The right politicising the coronavirus

Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, February 26th, 2020 - 113 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, national, same old national - Tags: ,

Newshub are helping run reporting David Seymour’s politicised fearmongering lines over COVID-19 (the new coronavirus).

https://twitter.com/nealejones/status/1232462908509941760

I’d go further and say not only is it desperate but it’s also reckless. Politicising a potential pandemic creates a contentious political and social atmosphere that we really don’t want if we end up in an emergency that requires actions like quarantining large numbers of people.

Leaving aside the blatant feeding of the right wing ‘absent PM’ meme, and reading between the lines in the article, I have to wonder now if Seymour’s press work is based not only in political opportunism but in panic.

It comes as world stock markets tumbled amid investor concerns over the spreading virus, which has so far killed more than 2600 people worldwide and infected more than 80,000. 

Jacinda Ardern is currently in Fiji where she met with her counterpart Frank Bainimarama to discuss matters including climate change, thwarting Pacific drug trade routes, and business cooperation. 

Seymour said Fiji is a “nice place” but its economy is “20 times smaller than New Zealand’s” making it “not an important trade partner and certainly not a place for the Prime Minister to spend three days as a crisis emerges”.

He said the PM has “prioritised a trip to Fiji over dealing with coronavirus” when the New Zealand economy is “at a tipping point”, which he said is when Ardern “should be here dealing with the potential fallout”.

Looks like ACT and National have been sharing talking points. Simon Bridges tweeted this this morning,

With coronavirus, drought & slowing growth, NZ needs a comprehensive economic plan not tinkering from Ardern & Robertson. National’s 5 point plan on tax, regulation, infrastructure, small business & families will ensure we have a stronger economy with more money in your pocket.

If it’s not climate change or rising fascism that has NACT showing the whites of their eyes, or even lots of people dying from an emerging viral epidemic, maybe it’s the existential fear born of the understanding that ultimately money will not save us.

Or maybe it’s just the position of people who really do believe that money is god. Seymour’s not so stupid as to not understand New Zealand’s moral obligation to our South Pacific neighbours over infectious diseases, particularly after the measles deaths in Samoa. To dismiss Fiji in this way because they don’t make enough money speaks to a deep social blindness. If anything is going to help us during a global pandemic, having good relationships with our neighbours would be high on my list.

Update: Russell Brown on twitter,

It further appears that nether he or any of his staff have bothered to check her diary. She’s already leaving Fiji tomorrow – to go and talk to ScoMo about coronavirus. These people are such fools.

113 comments on “The right politicising the coronavirus ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Every opportunity to sow discord will be embraced.

    • Ross 1.1

      Seymour might be stirring but then he might not be. Does the PM have to be in Fiji? Probably not. (Remember the NZ cricket coach taking time off during the India series? What awful timing.) And think of those emissions! Coronavirus is potentially far reaching but hysteria could be the bigger problem. We have seen hysteria with regards to other issues (eg Y2K bug) and they have typically been overblown.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Does the PM have to be anywhere? Maybe she could just stay at home.

        • Sacha 1.1.1.1

          Kitchen is OK, apparently.

        • Ross 1.1.1.2

          Weka

          I was highly critical of John Key when he went to the US to watch his son play baseball. A memorial for a fallen soldier was held which Key failed to attend.

          There are various ways for the PM to communicate with her counterpart in Fiji without hopping on a plane.

          • Sacha 1.1.1.2.1

            Key went for a crucial meeting with top film industry people in LA, on the way to his boy's sportsball game. We can speculate on which motivated him most to spurn being there for the soldier..

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      When the pandemic emergency is declared, Seymour can be rounded up with the other suspects.

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Coronavirus is going to have a very sharp shock which I do not think the the public quite appreciates yet.

    As new cases pop in Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, it is quite clear that it is a matter of when, not if, this thing spreads to New Zealand.

    The human toll is the most important thing. To slow its spread containment measures are going to ramp up over the next few weeks, which will mean a huge slow down in the international movement of people and goods.

    The consequences are obvious. We will struggle to get our good to market. Our manufacturers will struggle to import goods they need. We may soon be struggling to purchase simple products from the store.

    Lets not underestimate how bumpy this is going to be.

