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Open mike 27/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, August 27th, 2021 - 127 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

127 comments on “Open mike 27/08/2021 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1


    RNZ had one of the blowhards Siouxsie Wiles describes in the above piece, on Morning Report today–their mantra, repeated ad naseum, is “lockdowns don’t work, elimination is impossible”.

    Yet, the numbers in NZ so far still do not support that “case”.

    • Ross 1.1

      Elimination is impossible. Heavily vaccinated countries such as Iceland and Israel have learnt that. We are slow learners.

      Lockdowns are expensive, not just financially. Future generations are in for a tough time.

        • Ross

          And 'elimination' is actually not 'elimination'.

          Zero tolerance is meaningless. Presumably the Government has zero tolerance for suicides, but there were 654 suicide deaths in the year to June 2020. There were 685 deaths the previous year. Sadly, many who commit suicide are aged under 25.

          If the Government can accept suicide deaths despite zero tolerance, there is no logical reason why it cannot accept deaths from other causes, including Covid-19.


          • McFlock

            The govt doesn't accept suicide deaths. It just doesn't know how to prevent every single suicide.

            But the answer to stopping people from dying from infectious diseases is to stop the infections. This is possible with covid.

            • Gypsy

              We could stop all suicides by monitoring every single person 24/7 and intervening. Of course it's not a viable strategy. It seems to me stopping all infections of Covid is simply not practically possible unless we become a fortress.

              • McFlock

                Nope. 24/7 monitoring doesn't stop suicides. Had a mate die in psych services while he was on suicide watch.

                We don't need to be a "fortress". Cruise ships don't mount beach assaults.

            • Ross

              But the answer to stopping people from dying from infectious diseases is to stop the infections

              Yes, that works very well with the flu. Despite the existence of a flu vaccine, we see 500-600 flu deaths each year.

          • Incognito

            Let me help you with your ignorance.

            For your edification: https://gh.bmj.com/content/6/8/e006810

            • Gypsy

              "Yeah, it sounds like a journey with small children …"

              I would like to know more than when we are going to arrive. I would like to know what the destination looks like, whether the driver actually is following a map, and how many stops we're going to have to endure along the way.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                In times of uncertainty it's natural to crave certainty, and so our leaders seek to soothe and comfort with certain promises, e.g. Freedom Day.

                I'd be skeptical of those claiming "to know what the destination looks like" "and how many stops we're going to have to endure along the way."

                I'll settle for honesty and evidence-based planning to help as many Kiwis through this pandemic as possible – and sooner rather than later, of course, but it is what it is.

                • Gypsy

                  Certainty? Of course not. But a general overview of the destination, surely? Put another way, the government is following a clear strategy (they call elimination) which currently involves hard and fast lockdown as soon as Covid appears in the community. All good. But what is the long game? Clearly Covid is mutating, so high vaccination rates are helpful, but not a definitive response. So what is the long term plan?

                  • McFlock

                    Clearly Covid is mutating, so high vaccination rates are helpful, but not a definitive response. So what is the long term plan?

                    Well, obviously global eradication is off because other governments insist on their populations acting as petrie dishes for new cultivating variants.

                    So we'll probably find a sweet spot of vaccine efficacy and decreasing virulence, at which point business leaders lobbying to exchange an unkown number of dead NZers for the hope of more revenue for their businesses (or using immigrants for lower wage costs) will finally get their way.

                    If you want a calendar, you're shit out of luck. The govt is pretty clearly avoiding further stress to the health system from community outbreaks.

                    Unless that changes, the "long game" is pretty obvious. There are only a few variables: vaccine efficacy, virulence, infectiousness, ICU beds and mortality.

                    • Gypsy

                      All good points. I would just like to see more from government outlining how they see the factors you outline in your final paragraph playing out, and potentially how we need to adapt. After all, we haven't eliminated either measles or influenza, so having to live with covid in one form or another is the most likely scenario.

                    • Incognito []


                      We have an elimination strategy for measles, not for influenza.

                      Being eliminated does not mean there won’t be new cases sprouting up ever again; it is the default state of zero infections that is the goal and [the process of] elimination is the sum-total of all the measures and interventions required to achieve that goal.

