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Open mike 18/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 18th, 2020 - 70 comments
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70 comments on “Open mike 18/06/2020 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The unbelievable level of incompetence on display from the MOH over the running of the border quarantine seems to be just another chapter of failure from government departments systematically wrecked by the last National government. Name me one agency – police bungling the self isolation checks, NZTA's inability to deliver even a core function like warrants of fitness, the housing debacle, ht list goes on – that has been able to meet the increased expectations that have been put on it?

    Second, the border fiasco clearly represents a classic example of stakeholder capture of the MOH/MBIE – they've been far to it willing to bend to the demands of lobby groups and business. Hopefully the government now finally has the mandate to enforce the border restrictions as strictly and as entusiastically as the public has expected them to be enforced. One the big takes to me has been that the public has been in favour of far tougher borders than the government agencies enforcing them have been.

    This is the one free pass the government will get on this, and that is only because their opponents have not a shred of credibility in their criticism. They need the military to act to get this right.

    Also, I don’t know about anyone else but I am really not looking forward to weeks of middle class Karens telling us of how they think the system doesn’t work based on their one off experience that we are now going to get in the media.

    • I just hope that this sorry little episodes might make a few Labour politicians reflect on the fact that some of their 'officials' are not necessarily all that they seem. At the moment (due to various circumstances), I'm most familiar with MoBIE. People have been warning of its shortcomings for years – i.e. people at the coalface and even former employees. Its a bugger's muddle and the clue should probably have been in whose creation it was (Mr Fixit Joyce, being one of them). Failed restructures, high staff turnover, demographic spreadsheets and now the notional one, people having to be "managed" out because of overt racism while covert racists remain, Thompson and Clark, people trying to be a select little police force rather than actually trying to serve the public – it covers the entire spectrum. And probably the saddest thing is that many in the organisation probably think the culture is quite OK.

      But as you say, there are the other departments.

      Helen Clark ws being diplomatic when she said the public service doesn't have the capacity it once had. She's correct, but its not just capacity. And it actually predates the last gummint though nowhere near the extent of dysfunction that crept in during the gNats reign of bullshit where even ethical behaviour was reduced merely to a tradable commodity if and when affordable .

      If this latest episode doesn't now convince Labour that there are departments/ministries/agencies that are not fit for purpose, nothing will.

    • observer 1.2

      I am really not looking forward to weeks of middle class Karens telling us of how they think the system doesn’t work based on their one off experience that we are now going to get in the media.

      There will be a "human interest" story any day the media want to find one.

      "Separated family denied by cruel officials" OR "Blundering officials" OR "Inconsistent officials".

      Sometimes I think Ardern should just announce a vote in Parliament on Martial Law, but say the government will abstain, so the Opposition can have it if they vote for it. If they don't then we're staying with what we've got – officials trying to follow the law, and strike a balance, and inevitably somebody somewhere making a mistake.

      I think that's better than armed soldiers on the streets but then I'm not some deranged Trump wannabe in opposition, who wants Tough Action alongside Total Freedom.

      • observer 1.2.1

        And right on cue …

        Booze ban in quarantine hotel

        We demand all our rights, and we also demand the government do whatever it takes.

        • aj

          observer 1.2.1

          Guests can't figure out why there is a temporary ban?

          Haven't they got half a brain to work it out?

          "It is a temporary measure and guests' ability to purchase alcohol will be reinstated once all test results have been returned and the facility has been given the all-clear.”
          Those inside the hotel said no reason was given for the ban, which came into force after the announcement on Tuesday afternoon of the new cases and their links to the facility.
          Another man at the Novotel, who asked not to be named, also said no reason was given for the ban.

  2. Andre 2

    Compassionate exemptions: there's now been a big flurry of stories about people being granted release from quarantines and then abusing that enormous privilege they've been granted and indulging in behaviours that are a huge risk of creating infection hotspots.

    There appears to be a common feature – they have been allowed to go after the pivotal person has died. To a funeral. A wake. To comfort a grieving relative. And so on.

    None of the stories I've seen have been about someone allowed to go see a loved one their last days, in order to say their last goodbyes. Or to be with loved ones at a critical life event such as birth.

    Something is very messed up here where condoning risk for the sake of dead bodies seems acceptable, but not for the sake of the living.