    • weka 2.1

      those are all good things to discuss. That's not really what NACT are doing though. National are using the coronavirus to promote their economic policy, and ACT are using it to diss JA/Labour. What I would expect from adults in this situation is for the opposition (whoever it is) to raise the issues in ways the build confidence not sow discord.

    • A 2.2

      I did wonder what was said by ACT, but didn't want to click. It's not really obvious from the post either.

      If it's so important to keep NZ COVID free then we need to stop all flights from affected countries with more than say 20 cases, not just China. I appreciate that many on this site see me as alarmist, and therefore would see multiple border controls such as flight bans from Italy, Iran, Thailand (hey, UAE and Kuwait blocked them…let's assume they know something), and South Korea. The US isn't testing but I'm certain they have spread there, and Canada refuses testing without travel history to China so it might be lurking in the population there too.

      ACT is a bit of a weird duck. I don't think this would get them new supporters, but it is going to confuse or distract people from keeping themselves safe which is monumentally irresponsible.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        It seems that on the evidence of the past week, this virus as already spreading well beyond China. While I've seen no-one attempt to calculate an R0 value recently, it's behaviour and infectivity tells me that it's pretty much unstoppable. I'm working with the assumption that everyone is going to be exposed sooner or later.

        In this case the best bet is slowing down the rate of new cases so that the medical system can cope with the critically ill patients. At this point it seems that if the ICU system is intact and people are treated it has about a 1% fatality rate, and if not this rises to about 3.5%

        It also buys us time for the various teams around the world to develop a vaccine. The University of Queensland is already growing it's first test batch of a candidate.

        • A 2.2.1.1

          Interesting, thanks

        • Enough is Enough 2.2.1.2

          Unless we completely close our ports and airports (and prevent the 1 million New Zealand passport holders abroad from coming home) the virus will get here.

          We don't want to starve, so closing the borders is not an option. We need to prepare for the inevitable.

          This isn't alarmist. This is just the way it is.

        • Paddington 2.2.1.3

          Hi Red…I'm currently travelling extensively in Asia (Dhaka, Bangkok, Hong Kong). I am a frequent traveller to HK and I've never seen anything like it. The streets are deserted. The Hotel is deserted. My Cathay flight from Auckland to HK was on a 777 and there were around 30 people on it. Of course there are memories of SARS here, but the fear is palpable.

        • Poission 2.2.1.4

          If china didnt inact lockdown and travel restrictions it would be far worse.

          https://twitter.com/yaneerbaryam/status/1232761456657125377

    • gsays 2.3

      I am not being cynical or dismissive when I ask this: when does the price of cheese, lamb, milk, beef start to drop?

  3. adam 3

    Gotta wonder when the right will realise there is no Planet B.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtTi_uyYynA&ab_channel=FlightlessRecords

  4. AB 4

    They simply know that Ardern is Labour's trump card and they will turn any event or issue into an attack on her no matter how implausibly. They have no sense of the public good – only of private advantage. It'll keep happening through to September.

  5. RedLogix 5

    In the meantime Australia is finally pulling finger and has published it's detailed plan. I agree with the OP that politicising this is a very bad move … but there is a fine line between that and challenging the govt to be upfront on what their actual plans are.

    • McFlock 5.1

      That "detailed plan" was mostly a load of extracts from "infectious disease control 101".

      I might have missed the bits where it identified specific triggers for banning air travel or closing schools, areas outlined for burial/cremation of mass casualties, and when the army might be called out to enforce quarantines of small communities. Do you want that stuff made available for download, or should they just flip it straight to FB memes about the end of the world?

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        I would expect them to start with the '101 Plan' and progress from there as events unfolded. It's the lesson learned from the 2003 SARS event that responses need to be proportionate to what is happening; over-reacting can be almost as detrimental as under-reacting.

        I read it as a baseline document listing all the various activities that need to be taken into consideration and at short notice may need to be authorised and funded. More details to follow ….

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          So what's wrong with the NZ ministry of health c-19 page?

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            Well now is the time to front foot it with the media and start the public preparing seriously.

            The Chinese people are sacrificing a great deal to slow down the spread of this virus, and that is buying us some time. I would like to think that time is being used wisely.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah.

              There's already enough panic as it is. We might see a case tomorrow, but we might not see it until six months from now. That'll lead to pr fatigue before we actually need to engage the public.

