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Open mike 18/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 18th, 2021 - 202 comments
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202 comments on “Open mike 18/10/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    So the taxpayer's onion has been having a go at the PM: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/jacinda-ardern-pours-cold-water-on-wedding-allegations-saying-staffer-helping-as-a-friend/KJ3THSPCEQZGHPVYJ7TELLQIBQ/

    The guts seems to be that her electorate secretary was negotiating a wedding venue on her behalf. I gather an electorate secretary is a public official (?) so the onion reckons it's an attempt by the PM to privatise the official's time.

    The PM has been adept in responding that it was help from a friend in their own time, and any reward is private. Hard for the onion to progress the issue now, eh? One would have thought that the onion, acting as media, ought to have interviewed the official to discover the facts. Too elementary?

    • Jester 1.1

      If the venue owner has a signed agreement for the hire of the venue (which I doubt he does) and it includes the $5k cancellation clause, then they should pay up. If he doesn't then he is just bitter and twisted and should 'take a hike'.

      The tax payer union needs to check their facts before making accusations they cant back up. If they are trying to say the secretary did it all on company time then they need to have proof of that (which I doubt they do).

      Seems to be the thing these days, just shout the loudest without any proof, like Winston about Harry tam.

    • Nic the NZer 1.2

      Not at all. Most of these allegations never make it beyond innuendo. The TPUs inability to influence govt policy doesn't seem to count against them at all.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Identity politics can get surreal at times. Latest saga involves a bat being re-categorised as a bird, with the intent to get the bat to win the bird of the year award.

    A blatant attempt to discriminate against birds? Using the shapeshifting strategy was clever, but maybe not clever enough to succeed. Perhaps its a policy of affirmative action to rehabilitate the political profile of bats. Chemists going batshit in Wuhan did rather give them a bad name as guilty originators of Covid.

    So we wait with baited breath to see if the judges take the bait and decide yes, it flies so it must be a bird. They could then issue a fatwa declaring bats to have minority representation rights…

  3. Gezza 3

    .

    Young pukekos, like most young animals, like to play, & they are very inventive. All the many pooklets I have now watched grow up into adolescents & then young adults have devised their own individual games & "toys".

  4. SPC 4

    Guessing

    1. 2 more weeks at Level 3 lite in Auckland (they will hope to keep cases to no more than 100 a day – having capability to contact at up to 180 a day).

    2. retaining the Auckland border until December – with 90% first dose nationwide within weeks and meeting the follow up target of 90% second dose nationwide by then (3-6 week gap).

    3. announce a plan to allow vaccinated people to return from overseas to home isolation in Auckland during November (using the managed isolation spots in Auckland for those of other areas, or for the infected).

    • SPC 4.1

      They will consider a circuit breaker tightening today (for mine they either do it now, or after it gets to 100 day – doing this in November so it stays under the 180 level that month as they get the rest of Enzed to 90/90).

      https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/10/17/experts-fear-auckland-in-trouble-as-cases-mount/

      • Andre 4.1.1

        I will be seriously fucked off if the government tightens restrictions without concurrently announcing universal "no jab, no job" and universal "no jab, no entry" policies, along with making it clear that when (not if) our medical facilities get overwhelmed, unvaccinated covid patients are first to get triaged out.

        Let's be clear, our problem now is the willfully unvaccinated. Everyone that is at least grudgingly willing to get vaccinated has had ample opportunity to get their first dose at least, if not their second as well.

        We've had capacity for over 90,000 vaccinations a day continuously since late August. A very rough tally up suggests that somewhere around 800,000 of those potential vaccinations were not taken up. There's less than 600,000 eligibles that have yet to get their first dose. We've got plenty of stock of vaccines in our freezers.

        Everyone that's eligible and not yet had their first dose is willfully in that state, and is a major part of the problem.

        • Alan 4.1.1.1

          Totally agree, at some stage people have to take responsibility for themselves and either enjoy or suffer the consequences of their actions – you can only lead a horse to water for so long.

          • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1

            You do realise don't you that both you and Andre are advocating that the Government should go in for genocide?

            Kill off the members of the Maori race is what you are proposing, at least according to the leader of the Maori Party, the coat tail MP Ms Ngarewa-Packer who says

            '“If the government is prepared to open the borders as soon as our country is 90% vaccinated, they are willingly holding Māori up to be the sacrificial lambs. It is a modern form genocide.”.

            Those are her words of course. My personal view coincides with what you are saying.

        • SPC 4.1.1.2

          Given no government in the world has universal no jab no job or universal no jab no entry, you should expect to be disappointed. For jobs, it would require a workplace environment and public facing roles to be relevant and no entry for health care or (Level 4) essentials has already been ruled out.

          Soon there will be opening up reserved for the vaxxed (2 doses plus 2 weeks) – the problem will be managing that with children under 12 not vaxxed (libraries, zoo, pools) while containing spread.

        • miravox 4.1.1.3

          Everyone that's eligible and not yet had their first dose is willfully in that state, and is a major part of the problem

          You might be correct for people in urban areas, but it's a different ballgame in some of the regions with services not coordinating for the hard-to-find people

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/covid-19/453636/taranaki-maori-health-providers-struggle-with-dhb-despite-pm-s-optimism

          and with difficult access to vaccination clinics – well worth the watch. Tina Ngata presents the barriers with real clarity. I question why this, part of a national priority vaccination service, is having to be funded by public donation.

          https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/breakfast/clips/tair-whiti-gisborne-locals-fundraise-more-than-107k-for-mobile-vaccine-clinic

          Some of the factors she presents are relevant in other areas too, including Auckland – including work hours, but especially trust an information sources.

          • Andre 4.1.1.3.1

            As it happens, I do have contacts with people working the frontlines of similar areas trying to get vaccines out to people.

            It's not just a matter of getting a team of people to show up someone's front door, it can take hours of those skilled practitioner's time to persuade people to accept getting vaccinated. Even after spending those hours of providing information and reasons to get vaccinated, the refusal rate is still very high.

            This is not a problem of under-resourcing, or a problem of DHBs being uncooperative. It is a problem of people choosing to be difficult and willfully wasting vast amounts of skilled resource to achieve a result. A result which takes very much less resource to achieve with those that don't choose to be difficult resource-wasters.

            • miravox 4.1.1.3.1.1

              "it can take hours of those skilled practitioner's time to persuade people to accept getting vaccinated."

              Yes, believe me, I'm as enraged by the anti-vaxerati spreading lies and misinformation. I'm frustrated at all those years of mistrust fermenting between government and various populations. I'm disappointed that a mobile vaccination unit, which seems entirely sensible in this instance, is having to be crowd funded when it's only small change to for government to finance. I'm more than disappointed the the spirit of the new health system structure is not being observed in practice with the vaccination role out – not just out in the communities, but . having talking heads on tv and in the news papers. They've been hired already

              Yes, the DHBs are uncooperative and Taranaki has been the slowest to get with the programme, (we've only recently moved out of the region, so are pretty familiar with the issues there), hence the link.

              It's really not helpful to make a call for everyone to be labelled obstructive and punished for slow vaccination uptake. I agree the problems in Auckland are less severe in this regards and the "family picnic" protest organisers should be locked up imho. I have no time for these people, but a bit of sympathy for people with long-standing government distrust.

              Here's something I wrote a couple of weeks ago, to get it out of my system – just so you know I'm not unsympathetic to your views about the vaccine-hesitant:

              Without modern medicine I wouldn’t be able to walk more than 50 metres, I wouldn’t be able to hold a book, wipe down the bench, hold a pen or use a keyboard. I know this, because that’s how it was 10 years ago. Lucky my only deformity is in my wrists – it could be way more extensive.

              Since modern medicine I’ve completed a PhD, explored Europe, run a half marathon and lived a pretty normal everyday life. The cost of my non-disabled life to me is I’m immune-suppressed. To the public health system the cost quite a lot of money – they don’t give these meds out routinely, but Pharmac worked out it’s cheaper to give the drug for people with a certain criteria, than it is for the health budget pay for the disease to continue to destroy us.

              I’ve had my vaccinations, people who are on immune-suppressant medications can do this, but the problem is it doesn’t work so well for us, our immune response is defective. So I’m ever so slightly anxious if Covid gets away on us.