    Something is very very wrong with our systems, and with the way those that have been given a privilege within the system then go on to behave after being granted that privilege.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Well the lockdown worked because the rules were brutally simple. it looks like we need a similar set of brutally simple rules for the quarantine system. Fourteen days in isolation, compulsory testing, no exceptions, no excuses. Ever. If you don’t like it, don’t come.

      Perhaps we also need to completely close the border with the UK. These two women and their attitude are pure failed state insouiance. There is a reason 60,000 people have died in the UK and this behaviour is it – everyone living there seems to think they are an exception to the rules. We simply cannot trust anyone arriving from the UK to not treat our rules with a cavalier attitude up to and including outright lying to officials.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        Michael Woodhouse, a nasty Nat if there ever was one, has just been perpetrating a major beat-up of the problems with the quarantine system just now on Morning Report.

        While there appear to have been isolated cases where the system has failed (the 2 UK women especially) overall it seems to have been working well. There was always going to be the odd slip-the system has already been tightened to stop this.

        Woodhouse’s claims that there was physical contact between the 2 UK women and their friends seems to be false.

        Meanwhile Woodhouse admitted he would have opened the border to many thousands of overseas students some time ago. No matter how good the quarantine and testing system, this represents a much higher risk to NZ than the current regime.

        • Andre

          Sure, Woodhouse and the other Nats with their advocacy for internally contradictory future actions are just making it ever clearer that they're simply unfit for government.

          But that doesn't negate that they have brought to light very serious failings with the current system that are a lot more than just the inevitable occasional slip.

          • Bearded Git

            Agreed Andre-it was stupid to let the two UK people to sneak around the system without getting their test results-my guess is they argued long and hard and one of them hid symptoms. But I still think this is probably one of a few mistakes among many thousands of people that have come into NZ and overall the system has worked superbly well.

            The Nats need to crack the Jacinda magic and will majorly beat-up anything they can use against her. The NZ public's mood is so "fortress NZ" at the moment that they tend to buy into the idea that the system is failing when shown the slightest crack.

            NZ 2 cases in 25 days. Sweden 1,239 cases yesterday.

        • mauī

          "Woodhouse’s claims that there was physical contact between the 2 UK women and their friends seems to be false."

          Bloomfield said on radio this morning that a friend put an arm around one of the women after they got help with directions. So sadly… Woodhouse's claims are more correct than the MOH at this point. MOH stated yesterday that the women had no contact with anyone on their journey.

          • Peter

            Woodhouse said he didn't inform the MOH he only came out with information after the story was 'verified.'

            What's verified? When you hear what you wanted to hear? Did the stories come from those who wanted to embarrass the government?

          • observer

            Let's assume 2 things: Woodhouse was both told the truth, and he then repeated the truth.

            That doesn't make it better, it makes it worse. If you/I had info about the close contact with Covid-19 cases, what would we do? Or what should we do?

            I don't think "tell Michael Woodhouse" comes near the top of the list. He's not in the public health system.

            They witnessed this action on Saturday. It was raised in parliament on Wednesday, after they contacted him on Tuesday. What the hell were they doing in the meantime, and how many people were affected during the delay?

            • mauī

              This is about winning public trust and confidence during a national crisis, like it or not Woodhouse has dented that confidence. You really think the public response is going to be aimed at Woody's actions over the MOH's??

              • observer

                Of course not. But if instant public opinion led by headlines was our guide, we would have the death penalty for beneficiaries who eat takeaways.

                That doesn't change the moral responsibility of those who have important information about the virus in the community.

              • Incognito

                You really think the public response is going to be aimed at Woody’s actions over the MOH’s??

                False dichotomy.

              • Peter

                It's all about public trust and by his actions Woodhouse showed he can't be trusted in the slightest to primarily do good for the country. It won't make the headlines and journos won't give him a hard time about it but every time you see him on TV know you are looking at someone who behaves like a total slimebag.

      • Andre 2.1.2

        I'd kinda prefer to be a little more nuanced than that.

        It seems that after a death, the risk of people not thinking straight and behaving irresponsibly is just unacceptably high. So yeah, no exemptions from quarantine.

        But so far, we don't have evidence of that risky behaviour coming from those granted leave for critical moments with the living. It's not clear whether it's because in those cases leave has not been granted (in which case our system priorities are seriously fucked up), or whether people actually do behave more responsibly after being granted leave for these other life events.