              Looking through that c-19 page and the links, more specific information is easier to find than in the aussie 56-page "plan", including for members of public. How many negative pressure rooms we have, how many ICU beds, what large event organisers and attendees should look out for, who shouldn't attend large events, etc etc etc.

              It's still likely that the biggest impact by far for nz will be economic because China and one or two other countries get cut off from us.

  6. Poission 6

    Vulnerable pacific countries have banned travelers from China,Japan,and Korea eg.

    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/02/ed6c53525c9a-7-countries-restrict-entry-from-japan-to-thwart-new-virus-spread.html

    What controls (strategy) has the NZ MOH have in place to protect the pacific people?.

    • weka 6.1

      Part of NZ's strategy in response to COVID-19 is in relationship to our Pacific neighbours. This was reported at the time.

  7. Not just the right politicising it. There's a supposedly left wing kiwi blogger who insists on calling the virus by the name of city where it was first found, presumably because he thinks it's daring to be borderline racist. Time he woke up, I reckon.

  8. dv 8

    May be this is what was meant

    Seymour said ACT is a “nice place” but its political impact is “20 times smaller than Labour” making it “not an important political partner and certainly not a party for the Prime Minister to spend three days as a crisis emerges”.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      yes

      Strikes me that, as weka says, it’s a case of promoting the ‘absent PM meme’.

      Have to wonder whether the right-wing will ever let Ardern out of the country without passing comment that she should be at home.

      Reminds me of that old patriarchal saying, ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen.’

  9. "NACT’s values are showing."

    What is NACT? Equivalent to NZ FLABOUR?

    Using a petty label is itself politicising and detracts from valid criticism of Seymour.

    Just more lame electioneering from Bridges, but that looks like it has nothing to do with ACT.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Probably more similar to "labgrn" than whatever "NZ FLABOUR".

      Reread the post – it starts with Seymour's electioneering.

    • weka 9.2

      Not sure what you are on about there Pete. NACT is a well known and long used term to refer to National and ACT eg when they've been in govt together. It's shorthand, not a pejorative.

      I did think there was a connection between what Seymour and Bridges said, and mentioned that in the post.

  10. Peter 10

    Bridges was on air this morning talking about the need for comprehensive plans. He's good at/they're good at those.

    Let's see, 'Comprehensive Plan.' I know what that is. It's what you've got when you have a housing crisis and you don't want it to be called a housing crisis. It's being positive about what you're going to do, so you wave those couple of words, 'comprehensive plan' around like a wand. It doesn't actually get rid of or properly address the housing crisis because it's just words, but it sounds good.

    You spend years helping create a bad situation and to sort it out you get a do nothing label.

    When Bridges regurgitated his nonsense this morning the timid or unaware interviewer should have laughed in his face and asked him how their last big comprehensive plan went.

    I'm surprised David Seymour's into it boots and all and is missing Ardern leading us into battle from the steps of Parliament with a big sword or syringe. I thought he'd be too busy doing the serious stuff like organising himself to be a replacement for Hannah Tamaki in that dance thing.

  11. I have been following the whole coronavirus thing very closely and I have confidence that Jacinda Ardern and the Ministry of Health really do have this in hand. On the MoH website – which is being updated at least daily – they state: "The likelihood of an imported case in New Zealand is high, however the likelihood of a widespread outbreak is low-moderate."

    Looking at exactly who is getting Covid-19 and recovering as compared to those who get progressively worse and die gives a reasonably clear picture of what is happening.

    Proportionately more men than women are going on and getting pneumonia and subsequently dying. Most of those who have died were already compromised in some way – and let's face it, living in almost any one of China's large cities is enough to compromise anyone's health. The levels of pollution – air and otherwise – is extreme. Wuhan is bitterly cold at this time of year, but not only that, it's cold and wet. It's not surprising that their lungs can't cope. Many Chinese people – men in particular – are also smokers. Heavy smokers at that.

    Here in NZ we don't have the same climate, we don't have the same level of pollution and nor do we have the density of population. Wuhan has 11 million people. I've not been to Wuhan but I have been to several other Chinese cities. Beijing has a population of 20 million. Those of you who have been there will be familiar with the ring-road system that fans out from the Forbidden City in the centre. The entire population of NZ would fit within the 6th ringroad in Beijing. That's about 15km from the centre of the city. As a comparison, if the cathedral at the top of Tafalgar St in Nelson was the centre, then the 6th ringroad would cut through Richmond. That's an enormous number of people in a very tight area. Little wonder the virus is easily transmitted from person to person.

