They Are Us

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, February 20th, 2022 - 129 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, human rights - Tags:

“They are us”.

These were the words Prime Minister Ardern uttered straight after the Christchurch massacre.

The people camping outside Parliament are also us.

We don’t have to agree with them.

We can tow their cars and put their extremists in front of a judge.

But they are still us.

They can wee on the front lawn, believe stupid things, and be completely imbalanced about necessary tradeoffs of human rights. They may have no ideological core, no leader, and little they can agree on. They may be supported by no political party in parliament. And still they are us.

Where else ought they go? Back to no job, no MSD help, no network other than that online? We don’t even do that to prisoners coming out of jail. Why did this government think they would get away with such a fast and massive change in societal rules without demur?

The only right place for a protest is right outside where our national democratic representatives gather. It is their job to make you feel uncomfortable. Bars don’t have a human right to customers. MPs and Parliamentary staff should all be working from home on Teams as per the government’s own COVID advice, not complaining about being yelled at. The location, scale and length of the protest is proportionate to the degree of deprivation these people have experienced.

At Ardern’s address about the Christchurch massacre, she unified all of Parliament by bringing all party leaders on her air force flight from Wellington to Christchurch. At Christchurch’s vigil she stood and said simply “You are us.”

Where has that Prime Minister gone? Why are these people not us? It is contempt.

Ardern used to be globally renowned as one who would with skilled communication embrace all. Ignoring crisis is her new mode, and her polls are tanking almost as fast as that of Labour itself. Two months after the 2019 Christchurch massacre Prime Minister Ardern and French President Emmanual Macron used a G20 summit to launch the Christchurch Call to Action as a partnership between government and Big Tech to deny “terrorist and violent extremist content” online. They made a difference while not solving the problem entirely.

Where has that statesperson gone in 2022? Multiple countries have faced COVID civil rights crisis after crisis, but there is no call for common position or approach from Ardern. Where is that same solid moral and logical foundation we once knew? Why has her courage left her?

The current inaction by NZ Police and government is turning the inchoate rabble into a cause celebre. This will only start being solved – as in the Canadian approach – when local police start towing the cars away. So instead into that cold political air consisting of pure fire-ready oxygen, Russell Coutts is joining, Dame Tariana Turia supports them, the cars keep coming week after week. We know now this is going to grow, and with that dumpster fire will come broader and unwelcome international political support.

The protest will continue to grow until Ardern sets out a specific timetable that ends the vaccine mandates. As she should, and like she has for every other COVID-response step.

Few other than Government Ministers actually agree that the vaccine mandates should continue. Whatever solidity is left has little foundation. Just maybe they have a point.

Covid-19: Are NZ’s vaccine mandates justified in the age of Omicron? |

But now to her, any response looks like caving. Every protester, according to Minister Wood, is harbouring Nazis.

Labour’s Michael Wood warns MPs who want to support anti-mandate protest it has ‘river of filth’ running through it | Newshub

Ardern, not Mallard, is responsible for the growth of this protest.

Yet the people whose job it is to talk to protesters – politicians – dare not speak to the unclean. They speak above them directly to the media, and repeat how un-principled of them it would be to speak to them as if at stake were principles higher than packing up a tent. The politicians are treating them like the societal outcasts they are so they behave like outcasts even more.

The slippery slope of political shunning will grow into a social pileup. Disease. Injury. Crime. Counter-protest. Public v protester violence. Deeper extremism. Calls that they all be infected and let the protest+disease “sort itself out”. Calls for ever-greater martial force from left, centre and right.

This used to be everything Jacinda Ardern stood against. So did we.

Actually let me show you how real New Zealanders deal with outcasts when you’re not an MP: Salvation Army and City Mission and Te Whanau Waipereira staff are abused dealing with the homeless and wasted every day. Police are regularly abused as part of their line of work. Courts engage sensitively with outrageous crime in socially and culturally sensitive settings. DHB mental health teams deal with the delusional and their wake of damage in group conferences every hour of the day. Social Welfare and Oranga Tamariki staff deal with outrage, incoherence, living condition squalor and fact-free stupidity every day.

They do the hard mahi these politicians won’t.

The ordinary public service know better than the politicians that not engaging with difficult people just makes the whole situation worse and worse, and they do so with skill not evident in Ardern’s current leadership.

Ardern has changed for the worse and her reaction to this protest can only recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days.

They are not “them”.

They are us.

129 comments on “They Are Us ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    To show that debate is alive and well on the Standard today there are two posts with considerably different views.

    For me I disagree with Ad in his criticism of Ardern. Right now is not the time to work out when to announce a lifting of mandates. It is a time for assessment and providing full support to the health system. The Wellington protests are an unfortunate sideshow and distraction and the involvement of the far right should not be minimised.

    • weka 1.1

      three now, all headlined (you and I overlapped?). Would have been nice if they didn't all use the same photo, but maybe there's some potent imagery in that after all.

      • Belladonna 1.1.1

        Actually – I think that the same photo speaks volumes. That it's perspective that matters – not 'reality'.

        • Dennis Frank

          When a perspective is shared by a group you get a socially-constructed reality that separates out from whatever socially-constructed reality exists already.

          The protest has morphed into a self-organising system. When humans do those they co-construct alternate realities on the basis of common cause.

          Leftists, standing apart, observe this natural phenomenon but misinterpret it due to their bias. Better to go with what's happening. Leftist delusions are irrelevant.

    • weka 1.2

      added a couple of links that were missing.

    • Chris T 1.3

      "Right now is not the time to work out when to announce a lifting of mandates"

      Is that a joke?

      People just want to know an idea of what is needed to do it. No one expects a specific date.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Well, I'm not so sure about your last sentence, but in case you missed it over the last couple of years the basic principle is that the public health measures will end when there's not a high probability that removing those measures will result in thousands of cases a day and the concomitant pressure on primary, secondary, and tertiary-level health providers will kill people even if the virus doesn't kill them directly.

        happy to help

        • Chris T

          That isn't good enough.

          Edit: But appreciate the govt probably hadn’t thought about it yet.

          As they really are that disorganised.

          • McFlock

            Dude, they've been doing it for literally years, adjusting public health measures to match the rising, or falling, public health hazard. L4 comes in, risk passes, got to L3 or L2. Traffic light starts orange, then goes red. Bubble comes in, bubble leaks, bubble pops.

            Everything else is in the hands of viral evolution in the rest of the world. Omicron sub variants get even more mild, things relax, then the omega or eye of horus variants come along and the unvaccinated lose their jobs again. Or we get a more transmissible haemorrhagic disease like ebola, and reopened travel goes back to miq.

            If you want anything more firm than that then go to a farm, buy a live chicken and read its damned entrails.

            • Chris T

              I am not sure why this is so hard for you to take in.

              No one is asking for an exact date I know.

              What they want is the criteria and status of the contagion stats wise which would provide enough comfort to drop the mandates.

              This criteria could be meet tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Just wtf is it?

              As I say. I am guessing they haven't considered it yet.

              • McFlock

                You're correct, I don't understand why you're looking for specific "criteria" in a pandemic. What, you're after a case per day number? A demonstrated R0? Any measure encompasses circumstances where controls can be eased and where controls should be increased.