                      I have explained this so many times now!!

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    So what is the long term plan?

                    I feel your frustration and disappointment at the lack of a certain long-term plan. Try relaxation techniques and patience – works for me.

                    POST-CABINET PRESS CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, 27 AUGUST 2021 [PDF link]
                    PM: No. We haven’t received any advice, so we’ve given no advice. And as you can imagine right now, that is just not where our thinking is at. I mean, we’re obviously trying to ensure that we’re looking after all New Zealanders, getting us back to the best position possible. It’s very clear that a bubble right now is just not a goer, but, of course, we’ll stick to the time lines we had. At the end of September, we were going to look at those settings and just give just a bit of a long-term view as to what is going to happen, because I know a lot of people are hanging on those decisions for their long-term plans.
                    Media: At the end of September or at the start of September when—
                    PM: Ah! Forgive me. I believe it was the end of September, from memory.
                    Media: OK. Can I ask as well, is there an ambition—because there were five Australian states or territories that recorded zero cases today—to reopen—
                    PM: And let’s be clear, those states would not open to us right now.
                    Media: Indeed—yes, but you are trying to—
                    PM: Yep, because despite what’s said, they are running pretty much an elimination strategy.
                    Media: My question casts into the future, because of course you’re trying to eliminate the virus and are likely to, touching wood. Is there an ambition to reopen before Christmas?
                    PM: That wasn’t wood, but I appreciate the sentiment. Look, too soon for us to say. And I would say, it’s not just up to us; those states have, for the most part, an elimination strategy themselves. They’ll want to make sure that they’re open to countries they consider to be safe. So it does all feel a bit premature right now. What we will do at the end of September, though, is just give an indication of where we think things are heading, because people are planning around that, and we need to give them some long-term certainty as much as we can—yep.

                    Covid-19: High vaccine rates not enough to end lockdowns, expert says
                    For now, Ardern said an elimination strategy remained the undisputed best option. Going into 2022, she said the government would be working with independent experts to see how Delta and other factors might change New Zealand’s approach.

                    We know an elimination strategy has worked for New Zealand before, that’s the way we have managed to have a larger number of days where we have been without restrictions than countries like the UK and the United States, and not had our people gravely ill and hospitalised and unfortunately losing their lives.

                    • Gypsy

                      I'll take your advice and do some deep breathing. Meanwhile the national debt my children will be required to support gets bigger every day.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Meanwhile the national debt my children will be required to support gets bigger every day.

                    Some kids are (and will be) alright, and that's great.

                    Why poverty in New Zealand is everyone's concern
                    Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

                    A Kete Half Empty
                    Poverty is your problem, it is everyone's problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru

                    Unite against COVID-19

              • Incognito

                As a passenger, I don’t pretend to drive or control the car or know better than the driver. I trust the driver has a valid licence and good driving experience. I trust that the car has a WOF and won’t break down. I can check on the gauge if there’s enough fuel. I trust that the GPS will warn of traffic accidents or jams ahead and re-route, if necessary. I trust that we have options between the fastest route, and various other ones, including scenic D-tours, if we choose to. I’ll go along for the ride and try and enjoy it without getting motion sickness. I might listen to music on the radio, have a conversation with others in the car, or just stare out of the windows and take in the scenery.

                • Gypsy

                  After what has unfolded in recent weeks, I’m having difficulty trusting the driver.

                  I give the government and government agencies kudos for the approach last year. And the current lockdown is the right move. But there are a lot of questions over our preparedness for this current outbreak that are making plenty of people question whoever is driving.

                  • Incognito

                    Sure, but there’s only one driver. In 2023, we can swap drivers if we wish, and hope that we don’t go off-road. Meanwhile, we all can make sure that the driver stays focussed, sharp, and safe so that we all stay safe.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Remember only one occasion when driver behaviour caused me to change cars, but over the years many many NZers have 'changed cars', for the usual reasons. Our MIQ centres are now chockablock with them.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        Countries that thought 60% vaccination is enough and "opened up" do not "prove" anything of the sort.

          • KJT

            If you analyse Israels numbers. From someone who does know what they are talking about. The percentage in your link is misleading.