    The other reason it is unlikely to be too much of a problem here is that we do not have squat toilets. In recent days it has been identified that in addition to the aerosol transmission from coughing and sneezing, Covid-19 can be transmitted via the fecal-oral route. Anyone who has used the squat toilets in almost any part of China would not be surprised that this is a likely source of infection. They are not pretty.

    So essentially it comes down to basic hygiene. Wash your hands after going to the toilet and before handling food. Good cough/sneeze etiquette – into a tissue that is immediately binned. Respect that your immune system works better if you are well nourished and well rested so eat well and regularly, get enough sleep and don't push yourself to your limits.

    We've got this. Yes, many may get sick. Fortunately the vast majority will recover after 5-6 days. There is no need to lose the plot over it.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      A lot of the points you make are good ones. In addition there is good reason to expect like other corona virus' that it doesn't like summer temperatures, humidity and sunlight.

      But to counter your points around conditions in China we need to watch what is happening in Italy very closely. This will indicate what happens in a developed country.

      • Prickles 11.1.1

        Indeed. I'd be picking that the numbers contracting the virus will continue to increase but the majority will recover. It will be interesting to watch – and learn from.

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          Even a 'best case' death rate of 1% is still pretty damned horrendous on a global scale … that's potentially 75m people. More than WW2.

          • Prickles 11.1.1.1.1

            But still not as many as die from influenza every year. Pretty tough if your own number comes up though, regardless of how many others are going with you.

            • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.1.1

              But still not as many as die from influenza every year.

              Seasonal flu (scroll down to find it) kills between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year and has a death rate of 0.1% of those that it infects. (Case Fatality Rate).

              But because we have vaccine programs and most people's immune system has encountered an influenza before, it only infects between 5- 15% of the world population annually.

              By contrast CV19 has a death rate at least 10 times higher and everyone is vulnerable to it.

          • Ross 11.1.1.1.2

            You seem to have plucked 75m out of the air. Meanwhile the United Nations were concerned that more than 60 million children could die over the next decade from preventable diseases.

            • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.2.1

              @Ross

              Assuming everyone of 7.5b eventually are vulnerable and a 1% CFR. It's a very first order crude calculation.

              No-one actually knows at this point.

            • Incognito 11.1.1.1.2.2

              If you want to go there again, please take it to OM, thanks.

      • Cinny 11.1.2

        There's a very cool interactive dashboard COVID19 tracker hosted by Johns Hopkins University,

        https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

        It counts the cases, deaths and recoveries, also maps the countries 🗺️ Al Jazeera are referring to it.

    • weka 11.2

      Thanks Prickles, that's really interesting.

      If we look at NZ's cultural, social and economic vulnerability points re spread, I'd say our reliance on tourism is a big one, plus our hesitancy to restrict that. We're also loathe to restrict movement/travel, am not sure how people will respond to that if they personally feel restriction is unnecessary. Our 'she'll be right' attitude in the public might be an issue too. Not sure how well we would manage a period of uncertainty once the virus is here but not yet spread far.

      I'm hoping that if any party started politicising during such a time there's be widespread public and media condemnation, but maybe I am naive.

  12. A 12

    The reassurance that the PM and other relevant ministers are staying informed falls flat when you consider WHO might be giving them information.

    • Prickles 12.1

      WHO are not recommending travel restrictions yet we have imposed them and then extended them. Jacinda has also recommended that we treat the situation as though it had been already called as a pandemic (which as yet it has not been) so that all the right precautions and preparations can be made by the individual DHBs to ensure that if/when the virus does arrive they are well sorted. I don't see the PM and relevant ministers being puppets.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        I'm genuinely sorry to say that WHO have blown a great deal of credibility on this event. I've been getting most of my information from this guy the past three weeks. He's not sensationalist, but he does dig into what the logical implications of the data might be:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL7oGRKETZM

        • Prickles 12.1.1.1

          Interesting – thanks. I'll watch a few more of Dr Campbell's videos and see what he has to say.