                Safe to say it's not gonna happen while cases are jumping by hundreds a day. We've got the expected curves of this outbreak which seem to be tracking cases pretty well along the 80% masking front (2500 announced today feb20, 2550 was the projection for feb 18). We might be under the projection, but not outrageously so.

                So don't expect much in the way of changes to mask mandates before mid-April at the earliest, and shit could push that further back. If public health efforts aren't discarded, of course.

                We're in it "for the duration". The entire "don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day" vibe.

                • Chris T

                  You're correct, I don't understand why you're looking for specific "criteria" in a pandemic. What, you're after a case per day number? A demonstrated R0? Any measure encompasses circumstances where controls can be eased and where controls should be increased.

                  Well the govt obviously isn't thinking about it

                  But nice of you to add the other bit when it should be the govt saying it.

                  • McFlock


                    When I was watching the dailies, the government said it repeatedly.

                    • Chris T

                      Should be easy to post a quote saying it then. I am happy to be proved wrong and apologise.

                    • McFlock

                      I stopped watching the dailies months ago, sorry.

                      Still haven't quite figured out what you're having difficulty with.

                    • Chris T

                      It is pretty simple.

                      Ardern said: "We only want to use things like restrictions and passes and mandates for so long as they are providing safety for the community.

                      "When they're not needed, of course, you'd look to remove them."

                      What situation criteria meets the level of them being needed?

                      She ain't rocket science. She don't even have to give a date.

                • Chris T

                  Safe to say it's not gonna happen while

                  So don't expect much in the way of changes to mask mandates before mid-April at the earliest

                  We're in it "for the duration". The entire "don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day" vibe.

                  Apologies. But this is my point.

                  This is all logic. But is also nothing the govt has pointed out to people more worried than I am.

                  I am getting a bit sick of their promoting paranoia. When the main cause is their own lack of clarity

                  • McFlock

                    Seems pretty clear to me. Any more clear, and the complaint would be that the government is treating nzers like they're children.

                    • Chris T

                      So what?

                      People are supposed to just listen to your sane comments and not bother listening to the govt who don't clarify anything?

                    • McFlock

                      Where do you think my "sane comments" come from?

                      What is so unclear about this media conference? It's an hour long, clearly identifies objectives, current situation, next steps, and so on. Also says why they do some stuff, the limits of tech (like the "pingdemic" risk outlined at around 8min in the bluetooth bit, or RATs @10min). 20min in and it seems clear enough to me.

                      If that's not your thing, what about the community response framework?

                    • Chris T

                      You mean apart from the fact the govt is blatantly missing in action in it?

                    • McFlock


                      You think that if it's only the DG health and a variety of ministry personnel, "the government" isn't there.

                    • Chris T


                      As normal, they are aren't there when any actual proposed planning is given out, and only around when they hand out stats these people give them.

                    • Chris T

                      But if you think it is pointless having the PM guide the country instead of just read stats out all good.

                      I disagree, Think she should be a guide and give reassurance and some sort of idea of what might may cause things to head closer to normal.

                      Get others may not.

                    • McFlock

                      DG health is part of the government. MoH is part of the government.

                      A year ago you were complaining about the PM having a "free daily party political broadcast every day she wants it". Now she's not making enough appearances.

                      I'm wondering if the apparent communication breakdown is in the receiver, rather than the transmitter.

        • Peter Mattiassi

          If the Govt really cared about our health providers saving lives then they should resource them better, and not demoralize and decimate them to the point where they want to go on strike. Talk to some nurses ask them how they feel about mandates. We are not expecting the removal of all restriction overnight. We are talking about vaccine mandates because they could well be counter productive at this point in time.

          • McFlock

            Yeah, bollocks.

            Long term fuckups don't mean the short term plan is wrong. It just makes it more important that the short term plan works.

            This protest is "counter productive". "Mandates" are not.

  2. You seriously can't compare Wellington to Christchurch.

    Wellington is a group of mainly misinformed people spouting plenty of untruths and acting in a somewhat violent and threatening arena with no regard for the law.

    How does that compare to the Christchurch you talk about?

    • weka 2.1

      He's talking about Ardern's ability to treat NZ as a whole when under stress. Obviously lots of lefties want to other the protestors and Ardern apparently does too. Ad is pointing out that this is unnecessary and wrong. It's about about a moral equivalence in terms of politics, it's about he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Yeah, I share your stance re her lack of leadership. Perhaps she hasn't figured out that she has a political crisis to engage with as well as a public health crisis?

    If so, the penny ought to drop sometime soon. Understandable that she got stuck in pandemic management thinking but political leaders nowadays are meant to follow the people (rather than lead them) and the recent poll showing a 70:30 split in public opinion on the mandate was a signal to her that the team of five million framing she used a couple of years ago no longer has validity. There's an opposing team now.

    Just watched the police commissioner on Q+A and was surprised by how well he came across. He said he was acting on the advice of his executive. Anyone know what he meant by that?? Some kind of collective leadership group of top cops? Whatever, he seems a model of peaceful conflict resolution in process and the PM ought to engage on a similar basis. Stop displaying impotence!

    • mikesh 3.1

      If so, the penny ought to drop sometime soon.

      Hopefully, when Christmas comes around, Trevor will play Yuletide carols to the protesters over the loudspeakers. They could also distribute free hot cross buns to them the following Easter.

    • mikesh 3.2

      I think the mandates were put in place to protect employers who, in the interests of staff safety declined to employ unvaccinated persons, from accusations of discrimination, and perhaps from litigation. A secondary purpose, I suppose, would have been to encourage waverers to get themselves vaccinated – and seem to have been very successful in doing so.

      I don't think the gover4nment can provide a timeline for removal of the mandates until omicron has played itself out – and delta too, which is still circulating apparently.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Incredibly poor taste to highjack this quote made for people whose only crime was to be muslim. A crime for which they paid with 51 lives.

    Just being edgy to get eyeballs on the post?


  5. Robert Guyton 5

    The police commissioner "seems a model of peaceful conflict resolution in progress".

    The Prime Minister has said that the matter is his, not hers.

    That's wise thinking, given your comment, Dennis, don't you think?

    Leave the matter in the hands of the capable person whose job it is to manage the problem.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Operationally you are correct. However a govt can't succeed by ignoring a political crisis created by it's own legislation. It does have to own the crisis.

      Instead, the PM has been trying to ignore it by using an above the fray stance. The longer she remains stuck in that, the more damage she does to her govt. People interpret it as impotence. Weak govts lose.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1

        "Weak Governments Lose" They should use the cosh? then lose? Rock and hard place. You either believe and live by 'least violence possible' or you don't.

        • Dennis Frank

          No, wrong to use traditional force methods. Coster is doing peaceful non-violent confict resolution. I hope he succeeds with that. You can do that from a position of strength, and although many complain that he seems weak and the police control system too porous to take seriously, his interview with Q+A gave me the feeling that his containment policy is satisfactory.

          What we are not being informed of is the extent of govt/police liaison. Notably missing from the public debate has been the police minister. You could use a cardboard cut-out of her instead – would be just as effective in the public mind. If she has been doing active liaison behind the scenes, that would be unfair. We just don't know. I reckon Ardern ought to tell us. Transparent governance!

