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Open mike 23/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 23rd, 2020 - 185 comments
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185 comments on “Open mike 23/03/2020 ”

  1. Andre 2

    Here's a detailed but still accessible read about what the SARS-CoV-2 virus does at the cellular level and the what and how of potential therapies against it.


  2. joe90 3

    Where the fuck are you all going?

  3. Panic buying is not a socially acceptable response to the pandemic, but it is understandable.

    The enemy is unseen and could be spreading from the person next to you in the lift, or the handrail you touched on your way up the stairs. There is no adequate protection against such an invisible enemy. [Apart from strict social distancing].

    So what can a person do? Well, attempt to control the things that are within control – if I have to be locked in my house, at least I can make sure I won't starve. Hence the buying of goods that are unlikely to run out, like bread and flour.

    That's the explanation I heard from a psychologist and it makes a certain amount of sense.

    • Sabine 4.1

      it makes perfect sense.

      But then, it is easier to blame fear and panic on those that risk losing everything, while doing nothing really to squelch the fear and panic but actually doing what should be done.

      declare total shut down

      IRd to send checks to all

      Supermarkets to go to online ordering only

      rationing as per nutrituional value etc

      and then strict enforcing of rules as in France/Germany etc where the police and the army drive through empty streets reminding people that staying at home is saving lifes.

      so far in NZ we continue to go to work, and the fear is everywhere.

      We need the government to do the right thing and declare shut down.

      We the people of this fair land need to stay the fuck at home, and staying at home should not bankrupt anyone, nor should it render anyone destitute.

      • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1

        The problem with total lockdown is many people in "liberal democracies" are defying the lockdown.

        It works in an authoritarian state, but many young people internationally are defying it.

        Stuff report on flouting it from France to Florida & Aussie

        To have a lockdown, there needs to be adequate enforcement systems in place.

        People defying the lockdown probably do it for similar reasons to people doing panic buying.

        The supermarkets limiting opening times might seem logical for shelf stocking reasons, but it is increasing the panic buying and lack of physical distancing. The Government needs to find a way to ensure supermarkets get increased staffing

        • I Feel Love

          And there is the problem, amongst all this "lockdown" talk are all the logistics that need to be undertaken, all the planning, the organising. That was my first thought about limiting supermarket times, is less time for ppl to shop, the call to give everyone 1k (more than I earn a week btw) would just increase panic buying. There has to be a huge, top down plan, and I'm sure there are people doing this planning right now. Is it happening fast enough? Maybe not, but clearly people need to be told what to do, which is quite sad really.

        • Sabine

          well we then will do what the other countries do.

          This is Place Massena in Nice – one of my old stomping grounds. At this time a year, until October this place is packed. The images are taken from a balcony on hte other side of the square ' Old Nice'. My beautiful Nissa la Bella.

          personally if people want to defy the lock down that is their choice, i now however want the government to provide a reason for people to stay at home.

          Because frankly you might want to think of shop keepers and supermarket/gas station/mitre ten/bunnings staff etc as heros, but with all due respect, they and myself we are just shitting ourselfs.

          I have gone to online order only, i have run out of hand sanitizer to give to my customers and literally spray myself down with industrial kitchen santizer, gloves are starting to be in low supply and hard to come by.

          the government needs to shut down. It has spend enough time protected big business, it is subsidizing the wages of those whose businesses are still alive, now its the time to help the rest of the country.

          I have posted a few links from italy and france, these images from the hospitals are not 'the hardest' hit, they are the ermergency services. I suggest that people look at these images and understand that this is us.

          And by gosh, we don't even have an ambulance service that would cope. We.Need.To.Stay.At.Home.

          • Adrian

            So why are you open for customers? I think you are a bullshitter.

            • Sabine

              nope, open for online orders only.

              table at the doorway, people order online, specify pick up or delivery.

              Pick up will take what is by the table.

              I had two deliveries today, and three pick ups.

              No am not a bullshitter, but hey what ever makes you feel better.

            • Sabine

              cause we need the fucking money.

              Because i need to pay my lease on the 7th of the month.

              Because i need to pay bills on the 20th of the month.

              Because i do not want to pick up a loan on the eve of the biggest financial calamity that this world has ever seen.

              Because no one is going to buy my 'assets' at a time of the Global Financial Crisis 2020 that will make the Global Financial Crisis 2008 look like childs play.

              And this is the reason all of us that go to work, still go to fucking work.

              So if you can stay the fuck at home, do so. Because you are at risk, not form those in self isolation but from us that can't.

              because at the end of the day, when all this is said and done, the debt collector will want his pound of flesh, and they will have no issue stripping us to the bare bones.

        • Graeme

          The supermarkets limiting opening times might seem logical for shelf stocking reasons, but it is increasing the panic buying and lack of physical distancing. The Government needs to find a way to ensure supermarkets get increased staffing


          Essential Industries. That's another very strong phrase when it comes from Government during a State of Emergency, which is where we are now with the Pandemic Plan being rolled out. Government will do what is required, people will be asked / directed to work where they are required.

          In reading the Pandemic Plan the supermarkets have been involved in planning for this eventuality for a long time, it'll all happen fine from their end. Managing the public's behaviour might be different.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Well, I hope it can be managed. As far as I can see, the big problem is lack of staff, and that's where the government can help. More shelvers, more managed shopping – queues with physical distances, and limited shoppers in a supermarket at any time. More drivers to deliver to supermarket, more people doing home deliveries… etc.

            Backed up by police maintaining a balance between friendly community engagement, and tough on people who break the rules.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    IMHO, this coronavirus crisis has exposed the NZ pundit class as a bunch of out of touched reckons with not much insight, not much to say, and very of what they say having any value.

    Every last one of them is either part of an out of touch white upper middle class or useless boomers who reflexively support National and whose every utterance reeks of their privilege.