        • swordfish 12.1.1.2

          Same here. Also Peak Prosperity & one or two others … but John Campbell is the main go-to guy for me … cool, calm, collected.

  13. Ad 13

    Note I did a post explicitly politicising it a week ago.

    • weka 13.1

      that's not what I mean by politicising.

      I've added coronavirus tags to your post so its easier to find.

  14. NZJester 14

    They want to politicise it, then lets hit them with the facts. The right weakened the two crucial things we need to help deal with this crisis in the past while they were the government. They weakened both our health system and or border security. This government has been rebuilding both since becoming the government and we hopefully have a better chance of dealing with any outbreak. But after years of mismanagement from the last NACT government, they still have a lot recovering to do from previous years of underfunding and losing a lot of staff to better offers and working conditions overseas.

    • Anne 14.1

      All in the name of tax cuts for the rich – lets remember.

    • Sacha 14.2

      I can't believe how the last Nat govt got away with reducing border security budgets when there were large-scale failures like kiwifruit PSA and Mycoplasma bovis. Dereliction of duty by media and opposition at the time.

  15. pat 15

    Chinese restaurants/takeaways are apparently doing it tough with turnover down by half (typically)….one has to wonder about the general publics intellect with zero cases of covid 19 in NZ

    • Anne 15.1

      Ignorance is bliss.

    • AB 15.2

      Don't think it's a lack of intellect. It's a risk calculation with a soupcon of racism. Moreover it's a risk calculation people can make for themselves instead of feeling completely helpless in the face of decisions made by other people. It's very human, and we all have a threshold where we will start behaving like that. Bad for the owners of the businesses – I'm not clear if there is any effective relief they can get of if they are just thrown to the wolves like outsourced/restructured workers, though somewhat unlike drought-stricken farmers.

    • Ian 15.3

      One can only imagine all that spare capacity available to launder cash.

      [In future, please don’t make stupid comments like that; they are not funny and they are not ok – Incognito]

  16. SHG 16

    A total freebie served up to the Opposition. Global crisis, Jacinda's touring Pacific resorts again. Not a good look, and so easily avoided.

    • Sacha 16.1

      Yes, we should let uptight Nat fanbois in the media set the PM's international programme. Funny how relaxed they were about JonKey's travels..

      • SHG 16.1.1

        A bit of situational awareness in the PM's office would not go astray. Someone having the professionalism to say "hey, it's looking like a pandemic with massive international and domestic impact and we haven't done anything to show we have a plan for it, this trip won't look good, you know the Opposition will make a song and dance about it"

        • Sacha 16.1.1.1

          I'd say this trip to Australia via Fiji has been set for some time. Soothing numpties fearful of being too far away from the apron-strings seems like a poor rationale for managing anything. Let little Simon and his twerking chum beat their puny chests a bit. Mummy will be home soon.

          • SHG 16.1.1.2.1

            Everything there is advice for travellers regarding something happening Somewhere Else. That information will be irrelevant when the virus gets here, and the information that we need to know about that eventuality is nowhere to be found.

            The government does have a pandemic plan.

            It isn’t communicating anything from it.

            Under what conditions will schools be closed?

            What provisions will be in place to support those placed under quarantine, and their employers?

            What penalties will apply to workers and employers who allow breaching of quarantine?

            What facilities is the government putting in place for quarantine for those who are ill?

            How much isolation-ward capacity do the hospitals have, and what happens if that becomes overwhelmed? Do we know whether the spread to almost all patients in the psychiatric ward in one South Korean hospital was a function of the perhaps greater difficulty of hygiene control in a psychiatric ward, or something more endemic to hospitals in places that are not Singapore?

            Has the government sought assurances from providers of critical infrastructure that they are prepared for potential loss of critical workers and for breaks in supply chains?

            A lot of GPs require people to show up in person for a re-up on a regular scrip, probably because that’s how they get the fees. Might the government consider requiring that regular scrips be issued on request in the lead up to and during a pandemic so as to reduce the number of people showing up at the GP? Like, maybe there’s some sense in having the GP check that my daughter still has asthma and that the meds are appropriate, but making people show up at the doctor’s right now seems silly to dangerous.