  6. vto 6

    I agree with others above that the comparison with 51 dead men women and children in Christchurch is out of order Ad.

    The protestors who have lost jobs and the like have suffered a kick. These kicks come to people each and every day of every year…

    … the only thing that makes this any different from every other everyday kicking is the prominence and the higher numbers involved..

    … but the actual effects of the kicking are no different. The protestors are crying over an everyday risk and kick, and they need to get over themselves.

    Risk to tourism from a pandemic? Always been there.

    Risk to hospo from a pandemic? Always been there.

    I see people kicked everyday by government, by acts of god, by business risks, by acts of ill intent from fellow humans, by events in foreign lands… it goes on and on and on…

    … the only difference is the singular suffering a sole sufferer (which nobody cares about – John Key ‘life choices’ anyone? bullshit) … compared to the multiple headline-grabbing of the larger numbers involved here…

    so nup, aint no "they are us" in the context posited.


  7. mikesh 7

    The slogan "They are us" was very effective when used by Jacinda at the time of the Christchurch massacre but has now become something of a cliche.

  8. Ad-below are extracts from Toby Manhire's brilliant article describing the key people behind the Wellington anti-vaccine protest. You may be able to stomach these people but I want nothing to do with them.

    "The letter [containing demands from groups at the parliament protest] was co-signed by the Freedom Alliance, NZ Doctors Speaking Out with Science, the Outdoors & Freedom Movement, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition and Voices for Freedom. It ..included …the false assertion that Covid is no more severe than the flu."

    "Kelvyn Alp’s conspiratorial subjects range from the moon landings to the Christchurch massacre. He feeds his viewers the flagrant falsehood that Covid is a hoax – “there is no virus, there never has been….trafficked children are incarcerated in a dungeon under parliament, interspersed with spam hawking fraudulent vaccine passports, weight loss pills and crypto."

    Brian Tamaki's "FRC has arranged dozens of protests around the country, including at the Auckland Domain, the motorway “gridlock” and the large gathering at parliament in November, where one FRC speaker declared the media to be “an army of terrorists”.

    "VFF describes itself as a grassroots organisation, but the abundance of the material it has created, including mass-produced misinformation pamphlets, posters that dominate demonstrations and giant billboards, have raised questions about funding."

    "On another Chantelle Baker stream, she gushed over messages such as “love conquers all” inked on a vehicle. Except some of the messages in the frame were wishing death upon politicians. And the vehicle was adorned with a picture of Jacinda Ardern behind bars, emblazoned with a conspiracy theorist Q."

    OFM "is led by conspiracy theorist and lawyer Sue Grey, who is currently being investigated by the Law Society. Grey has addressed the crowd at parliament a number of times and repeatedly appeared on Counterspin. She has been at the forefront of various anti-vaccine legal efforts"

    Freedom Allianc NZ is "An anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine group that promotes conspiracy theories,"

    Billy Te Kahika "has been active on Facebook, producing livestreams including, last week, a disquisition on UFOs, the “alien agenda of Satan” and how it all connects to the UN."

    A tiny minority of current and former health professionals have joined the anti-vaccine bandwagon and promulgate misinformation. Many have been suspended or are under Medical Council investigation.

    • weka 8.1

      You may be able to stomach these people but I want nothing to do with them.

      What do you think should be done with them then, if they are not part of NZ?

      • Bearded Git 8.1.1

        Weka-I think the full force of the law should be thrown at them. I think the police should give them until noon on Monday (tomorrow) to pack up all illegal structures, and if they don't take this opportunity the police should move in and pull them down.

        My patience with this rabble is at an end.

  9. Reality 9

    Advantage, your post is seriously abhorrent.

    It totally ignores the hundreds of thousands of decent, law-abiding New Zealanders who have toiled away silently for two years to help us get through this pandemic. I am sure our PM has done her very best to make the right decisions in extraordinary circumstances for the best outcome for us. She will have had many long, stressful days and you come out and unjustifiably insult and malign her.

    • yes
      I have to say I feel bloody little affinity with those nutters in Wellington.

      • Anker 9.1.1

        "I feel very little affirnity with those nutters" ……..But that is the point Tony V .

        Its not about whether you or I feel affinity with them. I don't. I have known many people over the years who are suspious of Western medical, want take anti depressants, anti biotics, blood pressure meds etc etc. I am on a completely different wave length to them. But these people are still New Zealanders. Vilify them at our peril

  10. weka 10

    This used to be everything Jacinda Ardern stood against. So did we.

    Not really. I know the rhetoric and how useful it has been in helping NZ through a difficult time, but Labour has basically ignored the underclass as much as possible for 4 years, and this is more of the same. The undesirables and the too hard basket.

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    Ad this post should have started with your bias towards Robertson replacing Ardern being made clear.

    You ask … Where has that Ardern gone?.

    She is still there, doing her job meeting with Cabinet, the affected Ministers, rolling out help and keeping her team on task, which is dealing with moving to endemic settings, and along with that will come the possible end date for mandates.

    Yes most of these people in the protest are "Us". However their beliefs are not the usual kaupapa, but a more insidious version of potboiled "freedom".

    They are to be pitied and do need help, but they have the right to refuse that and to protest which they are doing.

    The people joining the bandwagon who have ulterior motives are known and are being peeled off by the authorities or noted as being "in association" are bringing imported ideas and possibly funds.

    Peter Thiel needs monitoring imo as he was a great support for Trumps MAGA. and is courtesy of Key a New Zealand citizen.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    To say people calling for the overthrow of democracy are "us" is a non sequituer. It doesn't matter how many of the protesters are decent people (most German soldiers were supposedly decent but that didn't stop the German army engaging in routine mass gencoide and war crimes at the behest of its leaders) they've aligned themselves with fascist elements determined to over throw the government. The exact problem is many of these people are NOT "us", just as anyone who was on the field in Hamilton in 1981 and had to run the gauntlet of the unleashed mob after the game was cancelled knows that "Rob's mob" were not "us".

    I reject the idea that those organising protest are in any way part of an "us" I recognise, just as I rejected the drunken far right mobs who chanted "we want rugby" then roamed the streets beating up anti-apartheid protesters were "us". This is a them and us situation. Compromise with a mob led by the openly fascist because we are all one happy family? That'll be a cold day in hell. Sometimes you gotta stop being a pussy and pick and side and fight for what you think is right. After all, the fascists have. I don’t like fascists. They are not any “us” I identify with. I'll see them on the street, for a second time, if I have to.

    • aj 12.1

      Sometimes you gotta stop being a pussy and pick and side and fight for what you think is right

      The only thing I did was wrong
      Was staying in the
      Wilderness too long
      Keep your eyes on the prize
      Hold on

      The only thing we did was right
      Was the day we started to fight
      Keep your eyes on the prize
      Hold on

    • Brilliantly put Sanc.smiley

    • weka 12.3

      who is the 'us' you are talking about? I thought Ad was referring to New Zealanders. If the protestors aren't part of NZ, do you want them deported?

      Ironic seeing you talking about who you identify with. We come full circle.

  13. observer 13

    Ardern has changed for the worse and her reaction to this protest can only recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days.

    At this point the argument disappeared up its own rhetoric.

    Some of us recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days. Others have documentaries to watch and books to read.