    This crisis should lead to a shake up of the opinion writers in our MSM, a new broom to sweep away the dessicated detritus of people who intellectual peak is well in the past and whose insight shrivelled up and blew away twenty or thirty years ago, but it probably won't.

  5. Karl Sinclair 6

    Jacinda, close the schools etc

    You and Parliament are gambling with lives using a really bad hand.

    Whoever is advising you is giving you wrong advice. Is Psychological operations from enemy countries advising you?

    From a PR perspective, if you close schools there is no massive down side. You’ll be seen to be strong, If you don’t

    Will you forever be known, as “coward of the county”

    Lines from the Gambler being your swan song

    • Muttonbird 6.1

      You seem pretty certain the government is getting the wrong advice. What do you base that assumption on?

      • Karl Sinclair 6.1.1

        Risk = probability x consequence

        Are you willing to bet the lives of your loved ones, your house, your savings the Gov is doing the right thing

        [deleted image (broken). Karl the “Risk = probability x consequence” thing is now kind of spammy. If you want to explain it please do, but otherwise there’s no need to keep repeating it so often.

        I’m also uncomfortable with calling the govt cowards. There’s a balance to be had between critiquing govt policy, strategy and action, and undermining confidence in them in a time of crisis. Please have a think about how you comment in that regard, thanks – weka]

        • Muttonbird

          My sector is already screwed for 18 months or more so I have nothing with which to bet.

          I think it's incumbent upon all of us to remain calm and follow the authorities' guidelines. If we do this we may not even reach Level 3 or 4.

          The hysterical reaction isn't helping anyone.

          • Karl Sinclair

            Hi Mutton bird, I appreciate and understand your concern. However, my theory is the potential line of advice given to JA is that all NZD kids will go off running madly through the streets if not at school. I know kiwi kids are better than that. Yeah,some kids will need care at school but not all. There are other alternatives. This is one of the best opportunities for NZINc to practice emergency protocols (& developing new ones)

            If you look at critical path analysis, children are one of the main vectors for infection. It’s almost as if the gov has gone out of its way to make it spread.

            Take care M Bird, I do get where ya coming from but respectfully disagree.

            Just to be cheeky, you did not answer the question, would you bet your loved ones lives on the Govs approach given the evidence from around the world

            yes or no?

            Be safe

            Aside it’s as almost as if this has happened to our gov, in that NZInc is being taken down by some other Nations Psychological operations (PSYOP). The real truth maybe worse we have people advising that are just wrong

            • Muttonbird

              Hi Karl. I don't subscribe to such conspiracy theories, and I won't be entertaining a bet which involves loved ones' lives – it's kind of grotesque really.

              As far as I know the current policy on schools is to maintain normality in children's lives. Also sending them home into isolation prematurely will cause havoc in many households, particularly vulnerable ones.

              This eventuality is not the same as normal school holidays where there is no lockdown.

              Using your own equation; Risk = probability x consequence.

              • Karl Sinclair

                The word lock down is rather emotional and can mean different things spplied on a sliding scale

                I respect your comments

                “won't be entertaining a bet which involves loved ones' lives – it's kind of grotesque really.”

                Thanks, you answered my question ….. we know where you stand

                Take care

                • McFlock

                  your "psyop" idea is incredibly silly.

                  As for the "bet", frankly I'll take the government advice over anything from commenters or msm opinion pieces.

                  But then I know some of the people involved in that advice, and I know the balance that needs to be struck. That's why I had coffee with colleagues in an almost empty cafe today (after completing the registration process required for contact tracing).

                  Because even if our covid, flu, gastro, and STI rates go to the floor because of all the handwashing and physical distancing, as companies fold and people are trapped in houses together our suicide, abuse, and depression rates are likely to correspondingly increase if isolations are too long and strict.

                  • Macro

                    Because even if our covid, flu, gastro, and STI rates go to the floor because of all the handwashing and physical distancing, as companies fold and people are trapped in houses together our suicide, abuse, and depression rates are likely to correspondingly increase if isolations are too long and strict

                    Quoted for Truth

                  • McFlock

                    That's why I had coffee with colleagues in an almost empty cafe today (after completing the registration process required for contact tracing).

                    well, that didn't age well.

        • weka

          mod note for you above Karl.

        • Karl Sinclair

          Message received loud and clear Weka

          Will do

          Take care

    • observer 6.2

      This needs to be debated rationally, and words like "coward" are not helpful.

      No political courage is needed to do what people are demanding. That's a day's good press, for sure. Whether it's the right thing to do is a much harder dilemma.

      Announcing is easy. Enforcing is another matter altogether.

    • Ardern has to address the growing calls for moving to a lockdown and for at least school closedown.

      It's going to happen soon anyway, so why not reduce risk and do it now?

      I'm setting up to work from home from today, and setting up a quarantine zone at home for family members at greater risk. It's just not worth the risk waiting a few days.

      • Muttonbird 6.3.1

        She addressed the entire nation on Saturday. The information is all in the Alert Level document.

        Here's the document if you haven't read it. I have it stuck on the fridge for handy reference. You might wish to do the same.

        • Pete George

          I've read it all and posted on it all over the weekend. I'm acting on level 2 advice now.

          But that was on Saturday, which itself was a significant change from what was announced on Friday and on Thursday.

          Since then a number of experts and medical professions and teacher representatives have made it clear that the current measures aren't enough, they are too big a risk.

          I think Saturday's effort was good at the time and seems to have been an attempt to prepare people and phase in changes, but that now seems behind the curve.

          It makes no sense to let things spread further – and that will be happening – waiting for some sort of measurement while risks increase (which means lives are further endangered).

          • Muttonbird

            The only thing which has changed from Saturday is the opinion of some health professionals and teachers, not actual risk factors.

            It might pay to bear this in mind.

            • Pete George

              Some health professionals and teachers seem to think that the risk factors increase every day that there is still widespread social interactions.