        As to the reports of lack of testing, and the idea that testing can be declined, and mingling of those near the start of quarantine and near the end – yeah, those are just fuckups that have to be fixed. No if, buts or maybes. Given the frequency of false negatives, I also question giving people the all clear on the basis of just one test – two clear tests 24 hours apart should be required. Don't agree to that, don't come.

        • bwaghorn

          I see no problem with people in quarantine being required to were tracking braclets especially if we return to letting them out on occasion.

          • Andre

            Hell, I'd even go as far as assigning a minder to every single one of them.

            • joe90

              Ankle bracelets. They'd be cheaper and wearers would think twice about being seen wearing one in public.

        • aj

          It seems that after a death, the risk of people not thinking straight and behaving irresponsibly is just unacceptably high. So yeah, no exemptions from quarantine.

          You would think that after a death, the value of life would actually be right to the forefront of your mind. If the person who had died could speak, they would probably say two things: 'I don't want to be here' and 'Don't do anything that may endanger the lives of others'

          How you could be given an exemption to attend a funeral, and not have in mind your own position with respect to this pandemic which is taking a heavy toll of lives, completely escapes me.

          I haven't heard one person from the right of politics suggest these people should have shown some personal responsibility.

      • aj 2.1.3


        They just don't seem to have any concept of responsibility to the community. If the gym story is true it boggles the mind. Why on earth would you even think about going there, given their position.

        • SPC

          They went In the morning found out in the afternoon that there was a positive test for the pair in Wellington.

      • AB 2.1.4

        "failed state insouciance"

        Phrase of the week! So good I barely care if it's true or not

    • Gabby 2.2

      Got to wonder what connexions the exemptees might have had. A group of 10 getting to pop off to a funeral suggests someone had a bit of influence.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    A good FTA with the UK would be bloody useful for reducing our strategic dependence on China, even if we just went back to 1972 levels of exports – that is, around 400,000 tons of butter and cheese and 250,000 tons of sheepmeat – along with our wine and other exports. Imagine if we could send them 500,000 tons of dairy productsd and 300,000 tons of lamb! Luckily, we actually have some leverage on the Brexit brigade currently in charge in the UK, who are very keen on getting some runs on the board outside the EU on trade and even more importantly, for NZ to not veto their attempts to join the Pacific free trade partnership.

  4. Reality 4

    Some lax procedures, plus people who expect they be able to bend the rules, has resulted in what has happened. The two women driving to Wellington should have known better, given they had come from the UK. To blame the bureaucrats alone in this case and others, is overlooking the people who think rules don’t apply to them.

    I was told yesterday by a person in charge of checking people visiting a rest home/hospital that some would refuse to give their tracing details. Also a cafe manager told me some would refuse to give their details. She simply told them to leave as her first priority was the welfare of her staff.

    • observer 4.1

      To blame the bureaucrats alone in this case and others, is overlooking the people who think rules don’t apply to them.

      Some alternative headlines:

      "Place requires contact tracing. Says it's now required. Plucky Kiwi fights for his freedoms, won't give his details. This is dictatorship! We've beaten the virus, so why the heavy-handed bureaucracy? Outraged Opposition MP joins us now …"

  5. observer 5

    Sweden: over 5,000 dead now.

    So naturally the AM show turns to Simon Thornley for his valuable insights on NZ's Covid challenges. We have 22 dead, it would be (per capita) 100 times more if the Sweden fans had their way.

    I guess it's the old story: people have to take responsibility for what they do, but never for what they say and don't have to do.

    • 22 dead and political uproar in NZ because two less-than-forthcoming (privileged?) UK people manage to talk and sneak their way around the system and end up testing positive.

      Imagine if we had 1,239 new cases daily like Sweden did yesterday. That would be cause for the type of reaction Woodhouse and Muller have exhibited in the last 2 days.

      Then there is RNZ's headline that that the tracing /test regime has "failed" when it achieved 79 and 74% in 2 days where it was aiming for 80%. That looks very close to the gold standard to me.

  6. Anker 6

    Still smarting over the quarantine/isolation issue.

