Open mike 19/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 19th, 2020 - 139 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

139 comments on “Open mike 19/06/2020 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    You are a lowly charge nurse from Manila (where politics is a nasty and corrupt game} and you get a call from your boss saying a high profile National MP is asking that two high falutin' women get released early. What do you do? Buckle under the pressure or stivk to your guns?

    [With allegations such as these, you have to provide at least some back-up, e.g. a link or something, anything. This is a place for robust debate, not for wild unhinged conspiracy theories about a Filipino nurse FFS. You’re in Pre-Moderation until you provide support for your allegations or withdraw – Incognito]

    • Andre 1.1

      Is this scenario entirely your hypothetical, or repeating a vaguely plausible rumour from elsewhere, or based on a report from a generally plausible source? If it's the latter, any chance of linky?

    • Incognito 1.2

      See my Moderation note @ 7:39 AM.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        I think I'll just discuss your consistant abuse of power in relation to me with MickeySavage and Advantage 🙂

        [Please also send an e-mail to Lprent to make your case; are they friends of yours? Meanwhile you’re free to smear “a lowly charge nurse from Manila” here on TS without a shred of evidence that they are somehow involved in the “politics and power” and some kind of weird ‘conspiracy’ – Incognito]

        • Incognito 1.2.1.1

          See my Moderation note @ 8:52 AM.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.2

          Sanctuary

          I'd be genuinely sorry to see you cop a ban; you make energetic and sometimes provocative contributions here (something past my talent level) and this flare up seems … unnecessary.

          Incognito is the best moderator TS has ever had and I'd be inclined to give him/her a pass on this even if you do feel a bit done over this time. Moderation is not easy and everyone who has done it for a while inevitably clashes with someone on some issue.

          • Anne 1.2.1.2.1

            ditto.

            When this story first broke a few days ago I had a picture in my mind of a MoH local official (likely a woman health worker) being put upon to grant the exemption for these two women.

            We don't know what happened yet but what's the bet if it turns out to be something along these lines, the poor mug who was put upon will be made to carry the can.

            • Wayne 1.2.1.2.1.1

              I can't imagine a system where an MP would be talking directly (as the first point of contact) to a charge nurse on this matter. They contact the organisation at a much higher level, then the organisation deals with it thereafter.

              From what has been publicly stated, it seems that Bishop contacted the relevant Minister which is what I would expect.

              • Cinny

                I'm guessing the couple contacted bishop's office once they got to Wellywood to say thanks. Because that's what usually happens when an MP helps to solve a constituents dilemma, especially if it's a major one.

                If so bishop's office would have asked how they got on, the couple would have told him about their experience. If that happened bishops office should have immediately contacted the ministry to make them aware of the holes in the system.

                Least that's my guess.

              • aj

                Is this scenario entirely your hypothetical, or repeating a vaguely plausible rumour from elsewhere, or based on a report from a generally plausible source?

                If I may add, I took Sanctuary's wording as a fiction, purely to illustrate an example of power imbalance that may be in play.

                • In Vino

                  I also, aj.

                  Maybe Sanctuary would escaped blame if he/she had added that silly 'sarc' tag.

                  I sometimes think that the 'sarc' tag should be abolished because the people who need it are beyond help..

                  But then I find that I have made a blunder.

                  But I agree that Sanctuary may have been over-harshly interpreted.

              • Anne

                I can't imagine a system where an MP would be talking directly (as the first point of contact) to a charge nurse on this matter.

                Wasn't suggesting as much Wayne. I'm just saying that somewhere along the 'chain of command' from the email sent by Bishop to the on the ground staff, someone put pressure on someone else to grant an exemption.

        • mauī 1.2.1.3

          Fighting abuse of blog power by using your connections with the blogging "elite". Superb!

  2. Have the Natz scored another own goal?

    It seems, after all their strident calls for opening the borders, opening up the Australia bubble (with new 21 cases there yesterday) allowing in international students (in properly managed isolation in Queenstown lol) and compassionate relaxation of the rules etc etc, that opinion in this country is hardening against any such moves.

    People are beginning to realise that ‘fortress NZ’ might really be the only option for the immediate future.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      A number of quite conservative people are coming to the same conclusion re ‘fortress NZ’–a term that drives some absolutely berserk–that keeping the border stitched up is the way to go in the medium term.

      In the Far North where I am, while a few NZ First and National people got publicly excited about the Iwi Covid Checkpoints, a hell of a lot of Pākehā supported them–they would not have lasted 5 minutes if that was not the case. Even tory FNDC Mayor John Carter was a supporter. Nat Northland MP Matt King, was “outrager” in chief, but he bottled it when Hone Harawira invited him to attend a checkpoint for a morning to see how they were being operated.