              It has even been quantified – the number of CONFIRMED cases is currently doubling every three days in New Zealand, similar to rates in other countries.

              So that means potentially a doubling in risk every 3 days.

              It might pay to bear this in mind.

              • Muttonbird

                And yet official advice to the government appears not to support the opinions of a selection of doctors and teachers.

                When the risk factors do go up you will be alerted because it will be announced we are on Level 3.

                It must be remembered New Zealand had a heads-up on this pandemic and were able to put in place measures which weren't put in place early enough in other countries.

                Normally a stickler for precise and authoritative evidence, you appear to have set sail for the choppy waters of conspiracy and mistrust.

                Pete, instead of hand-wringing at home and compartmentalising your house, you’d be doing your country a great service by getting out and shutting down those student parties along the road.

      • ScottGN 6.3.2

        Lucky you being able to continue to work, albeit from home. I am one millions of NZers for whom that’s not possible. A total lockdown will most likely see me and a lot of others on the dole queue. Is it any wonder the PM is treading very carefully? I assume that lockdown is coming, preparing us for that, was presumably, the point of the PM’s address on Saturday.

        • A

          They waived the stand downs, apply online. Done.

          The recovery figures don't show the permanent lung damage that can remain for some people. Welfare is temporary, the support the system will need to give you if this type of damage occurs will not be.

        • Sanctuary

          Let's be brutally honest about this. Your post (ScottGN) outlines the other aspect of this pandemic. This pandemic isn't just a health issue – otherwise we would be at stage four by now. Unfortunately, the advice of medical experts is just one consideration the government has to consider. It also has to try and prevent a complete economic catastrophe. So like a war, it is about balancing loss of life vs trying to keep the economy going.

          No one will put it as blunt as to say it in those terms, but yeah. That is why Jacinda looks so worn out. She is balancing human lives vs economic survival. I wouldn't have her job for all the tea in China.

          • McFlock

            yup. Economic disruptions kill, too.

          • bill

            It also has to try and prevent a complete economic catastrophe.

            Overseas forecasts for the next quarter are, in the US -14% and likewise for the UK.(Larry Elliot, writing a worthwhile piece in the Guardian quotes 'Capital Economics' figures of 14 – 20%)

            To put that in perspective , when the USSR 'headed south', the economy shrunk by about 9% p.a. over a number of years.

            The government does not have to prevent an economic catastrophe – it can't. But it ought to be bent on preventing a human catastrophe coming off the back of that economic one. But it's not. And it won't. We have allowed ourselves to be ruled by clowns and dullards who simply can't think outside their wee chrematistic box.

            In their world, when their idea of what an economy is sinks, then we all get to hang on to boulders and plummet right alongside the dive.

            Elliot link – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/22/the-coronavirus-is-leading-to-a-whole-new-way-of-economic-thinking

      • Incognito 6.3.3

        It takes time to plan and organise on such a large scale, Pete. Saying “make it so” doesn’t make it so.

      • lprent 6.3.4

        Pete… I did some work on CD stuff decades ago.

        There are several differences between this and something like a earthquake, volcano, or tsunami.

        The problem is that if you just shut everything down and push the army into the streets to shoot people (ie the far end of phase 4 and what may happen) which is YOUR logical end of argument – then even worse things happen.

        You have breakdowns in supply chains – including (and especially for) medical supply chains. You don't have plans for how people can get food. You don't have plans for anything that are widely understood and accepted.

        You also don't have any way to make this consistent over the whole country. Which essentially means that you're going to have idiotic knowit all fuckwits who think that they know better precipitously screwing the pooch and building pockets of disease to cause waves of disease to keep flooding the rest of the country when you finally get to lift restrictions.

        Personally I'm in favour of just shooting the loudmouths who don't know what they're talking about when it comes to political decisions. However I'm not that willing to commit suicide at present. But I recognise that I'm not making the balanced decisions that are designed to carry society safely over the next 4 months…

        I'd suggest that you read the pandemic plan – I put it up in a post a few days ago.

        • weka

          It's very interesting seeing much of the discussion missing the fact that all our lives are dependent on big, complex systems, and you don't take those down at short notice unless you *really have to. It's almost like people don't understand how interdependent everything is.

          the other important difference is that in big natural disasters there's a lot of community self reliance based around people coming together to sort things out until things get back to normal. Can't do that with a pandemic.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Agree with both Lynn and weka, about the way some people would respond to a sudden shut down, and the problem with complex interdependent systems.

            It seems to me the calls for immediate lock down are more panic responses, and it has a contagious impact on people's contacts and networks – everyone gets over-hyped.

            Maybe just calm down and follow the safe practices – good hand washing practices, social distancing, and providing support for others as needed. Allow NZ's systems and infrastructure time to adjust to the new normal. Follow official guidance that is leading is through the alert levels when the time is right.

          • Macro


        • Stunned Mullet

          'Personally I'm in favour of just shooting the loudmouths who don't know what they're talking about when it comes to political decisions. However I'm not that willing to commit suicide at present.'

          Heh …….. and there but for the grace of jeebers go us all

    • A 6.4

      If any of you have been out it's not like those non essential businesses are doing a roaring trade. They might as well close.

      People generally are standing back, washing their hands but going about their lives as if going out to restaurants, visiting friends, traveling within a few hours drive is not causing harm – it is and it needs to stop.

      El Salvador just declared a 30 day lockdown for all but essential movement, only one person per household allowed out. NZ is pathetically lagging at a point where every single hour that passes without lockdown increases the risk against a virus with exponential growth and a health system that was already harming people (blindness, death, suicide..) before this began.

    • Gabby 6.5

      Don't be one of them Gatlin boys, you know how things ended for them.

  6. tc 7

    Hugs n kisses off planes from folk who have just come through the most likely point of infection, an international airport/airline !

    The lack of social distancing, zero masks/gloves was concerning. Their announcement was also stating a 1m distance not the 2m suggested elsewhere.