              Added to that is the fear that I won’t get my modern medicine because *drum roll* the type of drugs that keep me well are being used to treat covid patients, This includes treating the people who refused to be vaccinated because they’d rather have the biologic drugs that keep people like me well than take a harmless, effective vaccine that someone told them on the internet will affect their dna (it doesn’t). Not my meds yet, lucky for me, but I have friends in tears because their medications are even at this early stage of the vaccine-led grand opening overseas, are no longer available here.

              Their right to refuse a well-studied, harmless vaccine that has been administered millions of times and still be in the same space as me is sacrosanct. I, on the other-hand, have no way of knowing if they are in the same space I’m am, and if they can harm me.

              Is their right to refuse a harmless vaccine greater than my right to move around in my day-to-day life as freely as anyone else? The risk to the immune-suppressed increases if we open up and covid gets away on us, despite high levels of vaccination.

              Do I go back to living a half-life indoors? Am I meant to say I respect people’s decisions to a) refuse vaccines b) break covid safety rules c) or to live with the virus? Those three decisions are all the same to me as we open up and “regain our freedoms”.

              The several thousand people in similar situations to me and labelled with ‘underlying medical conditions’ may have similar questions. Opening up doesn’t look like fun for us, it looks much like fear.

              • Sabine

                Maybe calling something a that needs booster shots every six month a vaccine was the biggest idiocy of them all.

                This is not a vaccine, at best it is a medication to mitigate the severity of a covid infection, but it provides no immunity.

                Maybe we truly have wasted 18 month on pretending we can keep a pandemic at bay while letting people in the country. Maybe by pretending for 18 month that we are the bestest did not help in getting people to understand that all our covid free status is / was temporary and a fragile state at best.

                And above all maybe waiting until a delivery on July 28th to start jabbing people in Group 3 and Group 4 – thanks Spain and Danemark for the extra 750.000 doses that they send late Sept – was the biggest failure of them all, as people felt save and thus felt they no longer need this vaccine. We should have start vaccinating in January or earlier, and we should have started with those that wanted the jabs. We might not be in the boat we are today. But hindsight is hindsight, and i do hope that hte govts risk analysts are looking to hindsight to gain some foresight. But not holding my breath, after all they get paid full wages for success as failure alike.

                And now we are dealing with Delta, and all the horses have bolted and we realise that we are not better then the rest of the world.

                • KJT

                  "but it provides no immunity".

                  "We should have start vaccinating.

                  Logical fallacy.

                  If the vaccine "provides no immunity" then what is the point of "vaccinating".

                  In fact it does, in around 95% of people. Why the hell elase would we bother. And it cuts the risks of passing it on considerably.

                  COVID-19 'is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' CDC director says (cnnphilippines.com)

                  • Sabine

                    We should have started earlier imo as i believe that the fear was greater last year/early this year.

                    The point of this 'vaccine' is to prevent you from suffocating until you are dead.. That is the best that you can hope from this 'vaccine' as it infers no immunity at all, and what ever good it does seems to wane after 6 month and regular booster shots will be required.

                    And that is still better then nothing.

                    • weka

                      That is the best that you can hope from this 'vaccine' as it infers no immunity at all,

                      That's not true. It offers partial immunity. If all it did was lessen the severity of covid infection and didn't also limit transmission, then there'd be no point using it to limit transmission.

                      1 [mass noun] the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells: immunity to typhoid seems to have increased spontaneously.

                      The vaccine increases the ability of humans to resist covid infection. Less people get covid, that's because of immunity given by the vaccine.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  "Maybe calling something a that needs booster shots every six month a vaccine was the biggest idiocy of them all."

                  I agree.

                  When I hear vaccine I think protection against whatever it is the vaccination is for.

                  Words matter

                  • McFlock

                    Pfizer vaccine does provide protection. Different vaccines require boosters, e.g. tetanus.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Not when the message was pushed about vaccination not vaccination plus booster because vaccination is not enough

                    • McFlock

                      So tetanus has a vaccine but the tetanus booster isn't a vaccine. 🙄

                      As it is, NZgovt said in April that a third injection might be required. The reason they weren't more specific then was pretty much nobody in the world knew the specifics at that time.

                    • Sabine

                      Israel is on its second booster shot now.

                      How many tetanus injections do you need in a year?

                    • McFlock

                      Sure, tetanus was the first one that came to mind. Mostly because I didn't bother to check whether the annual flu shots might include vaccines against variants from previous years.

                      But the point is that to argue the govt was somehow lax in not saying boosters might be required (which they did) and that somehow a booster shot is different from a vaccine (which it's not) is incorrect on many levels.

                      So the vaccines need boosters to maintain efficacy. We knew there was a solid chance any vaccine would have to be annual anyway, if there were new variants. They're still the main key to avoiding mass death. Fuck, make 'em weekly. I don't give a shit, I'm glad to have them.

                  • KJT

                    Yes they do. Vaccine accurately describes the covid vaccines function.

                    Many different vaccines for different diseases, provide differing levels of protection.

                    Depending on the immune system response.

                    None provide 100% guarentee of immunity.

                    They are all vaccines. Vaccine is the word for how they work and what they do.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You know as well as I do that the government pushing vaccines are also pushing the idea the vaccines keep us safe

                      Not keep us safe but will require boosters and won't actually stop you from getting covid or passing on but will lessen the effects and lower your chances of dying

                    • KJT

                      Havn't heard anyone pushing the idea that they mean total safety. The Government has made it clear that vaccination will not mean the end of other public health measures.

                    • weka

                      PR,

                      Not keep us safe but will require boosters and won't actually stop you from getting covid or passing on but will lessen the effects and lower your chances of dying

                      I've been critical of public health messaging about the covid vaccine, but what you say isn't true. The covid vax means:

                      • you are less likely to get infected by the virus
                      • if you do get infected, you are less likely to end up in hospital or dead (not sure about long covid yet)
                      • if you get infected, you are less likely to pass covid to other people.

                      those are three really important things.

              • Andre

                So we circle back around to universal "no jab, no entry" and universal "no jab, no job" and "no jab, first to lose access to medical treatment" policies.

                These really are the only things I can see the government can do to make the environment out there less threatening for people in your situation.

                Let's face it, while covid exists, some people are going to forced to live the lockdown life. Those should be the people that refuse to take a quick, safe highly effective and free precaution against being a health and safety risk to others.

                • miravox

                  Emotionally I agree with you, rationally I don't.

                  Rationally, what McFlock says below.

                  Also, misinformation is like a drug (I've seen plenty of it with the disease I have) taking out the receivers doesn't do much. Taking out the source is a much more efficient ways of ridding our society of this stuff. Part of the problem with this is the dealers look much the establishment. Also regulate the Facebook group – that's how they turn a trickle of misinformation into a torrent.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I certainly don't agree with "no jab, first to lose access to medical treatment"

                  • Nic the NZer

                    For pucks sake get with the program. National of course endourses the govt implementing "no jab, no job" and Andres favourite tent hospital policies. How else do you think we win the next election? We are presently asking if our donors can supply enough tents in case Twyford makes promises of 10,000 tent hospitals per year.

                  • Andre

                    An arsonist goes around setting other people's houses on fire, and his own house catches alight.

                    Whose houses should the firefighters put their limited finite efforts towards saving?

                    • Sabine

                      Depends if his is in the middle and will risk lightening others, the firefighter will try to douse that fire first to mitigate the spread.

                      However, the police will then arrest the arsonist, and the court will hopefully send that arsonist to jail.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.3.1.2

              The question is how many of those high-hanging fruit (diminishing returns on effort vs vaccinations delivered) are the result of intractability, and how much of them are the result of systemic neglect and expecting people to suddenly turn around in eagerness because society is finally throwing crumbs in their direction.

              Especially if it looks like the only reason the effort is being put in is because it's the only way to help the people usually protected by the system.

              • Andre

                In the case of the people my contacts are spending their working days trying to bring healthcare to, it really does seem to primarily be a result of intractability. Not just this covid issue, but over the long term, and over pretty much all medical issues.

                Ditto for the few unvaccinated people I know socially and at work.

                So, among the unvaccinated I've got even the tiniest glimmerings of insight into, it's 100%. But I really don't have any insight into populations that might have genuine (as opposed to imagined) reasons to be alienated from medical help. So I've got no clue as to what the split in numbers might be.

