to clarify what he had said.

    He is not following Key's Manta of "Explaining is losing." devil

    I found it comforting, as he is not even a good sock puppet.

    “Keep up the good work Chris.laugh You have a whole 15 months to weather”.

  2. ianmac 3

    Turkey, UK, USA , Australia and now Luxon in NZ have a strategy to promote enemies as a threat to our countries. This is aimed at uniting the voters behind a "strong willing to act leader." A cynical ploy but it has worked in each of the above countries where Conservative leaders are fighting (dirty) to stay in power. eg Refugees to Rwanda. Democracy is being eroded.

    So maybe Luxon is not as bumbling as he appears?

  3. AB 4

    It's imperative that Luxon is beaten – it will set us back years on every important issue if he is not. But I'm not convinced the electorate is swayed by rational arguments like Mickey's excellent unpicking of his babbling, drivel-stuffed self-contradictions. Mood is what matters in non-ideological swing voters.

    • ianmac 4.1

      Yes AB. We might note the idiocy of the bumbling Luxon, but perhaps the voters care not about the detail but see a polite confident chap, frequently before them who can rescue them from their perceived troubles.

      Perception. Perception. Perception.

    • Mac1 4.2

      It seems that rational argument is certainly not involved in that recent Ipsos poll in GB about who could be in the running for PM.


      "However, 12% of people told Ipsos that they knew either a great deal or a fair amount about Stewart Lewis, a fake candidate created by the pollster".

      120 out of 1000 British voters reckoned they something about a non-existent politician, and 60 knew a great deal about him!

  4. Maurice 5

    At least masks hide the ugly faces!

    Gonna miss that when they are gone ….

  5. mary_a 6

    Man of seven houses and good friend of Jesus, Luxon needs some lessons in how to wear a mask correctly in public during a pandemic!

    Also, it looks like he has a spearmint leaf lolly stuck to his lapel.

  6. Roy cartland 7

    He knows he doesn't need to convince everyone, least of all the logically-minded. Just a few, enough to rouse the blustering boofheads who will tip the balance. In this respect he's just like Key. Or Winston, for that matter.

    • tc 7.1

      Especially when the media go into election mode, blinkers on, backers primed, shrieking voices well rested (hda, hosk, woodham etc).

  7. KJT 8

    Reality, confuses Tories.

  8. aj 9

    Sadly, I think he understands mask rules very well but is playing to the ever-growing anti government sentiment in NZ. Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. Don't underestimate the raw cunning in National, nor their ability to go to the gutter to get power.

  9. PsyclingLeft.Always 10

    The older generations were the most vulnerable and wearing a mask to help protect them was "the most unselfish thing you can do".

    University of Otago epidemiologist Prof Michael Baker said now was the time for "maximum attention" to slowing the spread, as the overall risk for older people catching the virus was rising.


    Do it for your Mum and Dad….Nana and Grandad.

    Think…and Mask up.

    • tc 10.1

      Yet I spotted some clickbait titleon granny that indicated the good professor on masks being more about politics than health.

      Didnt bother to click on it but this is the type of divisive crap that's got to get sunlight from these outlets.

  10. spare me micky savage. luxin knows exactly the mask rules. he is busy sowing discord and discontent while you are busy arguing about nothing that he doesn't brush off like a piece of navel lint. he was on primetv tonight (first at 5:30) busy telling NEW ZEALAND that the rules were too complicated and best ignore them. thats the issue. not the rules themselves!

  11. Heather 12

    This individual has shown he has limited intelligence, he struggles to keep up.

    He has a script his advisors prepare for him, if the question is a little bit different, he founders.

    The National party members must be really embarrassed. Long may it continue.

    • tc 12.1

      Embarrassed! Nah all part of the game to them with luxon the latest version of old school failed ideology.

      Very few of these corporate club members have an active questioning intellect. Presentation, the message, look after the club and optics

  12. Maurice 13

    Perhaps he could be given a course in “Performative Caring”?

  13. felix 14

    I dunno. Until I read this post I had no idea what the mask rules are either. It's all become optional outside of central Wellington as far as I can tell.

  14. KJT 15

    Luton understands the rules.

    By not wearing his mask properly he is dog whistling to the idiots who object to "being told what to do" even if it is sensible.

    That may yet backfire on him.

    Conservatives like to feel safe.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 15.1

      New Zealand Association of General Surgeons president Rowan French said if cases hit 1200, everyone who needed urgent care may not be able to get it, leaving doctors with difficult ethical decisions.

      But even at the lower peak of 900, it would be very difficult, he said.

      "Where I am, we have got two full [Covid-19] wards and we are just in the process of converting a cardiac ward to a full Covid ward because if we get to 900 that is absolutely going to be required. So, it still leaves things in a fairly desperate situation," he said.

      Even though mask mandates were unpopular, increasing the places where masks had to be worn, even just for a couple of months, would help, he said.


      And absolutely “dog whistling to idiots” There’s certainly a Special Whistle for them . Trump had the same,,,,

  15. But it's OK because he used to run an airline

  16. observer 17

    "National strategists must be working on a Christopher Luxon 2.0. Because version 1.0 has some pretty major bugs in it."

    Confirmed by the latest poll (Curia, today).

    He should be replaced. National opted for Luxon for only 2 reasons: he's not Collins, and not Bridges.

    Other National MPs also meet those criteria. They should pick one, before he loses the winnable election. (I hope they stick with him, but it's 50-50 they won't).

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