    We're not helping ourselves.

    • observer 7.1

      That's why the constant cries of "Government, Make The Decision For Us!" are too simplistic.

      Hugs and kisses at the airport should be stopped. By us. Not by police arresting the law-breaking huggers.

  7. Karl Sinclair 8






    You need to chat to JAcinda.. help her get there, she has the wrong advice

    • Macro 8.1

      Are you advocating a military coup? Such talk could be seen as treasonous. Be careful what you say.

      • Karl Sinclair 8.1.1

        Hi Marco….

        Thanks for the comments

        Nope, not a military coup, just a quiet chit chat.

        I suspect certain voices are not being heard or worse, truthful opinions not shared

    • Gabby 8.2

      Why doesn't Simon Bodges come out and say this himself?

  8. joe90 9

    Yup, babby Yehua’s dad’s gonna to sort it.

  9. Wayne 10

    I think it would be helpful if the PM announced a Committee of the most senior MPs in Parliament to give advice and to act as a sounding board for the ministerial committee that is meeting daily. Probably 4 from government (2 from Labour, one from NZF, one from the Greens) and 3 from National. It would reinforce the sense of national unity that is essential at this time. The members would be the most senior by position, a bit like the Intelligence Committee.

    I also think the election should be delayed to the last possible date (probably Dec 12). If it needed to be later, that would have to be done by special legislation.

    As for the Levels, I think they are about right, though they could be refined. For instance is 100 people in one place too many? It surely could be reduced to 50. At present I think Level 2 is about right.

    I sure would like to see the airport sorted. Maybe it is by now. But last week looked real bad.

    Is a nationwide shutdown of schools warranted yet? I think not, based on everything I read. There is no real evidence that they are a particular danger point. But people are sure anxious about that. Maybe more public information is needed about specific risks.

    Self isolation for those testing positive? I would prefer actual quarantine, in special facilities. Maybe the govt could rent a couple of hotels for this purpose. But of course on the actual medical issues I imagine the government is acting on advice from the Director General, who seems to be doing a really great job.

    • I Feel Love 10.1

      I think things will be redefined, constantly. I have school age kids and was happy to keep sending to school, but now I see the teachers council are lobbying to shut the schools, likewise with the health professionals petition, the people at the coalface. I think the Govt are doing as well as they can, but I'm also gonna think for myself.

    • Muttonbird 10.2

      Having Simon Bridges anywhere near this committee would be a terrible idea.

      I suspect the government would be thankful for the extra skills and input at the Covid-19 decision-making table but Bridges has proven himself incapable of concentrating on the task at hand, instead preferring to use the situation for political advantage, and he has shown no interest whatsoever in a "sense of National unity".

      Of course if National got rid of Bridges…

      • Wayne 10.2.1

        The whole point of bringing the opposition on board is just that. The government doesn't get to dictate who the opposition are. Yes, Simon could have done better last week (and I am sure learnt a lesson from that), but he is still the leader. So you deal with the opposition as they are, or you don't.

        The government doesn't have to do this, but I reckon they are making a mistake if they don't.

        • Sanctuary

          First, they tried a unity government in WW2. After six weeks of delicate negotiations, Sid Holland and one other National MP joined a war cabinet. They lasted about two months before flouncing off – it was a total waste of time. So New Zealand has NEVER had a successful unity cabinet, even in the extremity of an actual war to the actual death against actual Nazis.

          Second, being in a cabinet would actually constrain the opposition (if it was responsible) from doing it's job. In a democracy effectively co-opting the democratic choices of the people is always a terrible idea. Let the government do it's job and the opposition do theirs.

        • observer

          Wayne, I appreciate that your comments are in good faith, but the last 2 years have taught Simon Bridges many such lessons, repeatedly – and little has been learned.

          I don't need to go through the whole list (accusing everyone from Speaker to Parl services of leaking his travel details, and never apologising when the culprit was in his caucus all the time, joining in the social media nastiness against the PM, belittling her as "photo op" while doing his photo ops, backsliding on gun reform, even descending to a shameful implication of "anti-semitism" only 2 months ago … that's just for starters).

          He chose to lead in a particular way (these aren't "mistakes", as I'm sure you know, they're a deliberate strategy, made in the Republican USA).

          Nobody will lose out if Bridges isn't in on the decision-making. The NZ public have no reason to believe in his good faith, and that's nobody's fault but his.

        • Muttonbird

          I think Simon needs to make an apology of some sort. Extend the hand and acknowledge his actions and the entirety of method are/were wrong.

          Can't see the government valuing his opinion or input with his current settings. He'd do more damage than good. That’s the problem when your key focus has been to attack others rather than be constructive.

          Paul Goldsmith on the other hand…

        • KJT

          I think National has already proven, at least with today’s National party, that honesty, good faith and working for the best of the country, rather than instilling fear, using US attack dog division, and dog whistling, are foriegn concepts.

        • Gabby

          Surely he can advocate for his paymasters quite satisfactorily as things stand?

    • Janet 10.3

      Agree with each of your points ……

      A committee of seven senior permanent politicians is how the Swiss manage Switzerland at all times .

      Incoming planes should only be coming into Auckland now and everybody coming in should be put into quarantine for 14 days because of all the flouting of the self- quarantine requirement and airline crew should be contained somewhere isolated from the community between flights.

      • Sanctuary 10.3.1

        Switzerland also profiteered from the Holocaust and you almost literally requires your neighbours permission to change the clour of your letterbox. It offers no particular role model either culturally or morally for us to follow.

      • joe90 10.3.2

        how the Swiss manage Switzerland at all times .

        Yup, bang up job they're doing.


        One of the biggest surprises is the severe situation that Switzerland finds itself in. The majestic mountain redoubt that is so organized that you can set your watch by the trains, because they are rarely even a few seconds late, has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the world. The rate of infection is going up so quickly — 758 new cases on Saturday — that the government says it has been having trouble keeping track of the growing numbers.