    1. it is a system failure of course. Nursing training possibly implicated where gaining consent patient rights etc is over emphasised. So how a nurse phrases the question about the test is highly influential in what happens. “Would you like a covid test? You don’t have to”. Versus, “I am here to give you your Covid test”. I say this because last night Lisa Owen interviewed a women who is isolating in the covid women’s hotel. This women said they were offered a test on day three, but she didn’t want to have it. But now of course that this women has been in the same facility with two women with covid she couldn’t wait to get the test (and had had it just before she talked to Lisa). I am so furious with this woman’s blatant self interest……..

    but responsibility lies further up the chain. Who knew that people were absconding from funerals and didn’t alert the minister. Sounds like he genuinely didn’t know when asked about it by heather d p Allen. Someone somewhere in the chain knew and did nothing. They need to be sacked

    it’s a f…g pandemic. Bring in the military.
    btw my apologies for my angry posts over this. I can’t remember when I last felt this angry.

    • Janet 6.1

      I too will not be happy until the person /persons directly responsible for managing/supervising the day to day quarantine procedures lose their jobs/s. So many people in NZ have lost jobs in NZ because of Covid and this lackadaisical implementation of quarantining proceedures is unforgivable. So relieved to hear the military /airforce is to control the situation now.

  7. observer 7

    It's the nature of fast-changing news coverage that facts slip through the cracks, and people who rant without the facts don't bother re-visiting what they said. We all move on to the next episode.

    So, for the record – everyone who said (with complete certainty and no evidence) the 2 women driving to Wellington MUST have stopped for petrol … was wrong. It was diesel. So they didn't.

    It might be worth pausing before the next instant judgement, but hey, where's the fun in that?


    • Andre 7.1

      I'm gobsmacked that whether they could go Orcland-Wellie on one tank ever got to be an issue. Anyone with just a bit more driving experience than needed for a restricted licence should be able to work out it depends on the car's fuel tank size, efficiency, driving style and skills, and how close the driver is willing to get to empty. Of the cars I've owned in the last thirty years, I'd be confident of doing it in roughly a third, could maybe eke it out in a third, and not a chance in a third of them.

      Besides, there's plenty of zero-contact places to fill up. Most Gulls are unmanned, and the Gull at Atiamuri definitely is (it's usually the cheapest around). Pretty sure last couple of times I filled up anywhere near Wellie I paid at the pump.

  8. anker 8

    Observer, I have been appreciating your comments on this issue.

    Realize some of mine are generated in anger, although didn't accuse women of not being able to drive from Ak to Wellington. Knew that was possible.

    • observer 8.1

      Thanks. I wasn't attacking anyone in particular (I've got things wrong too), it just seems funny that some aspects of a story become the big Debating Point. The whole "could they or couldn't they?" question was all over social media, and the various talking heads on radio etc. Seemed like everyone had an opinion.

      Turns out it didn't matter at all.

  9. xanthe 9

    It seems to me that the process for visas is arse backwards at the moment. Surely the process should be

    1 how many people have we the capacity to hold in isolation/ quarantine

    2 how many people presently in quarantine

    if 2 >= 1 no visa.

    it looks like there is an essential feedback path missing here

  10. joe90 10

    Sixth in the past fortnight. Looks like something awful is going on.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Thanks for documenting this Joe90. I can't bear to look – I am afraid of losing my mind watching the implosion and the toxic stuff emerging from the USA every day. There is no truth in the thinking that raising people's living standards (as regularly said about low-paid Asian workers) is sure to make life better. The USA is one of the richest countries, but getting money has only made them meaner and then the strugglers at the bottom are still relatively if not actually poorer. A concrete like conformist mindset creeps in to those with some improvements, and sets up waves of negative thinking about those whose lives aren't improving and who struggle still. Why can't we all get on.

    • Sabine 10.2

      It is a school area and they don't have cameras? Yeah, right Tui.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Surely assisting business to comply with regs has been the leitmotif since neolib came in. Why should a plumber be dumped on who realised something was wrong on a big job, notified the management, but continued with his contractual work? If he doesn't do his work, he doesn't pay his rent or eat, and he might be avoided in future as a trouble-maker. How damn ignorant of the chap from the Plumbing Board to blame the bloke at the bottom, and make him (or her) the scapegoat for shoddy design and sector laxness and rule-breaking.

    However, Plumbing Board investigator David Thomas said the certifying plumber had to do much more than just speak up."You couldn't keep installing them the way they were, because they weren't correct, they didn't comply.

