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The trans Tasman bubble

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, March 11th, 2021 - 72 comments
Categories: australian politics, covid-19, immigration, International, jacinda ardern, tourism, uncategorized - Tags:

Scott Morrison, or more aptly named Scotty from marketing, is at a superficial level your typical right wing leader.  He jokes a lot, tries to be a lad, you cannot take him too seriously, but beneath that bluster filled affable superficial veneer lurks an evil core.

He keeps dropping bombs in the New Zealand Australian relationship.  When you remember that he is from the conservative part of the political spectrum it is not surprising but I wish he would stop doing it.  Because the New Zealand Australian relationship is very important and not something that should be the subject of political games.

His latest effort was to back up National propaganda on the matter and suggest that New Zealand was holding up the establishment of a trans Tasman bubble and that Kiwis have an unfettered ability to travel to Australia.

Yesterday Radio New Zealand reported this:

Pressure from Australia for the government to adopt a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble is once again blowing-up.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country is ready for that bubble.

“If the New Zealand government doesn’t wish Australians to visit New Zealand and spend money in Queenstown or Wellington, or other parts of a country, that’s a matter for them, it has always been a matter for them.

“I’m happy for them to open it up as soon as the Prime Minister and her government would like to do that,” he said.

He said the one-way bubble had been benefiting the Australian economy and tourism and aviation sector.

“If Australians can’t go to Queenstown, I’m hoping they can go to Cairns.”

This raises the question about what the one way bubble looks like.  You get the impression that kiwis can travel willy nilly to Australia.  But the reality is not quite this good.

The basic problem is that Australian states control who visits that state.  The Federal Government can decree that Australia is open but to get into Sydney you have to make sure you can comply with New South Wales’ rules.

As I type this:

This did not stop the right from backing up Scomo and suggesting that things were different.

Yesterday in Parliament David Seymour asked this question:

David Seymour: What is stopping the Government of New Zealand from simply opening the border to travellers from Australian states that have had no active cases for 28 days, mirroring the way Australia treats its border in relation to us?

And not to be outdone Judith Collins asked something similar:

Hon Judith Collins: Is she then saying that the Australian Government is wrong to have unilaterally opened its border to New Zealand travellers?

The assertions are clearly, dramatically wrong.

And happening at the same time are flights from Australia of Kiwis being kicked out of the country after spending most of their lives there, or as Australia’s most detestable politician Peter Dutton describes it, taking out the trash.

And the tale of the Australian woman who went to Syria to join ISIS and has two young children is still not resolved.  It appears that there is Ministerial power to override the cancellation of her Australian citizenship.  Given that Dutton is the Minister involved I cannot ever imagine him doing something humane, even if there are two young children involved.

There are issues to be worked through, particularly what happens if while visiting an Australian state and there is a sudden localised spike in infections, how do they get home?  Current quarantine bed numbers are limited and are only just coping with existing demand.

But this does not stop Scomo and Co taking pot shots at the New Zealand Government.  It is a shame really.  Diplomatic relations ought to be conducted in a more careful manner than they are currently.

72 comments on “The trans Tasman bubble ”

  1. Rapunzel 1

    Everyone's taking pot-shots as the govt battles thru giving NZ the best options. This morning Campbell on Breakfast interviewed a West Coast hotel CEO about closures that are in fact temporary until tourists return as, in his words, they as an entity "will survive" it's only the jobs that go. Now he could have interviewed another CEO Lianna Hagaman but that would be much less touchy feeley

  2. Pat 2

    Morrison issuing some payback for NZs public chastising of his Govs foreign and immigration policies?….no surprises there.

    And theyre our 'best mates'?

  3. Roy Cartland 3

    Scott Morrison, or more aptly named Scotty from marketing Scummo (my favourite).

  4. AB 4

    The public has shown that our top priority is to be safe from the virus. After wheeling out 'Dr Shane' as the voice of moderation last year, National have reverted to type and are getting it wrong again. Couldn't be happier to see them once again confirming their tin ear irrelevance.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    For all that putting NZ down probably plays well in parts of Australia, Morrison's empty whining isn't going to impress anyone who actually has to travel, and keeps up with the rules. Hard to say why the Right have forgotten a basic rule of rhetoric – that telling lies is not mana enhancing. But while things are slowly getting fixed, I'll take it.