            There seems to be a lot of stuff that could be being sorted out during this brief respite in which it feels like we’re just waiting for the Mask of the Red Death to make his appearance. If the government is onto it, I haven’t heard about it.

            https://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.com/2020/02/ready-up.html

            • weka 16.1.1.2.1.1

              "Everything there is advice for travellers regarding something happening Somewhere Else"

              The first two links I see are for travel safety, but the next lot are MoH, info for exporters, MoE, general Govt advisory and so on.

              Here's the MoH page about COVID-19, and that takes you to the Pandemic Plan, a 193 page document about NZ's plan for *any pandemic. I suspect it answers a lot of the questions above.

              McFlock points out elsewhere in the thread,

              There's already enough panic as it is. We might see a case tomorrow, but we might not see it until six months from now. That'll lead to pr fatigue before we actually need to engage the public.

              People have questions, and that's legitimate. I'd like to see some solid journalism covering some of this, people who have the time to read the 193 pages and put it in the context of COVID-19 and then translate that into useful, non-inflammatory information.

              • SHG

                I'd like to see some solid journalism covering some of this, people who have the time to read the 193 pages and put it in the context of COVID-19 and then translate that into useful, non-inflammatory information.

                Me too.

            • Cinny 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Schools informed parents of their COVID19 plan at the start of the school year.

              It spread so rapidly in China due to a lack of media coverage and shutting down those who tried to inform others.

  17. ianmac 17

    Pity that when the first case appears in NZ the NACTers will howl, "There you are. This incompetent disorganised Government has failed to protect the people! Told you so. Shame on Jacinda!"

    • McFlock 17.1

      Yeah, you don't need a telescope to see what those arseholes are building.

      • weka 17.1.1

        what do you think the public response will be to that? Or the MSM response?

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          oh the msm will plug it hook, line, and sinker. The entitled commentariat will be outraged, shiocked, and stunned at the horrendous repercussions of govt "inactivity". Whakaari "20minute helicopter ride" all over again.

          Only way to avoid it is for our exposure to be demonstrably mild – which probably won't be too far off the mark, given China's situation. But it's largely a matter of luck, depending on how badly the inevitable imported cases transmit the disease into the local population. If it gets a foothold in Counties Manukau, that'll be a problem.

          Public, probably not so much. Usual FB bleating. It could be well-established by the election, though, and that will affect general satisfaction.

          But if we get our first imported case a month or so after vaccine development, no worries. Case comes in, keep 'em isolated, jab everyone within five miles, job done. (that's the very short answer for a vaccine-available environment)

          • weka 17.1.1.1.1

            So in an emergency people will vote more conservatively?

            Do you think there will be an issue with people breaking quarantines?

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              As for voting, I suspect reluctance to get out and vote and an increased susceptibility to fear-based electioneering. But that's not really a priority in a worst-case situation. States of emergency might be a bigger barrier to voting.

              Quarantine issues: historically, most people understand the reasons behind quarantines and, to be frank, most of them are too sick or too worried for their home-mates to really give a shit. There might be a few idiots, but jail is also a good way to isolate people. And it's not like a movie virus – quarantining doesn't need to be perfect to be effective. Just good enough to lower the practical R0 below 1.

  18. Anker 18

    This is one of Nacts more ridiculous attacks of Jacinda Ardern. Maybe hoping to work up the sentiment of Australian’s when Scomo was on holiday in Hawaii.

    this govt seems to be covering all the basis with boarder control, health resource preparedness, meeting with tourism chiefs with financial support, trying to find alternative work for the logging industry workers.

    i suppose Ms Ardern could stay at home and as someone else suggested stand on parliament steps with a syringe or else be seen in her office pacing and wringing her hands….but actually what is needed right now by the leader is a steadying of the ship,

    carrying on, business as usual. Ffs she is only going to Fiji (no known cases) Australia (limited number of cases). She’s not flying commercially.

  19. Anker 19

    Not sure what your point is shg about no bushfires in Hawaii.

    jacinda will be working her but off in fiji and Aussie and that will include working on the threat of the coronavirus to us and our neighbours.

    meanwhile Clark, Robertson and Davis and their officials are at home continuing to work on this emerging situation. Think Peters and Parker have gone to China over this. Boarder control minister working on it. They are doing an excellent proactive job over this

  20. The Right is stirring up hatred and fear and wants Jacinda to announce some idiotic draconian plan that they can then denounce self-righteously.