                • McFlock

                  yeah. Don't get me wrong, the interminably stupid will drag us all down.

                  But from what I hear we still haven't yet managed to get around all the terminally-neglected, either.

            • locked down by low vaccine uptake 4.1.1.3.1.3

              Can your contacts explain why the Jansen vaccine isn't offered to people who don't want the mRNA one? It was approved by Medsafe early July and only needs one dose. Couldn't this be taken out to remote areas on the vaccine buses and be an option for those who say "I want to wait for xxx"?

        • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1.4

          Andre the disability crowd in Auckland and elsewhere pointed out they have not had any special assistance to help with their equity issues. Some are on non-compatible treatments and some remote families would have 3 or 4 trips at differing dates to get vaccinated in areas like Tairawhiti because of the age cohorts which made it difficult for the whole extended family. I doubt they are “willfully in that state.” of being unvaccinated. I think some DHB’s upped their game and engagement after meeting with the PM and Health teams. Look at Singapore, which is not a model opening.

          • Andre 4.1.1.4.1

            Every time I've looked on the bookmyvaccine site, there's been a specific Healthline number to call if home vaccination is needed. I've seen home vaccination hotline numbers several other places. I heard snippets from my frontline contacts about extra efforts being made, which were sometimes rebuffed. So forgive my skepticism on that claim they haven't had assistance. Perhaps not to the level that they think they should be entitled to become accustomed to, but certainly an elevated level of assistance has been available.

            I can't speak to Tairawhiti, but from where I have heard comments, providers were going against the official guidelines provided and trying to vaccinate everyone in the family or other group that turned up for a vaccine. They were able to do this without risk of running out of vaccine supplies because so few were actually taking up the opportunity.

            • KJT 4.1.1.4.1.1

              Northland DHB and Ngati Hine were, and are, vaccinating every family group that turned up.

              Various groups offerring transport or to visit.

              There does come a point where people have to get off their butt and ask.

              • Andre

                It's not always even a case of getting off their butts and asking; sometimes it's a matter of just saying "ok" instead of "piss off" to the practitioner that's right in front of them that has already spent considerable time answering questions and providing reasons why it's a good thing.

            • Sacha 4.1.1.4.1.2

              Every time I've looked on the bookmyvaccine site, there's been a specific Healthline number to call if home vaccination is needed.

              For the last few weeks, after months of lobbying.

      • higherstandard 4.1.2

        The public and private medical backlog in Auckland is already of serious concern a return to stricter lockdown would cause this to balloon out further.

        • SPC 4.1.2.1

          It's a catch 22, because if it goes to a 1000 a day before Christmas – not only will medical services be impacted, so will lives (consider what happened in Ireland at that time of year in 2020).

          • higherstandard 4.1.2.1.1

            It's not a catch 22 at all.

            Returning to a draconian lockdown is unlikely to get NZ to nil cases and if it does will only do so for a limited period of time.

            COVID will go through NZ sooner or later the economic and health and well being costs cost of that will be quite considerable but so they are with the lockdowns.

            I fear there will be a brain drain and economic exodus out of NZ that will surprise many people if there are not moves back to a less closed society within the next 6 months.

            In my opinion the government has done a moderate to poor job of hastening vaccination and preparing the populace and our health infrastructure for the inevitable period when we have COVID circulating widely.

            We had a period of a year where health professionals were clamoring to come to NZ and our response was to make it difficult for even those who were here on work permits to stay let alone allowing additional staff in.

    • AB 4.2

      Those three points look like a pretty good bet SPC.

      One friction point is how the rest of the country reacts if the Auckland border is dropped some time in December. Elimination is still working outside Auckland, inside Auckland we are in suppression mode. Many thousands of Aucklanders hope to be able to leave for other places in late Dec/early Jan. Even if we are allowed to move, will we be welcome, or seen as escaped lepers? Will an armed guard of Ngapuhi attempt to turn us back north of Wellsford? The PM will need every ounce of skill she has from here on.

    • Treetop 4.3

      Too many unlinked cases. A 3.5 is required to contain the unlinked cases. Allow contact less takeaway. 2 nominated people to visit your bubble only if living alone at separate times.

      The current situation is unable to be controlled using the measures being used. People need to consider how they will manage in a fully blowen outbreak and to give it one last shot so that people can get vaccinated to reduce the severe effects from Covid infection.

      The point, mainly the Auckland region will be at in a month depends on the best strategy being available to contain and reduce the spread.

      The message needs to be, follow the rules to get the best result possible regardless of your preference for what you want to do or believe about Covid.

  5. Adrian 5

    At 90% vaxxed by the beginning of December it still leaves over 150,000 Aucklanders who WILL get Covid. If the UK example is replicated that would mean about a thousand cases a day, and a sizeable percentage in hospital and that is figure subject to a cumulative affect caused by stays of up to 42-50 days, the numbers then become horrific, meaning most other hospital operations are impossible and the deaths of a number of vaccinated nurses and doctors.

    So no sympathy for the non-compliant, the border must stay, travel, work and any out of house movement must be banned until they are dead or recovered. After the effort that the rest have put in there can be no excuses, the end result would be nobody’s fault but their own. The only upside is that the national IQ would rise significantly.

    • Sabine 5.1

      good grief,

      Even vaccinated we can still get Covid, can carry it around town, and spread it wide and thinly like butter on warm toast.

      Vaccination will for the most part however prevent serious illness and death.

      So that leaves all of AKL who can get it, but most will survive, and the 150.000 that as of today have not been vaccinated are the ones at biggest risk of dying.

      All of us should get comfortable with the idea that WE WILL GET COVID. That is why the govt is pushing the vaccines as much as it does. Because it knows.

      • I Feel Love 5.1.1

        Absolutely reckon Sabine. I have a hard headed 17 year old stepson to somehow convince, the boy doesn't even believe in toothpaste "coz it causes cancer" , maybe a dose of covid will do the trick for him.

        • bwaghorn 5.1.1.1

          No believing in toothpaste could be a great covid vaccine, itll keep most a safe 2 meters away!!

        • Foreign Waka 5.1.1.2

          I Feel Love: I just imagine that he will get to vote if we are following the "trend" of giving a voice to kids. How do you feel about that?

          • I Feel Love 5.1.1.2.1

            I'm still not sure about under 18s voting anyway, but this 17 year old is def an exception. I have 2 other kids & they & their friends give me great hope for the future. They speak māori, are inclusive with their trans peers, environmentally conscious, basically great kids. That 17 year old though, (his dad has a lot to answer for).

            • Foreign waka 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Black sheep? 🙂 You need some color in the mix lol
              I understand how you feel.

      • Treetop 5.1.2

        Covid is coming if it has not already come. Being vaccinated is being more prepared than being unvaccinated. People need to be given a month to organise the influx and the impact of Covid in their community. Some in Auckland have already made a decision on what they will be doing with Covid in their community even if it is harmful to others.

    • Singapore, with a highly-vaccinated population similar in size to NZ, opened up in September and now has 3,000 cases a day and 12 deaths-this after only 6 weeks.

      NZ can look forward to similar numbers. THIS IS UNAVOIDABLE IF WE OPEN UP.

      • dv 5.2.1

        Double Vac rate singapore 80%

        • Bearded Git 5.2.1.1

          80% of what? NZ uses the population excluding below 12. Australia uses the population excluding below 16. Our World In Data use the whole population, which I prefer (see link).

          Vaccines will soon be available for 5-11yo's-testing is already happening.

          https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

          • dv 5.2.1.1.1

            It was a news article , i suspect it was from the data in your link.

          • SPC 5.2.1.1.2

            Singapore's vaccination is at 80% of the total population.

            • Bearded Git 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Yes Singapore impressive.

              NZ is doing extremely well. After Super Saturday NZ has now vaxxed more of the population than the UK. Why is the media here not screaming "government triumphs in vaccination process" like they are screaming this for Boris in the UK?

      • Sabine 5.2.2

        Well keep Auckland then in lockdown until the pandemic goes away. Which may be never. We are good here in Not Auckland.

        So maybe just define 'open up' first?

        • Bearded Git 5.2.2.1

          I would define OPENING UP as:

          People have the freedom to move (by plane, vehicle, boat) in and out of the country to/from overseas locations.

          All lockdowns are ended. No domestic travel restrictions. The only remaining restrictions are masks to be worn at all times in public and a government plea to continue social distancing.