            “If we convert those raw numbers to per 100,000 then we get a rate of 16.4 cases per 100,000 unvaccinated people versus 5.3 cases per 100,000 vaccinated people. In other words, the rate of severe disease is three times higher in unvaccinated than vaccinated people.”

            Hardly only 39% effective.

            Our response worked. First time around. Going by the rapid reduction in close contacts with level four and a constant number, rather than exponential increase, in daily cases, our response is also working with Delta.

            • Gypsy

              The 39% is based on a study by the Israel Ministry of Health. The article specifically addresses the rate of severe disease, but the study clearly goes beyond just that single metric.

              “According to the report, the vaccines still work very well in preventing severe cases, demonstrating 88% effectiveness against hospitalization and 91% effectiveness against severe illness. But this is still is a steep decline from the earlier estimate of 64% efficacy rate released on July 5, and steeper still from the initial 95% efficacy rate Israel published in May, based on records from Jan. 24 to April 3, 2021.”

              Our response (a hard lockdown) will always stop spread, but only of that outbreak. It won't achieve elimination, unless our borders are permanently closed. The Skegg report claimed that based on the then border settings, a breach was inevitable. We have choices to make, and none of them easy.

              • Gabby

                Permanent elimination, I think you mean.

                • Gypsy

                  My view is permanent elimination (as in no covid ever) is not practical.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Can't put that ‘genie’ back in its bottle? Why not give Collins a go?
                    Maybe she could ‘pray the Covid away’ wink

                    Collins says people are being ‘malicious and nasty’ to her
                    It’s not the first time Collins has claimed comments she’s made that could be heard as a threat have been misinterpreted. During the election campaign last year she said “disgraceful” investigative journalist Nicky Hager “still needs to meet his maker“.

                    She later clarified what she meant was the “Christian” belief that “we’re all going to die one day and we’re going to have to justify our actions“.


                    • Gypsy

                      No thanks.

                    • Gypsy

                      "now is not the time, imho."

                      No argument form me. Before that time we have to have a much higher vaccination rate, and have developed strategies to deal with the possibility of periodic outbreaks that move beyond hard lock downs.

                  • McFlock

                    Not with other countries being run by sociopaths or morons, no.

                    But periodic elimination is, and then when we are fully vaccinated and the virus itself has self-selected to become less virulent (less severe symptoms because the surviving viruses don't kill their host as quickly), we should be able to open the borders again without parking tents and freezer trucks outside our hospitals.

                    After having a good think about whether we really want to go back to the old days of mass tourism.

                    • Gypsy

                      I'm not I see 'Periodic elimination' in the same light as elimination. But I hear what you're saying.

                    • McFlock

                      There will always be some disease that someone can bring in. We can eliminate them from NZ, like polio, but even during L4 we have people coming into the country.

                      But that doesn't mean we'll all need to go into level 4 every time there's a community covid case. That depends on our vaccine coverage (and boosters if needed) and how virulent it is, how likely it is to swamp hospitals and kill people.

                      Personally, I'd like to see a 3-day MIQ for all arrivals as a long term policy, but good luck getting that past the $$-at-all-costs brigade (despite how many less harmful but still damaging outbreaks of colds and flu it might catch).

                  • Incognito

                    Polio, measles?

                    • Ross

                      Polio, measles?

                      "As of 24 February 2020, there had been 2,194 cases of measles reported throughout New Zealand since 1 January 2019."

                      If our strategy is to eliminate measles, it isn't working. But I imagine that successive governments have decided we can live with measles.

                      As for polio, there are still cases in some countries.

                      The pandemic is part of the problem. In March, WHO ordered a pause to all polio eradication campaigns to make sure vaccinators going door to door weren't unwittingly contributing to the spread of COVID-19. That order was lifted over the summer, but "as a result, 30 to 40 countries have not conducted mass immunization campaigns," Zaffran says. "During that period, up to 80 million children have been left unprotected against polio."



                      [Stop showing off your ignorance and educate yourself before you comment here.

                      Last night, I replied to your comment here with a useful link: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-08-2021/#comment-1811896.