    The Chinese embassy is accusing the NZ Government of racism for enacting travel restrictions (when China itself has imposed very strict quarantine on Wuhan).

    Seems to me the NZ government is taking sensible precautions but isn't plunging into a panic. But the usual suspects are taking advantage to push their own hypocritical BS and disinformation. Public safety and common sense do not matter to these people.

  21. bwaghorn 21

    Its hardly a right wing left wing thing . its a political thing.

    Scott Morrison got an absolute bollocking during the fires .

    • Sacha 21.1

      For not caring. Now whose values are more commonly aligned with that, the left or the right?

      • Ross 21.1.1

        How do you know he doesn’t care?

        He was probably well aware that there were bush fires, just as there had been in previous years. And let’s not forget that Christine Nixon, a female police chief, had previously been demonised because she had the temerity to go out for dinner during a bushfire. The media and the public can be crass.

        “OK, so Christine Nixon went out for dinner. By doing so, did she endanger any lives or properties? If so, how? Does anyone have evidence that, for instance, the rostered officers made the wrong call because Nixon was too busy ‘washing down’ her dinner to guide them?“

        https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-20/33730

        • Sacha 21.1.1.1

          He got an 'absolute bollocking' on that basis. What I know or don't is irrelevant.

          • Ross 21.1.1.1.1

            In other words he might be very caring but meh.

            Christine Nixon got a bollocking too.

            • Sacha 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Misunderstood saint, if that's what you need him to be.

            • Sacha 21.1.1.1.1.2

              Ross, why is your avatar a different colour above?

              Are you logging in from more than one device? Or is there more than one 'Ross'?

              • Incognito

                Same Ross but with a minor typo in the e-mail address, which unfortunately was approved and now the systems treats this as two different commenters 🙁

                • weka

                  Did you fix the typo?

                  • Incognito

                    No, no point; it has already been approved, some time back.

                    • weka

                      So has Ross fixed it? The name and email look identical to me.

                    • Incognito []

                      No, he hasn’t either. Look carefully at the e-mail addresses; there’s a one-letter difference.

                      Basically, he is using two e-mail addresses that differ by one letter because of a typo (it happened when we had that shit storm with him IIRC).

                    • weka

                      ah, thanks (must be going blind). I've fixed the typo now because I wanted to see what happened, so they're both blue now (in case anyone is still looking).

                    • Incognito []

                      There are 20 instances with the other e-mail address. I have unapproved one of them and then approved with probation so that next time it’ll end up in the Moderation Queue and we can correct the typo and release it. This will hopefully avoid confusion among other commenters. I don’t know if this will ‘lift’ the probation though. There are better things to spend time on though 😉

                    • weka

                      Ok, will be interesting to see what happens. I was thinking it's an issue of the form being now prefilled on two different devices (which is something Ross will have to fix).

                    • Incognito []

                      We have ways to ‘persuade’ him 😉

                • Sacha

                  Ah, thanks for clarifying.

              • Ross

                My avatar looks the same throughout…not sure what you mean. I wasn’t aware that you could type any old email address and still get access.

                • Incognito

                  No, it didn’t. You made a minor typo in your e-mail address and this was approved and recognised by the system. There are now 20 instances with this slightly altered e-mail address; the first time it showed up was on 24 Sep 2018. The system treats these as two different users and thus there are two different avatars, obviously.

                  Weka has changed the e-mail address in your comment under this post, which is why all your comments under this post now look the same with the same avatar.

                  It would be great if you could avoid this little typo in future to avoid confusion 😉

                  If you have more than one e-mail address, e.g. an old one that you used to use here, it would also help to void using the old one and stick to the new one. We do weed out sockpuppets and you may end up caught in the dragnet if you continue using that old/different e-mail address.

  22. Ross 22

    I use only one address and I don’t know what typo youre referring to.

    • Incognito 22.1

      What old e-mail address were you referring to then??

      There is one “d” in your regular e-mail address and in 20 instances this has changed to an “e”.

      For obvious reasons, I cannot spell out your e-mail address here.

    • weka 22.2

      Ross, are you using more than one device to comment on TS? eg a computer and phone, or a home computer and work computer?

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