      I hope the Nats keep on whinging, and pissing people off, because for once there is a good degree of national unity on something of importance–call me old fashioned but a deadly pandemic is of existential import for many of us.

      • RedBaronCV 2.1.1

        Frankly in the early days I think we should have had quite a few more of those . Properly run by locals under police advice – locals had the resource and the motivation – to find all the people granting themselves an exemption.

      • Peter 2.1.2

        I realise in the Far North there was a lot of Pākehā support for the checkpoints. People genuinely believed they were for their good. Matt King didn't want them and made a fuss to prove he was Mr Tough, all for Laura Norder and wanted to make some point about himself and Iwi. It was about himself being more powerful and having status.

        The upshot of it all? It is most likely that King, having putting himself forward like that with the fear of death and gratitude for those who tried to ave them being a distant memory, the survivors will vote for him. Unfortunately.

    • francesca 2.2

      Agree, and added to that, they've trumpeted from the roof tops the human error debacles

      At the same time they want to multiply the opportunities for human error by opening the borders.

      But seriously, the media with their lack of fact checking.

      Pure click bait as a business model.The most recent being Patrick Gower last night declaring that the military official being promoted had already been in charge of quarantine, when in fact he'd been overseeing repatriation flights

      A reasonable explanation of the new regime by Richard Harman

      "The military are effectively taking over the management of the Covid-19 border isolation and quarantine facilities and processes. In effect, they will now be coming over the top of the Police, Aviation Security and the Ministry of Health. They will not be working as armed guards at facilities; the Police and Aviation Security will still do hard enforcement. Their main role will be a management and logistics one which up till now has largely been the responsibility of the Police and the Ministry of Health.

      Continue reading at https://www.politik.co.nz/2020/06/19/what-the-military-are-really-doing-in-the-covid-19-battle/ | Politik

      Is it too much to expect of our journalists that they do a little fact checking and reading?

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Is it too much to expect of our journalists that they do a little fact checking and reading?

        I suspect their problem is inability to figure out the right questions to ask and the right people to ask. Delineation of the lines of accountability and responsibility has been conspicuous by its absence in public life in Aotearoa since the 1980s – and in the public service for much longer probably. Fudging and cover-ups by the political left & right became normalised long ago.

        Which public servant was given operational responsibility for border control and/or quarantine arrangements? Has any journo asked the Director General of Health that? Instead we get the usual headless-chook blame game:

        "I have no reason to doubt that Bloomfield et co, and even the hapless David Clark *genuinely* believed they were in possession of the facts. That procedures were being followed. That we *were* in possession of what we said we were, doing what we said we were doing, things working basically as they almost ideally should. And that the shock and fury many of us have experienced to find out that this is not, in fact, the case – has been an emotion they’ve felt, too. Because it seems like they’ve been operating in almost as much of an informational void about this as we have." https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/06/19/but-what-of-the-real-culprits-covid-quarantine-crisis-and-the-rush-to-judgement-and-blame/

        So the powers that be issue instructions, then the public service fail to implement them, then there's a media circus in which everyone fails to explain what went wrong. The public interest lies in learning from the experience: collusion between political left & right prevents identification of the person who screwed up, so we can never learn. It would be refreshing if the media were to report this part of the explanation, so public anger could then focus on how to change the system so as to produce appropriate public service as the outcome!!

        "Multiple layers of questionable communication let alone accountability and command-and-control, between often-competent and certainly well-meaning people at the top, and often-competent and certainly well meaning people at the bottom, that have allowed the *incompetent* exceptions to not so much *test* the rule as seemingly become it."

        So while "it’s easy and cathartic to focus upon the faces at the top, and fixate that they’re somehow the sum totality of the problem. To do so, in this instance allows the ACTUAL cause of these lapses to fester quietly out of sight. Safe in its relative anonymity and lack of true accountability."

        So Judith Collins told the AM Show audience this morning that the PM had been lying (think she also included the DGH) because such misdirection of the public's attention is traditional – it's how the establishment maintain the problem. True leadership by a politician in this situation would be to accurately identify the decision-maker who failed, and cite their formal responsibility as conferred by their employer to prove the point.

        • solkta 2.2.1.1

          Have you forgotten how to use the quote tool already? My neighbors chickens are easier to train than you.

          • francesca 2.2.1.1.1

            Better tell me too Soltka

            I assumed Dennis was quoting from Curwen's article in the Daily Blog

            At least everything inside the quote marks

            What's the correct way?

            • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Easy, actually, just follow the simple instructions the site provides (see FAQ). I forgot to use that technique…

              • francesca

                Nope

                Didnt work Dont know if its my MAC laptop or what

                • Dennis Frank

                  LPrent maybe can answer that technical point. Here's something worth considering:

                  where in the chain of command did the failures to effectively enforce the quarantine restrictions occur, who made compassionate exemptions without testing, and why anyone in a position of authority would cover up the possibility that a lethal disease had escaped isolation. Instead, given that the quarantine regime is now under military control, questions should be asked as to why that step was needed.

                  http://www.kiwipolitico.com/

                  Method used: 1. copy selected text 2. paste here 3. click on quote symbol at top of comment window

                  TS inserts quote via tab relocation to the right for visual layout optimisation, and note the quote button remains on until you push it again to write your own text beneath.

                  Pablo's essay is very good. It points to relevant questions around military competence, govt competence, public service competence. Also reinforcing my point about the usual fudging of accountability by all political players & media…

              • RedLogix

                For what it's worth we used to have an informal convention here that if you were quoting from another comment in the same thread we'd just put it in quote marks and italics.

                If it was a quote from an external site (or another post), we'd use the blockquote method you are discussing above, and add the link.

                I’d never insist anyone had to do this, but I find it a nice enhancement.

            • solkta 2.2.1.1.1.2

              You can select a block of text and then click the speech mark icon in the bar above to create an indented speech marked quote. Weka had shown Dennis how to do this but he keeps forgetting.

              • francesca

                Thank you !

                Will have a practice!

                • Andre

                  The old-skool method probably still works. Get the instructions from FAQ up top.

                  https://thestandard.org.nz/faq/comment-formatting/#quoting

                  Let's see what it does here: <blockquote>quoted text</blockquote>

                  edit: Nope, didn’t like that on initial posting.

                  Let’s see what it does in the edit window

                  2nd edit: Yup, old-skool method works correctly in the edit window.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Got to turn off the WYSIWYG editor for the old-school method to work. If you don't then highlight the text you want to quote and then click on the quote marks in the tool panel.

              • Graeme

                That toolbar has been missing for a week or so on my desktop (Mac Safari 11.1.2)

                • lprent

                  Odd. I will have a look on my partners MacBook pro this evening.

                  • Graeme

                    Could be related to my poor old deprecated MBP and browser. Checked with another browser (Chrome, which I detest because it slows the machine down) and toolbar is there.

                    One positive of it is that I’ve now got a working spell check dictionary to sort my atrocious spelling.

          • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1.2

            Old dogs, new tricks. I plead guilty. Must do better next time! 😥

          • Graeme 2.2.1.1.3

            The quote tool has gone from my desktop over the past week. Still there on my phone but a pain to use.

      • AB 2.2.2

        "they want to multiply the opportunities for human error"

        Yup. Or as the great Allen Curnow wrote: "The mud-backed mirrors in your head multiply the possibilities of human error..."

      • greywarshark 2.2.3

        Francesca – Agree with your points at 2.2. Particularly this you said:

        …they've [those crying against the 'Fortress NZ' type policies] trumpeted from the roof tops the human error debacles

        At the same time they want to multiply the opportunities for human error by opening the borders.

        But seriously, the media with their lack of fact checking.

      • RedBaronCV 2.2.4

        How much of this is provided by aviation security and who or what are they? I'm confused – are they hired directly by a govt dept, what background and training do they have , what payment levels and who do they report to?

        I ask because at an earlier level ( when Wellington supposedly wasn't doing quarantine) I saw 3 muppets with "aviation security" on the vis vest walking shoulder to shoulder ( so 3 across) along a central wellington pavement. We were supposed to be doing social distancing but there was none between them and since they were hogging the pavement it made it difficult for everyone else too.

    • Enough is Enough 2.3

      Emirates have announced this morning that they are coming back into New Zealand from 1 July. International travel is opening back up, so I don't think there is any chance of Fortress New Zealand.

      Just need the numpties at the border to do their job. No one leaves the hotel unless they have returned two negative tests.

      Its pretty fucking simple.

      • francesca 2.3.1

        "All passengers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries."

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/121880239/emirates-to-restart-new-zealand-flights-next-month

        "COVID-19: Key updates

        Temporary border measures, visas, travel and essential service support.

        Travel to New Zealand

        New Zealand’s border is closed to most travellers and entry is strictly controlled. All arrivals are tested for COVID-19 and a 14-day managed quarantine or isolation is mandatory.

        New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and residents with valid travel conditions returning to New Zealand do not need approval from Immigration New Zealand before travelling. "

        https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/coronavirus-update-inz

        No change Enough

        • Enough is Enough 2.3.1.1

          No change other than more flights coming in from countries with covid…..

          My point was exactly that though. Nothing needs to change at the border, other than people doing their job correctly

        • RedBaronCV 2.3.1.2

          What are "valid travel conditions"? I thought it was only citizens and permanent residents -(who were habitually resident here) so we didn't get a wave of people coming in who were permanent residents but didn't bother living here any more but found the welfare attractive. And that limited group of partners etc had to apply for a waiver.