    What has been the worst so far? It didn't look good when that naked woman was taken away, though it turned out not so bad. Multiply that by a thousand and you have the beginnings of "Muldoon's darkest days".

    If you want a debate, stick to evidence, give up the fan-fiction.

  14. Reality 14

    When the Prime Minister said "they are us" she was referring to people who were going about their lives peacefully, working hard, learning English, looking after their families. They had been through.extraordinary challenges but never behaved like the protesting rabble. So yes they were "us" even though they were mostly immigrants or refugees, who spoke a different language and practised a different religious belief. They wanted to contribute to New Zealand, not tear it apart.

  15. Andrew Miller 15

    It’s hard to take seriously anything that doesn’t make the slightest effort to even consider, let alone seriously engage with the possibility that speaking to them is both utterly pointless and potentially a way to make things worse.
    The emotional blackmail of calling them ‘outcasts’ and alluding to the work of CSOs with the vulnerable, makes great rhetoric, but again doesn’t even acknowledge the possibility that a significant number of these people are people within agency who’ve chosen to embrace appalling ideas or happy to stand next to those who hold grotesque views and that it comes with consequences, one of which is that others may not be willing to engage with you until shown you can be engaged with reasonably.
    It’s these job to make politicians uncomfortable? Well if I was a politician I reckon I would be uncomfortable knowing there were people outside my place of work discussing and passing around execution lists.

  16. barry 16

    You think that Ardern should announce when the mandates will end. Do you think she knows? Basically nobody knows what will happen next in the pandemic.

    It is like MIQ. People wanted certainty as to when that would end and she gave it, but circumstances changed and it had to be extended. If she says the mandates will end on July 1st, it would imply she has some sort of crystal ball that has been hiding from everybody else.

    • Louis 16.1

      Well said Barry. The PM has repeatedly said the mandates will end, when they are no longer needed. No one knows when that will be. Covid19 didn't come with a schedule and she has also pointed out, repeatedly, that the last thing we should do is remove health measures as Covid19 cases surge. It's a no brainer.

      imo Ad's piece is just an attack on the PM and contains the standard blame rhetoric I've seen from other right wingers. Jacinda is not responsible for this fascist led protest.

    • tsmithfield 16.2

      No, but she could give the milestones required to be met to end mandates. I am sure the government already has those in mind, and would at least be something to offer the protesters.

      • Louis 16.2.1

        How tsmithfield? when the virus is constantly changing. Why pander to them anyway? as it's not really about the mandates, that's just an ruse, it's more about getting rid of the current government.

    • Ad 16.3

      It is just like MIQ. Ardern gave the decision horizon, then the decision, then changed it. That's how she brought the political tension down.

      That is all Ardern has to do here, like she has with the same amount of uncertainty, for the last two years.

  17. m dri 17

    they are us went out the window with

    "yep,yep, that's what it is" referring to the creation of a two tiered society.

    The "expert" Micheal Baker later stated that the traffic light system was created not so much for the sake of public health, but to encourage people to get vaccinated.

    the benefits of the shot for healthy people were debatable with Delta and now with Omicron look like having no discernable benefit at all.

    it looks more and more like the vaccine pass and its exclusion of those who have chosen not to have the shot is not so much about health, but compliance.

    you may not like the rabble, the far right or whatever you want to call the protest, but every person has the right to choose what they want injected into their bodies, and coercive measures look more and more like an odious governmental overreach.

    [Letting this through for now for the purposes of debate but your claim that the vaccination shot is not helpful for healthy people is bollocks. It reduces the chances of hospitalisation and it reduces and suppresses the spread. And the mandate is not compulsory – MS]

  18. swordfish 18


    But they're so Uncouth, Ad !!!

    My understanding is that few, if any, of these absolutely Ghastly Little People buy smashed avocado & grilled kale salads from their local organic farmers' market ! …

    … if we caught any of them loitering around Kelburn, Wadestown, Ponsonby or Grey Lynn eating their appalling takeaways with the sort of etiquette you'd expect from Ed Miliband, then I can tell you we'd be ringing 111 without hesitation … in fact, we might just have a quick word with the Commissioner of Police who lives nextdoor … or with Poto Williams in the $5 million Mansion down the road …

    … and I assume you do understand, Ad, that not one of these so-called "protesters" has displayed even the slightest interest in Queer Theory, Intersectionality, choosing from the menu of 153 separate Gender Identities or any other esoteric, self-indulgent dogma that excites affluent, demanding ex-boarding school girls & boys suffering from Dark Triad personality types ???

    These are simply not our kind of people … they certainly don't share the unusually refined moral sensibilities that we constantly advertise with a good deal of pomposity & ostentation (albeit without too much in the way of self-awareness).

    Only Māori participants are acceptable to us … as Critical Race Theory has taught us, each & every indigenous person is eternally virtuous, eternally innocent, bereft of agency, always powerless, always the victim & never responsible for their own actions. They've simply been "led astray".

    As for the rest, Rik – the celebrated activist we all revere – put it best:

    • Anker 18.2

      Mostly I agree with this post Ad.

      I think at our peril we "other" these people.

      I have no doubt there are some bad people in the crowd, and alt right are inflencing some of them. Even more reason to work with these people and try and keep them in some way as the team of five millon

      I don't believe all these people are "nutcases" . Over the years I have come across many people who reject Western medicine and claim the healing power of crystals etc. One of these anti vax people I know of is a dentist. Another an old hippy greeny. For whatever reason they believe what many of us think is a bit weird.

      I have a great deal of sympathy for local businesses impacted by the protest, but I heard before the protest, people were avoiding restaurants and bars in Wellington cause of Omicron.

      I feel very deeply for the health professionals who will have to nurse these people when they inevitably become sick. With the risk of sounding patronizing, sometimes people, ie the protesters, have to learn the hard way.

      I do have some sympathy for politicians and Wellington bureaucrats facing the abuse. A bit for the former, more for the latter. But not as much sympathy as I have for the Housing NZ tennants who have had anti social tennants living next door to them for four or so years, who this government have refused to listen to (and evict these anti social tennants). These people who are on the bottom rung of the ladder have had to deal with violent threatening noisey neighbours day in day out. Banging on there walls at night, taking steel bars into their homes and threatening them. And the govt only recently did something about these people. Correct me if I am wrong by now it will take 3 months to evict an anti social tennant. As I said before sometimes people have to learn the hard way ,and this sort of applies to this Govt who now have problematic tennants on their front lawn.

      BTW I am not sure what Ardern should do. She has done a sterling job in the pandemic and I appreciate that. But it is David Seymour who has showen real leadership IMO. While condeming outright the behaviour and ideas of the worst element of this mob, he has attempted to engage with them.

      • Ad 18.2.1

        The Speaker should be requiring those MPs to conduct Parliamentary business on Teams while we are at Red level, just like every other responsible employer.

        Same for any policy-advisor in any Ministry, any MP staffer.

        One MP today said to me "I'll be damned if I'm going to be pushed around by that rabble", and was flying down to Parliament as a matter of principle.

        My advice to them would be to get over themselves. They're no more important and no less COVID-vulnerable than any citizen.

        • Anker

          I agree that politicians shouldn't all be at parliament in red. What if there was an outbreak of Covid there? Bound to happen soon.