                      I also warned you to back-up your claims of fact or face Moderation again: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-08-2021/#comment-1811895. Consider this now a Moderation request.

                      I also left several other instructive comments here under this post for others to inform themselves.

                      And yet, here we are again. Your refusal to inform yourself and take heed of warnings was your undoing last time, although you tried hard and many times to bypass your well-deserved and justified ban. NB you have been given back your commenting privileges only 11 days ago!

                      If you don’t improve your comments, you know how this will end. And please don’t argue with Moderators about Moderation, as is clearly explained in this site’s Policy – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 8:21 am.

                    • Gypsy

                      Good point about Polio, however even though we don't have Polio in NZ, surprisingly it still not been eradicated globally. However the only two countries where polio remains endemic are Pakistan and Afghanistan, and our tourism and migration with those countries would be minimal? However, this is worth noting: Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunization services and travel or trade links to endemic countries.

                      Unless Covid was eradicated from all countries we have travel links with, it is near impossible to eradicate it from NZ.

                      I'm not sure what you mean by measles? We still have measles in NZ, despite a vaccination program.

                    • Incognito []

                      NZ does not have a Covid-19 eradication strategy, it has an elimination strategy.

                      NZ has an elimination strategy for measles, mainly through vaccination, as you know, and it is also a notifiable infectious disease, just as Covid-19 is. NB influenza is not a notifiable infectious disease in NZ, but non-seasonal influenza is.

                    • Gypsy

                      "NZ does not have a Covid-19 eradication strategy, it has an elimination strategy."

                      Fair comment. I'm wrongly using the terms interchangeably – my bad.

                      To be clear, I don't believe we can eliminate Covid for anything other than short bursts, unless we completely isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.

                      The difference between measles and covid is that the measles virus doesn't mutate "in a comparable way".

                      The authors conclude that there is a near-zero probability for the natural emergence of a new measles virus capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity.

                      In this mornings Herald, Professor Graham Mellsop wrote this:

                      "Our team of 5 million needs to be told both to committ to the preservation of good community vaccination levels and that our future includes Covid infections with brief illnesses, some hospitalisations and relatively uncommon deaths".

                      I tend to think he's right.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nope, an elimination strategy relies on measures to keep it at zero and stomp it out ASAP when there are flare-ups. It requires constant vigilance.

                      It is a strategy, a process, with a specific goal.

                      NZ successfully eliminated Covid-19 before, notwithstanding the ones that came in at the border and caught in MIQ, and can do it again.

                      It is explained in that link I’ve shared a few times now.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Few Kiwis would support continuing strict border controls, with level 4 lockdowns in response to delta (or worse) outbreaks, for years, but I do wonder about the motivation(s) of those who are agitating for a ‘sooner rather than later’ relaxation of these prudent protective measures on day 11 of our current level 4 lockdown.

                      There will absolutely be a time and place to let our Covid guard down. With ~23% of NZers fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and the global number of active cases set to exceed the previous January 2021 peak (18.6 million), now is not the time, imho.

                      Covid thrill-seekers‘ have the rest of the world to choose from – please leave us sleepy hobbits be a little while longer.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yeah, it sounds like a journey with small children in the back of the car asking 5 min into the trip and then at regular and increasingly shorter intervals “are we there yet?”

      • Ed1 1.1.3

        Elimination is not eradication. Yes elimination is possible in a particular area, but difficult to maintain. Israel did not attempt to eliminate the virus – they wrongly relied on ""herd immunity"" – and then a variant of the virus appeared which was more infectious and they learned that the vaccine did not give personal immunity. Presumptions by politicians do not always predict science or future reality.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.4

        Ya reckon?? I reckon nz proved that if humans were as intelligent as we think, we could have wiped covid from the plant in 6 weeks , but oh no we had right from the get go fucktsrds clutching there Pearl's and screaming my economy, and then there a the countries so poverty stricken and usually run by true scum that the daily grind means that they have to go out daily to survive

      • roblogic 1.1.5

        And yet we eradicated polio and smallpox, and almost got rid of measles until the anti vaxx movement came along

        • Foreign waka


          With effective vaccinations you can hold these diseases at bay and it may look like eradication but it is not. Polio is on the up.