          Also that bulk extension of visa's done to sept. I hope it only extended those in the country at the time of lockdown and if you are out or have left the original expiry date holds.

          Plus who are they finding to fly in- and do we need more quarantine spaces?

          • Cinny 2.3.1.2.1

            Plus who are they finding to fly in- and do we need more quarantine spaces?

            Would it be too much to ask those in quarantine to wear an ankle bracelet?

            Maybe they could be put up at different baches or unused RSE accommodation and have groceries delivered.

            I'd be annoyed doing quarantine in a hotel, for two reasons, the lack of kitchen facilities and lack of fresh air.

            • RedBaronCV 2.3.1.2.1.1

              I wondered about a prefab hutch and an enclosed run in the auckland airport carparks or using Soames island where gainful tree planting would be the order of the day- but I know these are not really a goer. I'd be happier with either of those though – I too like to cook for myself mainly because I need to know what's in my food.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Fortress NZ is probably the only option until there's an vaccination against Covid-19 and its been implemented across the whole population. Until then we'd have a serious chance of a major outbreak from people coming into the country.

      • Enough is Enough 2.4.1

        Probably Fortress New Zealand forever then as it is very debateable as to whether there will be a vaccine.

        • What will happen, and is already happening, is better methods of treating the virus. Cases are still going up around the world, and so is the death rate, but not by so much.

          The reality is covid-19 will probably become endemic and will be treated much the same way as a bad case of the flu. Building up your immune system can do much to counter the nasty thing.

  3. Andre 3

    Oh shit. It appears there are now documented instances of people falling ill with COVID a second time after they have been considered recovered and cleared by tests. Hopefully this stays an extreme rarity.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12341141

    • greywarshark 3.1

      This morning about how people with poor immune responses can harbour the disease but appear asymptomatic, for a long time.

      Latest from NZ Herald more detail – they have some worthwhile stuff! https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12341160 – Today Fri 19 June:

      Covid 19 coronavirus: There may be no immunity, new Wuhan study suggests – Humans may never develop immunity against Covid-19, according to new research on antibodies by Chinese and American scientists…

      At least a quarter of the more than 23,000 samples tested could have been infected with the virus at some stage, according to the scientists. But only 4 per cent had developed antibodies as of April.
      .

      Three days ago – 16 June : https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/coronavirus-immunity-appears-to-last-for-at-least-two-months-after-diagnosis/

      Coronavirus immunity appears to last for ‘at least two months’ after diagnosis –

      …The study was led by researchers and clinicians at St George’s, University of London and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with colleagues at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Mologic Ltd and Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal. It analysed antibody test results from 177 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 infection from a viral test.

    • lprent 3.2

      Yep. I have been expecting that was going to be the case. The antibody creation seems to mostly happen in severe symptom cases.

      That makes any vaccine have to balance on a knife edge. Has to trigger a 2nd level immune response without making people sick too crook. Add another year or two…

      devil

  4. Graeme 4

    Does anyone have a document that shows how the 14 day quarantine / isolation worked, and who’s doing the work, supervising the work and where the money’s going.

    Is it MOH operating in the hotels, or are the hotels effectively running the whole show?

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      I went looking or that information myself last night and was unsurprised that the Mystery had only just updated their page…https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-situation/covid-19-border-controls/covid-19-managed-isolation-and-quarantine…and I can't find the prior version.

      I have little doubt that much of the actual frontline hands on work will have been contracted out to 'providers'. This has been a long term tactic of the Ministry so they can abdicate, or at least dilute their culpability when things go to shit.

      Again.

      If you have the time and energy you could do an OIA…and share?

      I would be very interested in who's up who and who's paying.

      • Graeme 4.1.1

        Chatter around town is that it was a nice little earner for the hotels, hence the push to have students doing their 14 days in Queenstown.

        Best laid plans might have gone a tad pear shaped on them….

        • Gabby 4.1.1.1

          I wonder f they were being paid per person regardless of length of stay. That would incentivise them to get em out by Friday as it were.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.2

          Well, it's guaranteed occupancy when most other places are almost empty, two weeks at a stretch.

          • RedBaronCV 4.1.1.2.1

            At rack rates plus no doubt. Not that they let many rooms at those rates in real life. And I assume that largely people are doing their own room cleaning – if not they should be. and the rooms should be left for a couple of days before cleaning and reuse.
            But isn’t it time to move on and use NZ owned facilities rather than shoving our dosh down offshore tax haven companies?