        • Janet

          They are in the exact opposite position to us. In the middle of a continent with 1000s of workers crossing the borders of Germany, Italy and France to work each day. They got their first case about 1 day before us. They quickly locked down their borders but they are allowing the outside workers in still – many of them work in the hospitals ! Everyone who can stays at home they are compliant. Shops and businesses are closed and no grouping is allowed in most areas- police break it up and fine them if a group is found.

          Supermarkets are actively restricting the numbers of people allowed into shop at one time. No more than 50 and as one comes out one more can go in.

          Lets hope we don,t get to that point too.

    • Anne 10.4

      I think it would be helpful if the PM announced a Committee of the most senior MPs in Parliament to give advice and to act as a sounding board for the ministerial committee that is meeting daily. Probably 4 from government (2 from Labour, one from NZF, one from the Greens) and 3 from National. It would reinforce the sense of national unity that is essential at this time. The members would be the most senior by position, a bit like the Intelligence Committee.

      Sensible and I suspect it will happen soon – like this week. The committee presided over by Jacinda Ardern – as an extra person (chairperson) over and above the suggested committee number.

      • Muttonbird 10.4.1

        If they had to do this I think Goldsmith (Finance), Collins (Planning) and Woodhouse (Health) would be acceptable.

        Definitely not Bridges, Bennett or Mitchell.

        • Anne

          They would be my picks too.

          And for Labour: Robertson, Parker and (maybe) Woods.

          Min of Health, David Clark needs to be freed up to concentrate on the massive heatlh related logistics involved – I would think.

          • Wayne

            If such a committee is formed the government won’t get to dictate who the opposition nominates, and of course they know that. I expect the committee would be chaired by the PM. And she won’t have nearly the problem about Simon that many here have. They know each other quite well from their time on TV together.

            My experience tells me that MP’s from opposing parties especially senior ones, know how to work together if needs be. There is a lot more interaction than the public generally understand. They also know the demands of particular roles, and are quite able to look past various missteps.

            • Muttonbird

              They could certainly refuse a nomination if they thought that person had a history of not working constructively and was unlikely to benefit the committee because of that.

              I'm again thinking of Bridges, Bennett and Mitchell here.

              • Wayne


                The government (assuming they establish such a committee) won't do that. They know they will have to deal with National's leadership. So that means Bridges, probably Bennet (National might go with Woodhouse) and I would imagine Goldsmith.

                As I have said, senior MP's do actually know how to work together, even if they are on opposites sides.

        • Sabine

          the same Woodhouse that underfunded the healthcare system to what it is now?


          • Muttonbird

            That's true, but for the purposes of the committee Wayne has asked for, Woodhouse is the Opposition spokesperson for Health, so Woodhouse it is.

  10. ScottGN 11

    The armchair punditry is becoming really, really tiresome.

  11. observer 12

    A non-exhaustive list of media cliches and lazy reckons that should be consigned to history after the reality of Covid-19:

    "Lazy public servants" … turns out they're the people keeping the country going, and the public informed. Ashley Bloomfield, not a "faceless bureaucrat", just conscientiously doing his job.

    "Ivory tower academics" … sure, you could get your advice from graduates of the School of Talkback, but people who have studied the thing at those out-of-touch universities – they seem a bit more useful, eh?

    "Kiwi Mums and Dads" … sure, that's most of us, and we like to think we're good people, but you know those panic-buyers and careless queuers at the supermarkets? they're "Kiwi Mums and Dads" too. Common sense is not a given.


    • AB 12.1

      Good list – please add some more as they come to mind. Also it's worth thinking about the inverse of each of these. The inverse, which was meant to be true, is now revealed as bullshit as well. So the inverse of "lazy public servants" is meant to be "the dynamic and efficient private sector" – also a myth.
      The inverse of “ivory tower academics” is “practical, down to earth ZB talkback hosts”. Etc.

  12. Barfly 13

    WINZ wait time on helpline….88 minutes surprise

    • Sabine 13.1

      well i guess no extra staff was hired? Btw, i hope these crittes work from home.

      And yes, it would have been easier to simply mint that trillion dollar coin, and instruct IRD to send every single adult in this country a check – min wage – for the next few weeks.

      Or legislate by emergency degree a rent/bill/holiday for all.

      But now, you must try and reach Winz, who already in the best of times is not up to task.

      This is just abject bullshittery by those that have know their wages and bills will be paid.

      • I Feel Love 13.1.1

        Just a snide comment from me, but maybe a few weeks of everyone on min wage will make some people realise min wage ain’t all it’s cracked up to be …

        • Sabine

          true that, but it might also help those that have absolutly no income.

          I use min wage as that is what is government instituted. And it is the amount of the wage subsidiy that the government pays to businesses that still have employees. You know, solidarity, treating everyone the same, oh and that would include all the government critters. 🙂 Maybe then they would understand that our system can not be fixed with a wee trickle down here and hten, but needs proper regulations and rules for the common good of all rather then just assuring survival of a few.

  13. Reality 14

    Wayne, a joint committee of MPs from all parties would be worthwhile. Just keep Simon Bridges off it. He is not up to it, having no sensitivity awareness at what is a difficult time.

  14. Karl Sinclair 15

    In breaking fake news the entire parliament who supports the current COVID19 approach of leaving schools open etc will be betting their entire life savings on their strategy

    Some have even gone further and doubled down saying they will put their loved ones on the frontline 24/7

    Apparently those who agree in the public space are Showing solidarity by doing the same…..

  15. joe90 16


  16. Reality 17

    Not sure who has been talking about lazy public servants and ivory tower academics – but having a close relative working at MOH I am aware of the 12 hour days, as well as weekend and evening work that has been undertaken for the last 4 – 6 weeks. They are pretty tired. But I would go by their advice before the Mike Hosking and other talkback ranters and ravers, who disgust me.