        • SPC 5.2.2.2

          The dichotomy of elimination in play elsewhere (while we get to the 90/90 vaccination level nationwide) and the Auckland border/containment area is what it is.

          A high rate of spread in Auckland cDecember 1 might mean a vaccine passport to get out.

          • Andre 5.2.2.2.1

            Those vaccine passports (and the freedoms of movement they allow to the fully vaccinated) should be here now. Actually, a month ago would be better.

            Failing that, a firm announcement that they are coming by the beginning of November (end of university year) and clear guidance that they will be necessary is a barely adequate second-best.

            • Bearded Git 5.2.2.2.1.1

              With only 44% of Maori fully vaxxed I wouldn't hold your breath.

              (The government is calling them certificates not passports)

              • Andre

                Oddly enough, all the Maori I'm acquainted with are fully-vaxxed. The unvaccinated I'm acquainted with are all quite privileged white folks.

                But if the government sees fit to take away my Bill of Rights freedoms of movement and association and assembly even after I've done everything I can possibly do to help ensure community protection, in order to give those freedoms to those who refuse to take a quick, safe, effective and free precaution to protect the community and themselves, I am going to be very very angry.

                • KJT

                  Pretty much the same. The anti vaccers I know, tend to be more the new age, or happy clappy religo, mumbo jumbo believers.

                  Maori Whanau have mostly been vaccinated, but unfortunately a few too many with other health issues, which would cause them problems if they caught covid. Majority of my Maori Whanau, work in the health sector,

                  • Nic the NZer

                    NZ will quite soon be in a situation where we are testing this policy. I think its going to be quite problematic that (at least initially) there is expected to be a large scale opening up where by the passported are spreading it through the country, because at present the message is they are entitled to and the consequences are on the unvaccinated that there is such a wave of infection. That dynamic will make it very difficult if the govt needs to go back to lockdowns and this could happen even at 90% vaccination if there are reasonably small errors in say Hendys modelling.

                • Bearded Git

                  Oddly enough Andre I agree to some extent. I live near Hawea Flat which is mostly populated by pakeha outdoor types and ex hippies. The vaccination rate in Wanaka is around 95 per cent. Somebody told me it was around 40 per cent in Hawea Flat. (I will look for links on this data and add them later ..I am walking in the bush right now)

                • Sabine

                  ditto, here.

      • Ed 5.2.3

        I highlighted the story of Singapore late yesterday evening

        There the business classes and the expatriates pushed to open the country.

        And everyone is paying for it.

        Note that 80 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated – and they are now re-imposing restrictions.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/300432375/living-with-covid19-singapore-confronts-division-and-fear-as-the-country-moves-away-from-zerocovid

  6. dv 6

    UK had the MOST cases in the world yesterday, beating the US

    43,275 UK pop 68m

    33, 910 US pop 333m

  7. Ad 8

    There's an outstanding opinion on http://www.greaterauckland.org.nz on the politics of Entrust, which is the 75% shareholder in Vector.

    The fresh candidates from the progressive team look interesting and willing to do a whole lot of good stuff.

    Time for this retirement home for failed National MPs to be comprehensively renewed.

  8. Dennis Frank 9

    Only 6 percent of current parliamentarians identify as Asian, compared with 15.1 percent of the total New Zealand population.

    https://democracyproject.nz/2021/10/18/bryce-edwards-political-roundup-celebrating-and-critiquing-25-years-of-mmp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bryce-edwards-political-roundup-celebrating-and-critiquing-25-years-of-mmp

    Asiafication of kiwi politics, here we come. Note to Xi: your initial infiltration strategy seems to have been premature but now the time is right. Triadic ethnic structure of parliament seems inevitable, with the Asians the third leg of the stool. The hive mind may arise within the Beehive. Perhaps the Asians will be able to teach the pakeha & the maori how to unify – or will hell freeze over first?

  9. Molly 10

    I was discussing the issue of schoolchildren not having access to the internet being an equity problem with dealing with lockdown with my sister-in-law the other day. We only lightly touched on the subject, so I was interested to read this article in the Herald online this morning: Covid 19 Delta outbreak: School term 4 starts today – but Auckland lockdown struggles continue.

    The obvious issues –

    "When I watch TV and the news coverage, and we look at families who are sitting at the breakfast bar and everyone has an individual device … that's just not our world.

    "Our world is that if we're lucky, the device that some families have is the parent's phone, and they don't have internet connectivity, they're using their phone data.

    "So when the phone data runs out, which is pretty quick, you have to download something that chews it up and that can be the end of it. That can be the full extent of the digital communication."

    and the solutions –

    The school delivered hard packs to students before the holidays, and staff had been making up more this week, including buying stationery for those who didn't have it.

    Many teachers and principals had been working solidly through the holidays, Swann said.

    Paul Pirihi, principal of Rosebank School in Avondale, was also full of praise for his staff, who had been working extremely hard to help kids keep learning….

    "You've got to do everything for the kids. We think we've got it rough but it's tougher for the kids."

    The Ministry of Education had been pulling out all the stops over lockdown and was getting internet connectivity to students who needed it. The school had loaned Chromebooks to some, while others were using hard packs.

    After previous lockdowns, all the children returned within three or four days. But Delta could be different, Pirihi said.

    The school had a community hub and social worker on site and also received great support from local charities like I Love Avondale. Families at Rosebank and Ōtāhuhu also received food boxes from KidsCan in August as part of the its 19for19 campaign."

    This is great work done on behalf of the students, without question. The online tv programmes last year were great too. Only watched a couple to get the gist – our schooling has been more unschool in this household and self-directed so while familiar to me, it's no longer the only path to learning.

    When talking with someone I know who works at the Ministry, they spoke about the focus being on students not falling behind. As someone whose children were absent from the formal education system for the whole of their primary and secondary years, that notion of irreparable harm is only one approach.

    What if during the lockdowns, we acknowledged that the teaching and learning worlds have changed, and instead of trying to replicate education as usual we took the time to pause, look around and consider other simpler alternatives?

    What if we required nothing in terms of work produced by children at home, but just gave them opportunities to learn and explore?

    My first thoughts in terms of affordability and portability are lo-tech. (And I am thinking more of primary school aged children in regards to suggestions.)

    I'm wondering if anyone else remembers Max Cryer's radio transmission into schools for music lessons. The speaker system embedded in the wall above the blackboards were turned on, the songbooks printed by the Education Department were taken out of the wooden desks and we sang along with all the other classmates, and others in NZ, with Max Cryer on a specific day and time of the week.

    Sunday mornings spent jumping on parents so they make space so that you can listen to 1ZB(?)'s Sunday morning stories that started at 7am and went till 9.

    Radios are cheap.

    Supply individual ones to children with headphones and batteries, and let them listen in to stories, singalongs, classes. Send them books, songbooks, easy experiment materials, art materials, maths manipulatives, seeds, bulbs.

    To keep in touch with their friends, give them letter writing materials, envelopes, stamps. Have teachers send personal letters to their students, shooting the breeze, including a printed newspaper about what the teachers have been up to while their classrooms are empty. Restart school journals, printing submissions from students.

    Teachers know their students. If a student is interested in Science, send along an appropriately aged science book with no requirement to do anything other than receive it. And just keep in touch. Start penpal groups with other children, even overseas, yes, they still exist.

    Instead of 'missing out' and 'catching up' being the sole considerations, think about how else the stress of lockdowns can be mitigated for students and their families.

    Chromebooks and internet access are expensive and hard to achieve and distribute equitably, and treat all students the same.

    Radios, books, individually selected materials and a sanctioned time to learn in different ways, with items they can keep forever. Lockdown learning could be an experience to remember rather than endure.

    (Just a passing thought. Would be interested in knowing if anyone else had suggestions along these lines.)

    • Sabine 10.1

      Now think of the families that will drive to a hot spot so the kids can go to school while sitting in the car.

      The teachers that i know personally are starting to burn out. They are teachers, social workers, IT specialists, emotional support workers, food distributors, pen and paper buyers, and then of course teachers. One of them, calls her students 'stress bunnies', stressed by not getting out to meet friends, stressed by not getting the education they need, stressed by having no idea how to manage the future of university or job as well, the world is what it is.