  5. Andre 5

    Idiots, tattoos, ubiquitous cameras and digital breadcrumb trails. It's getting a lot harder to use protests as cover to get your jollies with a bit of mindless destruction.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/06/masked-arsonist-mightve-gotten-away-with-it-if-she-hadnt-left-etsy-review/

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12341085

    • McFlock 5.1

      Sucks to be her. Never commit crime if you're dressed uniquely. Fake tats might be a thought, though.

      • Andre 5.1.1

        The Harold story about the misaligned real and tat eyebrows gave me an actual lol.

        I s'pose going along with fake tats, ginning up some clothes with slightly obscure references to groups you really didn't like might also be useful if you've got wanton destruction in mind. It's not as if various alt-righters and even the cops are averse to that, it seems.

  6. Reality 6

    Given the pandemic surfaced suddenly earlier in the year and spread so quickly, the planning and organisation required to set up quarantine facilities etc was a massive undertaking. Large numbers of people would have been brought in to deal with this who had to learn on the job more or less. There are not hundreds of people waiting around to do this work in normal times. So in my view it was not surprising there have been some problems. Every business or organisation has problems from time to time, whether public or private. To vilify Dr Bloomfield is uncalled for. Every war (and this is a war) has setbacks.

    Business lobbying for relaxation, the universities, the opposition, all put immense pressure on, so maybe things got relaxed too soon because of the initial success. Perhaps we can all be more realistic now.

  7. Anne 7

    Oh dear:

    A New Zealand woman has been left heartbroken after the Government suspended all compassionate exemptions for people in managed isolation while she was mid-air.

    Annette Loveland was en route to New Zealand from Australia on Tuesday with a pending application after her dad died of cancer when the Government made the announcement.

    I have sympathy for the predicament of the sisters but less sympathy for this one. She runs to the Herald with her story and infers Jacinda Ardern and co. are ruthless and callous. No comprehension of what happened and its effect on the country as a whole. Just all about herself.

    • francesca 7.1

      And amplified by the media!

      So the media cranks up the bleeding heart industry hoping to provoke an error from the gov covid response which it can then amplify

      • Anne 7.1.1

        I expect she thinks there will be an outpouring of sympathy for her and the Govt. will be forced into granting an exemption. There will be sympathy of course but an exemption? You're out of luck there Ms Loveland.

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.1.1

          She just lost her father to cancer and is locked up in a hotel for two weeks. I would hope there is an outpouring of sympathy for her.

          • Andre 7.1.1.1.1

            She is doing a big "woe is me" routine on the basis that her unwarranted expectations of being granted the enormous privilege of exemptions didn't actually happen.

            Because a couple of women that were granted that enormous privilege went on to grossly abuse it, putting others at risk of disease and the whole country at risk of having to go back into lockdown.

            So yeah, nah, I'm having trouble stirring much sympathy after that display of snowflake privilege from her. Especially as she appears to show zero understanding of what the effects on the rest of us might be from isolation and quarantine failures.

          • Cinny 7.1.1.1.2

            Yes, but…… these are exceptional times and we are working in a team of five million.

            There will be many other people who have experienced her situation, not just in NZ but all over the world.

            A better use of her time, rather than contacting the media would be to make contact with support groups etc.

            Contact the media and do a story afterwards about how she made it through such a rough time. Such a story would educate and provide help to others.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.3

            She just lost her father to cancer and is locked up in a hotel for two weeks.

            So? She should have stayed in Australia rather than expecting to get an exemption.

            I would hope there is an outpouring of sympathy for her.

            Not from me. The danger to NZ is people coming in from outside.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Most Australians couldn't get their heads around the idea of compassion and community-wide bubbles going together. They have been living in an individualistic and self-centred bubble all this, and going into last century, and it is very strong. They know how to build bubbles that last over there!

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      This means that people coming in are seeing exemption as the rule not the exception. I don't want any slackening so people are either going to have to leave earlier or accept quarantine?

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    You have no sympathy for a woman who's only reason for travelling to New Zealand was because her father died of cancer?

    The rules changed while she was on the plane, meaning she is now locked up for 14 days mourning her father's death alone.

    Wow. you have absolutely no heart do you?

    • francesca 8.1

      We're in the middle of a pandemic We've all had to make sacrifices.

      I care about the lives taken /or damaged by coronavirus, and want to see us all get through this.

      • Enough is Enough 8.1.1

        No-one is questioning that.

        I am questioning why someone would have no sympathy for a person who is mourning her fathers death alone in a hotel for two weeks.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          She wouldn't be alone if she had stayed in Australia.

          • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.1.1

            She would have stayed in Australia if she had any idea the rules would change while she was in the air.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.1

              She left expecting to get a privilege that wasn't guaranteed anyway.

              • Enough is Enough

                Her Dad died

                When I learn that someone close to a person has died, I feel sympathy for that person.