  17. Sanctuary 18

    Jesus, I hate to go on about it but the MSM is just so fucking useless.

    NZ Herald/Newshub/Stuff news cycle:






    Rinse and repeat.

  18. Observer Tokoroa 19

    It is sad ….

    watching the words of Karl Sinclair slop around like those of a lunatic.

    That he is given a childlike massive amount of space on this little blog – which itself is miles below that of health and economy experts – is not helpful in the least.

    Flinging abuse at the Prime Minister further scums this blog down.

  19. Carolyn_Nth 21

    So now I am officially grounded. Under GP's instruction to self-isolate.

    Not a great time to get a bout of tonsillitis – probably strep throat/tonsils. My right tonsil looks like it did in my younger days when I was prescribed antibiotics. It's a mild irritation, and I feel fine otherwise.

    From today, my GPs have gone to phone consults for immediate issues, and advance, non-urgent in person consultations booked up til next week some time – because of the pressures they are now under.

    I had a very good phone consultation with a GP this morning.

    Basically, she thinks it's either a virus or bacterial infection, or the result of past infections, – the latter not a problem. She's prescribing me antibiotics to clear any bacterial infection, and arranging for the chemist to home deliver it within the next day or 2. Chemist are also under pressure, and she thinks my case is not urgent.

    Unless my condition deteriorates noticeably in the mean time, she has booked me for a flu vaccination next week.

    I have been doing social distancing for a while, and have not had any close contact with people/groups since beginning of March. I have not knowingly been in contact with anyone who recently travelled overseas.

    If, perchance it is Covid-19, though unlikely, it would be a mild case – hence self-isolate. She asked if I had relatives who could deliver a food package from time to time – done – email sent to nephew across town who offered such help.

    I have a home delivery scheduled for Sunday from my local supermarket. But there's no certainty if I'll be able to book a slot in the future.

    • weka 21.1

      Sorry to hear you are unwell. The medical people sound like they have things sorted, which is encouraging. Hope you get lots of rest and recover swiftly.

      • Carolyn_Nth 21.1.1

        Thanks. Actually I don't feel unwell – just the scratchy throat and also feels a bit like a lump in my throat from the swollen tonsil. In fact, I felt I didn't seem bad enough to go to a GP, but thought it best to check.

        I mostly rest. But, I asked the GP if it was OK to keep working out on the exercise bike in my flat. She said "sure" and to just listen to my body and stop if I'm feeling too tired, or not up to it.

        She was not my usual GP, but said from my record I am pretty healthy, and it is more over 70s with other health conditions that are at risk from the impact of Covid-19.

        I was impressed with her response. The GPs do see under a lot of pressure right now.

  20. Sabine 22

    my friends called me to tell me her mum is dying.

    if the home can find a suit, mask, gloves, goggles n stuff she can come and see her mum a last time, if not she won't be allowed in.

    And she is to self isolate at home as a risk group and to deal with this on her own.

    We are going to be a very different country when this has passed us, as it will. I can't see how we can go back to business as usual.

    • Carolyn_Nth 22.1

      Gee, that's tough for your friend. Is her mum dying of THE virus or something else?

      Condolences to your friend.

      • Sabine 22.1.1

        frankly i don't know.

        she has trouble breathing, etc but she is also very old. In saying that we had planned a big 90/s birthday party for her.

        her other son is in self isolation with his wife. My friend has been not leaving the house for about 4 weeks now.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Gosh. That's sad about the 90th party.

          Tough times. Hope the son in self isolation will be OK.

          • Sabine

            Hawaii is gone into shutdown, so frankly i hope he is a lucky guy, his wife is a smoker etc etc a prime candidate.

            Luckily i have friends who finally have cancelled a trip to the South Island to visit Dad.

  21. Sabine 23

    This came in from my Accountant in Auckland:

    Assistant Director of Nursing at QE has said they’ve had a message today that virus seems to be spreading quickly via petrol pumps so they advise to wear gloves when filling up or use paper towel and bin straight away. Can you copy and paste to your status to let everyone know. Could make huge difference.

    If you have gloves wear them, wipe down super market trollies, wipe down your door handles at the care when coming back from shops etc.

    and yeah, feel free to call me a bullshitter. who cares.

    • Carolyn_Nth 23.1

      Wow. The one time I've been out early last week was to pick up some library books I had requested, and fill up with petrol. I had with me some Detol handwipes I had at home, from before Covid-19 times.

      I hand wiped my hands and car doors after the library and after filling up. As I was getting into my car, I guy approached me for help cos his car was low on petrol or something. Me, who has been social distancing a lot, thought "WTF! Why pick on an elderly woman at this time". I said I was in a hurry, ask the petrol station staff, and got in my car.

  22. esoteric pineapples 24

    If people start talking about mortgage holiday to help people, or making it impossible for banks to foreclose of people who can't pay their mortgage, what about a rent freeze as well? Ie people who live in rental accommodation who can't find the money to pay their rent because they have lost their job etc not having to pay their rent for a few months? After all, 50 percent of New Zealanders now live in rental accommodation with no hope of buying a house and they are the people who are most likely to be on low wages and finding it tough to make ends meet. Landlords who aren't collecting their rent should then be protected from the banks foreclosing on them.

    • Carolyn_Nth 24.1

      Yes, the focus seems STILL to be on property ownership.

      I'm a pensioner non-property owner who rents. My security is in some term deposits with an Aussie owned NZ bank. But I see Hickey is pretty much saying let the overseas banks crash, and protect the family home.

      Some of us renters need our savings protected or we're up shit creek.

    • Sabine 24.2

      Yes we need a full rent/lease/mortgage and bill holiday.

      i linked to how El Salvador does it yesterday. Two years to pay back the accrued bills with no interest charged.

  23. RedBaronCV 26

    Anecdotally Govt departments in wellington laid off a lot of contractors on Friday.