      The fact is that this pandemic is showing us in full color all the shortcomings of the last 4 – 6 decades of various governments do nothing, or only do under duress, or only do if it makes us look good. And here we are, thousands of our own who barely hang on.

      And so as long as we pretend that we can go back ' to normal' what ever that means now, or back to 'what used to be / was' we can not change the way we are doing business. And that too involves teaching.

      How many in NZ – and i know a few now, are on Starlink because in their rural areas they still have no access to internet? Just to cover the very basic.

      • Molly 10.1.1

        Lack of internet access was the issue that made me think that other options should be considered. I love my technology, but don’t think it is the be all when it comes to education.

        We lived in Papakura for a few years, down the road from where families would drive to sleep in a sportsfield carpark. Live rurally now, but I am sure if I went back that familiar sight would still occur at dusk.

        Families already under stress, could do with some understanding. Striving so desperately to go 'back to normal' for already burdened families dealing with homelessness, inadequate finances and other Covid related anxieties seems to me to be another burden for the already overloaded.

        I have family in the education system. How is the government ensuring their wellbeing during this time? By trying to put everything online, and get families access to devices and internet. Printing worksheets and hard copies to send out. That might work for some, but it's not the only option.

        What if – just for this time – the requirement to produce work to be marked was dropped? What if – to offload the stress – kids were just given radios with rechargeable batteries to keep? And books, and materials. Teachers can take all marking and assessment duties off their workload – just for now – and use their time to look after their own and their students wellbeing.

        If 'keeping up' was replaced with 'exploration learning', and both teachers and students were disconnected from the requirement of marked assessments, just imagine.

        I think teachers would be wonderfully creative and successful at providing students with learning tools, if given the budget and freedom to do so.

        • Sabine 10.1.1.1

          Teachers are wonderfully creative and successful at providing students with the attention and care they need to succeed, but teachers can not make up for the failure of government, and that includes the current one.

          The fact that we are actually not even talking about the disparity in online access, affordable internet, etc, yet seem to be ok to blame teachers for the collective failures of communities, families and government aka Ministry of Educaiton, Winz etc. It might just be easier. A bit like blaming the under staffed, under paid and under resourced nurses for the failures of the Ministry of Health.

          • Molly 10.1.1.1.1

            I think we are in agreement here, Sabine.

            My point was that government focus on 'keeping up' as if everything was normal was limited in perspective and not actually thinking about wellbeing.

            It limits the choices teachers can make with dealing with the lockdown and providing for their students.

            • Herodotus 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Not just access to the internet, there is also the disparity of all Auckland students going forward in the current & following years. How will these students "catch up" with the rest of the country that has been attending school classes. Should Auckland schools remain on line for the remainder of the year, then students have been learning on line for 16 weeks from a 40 week school year. Will say NCEA allowances be carried forward next year the year following ??
              I feel for all those students out there especially as they approach year end exams and to complete year end portfolios.

              • Molly

                Herodotus, is is really necessary for primary aged schoolchildren to "catch up"?

                As mentioned, our household learnt from home throughout their primary and secondary years. One graduated over a year ago, two are currently in tertiary education and passing their studies. They had 15 years out of the system, there are more approaches to education that are available to be utilised if schools are given the freedom to do so.

                We also enrolled for Te Kura for a while. The busy work required in order to authenticate the work was tedious, and sucked a lot of motivation from the process. To be fair, they have made progress on their delivery since then.

                If our approach for lockdown students is limited to providing sporadic and unsustainable internet access to those without, and/or printing hard copies, then we are missing an opportunity to do something better during this period of disruption.

                The government has had a long period to consider this and offer up alternatives to schools, teachers and students.

                • Herodotus

                  I was thinking more of Secondary school students that are not home schooled or who have parents that their courses go beyond the parents understanding or that are told "That is not the way we are taught to do it ". And that the students knowledge is built up over the previous year foundation. Without teaching some of that understanding will not be there as they progress e.g. maths, science etc, and for those courses are more "hands on" Art, Trades, PE, Hard Materials etc.

                  These Ak students next year will be measured against those students who will have had the opportunity to be taught at school with only marginal disruption to their learning.

                  • KJT

                    "Measured".

                    The concepts that education is a "competition" that can be "measured" like the production of milk powder, is a large cause of our current problems with education.

                    • Herodotus

                      I was searching for a word to use obviously not the right one for you. So what would you suggest regarding equating Ak to the remainder of the country, so that NCEA results are comparable ?Because the students potential will not be the same given the lack of teaching that happened this year, and should (I hope not) Ak experiences any more lockdowns in the future, thus disadvantaging students to a greater degree. I hope you understand my comments intentions, even is the phrasing is a little inadequate.

                    • KJT

                      NCEA and the constant summative testing prevents effective and creative Teaching. Personally I think it should be dumped.

                      However scaling results, between different groups and areas has a long history in NZ, if you must!

                    • Herodotus []

                      I will wait until our minister of education to front up on Wednesday with solutions. 2+more weeks of level 3 will mean high schools within AK will have only online learning, so what of those who this form of learning doesn’t work for or is unable to access the internet and their well being ?? I know if plenty of students freaking out

                      I hope they realise also in 2 weeks there will be uni students relocating back home, that could be entering Auckland/ Waikato or leaving to go to a level 2 location.

                    • KJT

                      There is no reall good answer. An explosion of covid within schools and students families would be pretty devastating for their learning, also.

    • Ad 10.2

      Bring back Listen With Mother.

      • Molly 10.2.1

        Jeez, Ad. It's not about nostalgia. It's about recognising that there are a lot of schoolchildren that don't have internet access or internet devices, and thinking about how they can be provided for utilising other tools.

        It's also about thinking how a BAU approach might not be the best in terms of wellbeing.

        • gsays 10.2.1.1

          Howzabout treating internet access as a basic right?

          All individuals are entitled to X gig of data until they leave high school. Doesn't solve the device issue, but a few tech firms would be keen to get in on the positive publicity involved in sponsoring a basic device.

          Feeding kids at school, kids without devices, period poverty… we drastically need a shake-up and BAU doesn't cut it.

          A universal basic income funded by a FTT, Tobin Tax, Hone tax, call it what you will. Cast a larger tax net and bring all those that benefit from society but do not contribute. Currency trading, the tech giants with their off-shore shenanagins, beneficiaries of hidden trust and tax shelters that Sir Slippery John was in favour of.

          • Molly 10.2.1.1.1

            Howzabout treating internet access as a basic right?

            All for it. Have advocated for it in the past.

            But teachers are in crisis mode now, and trying to provide BAU under the expectations of the Ministry.

            I was suggesting an alternative short-term approach that put well-being as the top priority, just for the lockdown period.

            (But I forgot how wedded people are to education being structured and marked.)

    • KJT 10.3

      The inequities in education have been building up over years. Covid has spotlighted them as much as it has made things harder.

      The skills to be a correspondence Teacher are very different from those required for a classroom Teacher.

      Some children do very well with self directed correspondence learning. With the independence and self motivation that requires.

      The same students I wished I could spend more time helping in a year 10 class of 36, are the same ones who will miss out now.

      Even more incentive to remove most of the "Summative" prescriptive testing from schooling. One of the main things that makes education for many, including Teachers, repetitive, ineffectual and boring.

      • Molly 10.3.1

        The inequities in education have been building up over years. Covid has spotlighted them as much as it has made things harder…

        …Even more incentive to remove most of the "Summative" prescriptive testing from schooling. One of the main things that makes education for many, including Teachers, repetitive, ineffectual and boring.

        Agree.

  10. dv 11

    Interesting

    Act Party leader David Seymour has proposed a twist on incentives to get vaccinated: a one-off $250 tax credit for those double-jabbed before December 1.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-act-party-leader-david-seymour-proposes-vax-bucks-tax-credit/JT5YIBXFHNK4NM45JRH4ZHSQEM/

    There are 3,850 000 tax payers

    so that will cost $962,500,000 or $866m at 90% vac rate from the tax take.

    • Ad 11.1

      New Zealand already spends $96 million every week on welfare and social security.

      Imagine a $250 bonus against your income tax for one year. That's a nice little hit for those not well off.

      Easy flat one-off tax cut from Act.

    • mac1 11.2

      Will criminals and gang members benefit from a tax credit? Will teenagers so benefit? Will the non-earning partner in a relationship? Will the homeless, rough sleepers and the marginalised? Will beneficiaries benefit?