                I thought that was a natural humane emotion, but clearly other people like to kick others when they are at their lowest point.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  What's feeling sympathy for her got to do with making sure that nobody else dies due to a viral outbreak?

              • The Unliving

                That's the part I don't get. Why not wait until the exemption had been granted? Surely the risk of being denied the exemption is incumbent upon her in this case?

    • Andre 8.2

      Spare me the privileged snowflake routine. Shit happens. Deal with it.

      We've just come out of a lockdown where my mum wasn't allowed to go visit my dad in hospital when he was balanced on the edge. They live a short walk from the hospital, at the time there weren't even any COVID cases in the region, and throughout the COVID epidemic the nearest COVID infection was over 40km away from their remote community.

      BTW, here’s the whine in Harold for those wondering what this is about:

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12341161

      • Anne 8.2.1

        Oops: Thanks Andre. Copied but forgot to link. Distracted.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.2

        Spare me the privileged snowflake routine. Shit happens. Deal with it.

        Excellent! Ditch the whole kindness spiel.

        Quick…someone tell the PM.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1

          There's kindness and then there's stupidity. Compassionate exceptions to travel restrictions during an epidemic are well into the stupidity – as we’ve just learned.

    • Gabby 8.3

      Bags of sympathy. Bags n bags. It's bad luck but not the end of the world.

    • McFlock 8.4

      It sucks. I'm really sorry for her. But no exemptions for funerals. Maybe if the person is still alive but expected to die, to see them one last time. But not funerals.

      Letting possibly infected people go to funerals is a great way of spreading the disease.

      • Enough is Enough 8.4.1

        I agree

        My comment was in response to Anne at comment 7. Just pushed the wrong butong

      • Janet 8.4.2

        If it was so important for someone to attend a funeral in these times why not store the body and wait till all are able to attend .

  9. Ad 9

    Looks like Minister Dr Woods is about to "help" Minister Clark.

    Announcing shortly.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    RNZ midday news informed us that Megan Woods has been put in charge of the quarantine system. I presume that means she will advise the operational person who administers it. Clearly a tacit concession by the PM that the current minister of health can't be relied on to do so.

    Good news that someone who has established a reputation for competence is doing that job now! And whoever gave false assurances to the Director General (& PM indirectly) may be wondering if their anonymity can be preserved much longer. Lying about public safety seems bad behaviour for a public servant. I trust this individual will be prosecuted.

    How can the establishment evade being made accountable to the public? My advice is to claim that the administration of public health is so complex that nobody is responsible for anything anymore. Complex systems are inherently random. Wheel in an expert in the science of complexity to say so at a govt press conference.

    Then they could say the quarantine system `fell through the cracks'. That's always a good line to use. Just one of those things. Shit happens…

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      I think it's time they leased on a exclusive occupancy basis a couple of these hotels or other suitable premises rather than scattering everyone around the town, made any necessary physical and staffing adjustments and went to it. One isolation person was quoted as missing having his cup of coffee made (along with the no booze) which suggests quite a lot of "space sharing" with staff. Lets not make it tooo attractive – if you really need to be here you will do this. Also time for some cost recovery with the increased price of the airline tickets that everyone seems to be able to afford?

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Seems common sense. Stories emerging of lax admin suggest nobody in control and nobody paying attention to what has been happening. It's not like quarantine is rocket science, eh? Yet the Dept of Health can't cope with requirements. Quite a contrast between the Director General's personal performance in recent months & the shambles his department is now displaying…

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          Well, no, it's more a hurdle of a maturing system settling in for the long term.

          Every decision has a certain margin for error – how thoroughly to go through each line in a questionnaire, whether to test people at the start of quarantine or well after their last likely exposure (the flight) to make sure the disease has had time to appear on a test, transfer car keys without contact but forget to make sure they can read a map, etc.

          People settle into a routine and the laxities compound against each other. Then something fucks up, hopefully without too bad a repercussion, and people start a longer term routine of upholding standards.

        • observer 10.1.1.2

          It's not like quarantine is rocket science, eh?

          As I've said on here before, we need to grasp the reality of quarantine – not the fantasy of a prison on an island. They are in hotels.

          Consider the daily issues you would face. Do you lock the corridors, the lifts? Do you allow a fire exit? Do you allow exercise? If so, where? If you think somebody is having close contact, how do you punish them? Handcuffs? What does 'contactless' delivery really mean? Food, medicine, everything from toilet paper to changing light bulbs, who does it and how?

          The roles of hotel staff are very different from prison guards. All while dealing with people saying "Please, just one exception, just this once". Refused 100 times, allowed once … we've seen what happens.

          And so on.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1

            Not to mention that hotels aren't kitted out for people staying in them all the time, let alone separation.