          "I'll be dammed if I will be pushed around by that rabble" is most unhelpful.

          While using the spy agency as I am sure they are to keep a finger on the pulse of whats brewing (or not) there, I strongly believe the politicians need to engage with some of these people. Treat them as if they have geniune greviences (some of them do). It is the house of representatives afterall. If people don't feel listened to this will create more problems.

          What would be wrong with saying we want the mandates to be over too and we are really sorry that we have had to implement some of our Covid interventions. We recognise your lives have been very effected by these mandates. We can't promise that we will lift them as soon as you would like, but we would like to discuss what we can do that would be helpful, while doing our best to limit the impact of the virus on the health system and vulnerable people. Lets sit down and talk.

    • Ad 18.3

      OMG Swordfish.

      I swear you get darker by the day.

      Imagine if the climate change proponents we hear so much about had half the guts these guys are showing. They don't because some MPs would get embarrassed and we just can't have that.

  19. Corey Humm 20

    Judging by the paranoid delusional ramblings a great many of them are in need of a stay in a mental health facility and I don't say that as an insult I have bipolar, we've long known NZ has a mental health crisis and I truly believe many of these people are victims of falling through the cracks in our mental health system and found themselves in an online community without the skills to decipher truth from fiction, honestly many of the things these people say are genuinely certifiably insane.

    There's also feral national front supporters who are out in force but apparently don't exist and our eyes are playing tricks on us.

    middle class vegans who think meat free diets and fasting and exercise will expell COVID toxins and they believe vaccines cause autism they've got jenny McCarthy on their side so screw you, they didn't vaccinate their dreadlocked hippie daughters and sons named no shit " Saigon and Eyzac" And they turned out alright.

    Saigon and Eyzac are simply furious they couldn't do drugs and have orgies at summer drug festivals so are bringing one to the capital. They'll swear black and blue how progressive they are and that there's no white supremacists at the protest while standing next to ten and say "it's fake news" and while they'll have no issue doing snorting drugs offered by strangers without asking what it is they "aren't putting experimental drugs in my body"

    Then you've got the poor brainwashed supporters of evangelicals like destiny's church and their ilk who think God and their bishop will save them (as long as they pay ) and will follow him to the end of the earth.

    Then you've got the Maori nationalists who are almost always up for a protest and have been brainwashed by bad actors mentioned above.

    Then you've got the right wing people who just hate the govt and would like nothing more than to enforce a military take over. They will work with anyone. They are gloating about getting money from overseas and don't even care about COVID they are just happy to have an issue to use to weaponize, these and the national front types are the ones who'll say "we can't leave even if Jacinda says she'll end the mandates because she'll just reinstate them when we leave"

    Then your crystal greenie libertarian alt health types similar to the middle class Karen's and their festival tantrum throwing kids, they'll lecture you about just about not being progressive enough and take up every social cause unless it directly effects them, then they become so selfish that Trump would approve.

    They'll swear black and blue too, that they arent anti vax they are just anti mandate but if you think about it being anti vax mandate is not too different from being anti vax. They don't wanna get vaxxed but they wanna be able to say they did.

    Then the so called kiwi battlers and working class somehow able to afford large tents and huge supplies and are able to drive cross country and willing to dump their livlihoods their vehicle in a street and risk it getting towed, somehow able to afford weeks off work and rent and are "mostly vaccinated" these people are supposedly the majority, but really it's the factions above that are the majority but these battlers are the acceptable face.

    Then you've got the few teachers, nurses doctors who lost their jobs because they wouldn't get vaxxed and would like them back, the public look at them and think yeah na I don't want you teaching my kid or working in the health system if you will stand with this lot.

    A truly weird coalition whose only commonality is they don't trust science, journalism, health expertise, big pharma the govt , civil servants "experts" and usually have a very very very poor understanding of NZ democracy and civic institutions.

    Then you've got a dying broke media desperate for a story and clicks who will cry about these mean people saying mean things but secretly loves the chaos , loves rarking them up and loves playing the virtuous anger card. "Where is the leadership"

    Then you've got the police. Unwilling or unable to do anything, often partial to a national govt, they won't mind this making labour look weak in the slightest, underresourced , understaffed and too afraid to use force after the last couple of years of public and media attention to police violence they aren't going to risk their jobs, their safety or public relations disaster to make a govt they don't particularly like look good.

    Then you've got the government. Between a rock and a hard place due to the overwhelming majority of support for the COVID response, the fact omicron is raging and about to make this a winter from hell their primary concern is getting as many people boostered and vaxxed before the new strain takes total hold and collapses the health system. They can't remove COVID restrictions. The public would be furious and stage bigger protests. The protest won't move unless they do cancel all restrictions. They can't force the cops to make them move and the protesters have their kids there as human shields to stop any intervention. They also are led by a nice person who isn't about ruthless politician and doesn't want to be seen to be using emergency powers to get the boot of the state to remove them, that'd be giving some of the above factions what they want. The pm is stuck pointing at the police and the police pointing at the government leaving the public and media to rage incoherently about lack of leadership for allowing a small minority collecting in a few places to make a mockery of the govt and the COVID restrictions the country has made for two years. If they act it could be ugly and outrage the public who could become more sympathetic to the protesters , if they don't act the public will be outraged and think they are indecisive, ineffective, spineless useless weak leadership who'd rather give crims hugs. Damned if they do damned if they don't, but probably best to be hated and effectual and strong than hated and indecisive and weak.

    Then you've got your anarchists, trolls, nihilists who think this is freaking hilarious and wants it to continue for a laugh.

    The sympathizers who will gaslight you and tell you statements the protesters say, the people at the protests aren't really there and this is all propaganda and you're too intelligent to fall for it.

    Then the general public. The people who have sacrificed their lives for two years and elected a majority govt to make the tough calls .they follow the rules, worry about our health system, get furious about lockdowns but understand it's for the greater good, their rents, mortgages, groceries have gone way way way up and are struggling to find accomodation or keep accomodation. They are outraged that these rules they follow and the safety they cling on to is being disregarded. They all know someone whose fallen down the rabbit hole so Many have a smidgen of sympathy to some of these people because we haven't experienced the rates of other countries forget how goof we have it but they know omicron is here and they are freaked out about their loved ones not being able to get surgeries or medical treatment because we're too busy keeping COVID patients alive, they have a little sympathy but it's evaporated due to these protests and will have no tolerance once omicron hits. Many of the general public experience or witness harassment, bullying abuse and violence directed at staff members for following COVID protocol. They are disgusted that the decisive leadership they elected in 2020 had left the building, worried about what happens if these protests get out of control and really outraged that these people are popping up in more and more places with a pathetic police response Many will never speak to their friends and family who are unvaxed as long as they life but they are also good compassionate types who don't wanna see kids at these protests get hurt.

    What do with all the these people after COVID? I don't know, I don't think there can be a come to Jesus moment all we're all kiwi's again type deal, anyone whose explored their family lines will usually find a place in time where there was a great falling out and different members seperated and never spoke again and that there are close relations they never knew about in their own city, these are often those kinds of things.

    Maybe we could send the antivaxers to some of our uninhabeted island territories so they can live in freedumb in a vegan yoga paradise where the national front are the police the conspiracy theorists report the news and there's an lsd MDMA dance rave every night after a hard day of living off the land, the unvaxed teachers can teach, the unvaxed nurses and doctors can run the hospital. They'll be happy, we'll have a lot of free up housing stock.