    • GreenBus 11.3

      Sweet, that's $1000 for my family, they are all anti-vax. But No. Even at $1000 each it wouldn't do any good, brainwashed by social media me thinks. I'm jabbed.

    • Foreign Waka 11.4

      Ah yes, I was waiting for who will mention this first. A group of us has a bet going. That the unvaccinated are waiting for being "paid" to get the shot. Our guess was 1k per person. And low and behold!

      I just think some of the people have completely lost the plot. We are billions in debt, inflation is at about 5% and rising. Good luck to us all.

      • McFlock 11.4.1

        lol I hope the govt might choose the vax passport stick before the vax carrot.

      • Bearded Git 11.4.2

        I think many of the anti vaxxers I know will end up getting vaxxed because they love their overseas trips and they won't be able to get on the plane without the certificate.

      • gsays 11.4.3

        Ahh snap. I hadn't read yr comment before I posted.

  11. Whispering Kate 12

    The high hanging fruit will be a hard task for the vaccinators. I haven't heard much about the anti vaxxers who have mental health issues. The people who do not trust government, believe they are being persecuted all the time and certainly will not be fronting up for the jab. They are hard wired to be suspicious. What do we do about people like that. No matter how much you might want to convince them its just not going to happen.

    Also people who go so far down the rabbit hole into the dark web that nothing on God's earth will persuade them the vaccine doesn't have a chip in it, its a plan to keep everybody under control. Real Government mind control sort of stuff. These groups will be the ones infecting others and also getting seriously sick themselves. These two groups of people will never be vaxxed and we will just have to bite the bullet and get on with getting all the other slightly hesitant people over the line.

    • KJT 12.1

      Mental health issues, where relevent, along with physical health issues, I think should count as genuine medical reasons not to be vaccinated.

  12. Andre 13

    Bloomfield and Hendy are tossing out the idea of another two weeks at level 4. Without giving any explanations of why they think it would do anything useful. Detailed explanations are really needed, given the spread appears to be in populations that aren't compliant with level 3 and level 4 in any case.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300432382/covid19-live-auckland-level-4-circuitbreaker-lockdown-not-ruled-out-ashley-bloomfield-says

    To which all I have to say is: Fuck OFF!!!

    Put your efforts to getting the unvaccinated sorted out, not into shitting on those of us that have already done everything we can and are not the problem spreaders.

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      Gordon Campbell: "the country is now headed for the lifeboats." So we have a wave of pontifs pontificating in all directions.

      http://werewolf.co.nz/2021/10/gordon-campbell-on-the-perils-of-declaring-premature-victory/

      Speech is free, diversity of opinion enriches culture, blah blah…

      • KJT 13.1.1

        Gordon Campbell.

        "The audible business sector seems determined to declare victory prematurely, and move us all on. (That’s even though the subsequent infection levels would probably be just as likely as any government decree to inhibit the public’s readiness to dine out and spend.)

        Pretty much what has been happening in the UK lately.

        • Tiger Mountain 13.1.1.1

          Dunno who said it first, but there will likely be a number of people living in their own self declared Level 4 bubbles for quite a while whatever the official stance is.

          How many times since the 80s have we heard of alienated and displaced working class people on welfare pittance “they think the world owes them a living” and yet the publicly needy ones in COVID have tended to be SME, small business and self employed–the petit bourgeoisie.

      • Ad 13.1.2

        And Gordon Campbell can fuck off and all.

    • mac1 13.2

      Andre, to be fair to Hendy and Bloomfield, of whom you say "Without giving any explanations of why they think it would do anything useful."

      The news report was what you cited. That means we saw what TV1 decided we should see, not necessarily what Hendy and Bloomfield said.

      The only idea we have of what they want is from commentators, not from the primary source. Therefore, we have two levels of distance from what they said- the commenter and then the TV1 editing of that the commenter said, with all the editing and bias that that necessarily involves.

      • Andre 13.2.1

        Tweets from Hendy were linked in the report. They contained zero useful information.

        • McFlock 13.2.1.1

          You expect "detailed explanations" from tweets?

          Maybe see if cabinet will go for it, first. Then let the reporters report the useful information (good luck with that, but most of it is usually up on the ministry of health website pretty quick).

          • Andre 13.2.1.1.1

            Threads are a thing.

            If someone influential announces their support for something as draconian as a return to level 4, yes, they fkn should bother to give details in the same medium they make the announcement.

    • KJT 13.3

      Go and look at what they actually said. Not what Tova wanted them to say.

    • Foreign Waka 13.4

      Self responsibility needs to be emphasized. There was enough time, effort, information etc. to get vaccinated. No more excuses. The majority of those who have been following health advise have it up to the neck with the cop out of those who are just querulant. There maybe a few exemptions, but I would say you can count them on one hand.

      We need a date by which borders open under cautionary measures, Kiwis and any visitors who come home need to be fully vaccinated and tested. Returnees same and if need be have to quarantine at home.

      We have bigger fish to fry.

      Focus needs to be shifted to shipping and transport of goods. Public transport and municipal services need priority.

      Trade needs to be diversified with professional follow up.

      Housing needs to be addressed so that funds are not tied up in sometimes ramshackle properties.

      The list goes on but all energy is currently on one issue and slowly we lose traction on many problem areas that need attention.

      • Dennis Frank 13.4.1

        Trade needs to be diversified

        Muldoon said so! In response to the Brits abandoning us. Having watched this space ever since, I have to tell you that kiwi exporters just switched from UK to China.

        Okay, I'm over-generalising, but there seems to be a `let's take the easy option' thinking at play. A dependency relation, as if the switch involved the mother shifting the baby from one tit to the other.

        You're right to suggest that diversity of trade relations is a resilience strategy but I have zero confidence our exporters can be that sophisticated.

        • Foreign Waka 13.4.1.1

          You are right, once the UK joined the Euro union in the 70's NZ was dropped like a hot stone. Now that the UK is again out of the block they will look to the USA to which I say "good luck". NZ is not necessary a favorite. Shipping is an issue.

          We need to have companies investing into niche markets in the first instance and grow from there. Hard yards and maybe you are observing this correctly that many of the exporters from the "old guard" will look for easy money.

          What is overlooked and somehow not fleshed out as an option is the possibility to have manufacturers attracted to NZ and to steer controlled and with a plan and vision into a more sophisticated trading environment. Example: sheep export vs wool spinning, cherry fruit export vs conserved (high quality), Wood logs vs building material and furniture. The know how and investment could come from any country but it has to be balanced. Not all eggs in one basket.

        • Stuart Munro 13.4.1.2

          Certainly our fisheries have been pretty conservative in terms of developing new products and markets. No NZ raised hairy crabs, nor marron, nor farmed bluefin, little farmed abalone, little or no seaweed, whitebait, no barramundi or golden perch, not even any carp. And no farmed eels – it's nearly twenty years since I was scoffing grilled eels at Panmunjeon – NZ has been standing still.

          • Foreign waka 13.4.1.2.1

            I wouldn't go for carp. They are fresh water fish and even in countries where they are indigenous considered a pest.

            Abelone is exceedingly difficult to farm. Very expensive and only for people with a lot of patience as they are not the fastest growing stock.

            But NZ has a huge advantage because the Atlantic fish is said to be contaminated by heavy metals. Even sardines, a save and very healthy choice still shows low mercury levels.

            • Stuart Munro 13.4.1.2.1.1

              I've eaten carp in China – it was fine. Not tainted like our horrid red cod.

              Cheju-do is covered with 전복 (the local abalone) farms, they are consistently profitable, and not especially expensive to run.

              Our advantage, at present, seems to go for naught.

    • swordfish 13.5

      .

      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 … teams of snipers on every Auckland roof, ensuring no-one leaves their house … particularly stringent security measures around known middle class agitators, whingers & malcontents like Andre … if you're caught outside spreading the virus … & therefore theoretically putting the health of southerners at risk …………… then expect this:

      • Ad 13.5.1

        More like World War Z and all the Aucklanders will pile up the side of the Beehive (rather than the walls of Jerusalem).

        Soon we will generate floating rafts of the undead to get across Cook Strait. After which everyone in Ashburton gets eaten.

        Then the last remaining pure holdouts will be the Chathams and Scott Base.