  6. Ad 6

    Both Australian state and federal governments have shown that they will open their borders to us fully when we get our shit together.

    It is our own infection breakout failures that cause them to react. So it's on us if we want this situation to improve.

    About a third of businesses in Queenstown will close within the next three months.

    Ardern needs more pressure on her not less.

    • AB 6.1

      Cobblers. Neither NZ nor Oz can trust the other sufficiently to rule out that we won't be importing infection into our communities. And this is nothing to do with anyone's "failures" – it's the nature of the virus and the imperfection of human systems. Business will just have to bow to biology a bit longer – and sure, we will have to throw money at them in the meantime, because throwing money at certain types of problems works exceptionally well.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Your sentiment is about the same as the majority of New Zealanders: just let fate ride, and the businesses that burn, well they just burn. I get that Ardern is popular.

        Just throwing money at the entire economy is thesugar-hit success of Minister Robertson and Treasury. Despite the popularity of that approach, we really should expect more of an economic development plan from both Ardern and Robertson.

    • People keep saying that Wanaka is not in as bad shape as Queenstown, as though Wanaka is coping. It isn't.

      Well at at 5pm each business day you can just about see tumbrills in the streets in central Wanaka….hardly a car or person in sight and parking is easy anywhere. So if things are awful in Queenstown at the moment, they are pretty bad in Wanaka. Luckily a construction boom has helped the local economy somewhat.

      A trans-tasman-bubble would be a massive shot in the arm for both towns, especially in the ski season.

      Note: I am not a business owner in Wanaka

      • Enough is Enough 6.2.1


        And as it stands, and has stood for the past 6 months, the virus is more likely to find its way into Wanaka and Queesnstown from an Aucklander flying in, than it is from an Aussie flying in from Queensland.

        The Aussie model is demonstrably working. They haven't imported a case from New Zealand to date. As soon as there is an out break here the borders are immediately closed on a temporary basis until the threat disappears (essentially Level 1)

        The same should apply the other way, and really needs to be in place before the ski season

  7. Peter 7

    If Australia is really getting rid of its scum I guess we should prepare a welcome for Morrison and Peter Dutton.


    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      We cannot leave all the blame with Australia for this – many of these families fled the dire economic outcomes of Rogergnomics. Of my quite large extended family, those who left for Australia are uniformly much more prosperous than those of us who stayed in NZ.

  8. RedLogix 8

    The hypocrisy of objecting to Dutton's comment about 'taking out the trash' (directed mostly at convicted criminals), while at the same time tolerating comments here openly calling a popular Australian PM 'scum' – is just gobsmacking.

    • KJT 8.1

      How many did he kill with his procrastination on Covid? Fortunately the individual State Governments prevented a lot more. And are still preventing it, with their quarantine restrictions.

      "Scum" is being kind.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        By that logic every leader of every nation where anyone died of COVID would be 'scum'. Even Ardern.

        • KJT

          Rubbish. I see someone else talked about fàlse equivalence.

          Bolsanaro, Scumo, Trump, Johnson, Putin and others who knowingly caused so many unessessary deaths, are indeed, scum. As are those who are happy for more people to die in New Zealand, for a mythical economic, advantage.

          As they say, "those who ignore history, are doomed to repeat it".

          • tc

            State premiers stopped more people from dying…scotty from marketing got overuled.

            Remember Scomo's a hobsons choice PM after Dutton led Wuperts instigated removal of Turnbull. Dutton so wanted it, Liberals realised he’s electoral posion. Scomo’s Insipid on the outside, nasty within.

            He can go back to removing rules the directors club want gone (material disclosure to the ASX), not implementing the royal commisssion recomendations on how banks reamed Ozzies, backing more coal projects etc etc

    • AB 8.2

      False equivalence. Power matters. Having the capacity to execute the ramifications of a vile opinion, is quite different from ranting impotently in the dark (or on TS).