    "So it's no good saying, 'Oh these aren't right, but I'll just keep going'."Surely you've got to have that ability to say, 'This is where we stop', document it, then wait for a solution to come back," Thomas told the five-member panel in Wellington yesterday.

    I think that this Thomas needs to stop working, while he waits for somebody with integrity to investigate his findings, and see whether his employer pays him. There needs to be protection for whistle-blowers that involves paying their costs for doing so. This Plumbing Board guy must be paid to keep authority off the backs of the builders and speculators; he doesn't seem concerned about the contractor. That poor guy, when looking for his next job, may end up in a job shelf-stacking at any hardware shop that remains open.

    The opinion the Plumbing Board guy has espoused enables business to slope away from its responsibilities as has been its habit. Government imposes tight regulations and costs on the contractors, workers, micro businesses but the lead guys are virtual criminals allowed free rein. Government itself does not want to accept the responsibility that its power and finances require. The pollies are mates with lead business people who are 'wealth creators' (for themselves). We citizens scrape the pot, and they get the gravy.

  12. Andre 13

    Heh. My only question is why is this guy homeless when he's got the skills to identify an opportunity and the initiative to jump on it when the moment is right?


  13. Adrian 14

    Sounds a bit dodgy, all most all homeless were housed during and after lockdown. Maybe Chris bishop vouched for him.

  14. joe90 15

    Just following up on the warmest May on record.


  15. Scud formerly Exkiwiforces 16

    On Monday Joe, Darwin in the NT hit its highest ever recorded June temp of 35.5 deg and has now push our average daily temp up to 30.7 degrees. We aren’t meant to see these temperatures until mid to late Jul. Soils moisture content in the Northern NT has also crashed to record lows for this time of the yr and again we shouldn’t be seeing this until at least August or September.

    The BOM guys have said it going to get even worse during the Dry and a greatest likely hood of more running fires than last yr, btw running fires usually lead to crown fires. Last yrs fire season saw many people too see their first running and crown fires in the NT which were to the old hands a very rare event, but to have 3 such events last yr on the weekend was crazy a enough and very stressful for those on the fire line as well.

    Anyway got to head and finish my jobs around the house, before head out bush again on Monday for fire duty.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      Kind regards Scud – you seem to be on the front line – to this keyboard 'warrior.' Are the farmers up there connecting with the Mulloon Institute on how to contain water. What to do when you don't get any – the aborigines would probably know something about that.

  16. ickey 17

    who can't leave the novatel hotel drive 50 metre turn left and keep going

  17. sumsuch 18

    I appreciate your details, above. But you're like a hyped up current events class.

    I'm always out of sync on that account. Shouldn't we concentrate on the central things of the neediest and the fact this is the decade of 1939 for climate change? And we are already too late, 100s of millions will die now.

  18. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora

    The Am Show.

    Papatuanuku albartross day great we need to care for the wildlife.

    I say that our government has handled the economy quite well keeping people in jobs the alternative government would have sent all the subsidies straight to top and forgot about the common people next minute a big financial mess the trickle down lie never worked .

    Its all your m8s in the system that are throwing a spanner in the works.

    Its good to see %20 of people don't consume alcohol.

    Ka kite Ano

  19. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora

    Te Ao Maori Marama.

    More Wai storage is needed in Aotearoa we also have to minimise our Wai usage and wastage of Wai with what our scientists have forcast for our Mokopuna weather and environment.

    It would be good to see Maori business thriving in their exporting markets Maori we're one of the first to export Aotearoa products.

    The art wall is a great project.

    Ka kite Ano

  20. Eco Maori 21

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    That's is great Iwi investing in water storage and horticultural.

    Mclarn the supercar with A Aotearoa connection.

    Matariki starts today we had some Thunder and lightning last night to.

    Ka kite Ano

  21. Eco Maori 23

    Kia Ora


    The trees need to be planted in steep farm land its all about a ballance.

    Anti virus masks and clothing cool new tech clothing.

    Ka kite Ano.

  22. Eco Maori 24

    Kia Ora

    The Am Show.

    Aotearoa is lucky we are in a better situation than most.

    Asia is important to Aotearoa.

    We do need to protect the wildlife.

    Ka kite Ano.

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