          Smallbox on the other hand would almost qualify except for some labs still hold the virus.


          Vaccine-derived polio is a strain of the virus that originated as part the oral polio vaccine but has managed to circulate, reproduce and regain strength in places with poor sanitation. Vaccine-derived polio is caused by remnants of earlier versions of the live virus used in the oral polio vaccine.

          • Incognito

            Smallbox on the other hand would almost qualify except for some labs still hold the virus.


            Smallpox has been successfully eradicated.

            You’re conflating eradication and extinction.

      • Incognito 1.1.6

        Elimination is impossible.

        Is that a fact or your opinion?

        Either way, you may want to back that up before I start moderating you, yet again.

    • The Al1en 1.3

      Elimination is possible depending on government action and public will.

      Best results achieved with contained small outbreaks, it could even still be done in the u.s, the UK and other overrun nations, but highly unlikely after numerous previous failures to contain and eliminate.

      • Foreign waka 1.3.1

        Unless you are suggesting that no one ever enters and leaves NZ, elimination is unfortunately not possible. Getting people vaccinated is a prerequisite to open the borders not just in NZ but countries from where people travel from.

        Admittingly, the government has made a big tactical error by not getting in to high gear a year ago of procuring the vaccine and getting it distributed whilst we were still on level 1 without the travel bubble, which incidentally was the biggest mistake in my book. Far too early, no one vaccinated, flying on a hope and prayer. Everybody I talked to about travel was saying that it is just a matter of time until we see level 4 again. And here we are.

        • The Al1en

          Elimination, especially with a relatively small outbreak is entirely possible, as proved by the first and second times we had community spread in NZ and got rid of it, giving many months of normality.

          Now what happens between outbreaks is the debate you might want to have, but that won't change any of the above being true with regards to containment and elimination.

        • Incognito

          You don’t seem to know what “elimination” is/means.

          It might surprise you that NZ has successfully followed and is still following an elimination strategy.

          This has been recommended by experts, e.g., Prof. Skegg, and it is still the recommendation. Indeed, Skegg has said that this outbreak was and should have been expected although not the exact size and date, of course.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 1.4

      This lockdown may fail to contain the Delta outbreak, but definitely worth a try imho.

      What's disappointing is the certainty of 'fail blowhards' – takes all kinds I guess.

      Collins says the government needs to give people more certainty.

      "People aren't stupid, they understand this is a highly transmissible variant. So people do need certainty, they need certainty about their lives, their work, their businesses."

      Why is Collins bleating about "more certainty"? Her future is certain enough.

      • Gabby 1.4.1

        Surely Codger knows that certainty is inimical to capitalism.

      • AB 1.4.2

        “People do need certainty”

        And here I was thinking business was 'agile' and 'innovative', that it could move 'at pace' and 'make decisions' and 'bring clarity' in 'fast-paced environments' that are 'challenging' and require 'insight', judgment and 'flawless execution'. Surely not much certainty is needed when you have this array of talents? Or have I been looking at too many Seek job ads?

        And I had thought that requiring an impossible certainty was an endearing but thankfully temporary trait that we observe in our children – or, less endearingly, in some behavioural disorders. Just shows how wrong I was.

  2. A little gallows humour on ‘First Up,’ RNZ this morning:

    “This covid thing is a scam – anyone who’s been to Auckland knows it hasn’t got 400 places of interest!”

  3. Anker 3
    • don’t quite understand what you are saying Ross. NZ managed to eliminate the virus in previous lockdowns. To stay at a 0% case level we would have had to completely shut our boarders, which the govt chose not to do.
    • perhaps it is a case of what strategies work best. I believe that the science based strategies the govt are following have worked the best. These are the strategies our top experts have recommended.

    of course there is a future burden for young people out of this pandemic, but that would be true for all countries.

    one of the many benefits of following an elimination strategy is it preserves our very precious health workforce. The Uk for example have lost many Drs and nurses to covid

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      The Uk for example have lost many Drs and nurses to covid…

      The BMJ has a memorial.