    They may be us, but they don't have to be near us!

    • Shanreagh 20.1

      Brilliant piece of writing Corey Humm.

    • Dennis Frank 20.2

      Pretty much how I see things in my more jaundiced moments too. indecision When I comment here I try to be constructive (when not being critical) & that involves a glass half-full view of human nature instead of focus on inadequacies.

      This comprehensive picture you painted well reminds us of features of human nature that never change. They just morph a little to reflect changes in culture. People were hopeless hypocrites due to christianity when I was young & that has abated significantly since, plus the general nastiness masked by usage of platitudes constantly to make users seem okay has receded too. Apart from that the exhibition of defects seems perpetual. We rationalise that by saying nobody's perfect. 🙄

    • Patricia Bremner 20.3

      devil Well put Corey.

      The only thing I would note is .. Who at the main tent is paying the parking and other fines?

    • Ad 20.4

      Appreciate the effort that went into that Corey.

      Watching the NZPolice take a far more subtle, tactical and careful approach than the entire political order has been a learning.

      Seeing how fast the PM et al shut up when they saw the NZPolice actually handle it far better than them has been excellent.

    • Louis 20.5

      +100 Corey.

    • Anker 20.6

      I don't think many of the people at parliament would meet criteria for a mental health disorder that would put them in a psych unit. Possibly some of them have schizotypal Personality Disorder (these people have odd eccentric ideas0 but basic reality testing is in tact. Some of the more conspiracy theory types might meet criteria for delusional disorder, but usually they don't end up in a psych ward either.

      All of my adult life I have been aware of people who have very extreme ideas about their health and bodies. Some of the extreme beliefs might be symptomatic of a somatic disorder……….But again not mental health unit material.

      I am sure there is a real mix of people at parliament with a mixture of motives. I think keep our spy agencies monitoring them and prepared for the very worst, which hopefully won't happen. Expect them to be there for some time. The occupation won't be permanant, they never are and most likely this will end when either the restrictions are loosened or they get sick in great numbers.

      As for all of us, it is best I think to ignore them, or at least not give them too much attention. By all means any abusive or threatening behaviour should be reported to the police for them to deal with.

    • KJT 20.7

      Pretty Much.

  20. DS 21

    I believe the full term is

    "They are shitting on us."

    For two years, the vast majority of the New Zealand public has been fighting the virus. Now? A sliver of muppets are literally fighting for the virus… calling for Death both implicitly (via the end of Covid restrictions) and explicitly (via the murder of politicians).

    The best analogy would be if British Nazi-sympathisers put out landing lights for the Luftwaffe during the Blitz, and refuelled the enemy aeroplanes every time they turned up. While also sabotaging their own military, and calling for Churchill's hanging.

    And here you are, bending over backwards to legitimise them via referencing the Christchurch shooting.

  21. alwyn 22

    I wonder whether we are likely to appear as a terrible example in the Economist in the near future? There is a leader in the 19 February 1022 edition (pay-walled I'm afraid so I've not given a link) which includes the following.

    "But the truckers have every right to express their disagreement. A wise government would listen to them and respond politely, taking their complaints seriously and patiently explaining why covid restrictions, though onerous, are necessary for the time being.

    Justin Trudeau has done the opposite. First, he refused to meet them. Then, seizing on the fact that a few of the protesters appear to be bigots, he attempted to put all of them outside the boundaries of reasonable debate by condemning “the anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-black racism, homophobia and trans phobia that we’ve seen on display in Ottawa over the past number of days”.

    It then proceeds to talk about the other worrying actions the Canadian Government is proposing. The heading for the leader is

    "No, Canada
    Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on protests could make things worse"

    I wonder whether we will feature in some other copy of the magazine shortly? They will just need to change Canada to New Zealand, truckers to Convoy, Justin Trudeau to Jacinda Ardern and Ottawa to Wellington.

    • Nic the NZer 22.1

      Well as long as they remember to swap over the ideal and actual response in their moralistic (but also nihilistic) tale then I am sure you will want to read about how allowing the protest to continue for far too long only made things worse.

  22. RedLogix 23

    Your posts remain the sole reason I return here Ad.

    You may enjoy this:

    Instead, they see their government willing to push a class of people outside the boundaries of society, deny them a livelihood, and deny them full membership in the most welcoming country in the world; and they said enough. Last night I learned my new neighbours are not a monstrous faceless occupying mob. They are our moral conscience reminding us – with every blow of their horns – what we should have never forgotten: We are not a country that makes an untouchable class out of our citizens.

  23. "They are us"

    Kind of like that mad, racist uncle we all fear to invite to family gettogethers.

    Actually,that really did happen.

    A father to one of my partners some years ago was a real racist reactionary bigot. "Bloody mowris" this, "bloody abos" that (he lived mostly in Australia), bloody "wogs", bloody muslim refugees…

    Until, one evening, in a restaurant, I'd had enough (my parents were refugees) and I let him have it with my full Hungarian fury.

    Sure, "they are us".

    But we still let them know when they've crossed a line.

  24. Freemark 25

    I wonder how many here have been to the gathering. The influence of the right wing/neo nazi/white supremist/conspiracy theorist is minimal.

    These are real people. Working class almost predominantly brown people who have been mandated out of working class jobs. Just because they didn’t want a white mans medicine that at this stage of the “pandemic” has little to offer. Despite above comments there is little community benefit offered by the jab, and many just want the choice to sat no. Many have tested positive, which means little except for shutting down their & their extended family’s income for a couple of weeks. No real sickness, and I see a lot of acceptance that if they get sick, they get sick, and may even die. Data says that the risk of this is very small – most accept this. But they see their children excluded, they see the otherness of masks, etc. They see their tribal elite being paid off by Govt, and no trickle down. What they mainly see in the Freedom Camp is the opposite of NZ over the last 2 years – unity over division, hugs and korero, freedom from manufactured fear. No condescending pakeha telling them they are child-like & unable to make informed choices about their health. The PM ignores this at her peril. IMHO the police won’t support her or her direction to break it up, the army won’t either. To pretend that some evil right wing forces are directing this is quite ignorant. To pretend that a few extreme ideas around executing politicians is unique to this (as opposed to the mock guillotine at TPPA) is delusional. I think that for the PM to survive as PM she needs to drop the now pointless and frankly evil mandates now, otherwise her mandate (please excuse the pun) is over. I can’t for the life of me comprehend how the left have abandoned the working class in favour it seems of big pharma, big media, and repressive big Govt.

    • McFlock 25.1

      copy that, minimal influence from the nazis. lol

    • Patricia Bremner 25.2

      Oh I am sure the PM is not ignoring them. Thank you for your patting down of our fears .

    • Ad 25.3

      Good to see you have the recent historical memory of protest when it was the hard left marching up the street with the guillotine, shouting out the names of National Ministers to be removed, in proper rhetorical style.

      Suzie Dawson covers it on The Daily Blog:

      GUEST BLOG: Suzie Dawson – Remembering The Left | The Daily Blog

      The mass camped outside wouldn't know where Moore Wilson was and will never take the Days Bay ferry, but they are telling the entitled left in power that this is the fight we used to have.