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Reducing everything to a 'power analysis' is the dark heart of everything wrong with the mad left these days.

        • Peter

          Is another symptom of a 'mad left' these days Ardern (or anyone) commenting on the Australian Government sending people here who haven't lived here since they were tiny and who have had minor charges against them?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          the dark heart of everything wrong with the mad left

          Another intriguing opinion RL. I'll take the 'mad left' over the 'mad right' (Johnson, Trump, Bolsonaro) any day, and particularly at the moment.

          • RedLogix

            Do I have to spell out how this works as if you were a child?

            Yes Dutton's remarks were odious and deserving of condemnation, as is the arbitrary, callous nature of at least some 501 deportations.

            None of that however is justification for stupid, unproductive name-calling. And certainly not on the entirely dubious grounds of ‘power imbalance’.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              RL, I found your use of the "mad left" label unsurprising and unreasonable, and expressed an opinion to convey that. What I didn't do was write things like "Do I have to spell out how this works as if you were a child?"

              Do you understand the inflammatory nature of personal attacks and ad homs?

    • Peter 8.3

      I get the point. I also understand the point about diplomacy and the way things are done and need to be done 'diplomatically.'

      A senior politician coming out and showing Dutton's attitude compared to some anonymous nobody minion like me writing in a part of the world an insignificant number will see?

      The "popular Australian PM" will be called 'scum' if he acts in scummy ways. Did you find Dutton's comments 'gobsmacking' from someone in his position? Do you find Morrisons attitude to humanity 'gobsmacking'?

      • RedLogix 8.3.1

        See above.

        • Stuart Munro

          Mr Double Standard strikes again – it's terrible to call the Aussie PM by the nickname he earned for inaction during the fire season – but fine for RedLogix to slag off the Left as being mad. Follow your own rule, if you can.

          • RedLogix

            Well in my view reducing everything to a power struggle, and then using the 'powerless victim' card to excuse any and all bad behaviour – is one of the collective psychopathologies sweeping the West at present.

            Still if calling Morrison stupid names is going to make anyone feel better – then I don't think there's much to add here.

            • solkta

              Given that he relishes going by the stupid name of ScoMo it is actually quite funny.

            • Stuart Munro

              You might think that, not having been on the receiving end very often perhaps.

              But structural power imbalances are a big deal. The one between the worker and the employer – made much worse by useless governments admitting slave and low-wage workers willy nilly. The one between races when there is structural inequality, such as that which had Maori average age at death at 50 in the 1980s.

              It's little injustices like these, and the power imbalance between those who possess capital, and those that do not, that are foundational of the Left, and of Left values.

              But if calling other people mad makes you feel better, no doubt you will continue to do so.

              • Peter

                A power imbalance is when Australia can do whatever it likes and people here kowtow to them and resent us expressing any reservations. Because Australia's bigger and more important than us?

                A power imbalance is when Dutton calls people, our people, "trash" and anyone here reciprocating by calling him "scum" is lambasted by locals here who think we should accept being treat like shit.

                • RedLogix

                  A power imbalance is when Dutton calls people, our people, "trash" and anyone here reciprocating by calling him "scum" is lambasted by locals here who think we should accept being treat like shit.

                  I've robustly spoken out against both.

                  My point is simple – Dutton is well off base using language like that – even when he is referring to mostly convicted crims. (People who we perhaps might want to remember were happy to exploit a very real 'power imbalance' in the course of committing the crimes that got them deported in the first place.)

                  But once you start using the 'power imbalance' excuse to justify any and all bad behaviour – given that all human relationships are innately hierarchical – you've cracked open the door to hell.

                  Ardern sets a good example of the correct response:

                  “The Australian leadership is very aware of our view on it and it hasn’t changed. In terms of the fact that there’s now video footage, as I say, we take the same position we always have. We’re not going to get into a tit for tat over it, I don’t think that takes us anywhere.”

      • Muttonbird 8.3.2

        Yes, leaders set the tone (a point which seems to have escaped RL) and voters vote those leaders in.