    Given that all through central & local govt , there are quite a lot of contractors with few employment protections doing largely run of the mill work for only average type remuneration – this is an under the radar layoff.

    We are all in this together? – well only so long as we protect the existing economic distribution – dump on people at the bottom and protect those at the top.

  24. RedBaronCV 27

    We are all in this together ?- not really.

    The 7 Airnz directors who shared a pool in 2019 of $1.1million (plus $390 k of travel and entertainment expenses – likely gone) have apparently taken a 15% reduction reducing their average remuneration from $150k to around $122k for what is seen as part time work because they can and do hold other directorships.

    Must be sooooooooo exhausting sacking people when you could be more altruistic.

    No wonder some want a government of national unity – just in case workers get seats on boards , upper end incomes are cut or higher tax rates on high incomes are imposed.

    I can see this type of behaviour becoming a flash point.

  25. Cinny 28

    Decided to work from home today and kept the girls home from school. All of Miss 15's exams and assessments have now been cancelled until further notice.

    Have asked the girls to each come up with a 14 day challenge, just in case. My youngest has decided her challenge is to learn Spanish. Hola!!!

    Meanwhile I'm giving them a one day challenge that involves folding the washing, washing the floors and cooking dinner lolololz 🙂

    No need to stress about situations we have no control over, better just to get on with it.

    • I Feel Love 28.1

      What great ideas Cinny! I'm keeping mine home too, and will think of some new skills they could learn, mine are a bit younger but I can leave them while I work thankfully.

  26. A 29

    This is our future. At this point the only explanation for not taking the most stringent measures possible that I have is that the government wants old people to die so they don't have to pay Super. Figure it out.

  27. RedBaronCV 30


    Wellington city wants just a few councillors making decisions on issues and not just corona virus.

    Given we have a right wing mayor and a pretty left wing council this smacks of a takeover. And they are looking at processing annual plans and the like . Given that there are some likely controversial issues ( allowing property developers to build to multiple stories in heritage areas ) and there cannot be meetings on these –

  28. weka 31

    Maybe we could make a list of jobs that we will need people to stay in, so we can see just how much child care will be needed if the schools were shut today.

    • police
    • medical staff (hospitals, medical centres, labs, community care)
    • petrol station attendents
    • supermarket staff (front line, people who do the ordering, shelf stacking)
    • people who provide cleaning and personal cares at home for elderly and disabled
    • freight companies
    • NZ Post
    • banks
    • mechanics
    • essential repair places (who is ok with a broken washing machine over the next few months?)
    • electricians
    • plumbers
    • armed forces
    • people who manage crucial infrastructure like power generation and water supplies.

    Please add to the list.

  29. I Feel Love 32

    On another note, the sad news of the death of humble NZ underground music legend Peter Stapleton died this weekend. He had been active since the late 70s, in CHCH then here in Dunedin. The Terminals are/were the best rock band esp live, their albums are essential! He was also in bands like Dadama, Victor Dimisich Band, Scorched Earth Policy, Flies Inside The Sun, Handful Of Dust, any many more, he also ran labels and orgsnised the Lines of Flight music festival. He was a lovely, quiet guy, who was happy to talk with anyone, not pretentious or up himself at all. A drummer who wrote poetry.

    • RedLogix 32.1

      A great drummer is the engine of any band. Always mocked and underrated, without them the entire genre of modern music would be neutered.

  30. A 33

    Australian cases now doubling every 3.5 days

    Video on youtube

    [I’ve turned that into a link so we don’t have to look at sensationalised and alarmist headlines. My suggestion going forwards is to write a short intro to any vids in case I remove the visuals. Not aimed at you specifically A – weka]

    • RedLogix 33.1

      Warning … being proven right by events is not a virtue around here. devil

      • Sabine 33.1.1

        no kidding.

        • RedLogix

          Hey … sympathy isn't much use to right now, but best wishes with your business. Tough times.

          I finally cracked and went shopping this morning. Two weeks ago shopping was boring, now it's an adventure where you take you life into your hand cheeky

          Still the woman standing in the queue next to me said "beer and black humour" will get her through. Must have German genes …

          • Whispering Kate

            Magnum icecream does it for me. If I am going down I am sure as hell going to enjoy my Magnums beforehand.

          • Sabine

            thanks to my customers i managed to pay all my supplier bar one this month.

            i deal with next month when it will come. Told my accountant that i shall ignore taxes and GST returns, the government can come and claim it when we are through on the other side. He agrees, it must have hurt him to say so.

            Tomorrow evening i plan to get royally pissed, no pity, what we call in Germany "Kampf Drinken" and on thursday i shall sleep in.

            I will dream of the smell of sanitzer for the rest of my life.

            And this is for all of us

    • weka 33.2

      mod note for you A.

  31. lprent 34

    Just listened to the briefing. Looks like the government is doing everything correctly. Without panic (ie unlike the panic of Mike the Moron)… Timed well.

    Now to write a post – provisional title : "Throw idiot vigilantes on their own island".

  32. Adam Ash 35

    Level Four. Thanks PM, we can't ask for more than that. Take care!

  33. weka 36

    • I Feel Love 36.1

      Bridges wants lockdown now!!! Jeez I'm glad we have a rational, calm and thoughtful leader right now, imagine the confusion had we locked everything down without planning, or slowly moving people towards the idea. Now yes, WINZ and IRD need to help everyone, regardless if they're on a benefit or a Ranger owning property developer.

  34. Andre 37

    Anyone seen any kind of comprehensive list of what are essential services that remain open under a level 4 lockdown?

    There's a lot of grey areas. Such as the veterinary care industry – I could see a callous argument that our furry friends aren't essential, but I would hope we've got more compassion than that. Plus the farming related side of it is an integral part of our food supply chain.

    • weka 37.1

      I don't think they've released it yet. Guessing: farm vets yes, home vets for emergencies yes, home vets for allergies and vaccinations, probably not.