      • weka 25.3.1

        that argument only works if you either believe the left literally wanted to execute Richardson etc, or you don't believe that there are people in the current protest wanting insurrection (including executions).

        It was a different world then, no-one thought a guillotine at a protest was anything other than referencing the French revolution via street theatre.

        • Ad

          The left don't have a monopoly on rhetoric, theatre, or indeed radicals. We stink unshowered after a week just like them.

          Human nature hasn't changed since 2014 other than left have been in power for a while.

          The hard right last limited rights for what they viewed as good public policy in the Employment Contracts Act, and the protests from the left were fierce.

          • weka

            Yes, I remember. No-one wanted to execute MPs and journos or remove government

            It's not human nature that has changed, it's the socio political context.

            • Ad

              Everyone wanted to remove the government. At that point few believed in democracy. Eventually it led to MMP in 1996.

              The main issue in the ECA protests is that the left failed to radicalise.


              What part of the sociopolitical context has changed?

              • adam

                People like Mark wimp faced Gosche voted against the general strike, a vote which we against what the members wanted.

                The whole trade union movement dropped the ball. People were organised, their leaders failed them. The leaders who feathered their own nests under the new rules.

              • weka

                Everyone wanted to remove the government. At that point few believed in democracy. Eventually it led to MMP in 1996.

                I suspect you don't understand what some of the protestors mean. They're not talking about removing Labour. They're not talking about replacing MMP with something better. They're talking about removing all government. Libertarian af. We will all help each other come the revolution or some such nonsense.

              • weka

                What part of the sociopolitical context has changed?

                9/11, internet, social media, Chch shootings, pandemic.

    • Rosemary McDonald 25.4

      Well said freemark and What they mainly see in the Freedom Camp is the opposite of NZ over the last 2 years – unity over division, hugs and korero, freedom from manufactured fear is pretty much what we see up here in the FFN. Fear is most definitely the mind-killer.

      And there's a real rebellion against what we are supposed to think are the Maori leaders…the people are not blind, and they've had enough of the 'we know what's best for you' brigade with their flash suits and nice cars.

      Your pearls will sadly be rejected and trampled by the swine here who think they know…but are so out of touch they may as well be on another planet.

    • gsays 25.5

      Your last sentence hits the spot. It may be called The Standard but there is relatively little support for workers to be found here.

      The Brahmin class, (easier to say than the work from home, I'm alright, Jack, blow the bridge I'm over class) have little empathy or sympathy for those not meeting selection for the team of 5 million.

        • Shanreagh

          Just looking at that that list Weka what a wonderful array of people/worker focussed issues we have all read about or contributed to. Some I did not comment in at the time but now at second glance look appealing, the Alabama miners is one and some are so prescient its a bit spooky.

          Congratulations to all those around TS – moderators, authors and readers/writers and all the wonderful words and arguments that have come forward. smiley

        • gsays

          Thanks weka, I watched the Beau video about the Alabama Miners strike.

          Some real pearls of wisdom from that anarchist. also signs that the activists in Wellington are getting something right.

          My comment was about how I feel about a lot of the 'commenteriat?’ to be found here. Not so much the post content.

          Although not so long ago low wage tourism jobs lost through COVID were dismissed with a casual sentence and, from memory, only one commenter took issue.

          I bang on a bit during the nurses strike and feel that more were inclined to swallow minister Littles lines – deliberately conflating the pay equity negotiations with wages.

          The same Little who said this:

          [quote without link deleted]

      • joe90 25.5.2

        Your last sentence hits the spot.

        Yup, sometime commenter has the interests of working people at heart.


        The general work ethic for trades & semi skilled is a bloody disgrace, too much entitlement mentality fostered by welfarism.

        • gsays

          Thanks Joe Some great pointers.

          "Think for yourself. Make up your own mind. Stand up for other people and never be afraid to lend a helping hand to someone who needs it."

          "I know that the freedom I cherish cannot come at the expense of other people’s freedom,"

          "A job is about more than just a pay packet, it’s about the dignity of work. It’s about a place and a purpose in your community.

          Every Kiwi who can work should be able to work.

          And where people can’t work, the government should support them because we don’t believe in throwing Kiwis on the scrap heap"

          "Because right now this government isn’t living up to our values."

          Where is that Labour leader?

          • joe90

            And you're all good with some time commenters opining that the general work ethic for trades & semi skilled is a bloody disgrace, too much entitlement mentality fostered by welfarism, too.

            • gsays

              I said I liked the last sentence.

              Come step out of your binary world Joe. It ain't all right or wrong.

              • joe90

                Come step out of your binary world Joe. It ain't all right or wrong.

                Of course it's binary.

                The notion that it's not is how employers and their hand-fed Tory government inserted the wedge that cleaved New Zealand workers from the union movement.

    • DS 25.6

      The working class don't fight for the right to kill others through their own stupidity.

      Working class, my arse. This protest is against the very notion of solidarity… and the number of poncy muppets driving down in fancy SUVs rather goes against your framing.

      Say hello to Russell Coutts for us though.

      • Ad 25.6.1

        The working class were goaded to fight for revolution for over a century, and yep including the right to kill others for their own righteousness.

        They were mostly lied to and mostly got their asses kicked.

      • Shanreagh 25.6.2

        driving down in fancy SUVs rather goes against your framing.

        And not forgetting the very flash campervans. Very worker, and all the time off work, also very worker coming up for 2 weeks now.

        The money from unknown sources for feeding, advertising from VFF (huge horrible signs around Wellington) etc etc Following the money in the expose of the Canadian Truckies GoFundMe donations led straight to the US, not forgetting NZ's modest $103,000 donation.

        Then let's remember the Dirty Dozen vaccination sceptics whose poison was poured into gullible ears…..also from the US.

        What kind of people would want to harm working people by promoting mis- & dis-information and why? Are the Dirty Dozen anti worker? Their memes appear in 100s of the Facebook sites of ordinary working people who believed this misinformation, did not get vaccinated and died as a result, and are still dying. Omicron is not universally mild, especially for the non vaccinated.

  25. Peter Mattiassi 26

    I think everyone wants this to end including the protesters. Decent people want it to end peacefully. Jacinda could probably bring this to a close by simply meeting with the protest leaders.

    Some people because of their beliefs and principles have found themselves on the wrong side of the mandates, for that have paid huge price socially, psychologically and financially. Is it so difficult to merely acknowledge them as normal people caught up in strange and difficult times? And grant them the time of day and show willingness to hear their message. Why is that such a huge concession?

    It was always a political rather than scientific decision whether or not to introduce vaccine mandates. But with voluntary vaccination so high in New Zealand that choice was highly questionable. Right now in the pandemic with omicron showing high transmission (in the vaxed and unvaxed) and typically mild symptoms, a better strategy would be to shield the most vulnerable and bring back all the Healthcare workers we can so they can help save lives. Better they do what they are trained to do than wait outside parliament for days on end.

    • DS 26.1
      1. There are no protest leaders.

      2. The conversation would at best go

      Jacinda: "What are your demands."

      Nutters: "End all mandates now."

      Jacinda: "I can't do that."

      You can't negotiate with muppets from Mars. The real crime is that they are being legitimised right here on The Standard.