            Gyms and pools are not designed to be the only source of recreation for all the guests. Sure, you can make a prison exercise yard in a parking lot, but even then there can be issues with other buildings.

            Then there's how you separate the different cadres of quarantine, so someone fresh off a plane doesn't infect someone about to be released.

            And what about something that is actually airborne/micro-aerosol spread? Filtering and separating air conditioning to different quarantine zones?

            Plus the systems theory of having a massive number of moving parts and a massive penalty for failure.

            Actually, it is a bit like rocket science, come to think of it…

            • Dennis Frank 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah, valid points. Complex systems can't be encompassed by simple rules. Yet the basics of contagion risk are where the admin seems to have broken down – as if the health dept personnel weren't actually thinking about `what if this person is a carrier?'. Someone doing their job properly, someone conscientious, would think about that all the time, eh?

              • McFlock

                MoH doesn't have hundreds of people in a freezer, ready to defrost when required. But "health dept personnel" sounds better than "temp agency nurse who bounces between retirement homes and GP vaccine days".

                10-15min/consult. 6 contact hrs a day. 24-36 people per day, same people, same checklist.

                Repetition breeds shortcuts. It's not an individual problem, it's a systems problem. Just like forgetting to make sure the women had a map/satnav in the car.

                • observer

                  People who have the skills to organise quarantine for thousands of extra people are alive and well and unemployed, living in Queenstown or willing to move there.

                  National wants to mobilise them immediately. That is literally their policy, their promise.

                  And we think we've got problems now …

    • ianmac 10.2

      Because the Opposition have maligned Clarke for so long it makes sense to put a new face on this contentious issue. Tough on Clarke but thats politics – I guess.

  11. aj 11

    Coronavirus: The road trip that turned Ashley Bloomfield from hero to zero

    This story iked me a lot yesterday and still rankles as a click-bait 'opinion' piece.

    It would have had some relevance had there been some evidence or an authorative poll to back it up. Instead, the story contains no further direct reference to a 'fall from grace' and just for the record he's still one of my many hero's of this pandemic so far.

    The man has fronted up without fail, he's mostly answered very directly the hard questions asked, he can't have had much of a break or sleep in the last 3 months. As far as I've been able to tell amongst my wider bubble Bloomfield is still right up there. I haven't heard anyone but a few journalists and opposition politicians suggesting otherwise. For many people, he's one of that small team who shone a light and held our hands guiding through the mental gymnastics many people had to do to struggle through lock-down.

    Now it seems he's become just a target to get to the government. I feel he's a person that has probably experienced this whole event to be a roller coaster of the ride, and probably had to dig deep to keep up the calm and reasoned approach. To now knock him down on the failing of others is not reasonable.

    Best wishes to him, because NZ is going to need him for a a few years yet.

    • dv 11.1

      Some things that puzzle me about the trip

      How did they get the car? If they went to the owners, how did they get there?

      Got lost. Why didn't the owners of the car give them some directions how to get on MW south?

      And if they called the car owners for help. they must have a cell phone. Thus access to google maps?

      • ianmac 11.1.1

        Friends of the two women had been supplying non-contact supplies and they dropped off the non-connect loan car.

        • dv 11.1.1.1

          Thanks IMac.

          But didn't give directions on how to ge south?

          • francesca 11.1.1.1.1

            They left the key with an official

            Didn't see the women at that point

            If the women were in a bit of a state , can imagine the best way to direct would have been by driving/leading on to the correct motorway

      • Adrian 11.1.2

        Just a quess but isn't that area around downtown Auckland a bit of a shitfight with all the road closures for the new underground rail. And if I recall most of roads in that area are generally heading for the bridge and north.

      • RedBaronCV 11.1.3

        Even if the cell phone had no data they could have rung the friends and got verbal directions from the point they were at. Still sniffs like it was pre-arranged where were they when they rang- and among the casualties is the gym owner in auckland who has lost 2 weeks income plus from closing and no doubt a customer decrease.

    • francesca 11.2

      In my circles too aj

      Full of admiration at how professional he's been, never losing his cool while others constantly try to trip him up

      A true public servant, serving the people

      • ianmac 11.2.1

        Just watched Dr Bloomfield live online update us. Another excellent performance and he says over 700 tests will be done today to catch up especially for those who are near the end of their 14 days. If the person refuses the test the can be held for up to 28days.

        Looking tired but handled the questions clearly and confidently. Again my thanks and admiration for a great NZer.

        • observer 11.2.1.1

          He had to explain "informed consent" to a reporter. At a health briefing. Seriously.

          He didn't say "FFS, come back when you have the first clue". Which is why none of his critics could do his job.

        • Janet 11.2.1.2

          “my thanks and admiration for a great NZer.”
          I second that.