        Australia get what they deserve in their leaders including Scumo, Dutton, and Porter. Evil to the core.

    • georgecom 8.4

      it's not so much "taking out the trash" as more like Aussie driving along, winding down the car window and throwing the rubbish it created out the window and hoping someone else will clean it up.

  9. Reality 9

    Ad, your last sentence sounds as if bullying someone into submission is the way to go.

    As for Queenstown businesses closing, very unfortunate yes, but that is what happens with uneconomic businesses. They have had many good years, charging exorbitant prices. I was told by someone in the tourism business about a man who wanted to hire a kayak for the day. It would cost $200. His reply, no way, I will go to the Warehouse and buy one and on sell it on TradeMe after.

    David Jones in the heart of Wellington, long established cafes in central Wellington are closing. The world has changed with more people working from home and going to their local cafe.

    • KJT 9.1

      How many close in a normal year?

      Certainly the number of businesses that open, hopefully, before summer in tourist spots I go to, especially beaches, that are gone next summer, is more than a third.

      • Graeme 9.1.1

        Quite a few, and we probably turn over half our population every two years (the average length of time of residence in the burg).

        But most of the business that have gone post covid probably would have gone in that period anyway, most had issues. We've been overdue for a downturn and the place was just as dismal, with probably more empty space in 2009. The next three months are going to be tight, but 20years ago the place pretty much closed down in May and June, there were no tourists and everyone went on holiday or refitted their businesses, this 12 month season thing is a very new concept.

        A lot have strategies to get through it and will be there for the future, a lot didn't plan for a downturn and will be gone. Happens every cycle.

        It's quite possible that covid could be the best thing that's ever happened for Queenstown and New Zealand tourism.

        • KJT

          Our main street shops were emptying out long before Covid. Many more are shutting down, often due to excessive rents and charges.

          • Graeme

            Yeah, retail seemed to be slowing for a year before covid and it was obvious that a correction of some sort was coming along soon. Recessions generally boil down to one cause, humans doing too much of a good, but quite dodgy, thing. Usually it's financial, silly, in hindsight, lending or investing practices, but this time it's a bit more human due to excessive human mobility.

    • Ad 9.2

      That's why you don't hear the phrase "Let's do this", or even the word "transformational" anymore. We have simply collectively agreed that there's nothing more anyone can do. So that's the only expectation we have of our leadership as well.

      Yours is probably the most heartless sentiment I've seen since Roger Douglas in his prime.

      • woodart 9.2.1

        not heartless, but realistic. if you knew as much as you think you do, you would know that over 25% of new businesses fall over in the first five years, and in the food service market(cafes, etc) that percentage is far higher. normally that is taken as a fact, and ignored, but with covid, and the media looking for sob stories, it has been dragged out to try and beat the gov with.

  10. georgecom 10

    For a number of months we have heard periodic squawks and moans from the national Party and it’s socket puppets regarding covid19 vaccinations. Their contributions have for the most part consisted of moans and negativity rather than anything constructive. The recent decision to purchase sufficient Pfizer vaccines being a case in point. Nothing agreeing with the Government on the logic of choosing one consistent vaccine and thus making it easier, nor for that matter criticising the move on the basis of other vaccines being easier to store, move or administer like the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. In essence, nothing more than squawking. That should not come as too much of a surprise given that the National Party is led by someone long versed in dirty politics, connivance and underhand dealings than being constructive and collaborative.

    The squawking can be ignored to come extent however National and it’s sock puppets should really put forward their plan, and specifically answer a few questions. Every time one of them opens their mouth to squawk a few questions should be asked. What vaccines will they purchase, at what price, when will the doses arrive and how will NZ place itself at the head of the queue to ensure this happens? I would imagine that very few National MP’s will have answers to any of those questions. The likes of Shane Reti might have some idea, Collins and Bishop et al probably few clues at all.