      Also the Nursing Times

    • Anne 3.3

      Satire Anker. Somebody down country is introducing a bit of humour by having a dig at Auckland. Nothing to do with Covid and strategies.

      • Anker 3.3.1

        Did I not read something properly? I was responding to Ross.

        I hope you are going ok Anne as you wait for your surgery.

        • Anne

          Hi Anker

          Yes. Ross was reporting a bit of humour at Auckland's expense.

          It looks like Auckland is in for 2 more weeks of L4 at the least. We know its the right thing to do but it is hard going. We Jafas have had more than our fair share of these debilitating lockdowns.

    • Ross 3.4

      NZ managed to eliminate the virus in previous lockdowns.

      We have had cases for as long as I can remember. Indeed, I recall a gentleman from Australia allegedly bringing Covid to Wellington in June. Before that I recall a woman in the Coromandel testing positive after visiting numerous places. There are and have been any number of cases in MIQ. The idea the virus has been eliminated is wrong.

      Some people might have thought that vaccination would prevent lockdowns but that doesn't seem to be the case. We will continue to have lockdowns. That will only change with the political will to do so.

    • Foreign waka 3.5

      Anker, 3
      As history tells us, science is one thing, human behavior quite something else. So perhaps this should be approached with science and common sense. Opening a travel bubble without having the population in NZ vaccinated and allowing people from known delta virus countries to enter the country with test results that no one can verify….come on, human behavior + a bit of stupidity = super spread. I mean this is not so difficult to figure out. Unless political correctness has no dampened our survival instinct.

  4. satty 4

    After reading following Guardian Article this morning:

    ‘It’s really hit us now’: Newquay becomes England’s Covid capital

    North Cornwall town reeling and people urged not to visit as thousands of cases linked to festival

    I understand that not all the 5,000 COVID cases in Cornwall are necessarily directly linked to the festival. There are probably cases outside of Cornwall linked to the festival. Anyway, lets assume this festival caused 5,000 COVID cases, which means with current UK numbers:

    • ~ 1,000 people in hospital
    • ~ 20 people dead

    I would like to see the world-wide news headlines, the public outrage, if you would have those numbers linked to a terrorist attack at a music festival!

    To announce "Freedom Day" and "Let COVID rip" through the country without sufficient protection should be called "mass-murder".

    • Ad 4.2

      New Zealand is running over 300 dead and over 4,000 injured a year just for operating a road network.

      We do campaigns to mitigate.

      New Zealand is running 2,200 lung cancer registrations and about 1,800 lung cancer deaths per year.

      We do campaigns to mitigate.

      Back in 2016 we had AIDS outbreaks, all sorts of fear and loathing broke out.

      We do campaigns to mitigate.

      A bunch of lunatics flew planes into key buildings on the US East Coast.

      Globally we generated travel protocols to mitigate, and still fly just fine.

      COVID will end up being the same:

      Just another set of protocols, another set of new medical interventions, another social marketing campaign.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2.1

        Yep, "COVID will end up being the same", but we're not there yet, imho. There's a time and a place for everything, 'Covid freedums' included.


      • AB 4.2.2

        This is true of course – in a general sense.

        But of your comparators, only one is an infectious disease (AIDS) and in comparison to COVID-19, AIDS is really not very infectious at all. The other examples are a bit silly: one traffic accident does not cause another three accidents. It is the exponential growth in a completely immune-naive population that makes COVID so different and completely justifies the response to date. At the right time and once we have good information, we will move cautiously to a different approach.

        • Ad

          All are systemic risks we have learnt to live with.

          Polio outbreak was another. As was measles. All previously deadly.

          • Incognito

            All are systemic risks we have learnt to live with.

            What do you mean?

            Millions if not billions of dollars are spent each year to keep death tolls due to those causes under control and even to bring them down further. Once you open flood gates mitigation is pretty much all you can do within (economic) reason. The big difference with Covid-19 is that so far we have managed to control it and keep a lid on it (only 26 deaths so far). Once we remove the elimination measures, we will be likely having to accept the consequences in terms of severe illness and death, despite vaccination, and live with it; in all likelihood, it will be worse and more severe than influenza.