        Just like Predator Free 2050 but in reverse.

        • swordfish 13.5.1.1

          .

          There's an old Leper Colony on Mokopuna Island in Wellington Harbour … we can easily open it up again for Northern Untouchables & other Unclean Intruders if you so wish … I'm sure cave life isn't so bad once you get used to it.

          • Ad 13.5.1.1.1

            Quarantine Island in Dunedin, and all the other stations we set up a century ago, would have been preferable alternatives to the MIQ hotel industry subsidy that's caused the grief so far.

            • KJT 13.5.1.1.1.1

              Maybe. But we would have had a lot less than the current number of MIQ slots.

              Unless you wanted to bunk everyone concentration camp style?

              • McFlock

                Also, islands were particularly useful because they were next to the main ports of entry. And they were only used if ships arrived with detectably ill people on board.

                It would be nice if it was that convenient, but different times call for different measures.

            • Pete 13.5.1.1.1.2

              Whatever alternatives to the MIQ hotel industry subsidy there could have been would have caused no grief? Or just less grief or a different grief?

              • McFlock

                emergency powers to put up a container structure in the auckland domain or random farmland or even in less-used areas of the airport.

                Could have worked it to be more fit for purpose than an inner city hotel, but would have had a much bigger "camp – not in a good way" feel.

                Also, keeping the hotel structures ticking over at least would theoretecally make "opening up" easier to get tourism back up to speed (if that should be a priority).

                But whether that would have been a better planronment of unknown duration is another matter. This unpleasantness might have lasted weeks or years, looking at it from March 2020.

            • Stuart Munro 13.5.1.1.1.3

              Quarantine Island is colder than a penguin's bum – if you can survive living there, Covid will be easy for you.

      • Sacha 13.5.2

        fighter jets loyal to the south

        Peter Jackson might lend a tiger moth or two.

    • Jimmy 13.6

      Well said!

    • Puckish Rogue 13.7

      I concur.

      Give a date that we'll open up, make the vaccine available to anyone that wants it, have the swabs ready and lets do it, lets open up

      • Ed 13.7.1

        Like Singapore did?

        1. 80% of the population are fully vaccinated.
        2. Cases now exceed 3,000 on some days, a genuinely alarming figure for many in a city that saw just 29 deaths in the virus’s first year.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-14/singapore-confronts-division-and-fear-bred-by-living-with-covid

        • Puckish Rogue 13.7.1.1

          Cases are all well and good but how many deaths?

          The information is out there, vaccinate or don't, mask up or don't, keep your distance or don't, self-isolate or don't, its your choice

          The governments had a year to sort out extra ICU beds and staff, we cannot keep doing this which we all know is true

          So lets do this

          • McFlock 13.7.1.1.1

            They've doubled their number of deaths in the past couple of weeks: 113 to 233.

            At 9 deaths a day, and a couple thousand cases a day, I suspect our few hundred ICU beds would be fast overloaded.

            Fuck that.

            • I Feel Love 13.7.1.1.1.1

              I think I just read 186 ICU beds, so yeah , FUCK THAT!

              • Stuart Munro

                There were evidently 25 survivors hospitalised after the White Island eruption, and they had to be sent all over the North Island to find sufficient ICU beds. An appreciable Covid outbreak will soak up our reserve capacity pretty damned quick.

            • Andre 13.7.1.1.1.2

              Triage the unvaccinated covid patients out to the unvaccinated covid patient wards in tents out in the carpark.

              Their choice to not be vaccinated, their consequences.

              I am totally over having to suffer the removal of my rights and other consequences of the unvaccinated choosing to be antisocial arseholes and refusing a quick, safe, free and effective precaution against being a willful disease spreader.

              • McFlock

                Yeah, I hope you're just venting.

                • Andre

                  Nope.

                  Even if by some miracle we get to somewhere better than 95% vaccinated, our medical system is very likely to be overwhelmed by unvaccinated covid patients.

                  What do you suggest should be done when that happens?

                  Lockdown forever so it doesn't happen?

                  Deny care to those that haven't deliberately chosen to be disease spreaders in order that vaccine refusers can clog up the health system with their easily preventable disease?

                  • McFlock

                    Not all of the unvaxxed are multi-qualified folks who think they should be able to substitute the vaccine or crystal therapy they prefer.

                    I'm not sure it's a coincidence, for example, that the ethnicity with the lowest vax rate is also the one most neglected or even mistreated when it comes to many other healthcare services, so maybe trust is a bit more difficult to build in those communities.

                    But sure, leaving them in tents in disproportionate numbers to die will help with that come the next public health problem.

                    If we could restrict it to folks who have benefitted disproportionately from the system they choose to mistrust out of their own hubris, sure, maybe.

                    I'm not usually a hippie arguing for love and mung-beans when it comes to public hazard-level stupidity. But every year I look at the same fucking charts about healthcare delivery, education retention, youth employment, [un]healthy housing, and a myriad of other things, and I can't help but wonder why some socioeconomic groups should even consider the possibility that the govt has their best interests in heart this time (if they even bother watching the news at all). Some of the fault is ours.

                    The health sector buzzword of the day is "equity". Changing course towards it (so we're even moving in roughly that direction, let alone achieving it) is like trying to drift a supertanker.

                    • Andre

                      Nice diversion.

                      What's your suggestion for when the health system gets overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid patients?

                    • McFlock

                      If tents are needed, how about not providing a higher standard of care based on vax card.

                      edit: and going back to your “lockdown forever” option, going back to L4 for a couple of weeks could prevent that. Fuck, make the entire country do it if that’s you’re problem.

                    • Andre

                      FFS, why on earth do you think a couple of weeks of level 4 might be the trick this time when the five weeks from 18th August to 22 September wasn't enough before? Especially now that it seems to be in communities that aren't compliant with the level rules, which didn't seem to be the case in August and September?

                      What a great idea, put the rest of the country into the lockdowns Auckland has suffered! Let's see how many call for the continuation of lockdowns then.

                      I'm not clear on what your trying to say in your first sentence. Are you suggesting that vaccinated people should be denied care?

                    • McFlock

                      Are you suggesting that vaccinated people should be denied care?

                      No, I'm saying vax status should not automatically result in lower care for unvaxxed people.

                      There are a couple of reasons why another shot at level 4 might work. The advantage of a higher vax level now than before, and the advantage of contact tracing techniques adapted over the last few weeks to deal with the disenfranchised groups.

                      But my main reason is selfish hope. I really hope Auckland's fatigue doesn't kill my mum.

                    • Andre

                      What I'm suggesting is that when the health system gets overwhelmed and triaging is needed, the unvaxed covid patients should be first on the list to get triaged out.

                      As an entirely reasonable and predictable consequence of their choice to enable the spread of a nasty disease causing the avoidable overwhelming of the health system necessitating triaging.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, I understand that's what you're suggesting. And it's not the role of healthcare to go "you're a naughty boy, basil".

                      Especially at triage.

                      There might be reasons of clinical delivery to do that – aircon positive-pressure assessment tents and attached tent wards for all covid-positive patients would stop them shutting down ED for a deep clean. That might be worth the odds that the quality of healthcare provided in the tent during a winter storm might not be as effective as in an indoor ward (e.g. the power cable shorts), but at least more operating theatres are available when needed.

                      Vax status might be part of a much more broad list of triage factors that affect expected prognosis, along with smoking, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.

                      But that's incredibly different to putting them in tents based primarily on their vax status.

                    • Andre

                      No it's not the role of the health care system. Their values and ethics and decisions trees are set in normal times. These are not normal times, and normal medical values and ethics are miscalibrated for these not-normal times.

                      It's the government's responsibility to set the resource allocations and consequences for these not-normal times. And this government is woefully shirking its responsibility when it comes to making clear that the choice to refuse vaccination will have horrible consequences.

                      So far the government seems content to just push consequences onto those that actually have a sense of community responsibility and go and do what things they can in the face of what's coming, while spinelessly pandering to those that won't do even a very minimal act to mitigate what's coming.

                      The unvaccinated are the problem. Many of the unvaccinated see zero reason to revisit their choice, because they don't think their choice will ever affect their lifestyle. This government is giving them every reason to continue that belief, and zero reason to reconsider it.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, nah.