    A bit of background on the current global vaccine situation might be useful. Developed countries are vaccine hoarding, some countries have sufficient vaccines on order to inoculate their populations several times over. NZ itself does, so the question for us is what will we do with the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines we have on order. Our first delivery of 200,000 AstraZeneca* doses is due sometime between March and May, which is fairly vague. Developing countries are scrambling to find sources of vaccines. The global COVAX alliance can guarantee sufficient vaccines for only 20% of populations in developing and under-developed countries. Many are sourcing what they can from where they can.

    Chile as an example has 3 vaccines in use from the West and China, and is considering going to China again and Russia for 2 further vaccines brands. Mexico is using 3 different brands of Chinese vaccines on top of Astra Zeneca and Pfizer and Sputnik from Russia. Various African countries are even wondering where their next batch of vaccines will come from. So there is a global scrap on for vaccines, this is typified by the recent case of Italy vetoing a shipment of Astra Zeneca to Australia.

    So, good luck to anyone, ie seemingly some National Party MPs and some of their sock puppets, who thinks they can simply walk down to the local Pharmaceutical company and purchase several million doses of a vaccine and walk out the door with them.

    In terms of vaccines there are currently 14 in use of some sort around the world from what I can see, either approved for general use or for emergency use.

    Pfizer (US) – ultracold storage, widely used

    Moderna (US) – ultracold storage, mainly North America and more limited use in Europe

    Astra Zeneca (Europe) – widely used, has seen controversy over it’s effectiveness to new mutations of the virus and administering to over 65’s

    Johnson & Johnson (US) – just starting to be rolled out and limited international approval thus far

    Covivax (India) – widely used in India, just starting to be rolled out internationally

    SInovac (China) – widely used, debate about effectiveness ranging from 51% to 80% based on different trials, full data not disclosed internationally

    Sinopharm 1 (China) – widely used in a number of countries, seems effective but full data not disclosed internationally

    Sinopharm 2 (China) – just starting to be rolled out and limited approval thus far, seems effective but full data not disclosed internationally

    Cansino (China) – just starting to be rolled out and limited international approval thus far

    Zhifei Longcom (China) – very recently approved in Uzbekistan for emergency use

    Sputnik (Russia) – widely used

    EpiCoronaVac (Russia) – just starting to be rolled out and limited international approval thus far, full data not disclosed internationally

    KoviVac (Russia) – very recently approved for use in Russia

    QazCovid (Kazakhstan) – very recently approved for emergency use in Kazakhstan

    So from that list, which ones would the National party and sock puppets approve for NZ? And once approved, what is the purchase price and what is the specific timetable for delivery to NZ? Maybe NZ can get itself to the head of the queue for the Kovivac from Russia or we can pay more per dose for Zhifei Longcom than Uzbekistan and take their supply. Or maybe Judith Collins will have us all lining up for jabs of QazCovid from Kazakhstan. Or maybe let’s get a big shipment of Sinovac and hope it’s better than 51% effective.

    Yup, if we go scrambling round like Mexico or Chile or Hungary etc we could get some of those vaccines. I would look forward to seeing every National party sock puppet jostling to be first in line for QazCovid or Sinovac. I would look forward to seeing Collins, Bishop and Seymour being first in line to get jabbed with KoviVac.

    *Hopefully the vaccines can be redirected to pacific countries or offered to the likes of Bangladesh or Zimbabwe where they will be gratefully received

  11. Barfly 11

    I long for legislation that would allow New Zealanders to surrender their citizenship easily

    "Worried about being a 501 deportee?"

    " Nah not me mate gave up my NZ citizenship they can't deport me devil "

    • alwyn 11.1

      It is actually pretty easy to give up your New Zealand citizenship.

      You can do it if –

      "You can renounce your New Zealand citizenship if:

      • you are aged 18 or over
      • you have citizenship of another country, and
      • you have full mental capacity (you know what you are doing)."

      All you will have to do then, if you are currently living in Australia, therefore is to get yourself Australian citizenship. They were pretty easy going about that in the past but the Clark Government here pissed them off a bit and they tightened up about 20 years ago. Still, someone like you should easily qualify I would imagine.