    • lprent 37.2

      Hasn't been released yet as far as I am aware.

      There has been a list around for decades that I know about. However it looked 'old' when I last saw it in the early 90s. Back then I was looking at it with regard for ISDN network support, EFTPOS network support, credit card network support, ATM network support, etc (the focus was from when I was working at a telco). It appeared to have cut off being updated somewhere in the mid 1970s.

      I suspect that there has been some discussion recently on what needs to be updated.

    • Andre 37.3

      Now online:

      What are essential businesses?

      This list may evolve over time.
      SectorsEntities providing essential services (including their supply chains)


      • Accommodation services for essential workers and people who need to be isolated/quarantined


      • Customs New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries

      Building and construction

      • Building and construction related to essential services, critical infrastructure, or immediately needed to maintain human health and safety at home/work

      Courts, tribunals and the justice system

      • Courts of New Zealand and tribunals
      • Critical Crown entities (eg Electoral Commission)

      EducationAt level 3 only:

      • Schools and educational facilities (e.g. ECE centres)

      Fast-moving consumer goods

      • Businesses involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverage and other key consumer goods (but not takeaway shops)

      Financial services

      • Banks, insurers and other financial institutions


      • Hospitals, primary care clinics, pharmacies, medical laboratories, care facilities
      • Ambulance services
      • Mortuary services

      Local and national government

      • Any entity involved in COVID-19 response or that has civil defence/emergency management functions
      • Key public services

      Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing

      • Packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products
      • Food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services, food safety and biosecurity functions
      • Veterinary and animal health/welfare services

      Public safety and national security

      • Emergency services
      • Security and intelligence services
      • Justice system
      • Public safety and national security roles


      • Any entity (including research organisations) involved in COVID-19 response, hazard monitoring, resilience, diagnostics for essential services

      Social services

      • Welfare and social services, including NGOs, which meet immediate needs (further guidance will be provided)

      Transport and logistics

      • Transport services
      • New Zealand Post and courier services
      • Any small passenger service vehicle driver – including taxis and ride-share services

      Utilities and communications, including supply chains

      • Electricity, gas, water, waste, fuel, telecommunication services, internet providers and media

      These businesses will continue working, but will put in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.


      • Macro 37.3.1

        Thanks for that Andre


        • Macro

          I'm driving for "meals on wheels" here. I would assume that would fit under the Social Services category, meeting immediate needs. We can drop off the meal at the door – no need for face to face contact. However will await to hear confirmation from the hospital staff.

  35. SPC 38

    There may be enough food, but there is going to be hardship for some getting it.

    Those dependent on public transport for access, and on-line systems not being able to cope, with the ordering, let alone delivery scheduling.

    • weka 38.1

      I'm thinking about low income people without cars right now. Unclear if the PT is stopping completely though. They may scale down and use a 2m rule (not sure how that might work for paying).

      • Carolyn_Nth 38.1.1

        The PM said public transport will move to being for essential workers only.

        But she also said they are working on ensuring supermarkets are able to implement physical distancing.

        But it will be a problem for some to get to supermarkets. Help others is a partial solution.

        Plus Hipkins was talking about working on getting homes with children without internet access, the connections and hardware needed. Should be for all low income households so they can organise visits to the supermarket.

        • SPC

          There are older people (and some lower income households – who might be using public transport to access food bank help) without on-line shopping (no internet etc). This is going to become a problem.

      • Poission 38.1.2

        There are significant driver shortages with the grounding of over 70's.


        • SPC

          There is going to be a lack of delivery vans/small trucks (area deliveries – scale – keeps the cost per house down).

          The higher cost of using other vehicle delivery (cars/utes) would have to be subsidised by government, or be prohibitive.

    • SPC 38.2

      I have tried three times today to log on to New World on-line shopping and nothing,

  36. Sanctuary 39

    Everyone go home and eat for victory!

    I want to see my social media feeds over run with golden muffins fresh from the pan, rich velvet cakes dripping with icing and serving plates groaning under the weight of the biscuits (plain and fancy) piled there on.

  37. Carolyn_Nth 40

    I thought it was going to be couch surfing for victory! And connecting online for physical distancing!

  38. Karl Sinclair 41

    Good Work NZ Govt

    I Salute you for today’s decision

  39. observer 42

    Commentators like Mike Hosking and his chorus on social media have been getting nostalgic about the John Key years. If only he was still in charge, we would have moved much faster, closed the borders weeks ago, true leadership, blah blah.

    So, just for the record, this is what John Key was doing in March 2020. I'll repeat that: March 2020. When the virus was already dominating the news …

    He wanted to "entice visitors" to New Zealand. Seriously.

    No wonder he's been silent since.

  40. Macro 43

    UK to give world a bloody good laugh by getting morons to panic buy McDonald’s

    If only they all dressed like that, it’s a fierce look

    The UK has decided to take one for the team and cheer everyone else up by sending its widespread moron population to form huge and in some cases quite violent queues outside McDonald’s restaurants before they all close.
    “Our first idea was to contribute to the global fight against the coronavirus by providing medical supplies and staff,” said a Number Ten spokesperson. “Then we realised that we don’t have any so instead thought we’d give other countries a giggle with footage of idiots ignoring social distancing and brawling just to buy a handful of sweaty mechanically recovered meat.”
    “The rest of the world will see the long lines and the emergency services being deployed to them and they’ll be tickled pink. Proving that laughter really is the best medicine. Which is handy because we’ve got bugger all medicine.”
    McDonald’s will close nationwide at 19:00 this evening. Let the games begin.

  41. David Mac 44

    I'm going to miss expecting more from the Warriors, anticipating the Blues results and swearing at the Crusaders.

  42. David Mac 45

    F1 is on ice. Someone mouthier than me should front Red Bull and say "Hey you know the 17 million you saved because the Melbourne GP was called off, wanna do some good with that money?

    Lob 1000 kayaks into coastal schools.

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