    • mac1 11.3

      "From hero to zero". The journalist responsible for the headline is not a poet, otherwise they would know the tyranny of rhyme, how a poor poet becomes dominated by rhyme and meaning suffers.

      From headline to deadline is a very short time.

    • RedBaronCV 11.4

      I too feel he has done a huge job well only to be let down by the unthinking and unsupervised further down the chain. We need to repurpose the public service in his image not the one we have.

      Frankly the people running the road blocks voluntarily in Tai tokerau and Tairawhiti have shown a great deal more professionalism customer service and insight into what they were there for than the current border set up.

  12. Koff 12

    Queensland is soon to start charging $200 a night for the 14 days mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals. That idea might cut the numbers of incoming arrivals into Auckland down to manageable proportions! Its been free up to now.

    • RedBaronCV 12.1

      I might quibble about the price per night a little but if you can afford the higher priced airfares then why not.

      • Janice 12.1.1

        With their overseas jobs gone, a lot of them will be coming back to claim NZ benefits I guess. and probably some of them owe Foreign Affairs for their expensive airfares.

  13. And so in the end he did nothing at all,
    But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
    And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –
    He did nothing but basking until he was saved.

    Sample

    Thanks Dennis!

  14. Anne 14

    Another cop killed in line of duty. They were unarmed:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12341272

    • Janet 14.1

      New Zealand's police lives matter to me.

    • Andre 14.2

      Reading between the lines of the reports so far, it appears the officers were basically ambushed doing a routine traffic stop. That's a situation where the officers being armed would have likely made very little difference.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Looking at the figures for testing these last couple of days and they seem huge compared to the number in border isolation. Does this mean that most of the testing was not being done? And why are they going to set up quarantine in places that don't receive international flights? It's just shoveling the risk to all parts of the country so we couldn't even lock down just one section. Plus if Air NZ are going to use domestic flights to shift these people there is another whole level of risk there. I won't be going any were near their planes.

    And could all government and private companies like AirNZ stop putting patronising "stuff" in their press release about "there is no risk" when quite clearly there frequently is a risk even if small. It’s a well informed public out here with time on there hands and zero tolerance I suspect for this sort of PR schtick

    Case in point – talking about aircrew overseas being safe because they are "whisked " to and from the airport and use crew lounges. The shuttle drivers, any staff in crew lounges plus other countries aircrews are not faceless non carriers of covid.

    • ianmac 15.1

      The 6000 or so cover all those possibles in the community who were I think connected to the the two women. Pretty amazing actually.

      The 700 is for those in managed isolation/quarantine especially those nearing the 14days. So far no positives in either group.

  16. Brutus Iscariot 16

    One cop dead today. An inevitable extension of BLM movement, or just a West Auckland bogan hyped up on P?

    • Andre 16.1

      501s from Oz?

      I'd be astonished if BLM had anything to do with it. That's not their style.

  17. McFlock 17

    Klobuchar's withdrawn from consideration to be Biden's VP nom.

    • Andre 17.1

      With her history as a prosecutor in Minnesota, the murder of George Floyd more or less quashed any chance she might have had.

  18. Andre 18

    Please, can something be done about the perma-moderation Ad seems to be on? It sure would be nice to see those comments when they're written, rather than having them appear some random time later.

    • As I understand it, Andre, the problem is at Ad's end. If a regular user misspells their email address, the comment goes into limbo. That is the issue here.

      • Andre 18.1.1

        Does the mod that releases the comment have to correct the email address every time? Might it work to just approve the comment as effectively a new user? Sure, we could end up with 893 Ads with slightly different email addresses and avatars, but would that really matter?

        • te reo putake 18.1.1.1

          You've described the solutions perfectly, Andre. The mod has to do one of those two things, and usually it's the former, correcting the email, then approving it. Either way, it's a pain in the proverbial for all concerned.

          There is an option to get a permanent login, which saves having to manually write the email address. Not entirely sure how to set that up, as authors get it by default, but those that do have that option ticked have their comments appear with a grey background. Mmmm, special!

          https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/#logins

  19. RedLogix 19

    And in the meantime it looks like the CCP has declared 'virtual' war on Australia.

    Early days but if this keeps up Australia will be forced into a defensive response.

    • Grafton Gully 19.1

      Australia reacts limply to a foreign initiative. Five eye partners are not Australia's future, due to geographical closeness to Asia and dependence on Asian trade. CPC screws yellow peril Australia.

  20. greywarshark 20

    Why would someone be bidding $995 for a small three-leaved plant on Trademe? ie Hoya Obovata Variegata

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/outdoor-garden-conservatory/plants-trees/indoor/listing-2661211028.htm?rsqid=e6f29f8372b34f89a2e7743c5264cc95-001

    Anyone? Closes Sat 20 June 9.06 am Next minimum bid $1,000.

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