      • Barfly 11.1.1

        Too old too poor (and no dam desire to live there)

        If it were changed to not needing citizenship of another country I would laugh my head of at the frustration of Dutton and Morrison not being able to push many of the damaged and dangerous created by Australian society on to New Zealand

        • RedLogix

          damaged and dangerous created by Australian society

          Indeed – but at the same time it's wrong to erase their own individual agency and accountability for their actions.

          Let's just explore the logical consequence of this idea that all crime is because it was 'created by society'. This must mean that the individual cannot be arrested or convicted because they're in no manner culpable. I think you would agree this would be absurd. No society has ever accepted such a premise.

          The reality is that both principles are at work – both collective and individual responsibility – but they operate in different domains. (We don't for example arrest and charge the Prime Minister as personally responsible for each and every crime committed because as the head of state they're responsible for the 'damage their society has caused' – it's a nonsense even to type out such a proposal.)

          In this Australia has every right to hold their criminals to account. These are generally not people we should waste a lot of sympathy on, and we must recognise that the Australian public don't either.

          But at the same time the 501 deportation scheme is clearly being operated in an arbitrary and sometimes callous manner. In particular it's entirely wrong to be deporting people into NZ when they have absolutely no personal connections here. That is specifically harmful to both the individual (over and above any sentence they may have received lawfully in Australia) and to NZ society.

          Most reasonable people accept there is a sensible middle path here, that Section 501 deportations to NZ should have a 10 year residency limit, or if the person arrived in Australia under the age of 10. The NZ govt needs to have a specific goal like this that can be achieved, and work to pressure the Australian govt on it.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Let's just explore the logical consequence of this idea that all crime is because it was 'created by society'. This must mean that the individual cannot be arrested or convicted because they're in no manner culpable. I think you would agree this would be absurd. No society has ever accepted such a premise.

            Just because no society has ever accepted such a premise does not necessarily mean that the premise is absurd, although it would certainly be inconvenient.

            The Lucretian swerve: The biological basis of human behavior and the criminal justice system. [Anthony Cashmore; 2010]
            It is widely believed, at least in scientific circles, that living systems, including mankind, obey the natural physical laws. However, it is also commonly accepted that man has the capacity to make “free” conscious decisions that do not simply reflect the chemical makeup of the individual at the time of decision—this chemical makeup reflecting both the genetic and environmental history and a degree of stochasticism. Whereas philosophers have discussed for centuries the apparent lack of a causal component for free will, many biologists still seem to be remarkably at ease with this notion of free will; and furthermore, our judicial system is based on such a belief. It is the author’s contention that a belief in free will is nothing other than a continuing belief in vitalism—something biologists proudly believe they discarded well over 100 years ago.

            I don't know if NZ-born and educated Cashmore is correct, incorrect, or somewhere inbetween, but the existence of free wiil is fiercely contested. Best to keep an open mind, imho.

            • RedLogix

              Just because no society has ever accepted such a premise does not necessarily mean that the premise is absurd, although it would certainly be inconvenient.

              Try suggesting to an anti-racist that the white cop who killed George Floyd has 'no free will' and is therefore not culpable. Or to an anti-capitalist that Jeff Bezos is only rich because of biology and therefore nothing should be done about inequality. Or that rapists are merely a product of their environment and thus taking to them to court is cruel and counterproductive. Or the guy who shot up ChCh was merely driven by ‘a degree of stochasticism’.

              Get back to me on the responses you encounter …

              As I tried to make clear above;

              The reality is that both principles are at work – collective and individual responsibility – but they operate in different domains.

              All too often we get them mixed up.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I believe that anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-rapist and anti-white supremacist mass murderer views have value.

                Cashmore offers an alternative lens through which to consider why any human does a particular thing, or indeed anything. His thesis has implications for the notions of individual (and collective) responsibility. He is by no means alone; as I'm sure you're aware philosophers have been wrestling with the concept of free will for millennia.

                Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior [Genschow et al., 2017]]
                Although the research outlined above emphasized the effects of believing in free will on people’s behavior, an intriguing and broader question is whether free-will beliefs affect fundamental social-cognitive processes that are involved in the perception and understanding of others’ behavior as well. In this respect, previous studies indicate that the strength of the belief in free will predicts intolerance for unethical behavior in others as well as support for harsh criminal punishment. The general goal of the present research is to examine whether the belief in free will affects basic social-cognitive processes underlying perception and judgment of other people’s behavior.

                I don't personally know anyone who submits comments to The Standard, and sometimes find the idea that we lack free will is a useful lens through which to view comments.

      • tc 11.1.2

        I was informed by the NZ consulate that kiwis do not posses the rights to renounce NZ citizenship only the govt does.

        Their response was doesn't matter what you do we hold that right not you buddy.

  12. RP Mcmurphy 12

    he would say anything!

  13. georgecom 13

    I have just returned from a pleasure trip that needed no travel bubble

    Where did I go? I hear you ask

    I took my mother in law to the airport.

  14. Barfly 14

    Bad day today – I feel like getting plastered – after 154 days without alcohol – Maybe I should just beat my head against a wall /sigh

  15. Incognito 15

    Maybe the PRC can offer to broker a deal between Oz and NZ 😉

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.

  16. Graeme 16

    Probably what Morrison's outburst was all about.


    The Australian Government is pouring cash into their aviation industry before it collapses. Having a trans-tasman market would help their survival chances enormously, especially Virgin.

    The NZ Government should let them go for it, wouldn't be the first time the Australian Govt. has given a direct subsidy to the NZ tourism industry. Last one was the GFC handout ski holiday in 2009, nearly Queenstown's best August ever…..

  17. Muttonbird 17

    The Special Class Visa should be abolished. It's doesn't do New Zealand any good whatsoever, and because of Australian policy it now does New Zealand a lot of harm.

    Australia takes young Kiwis, turns then into criminals (the country's foundations are a penal colony), and sends them back.

    Tear up the Visa and let Australia vet Kiwi immigrants at the border like everyone else.

    • alwyn 17.1

      It wouldn't be at the border unless you only want to go as a tourist. If you want to work there, and you aren't a New Zealand citizen you need the visa before you go.

  18. Muttonbird 18

    I prefer Nanaia Mahuta's diplomacy on this.

    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta​ says Australian Minister Peter Dutton​ “only serves to trash his own reputation” by insulting New Zealand deportees by calling them “trash”.

    I can imagine Dutton and all the other gammons in Australia incandescent with rage reading that this morning.


    The stunt pulled by Scumo and Dutton filming deportees on the tarmac is one of the most base, inhumane political acts I've seen in a long time.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      all the other gammons in Australia incandescent with rage reading that this morning.

      Interestingly the only person I've ever met here in Australia who was 'incandescently' supportive of the 501 regime was a Samoan blue collar worker who had family that had gotten in the way of a gang.

      Also using a skin colour based slur around here is low grade imo.

      • Muttonbird 18.1.1

        Pretty sure that's nothing compared to what The Australian readers will be saying about Nanaia Mahuta today.

        • alwyn

          Pretty sure they won't be saying anything because they won't have heard about it.

          People in New Zealand seem to consider that Australia takes notice of us. They don't.

          When, in the late 80's and early 90's I lived there I used to ask the locals in Melbourne what was the Capital of New Zealand. Four out of five would say Auckland. For the odd one who got it right I would ask what Island was Wellington on. More than half would say the South Island. Australians really don't know, and don't care what goes on here.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Agreed Alwyn, with the exception of trans-Tasman sport, and even then coverage of match results in the Aussie MSM is fulsome only when they win.

          • RedLogix

            Have to say it's not the late 80's anymore. Most people we encounter here have either been to NZ or have family, workmates or some connection to the place.

            I've raised the 501 question in few social conversations now, and while none of them are at all sympathetic at the idea of crims being deported, when I explain how some are being sent to NZ after living most of their life in Australia, and are for all intents and purposes Australian, then most agree there should be some time limits on the 501 process.

            The whole issue boils down to the ongoing ambiguity of the SCV444, which allows kiwis to live and work in Australia indefinitely – but has no automatic pathway to citizenship no matter how long you live there.

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