            Sounds like you’re saying that it is “when” not “if” and if that’s the case, you fundamentally change the debate to “when” and “how”. Unfortunately, some pundits only focus on the “when” and think the “how” is somebody else’s problem, usually the Government’s.

            BTW, polio and measles have been eliminated and can possibly be eradicated.

  5. Cricklewood 5

    Given our essential workers are at highest risk, why aren't we insisting their employers provide them with N95 masks which actually provide best protection?

  6. joe90 6

    Bishflap gets his Gingrich on.


  7. Adrian 7

    Have a read of the Bishop interview in the Listener and Bishop freely admits that he has no self-awareness and little in the way of a moral compass when he details the many, many times that he has allegedly supported National Party positions on issues he reckons he does not agree with on the grounds he has to show “ unity “, or as the rest of the world would call it, hypocrisy.

  8. weka 8

    Do we know what time the announcement is today?

  9. weka 9

    I’ve found these well-being Twitter threads helpful. This one is about managing lockdown stress including frustration over lockdown not lifting.

  10. Auckland & Northland still in L4 🙁

    • Ad 10.1

      I'd settle for a mochachino and a cheese scone right now.

    • Janet 10.2

      Yes Northland lumped in with Auckland is quite disappointing when you realise that Warkworth is part of the Auckland area not Northland. There are no cases in Northland and the sensible place to hold a border would be Te Hana – with just a short strip to police to stop Aucklanders getting to Mangawhai through the back roads.

      If you want people to comply – and they have already loosened up around me here near Whangarei- then realistic borders need to be considered or there will be no respect which means poor compliance.

      • Gabby 10.2.1

        It may be intended to protect police from the thundering herds of utes n boats heading upnorth.

        • Janet

          One is left wondering if there is an undisclosed reason for this …. maybe drug runners and the self excluded Aucklanders.

      • Incognito 10.2.2

        They did say that Northland won’t always be lumped with Auckland necessarily, only this time.

        If people want some of their relative freedoms back, they could start with simple things such as scanning. That will give the officials and authorities the confidence that they can relax the rules.

        This is a two-way thing, for our own benefit. Why do people find this so hard to get their heads around?

        • Janet

          So a clear why would help to make it understandable… Is the Aucklanders that they say ran to their baches, is it to stop drug running , is it not enough scanning in, is it not enough police to control a north border as well as a south border. What is it ?

          • solkta

            The PM said in the 3pm-er that it was because of the case in Warkworth and the concern that people traveling through there could have taken it further north. It is only a few more days to be sure it no make it to paradise.

          • Incognito

            You can watch it here and inform yourself.

            PM explains why Northland joining Auckland at Alert Level 4

            https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6269727712001 [1 minute and 18 seconds of your time]

            The settings for Northland will be reviewed on Monday, as the PM said in the same Press Stand-up.

  11. David 11

    If we have limited vaccine supply and Auckland has to shoulder this, the nationwide vaccine rollout should be halted forthwith and all vaccines diverted to Auckland for the foreseeable future. 😉

    • fender 11.1

      "Auckland has to shoulder this"

      No, the whole country is affected. The other MIQ's don't have the issues that Auck. keep having, why?

      "limited vaccine supply"

      No, the program is romping along, and I'm looking forward to getting my first shot Sept. 10

    • Incognito 11.2

      Vaccine supply is not the limiting factor, or at least not the only one.

  12. Gabby 12

    Lisa Owen can't understand why we can't do everything at once as a madder of extreme urgency.

  13. Gabby 13

    She's gedding more irridading by the minute Incognido.

    • Incognito 13.1

      I admire your self-awareness. Has the lockdown given you time for introspection and reflection and helped you to internalise a really complicated situation in your head? It is starting to show and pay off.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.1

        Have to confess a slight irritation myself – Owen would "love to hear from you", several times an hour apparently. Maybe all those sound-bite public opinions are newsworthy. Who isn't a sucker for instant polls these days – one born every minute?

        • Incognito

          Fair comment, and thanks.

          I think many of us are perhaps a little more irritable than usual.

          I can see it in my responses to some comments that really grate me more than usual.

          If I were a better person, I’d rise above it …

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