                      The unvaccinated are not a homogeneous mass of equal culpability. Especially if the government isn’t communicating properly.

            • Puckish Rogue 13.7.1.1.1.3

              So what was happening over the past year, complacency? Hubris? Arrogance?

              If this is whats going to happen then where are the extra ICU beds and medical staff?

              • McFlock

                Oh,
                Ardern should have gone down to the ICU tree and plucked a couple of wards one afternoon, huh?

                Maybe there's a fair bit of global competition for both the equipment and the staff? Can't think why that would be.

                Maybe fully training ICU staff takes a few hundred hours extra work on top of other nursing qualifications (that are already understaffed)?

                Maybe it's easier to demand results than it is to actually supply them.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  No need to pluck a tree but maybe, in the time of a global pandemic, you prioritise who comes in

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/126608859/miqueue-health-sector-mystified-over-struggle-to-get-staff-into-nz?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

                  'Dalton understands that 100 of the 250 requests made by DHBs in recent months have been rejected – including an application from one overseas ICU nurse who has been rejected six times.'

                  'The numbers show, of the 525 applications received for critical health care workers in the past four months, 212 were approved, granting 287 of 694 applicants a spot in MIQ.

                  If specialist doctors and nurses are being rejected – especially those who already have jobs, visas, and regulatory approval to practice in New Zealand – the emergency allocation system isn’t working, Dalton says.'

                  Also why piss about:

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/covid-19-delta-pfizer-waited-over-6-weeks-for-first-vaccine-meeting-with-nz-officials-last-year/DX3R7TX3SADYG36T5HHZC7YZXA/?utm_source=pocket_mylist

                  'Drug company Pfizer pressed New Zealand government officials to meet and discuss its vaccine candidate in June of last year, some six weeks before a first meeting actually took place.'

                  • McFlock

                    lol "one".

                    coolcool

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I will give covid credit for being a very considerate virus. I like the way that no one needs medical for anything other than covid.

                      Everything else stops and only covid happens

                      'The numbers show, of the 525 applications received for critical health care workers in the past four months, 212 were approved, granting 287 of 694 applicants a spot in MIQ.'

                      Not enough ISU facilities, not enough medical staff, not enough miq spots, if NZ hadn't been lucky enough to be a small island at the bottom of world we'd be screwed

                    • McFlock

                      you're pulling the "small island" line are you?

                      1: "archipelago"

                      2: the first lockdown and the entire MIQ system has a bit to do with it, too.

                      Anyhoo, yes, it was great that we came out of 2020 with a lower than expected death rate. Not lower than expected from covid, lower than expected based on mortality in preceeding years.

                      But now we're entering the end of that, sure. You think we should have imported more healthcare workers. Fair enough. But even 600 will be pissing in a swimming pool if the worst happens with an insufficiently-vaccinated population, and does nothing about all the equipment that goes around each bed.

                      BTW, I'm aware "worst case scenario" does not mean "less likely than other scenarios".

  13. Adrian 14

    You can’t give a date for a target when the target is not only moving fast but very adept at hiding. My old man left for Europe in 1939 in the NZEF, I asked him why the fuck did you do that and he said “ They told us it would be all over by Christmas “. They never told him it would be Christmas in 6 years time.

    To Foreign Waka, may I borrow “querulant “ please, just such a gorgeous word.

  14. Ad 15

    Woooooo! for Northland

    • Jimmy 15.1

      Boooooooo! for Auckland.

      • Pete 15.1.1

        Apparently it is wanted to have 90% of Auckland vaccinated. Which would mean 10% not being vaccinated. The population of Auckland is about 1.6 million.

        Which means if 90% were vaccinated there'd be 160,000 not vaccinated.

        160 thousand is obviously a massive number. More than the population of all of Hamilton. Plenty of scope for Covid to spread and cause major problems.

  15. alwyn 16

    The PM tells us what she thinks of a bunch of Aucklanders attending a party on the North Shore in Auckland. Terrible she says.

    Well to me it didn't look that different to the knees-ups going on at the vaccination centres in Auckland earlier in the day.

    I would much rather know why a bunch of Auckland TV crew members were allowed into Wellington to make the PM's PR bull that was the Vaxathon. Why were they allowed to come down here and risk the health of all Wellingtonians just because they were skilled at filming the Labour party MPs doing a campaign show?

    Stuff them. And the people who wanted to have their mates preparing the festivities TV coverage rather than people already in Wellington but who weren't on the PM's best buddies list.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-auckland-crew-fly-to-wellington-to-film-vaxathon/CJ5WRSVPPMS2UWPTHLOGCT7SC4/

  16. Andre 17

    Me voting for National in 2023 has now become a serious possibility.

    Jacinda, I don't care about a vaccination target to be set on Friday. That just tells me you find it easier to keep taking my rights away from me than to do something to actually lift our vaccination rates to a level that you deem to be adequate to restore my rights to me. Fuck off.

    What I want to know is what are you and your government are going to do to actually lift those rates. I want an action plan, not vague warblings.

    • The Al1en 17.1

      You're messed up.

      You're complaining about rights being taken away on the same page you say you want no jab – no job implemented, or elsewhere, wishing seriously sick people get triaged out of the health system designed to aid those most in need.

      The reasons you give for curtailing your 'freedom' are exactly the same when denying someone the right to work and support themselves and/or family, or receive urgent medical attention.

      It's only a lock down. Get a grip of yourself.

      • Andre 17.1.1

        "No jab, no job" is not a right being taken away. It's a consequence of someone choosing to be an antisocial arsehole and refusing to do a quick, safe, effective and free precaution against being a willful disease spreader.

        It's also a totally reasonable health and safety precaution to protect other workers, and any general public that may come into contact with an employee.

        • The Al1en 17.1.1.1

          https://www.employment.govt.nz/starting-employment/right-to-work-in-new-zealand/

          Doesn't say anything about having to have covid shots. Surely if you can agree to new laws restricting the right of kiwis, residents and eligible persons to work, then why not for freedom of movement, association etc? It’s totally reasonable in a pandemic.

          • Andre 17.1.1.1.1

            It's not reasonable when those insisting their right to refuse vaccination without consequences completely overrides other people's rights.

            If someone thinks their right to refuse vaccination is that important to them, they can live the lockdown life. They have no right to force that lockdown life on other people, which is the effective result that is happening now.

            They can figure out how to earn a living from home. Lots of people already do that. They can get their groceries delivered to their home. Lots of people already do that. It's their choice, if refusing vaccination is that important to them.

            However, because of the unvaccinateds choice to refuse vaccination, the government is giving me no choices or options for anything I can possibly do to regain the rights and freedoms that matter to me. It has unilaterally taken them away indefinitely. Because of arsehole vaccine refusers.

            And fuck off with that "it's only a lockdown" shit. It's deprivation of freedom, basically home detention. Only one step removed from being put in prison. But you might not get that, you not having had months of it on end.

  17. Yeah, yeah, it's the same as the reasons for not allowing churches to congregate, or people to have big parties or flee the lock down border for pastures less restrictive.

    If you can't see the two things being one and the same, I reckon you'll probably be a very contented nat voter. 🙄

    • Andre 18.1

      Go fuck yourself. Sideways. Seriously.

      Under lockdown rules, I can't go and enjoy the outdoor activities that make life enjoyable. Just a few sanitised zero-risk boring as fuck local walkies or similar.

      I can't go and get supplies for any of the projects lined up for my attention. Online ordering won't work for the specialised stuff needed.

      I can't go visit family.

      But hey, you're alright. You don't have those restrictions. You're just happy other people are suffering those restrictions so you can do whatever you want. Bonus, you get to act smug and superior about it.

  18. Same as for me when the 2020 lock down kicked in, same as me for this years national closure, though I was pretty pissed I only got 2 weeks off this time, but them’s the breaks.

    Obviously you're not coping well, and that's fine, and I can see you're all messed up and lashing out in all directions, but from what I'm reading, your logic is based on unstable ground.

    At least you still have a vent tube in The Standard, where dodgy logic and unsound arguments won’t look too out of place.

  19. greywarshark 20

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018816391/regenerating-wellington-s-seaweed-forests

    I wonder about a big plan by knowledgeable envos about plantings way down south and gradually cleaning and replanting around
    Tiwai as it doesn't sound green at all, at all. (First clean sea floor by buckets then would mangroves grow there?

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