      • Ad 26.1.1

        Nutters from every protest to Parliament: "Meet our demands now"

        Prime Minister from every parliament: "I can't do that"

        Prime Minister who successfully saw down every protest since 2020: "This is the timetable we will make decision by, and we will revisit if we need to."

        Current Prime Minister: "You are not worth even engaging with."

        • Muttonbird

          Go read the traffic light framework again. It's all in there.

        • Shanreagh

          Correction for current Prime Minister following the same standard as for travel, MIQ, borders: "the mandates will end when the mandates are no longer needed for health reasons."

          Correction/addition cross parliamentary party group "This group does not support negotiating with the protesters while they are acting above the law by trespassing."

    • observer 26.2

      "Jacinda could probably bring this to a close by simply meeting with the protest leaders."

      Have you read their list of demands? It goes way beyond vaccine mandates.

      Leaders would tell everyone to go home, and then everyone would? They can't even get them to agree on car parking.

    • Shanreagh 26.3

      …….bring back all the Healthcare workers we can so they can help save lives. Better they do what they are trained to do than wait outside parliament for days on end.

      I think the ship has sailed on that one. Several friends now ask at hospitals, where they have been admitted, just to confirm that those nursing them are vaccinated, even though the mandates were to prevent having to be nursed by people who could infect you. I think it is reasonable to anticipate that this might continue.

      I know prior to the mandates diners were asking if the servers were vaccinated or indicating they did not want to be served by unvaxxed people. I think that may continue as well.

      I think also that hospitals are going to look carefully at the whole of their staff to see that they are and keep to appropriate vaccination schedules. Nurses going to study for Nursing degrees are required to get a range of vaccinations before they are accepted onto the degree courses.

      • joe90 26.3.1

        First thing my brother the caterer's prospective clients ask – are all your staff double vaccinated?

        • Shanreagh

          And it won't stop with just Covid….people have been put on alert about other health type matters, expect to see more attention paid to local authority licensing of restaurants, food handling places. Complaints made about people coughing and bringing colds and influenza to work, then movement to get better sick pay etc etc.

  26. Goodread 27

    This is one of the more balanced reads I have had on this site. A fair and balanced view , worth the time it took to read

  27. Dave Langford 28

    I’m glad to see someone so keen to align themselves with these ferals.I know someone there and if you’d be so kind to provide your address,they will be in desperate straits regarding somewhere to camp after their 15 minutes of fame.I trust you will step up and do the right thing by your new whanau😂

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    Tangi ngunguru ana ngā tai ki te wahapū o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia. Tārehu ana ngā pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama. Korihi tangi ana ngā manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tāne. He Toa. He Pou. He Ahorangi. E papaki tū ana ...
    4 days ago
  • Renewable energy fund to support community resilience
    40 solar energy systems on community buildings in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events Virtual capability-building hub to support community organisations get projects off the ground Boost for community-level renewable energy projects across the country At least 40 community buildings used to support the emergency response ...
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 funding returned to Government
    The lifting of COVID-19 isolation and mask mandates in August has resulted in a return of almost $50m in savings and recovered contingencies, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Following the revocation of mandates and isolation, specialised COVID-19 telehealth and alternative isolation accommodation are among the operational elements ...
    5 days ago
  • Appointment of District Court Judge
    Susie Houghton of Auckland has been appointed as a new District Court Judge, to serve on the Family Court, Attorney-General David Parker said today.  Judge Houghton has acted as a lawyer for child for more than 20 years. She has acted on matters relating to the Hague Convention, an international ...
    5 days ago
  • Government invests further in Central Hawke’s Bay resilience
    The Government has today confirmed $2.5 million to fund a replace and upgrade a stopbank to protect the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. “As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, the original stopbank protecting the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant was destroyed. The plant was operational within 6 weeks of the ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt boost for Hawke’s Bay cyclone waste clean-up
    Another $2.1 million to boost capacity to deal with waste left in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake. Funds for Hastings District Council, Phoenix Contracting and Hog Fuel NZ to increase local waste-processing infrastructure. The Government is beefing up Hawke’s Bay’s Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up capacity with more support dealing with the massive amount ...
    6 days ago
  • Taupō Supercars revs up with Government support
    The future of Supercars events in New Zealand has been secured with new Government support. The Government is getting engines started through the Major Events Fund, a special fund to support high profile events in New Zealand that provide long-term economic, social and cultural benefits. “The Repco Supercars Championship is ...
    6 days ago
  • There is no recession in NZ, economy grows nearly 1 percent in June quarter
    The economy has turned a corner with confirmation today New Zealand never was in recession and stronger than expected growth in the June quarter, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “The New Zealand economy is doing better than expected,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s continuing to grow, with the latest figures showing ...
    6 days ago
  • Highest legal protection for New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs
    The Government has accepted the Environment Court’s recommendation to give special legal protection to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs, Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupū Springs), Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   “Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka in Golden Bay, have the second clearest water in New Zealand after ...
    6 days ago
  • More support for victims of migrant exploitation
    Temporary package of funding for accommodation and essential living support for victims of migrant exploitation Exploited migrant workers able to apply for a further Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV), giving people more time to find a job Free job search assistance to get people back into work Use of 90-day ...
    7 days ago
  • Strong export boost as NZ economy turns corner
    An export boost is supporting New Zealand’s economy to grow, adding to signs that the economy has turned a corner and is on a stronger footing as we rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and lock in the benefits of multiple new trade deals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The economy is ...
    7 days ago
  • Funding approved for flood resilience work in Te Karaka
    The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there. “Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River ...
    7 days ago
  • Further business support for cyclone-affected regions
    The Government is helping businesses recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and attract more people back into their regions. “Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Building on our earlier business support, this ...
    7 days ago
  • New maintenance facility at Burnham Military Camp underway
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has turned the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp today. “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our Defence Force to better maintain and repair equipment,” Andrew Little said. “This Government ...
    7 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to attend United Nations General Assembly
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, before visiting Washington DC for further Pacific focussed meetings. Nanaia Mahuta will be in New York from Wednesday 20 September, and will participate in UNGA leaders ...
    1 week ago
  • Midwives’ pay equity offer reached
    Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on a proposed pay equity settlement agreed by Te Whatu Ora, the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) and New Zealand Nurses Association (NZNO), Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Addressing historical pay ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Morocco
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide humanitarian support to those affected by last week’s earthquake in Morocco, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We are making a contribution of $1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help meet humanitarian needs,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in West Coast’s roading resilience
    The Government is investing over $22 million across 18 projects to improve the resilience of roads in the West Coast that have been affected by recent extreme weather, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.  A dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in Greymouth’s future
    The Government has today confirmed a $2 million grant towards the regeneration of Greymouth’s CBD with construction of a new two-level commercial and public facility. “It will include a visitor facility centred around a new library. Additionally, it will include retail outlets on the ground floor, and both outdoor and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nanaia Mahuta to attend PIF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in Suva, Fiji alongside New Zealand’s regional counterparts. “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply committed to working with our pacific whanau to strengthen our cooperation, and share ways to combat the challenges facing the Blue Pacific Continent,” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PREFU shows no recession, growing economy, more jobs and wages ahead of inflation
    Economy to grow 2.6 percent on average over forecast period Treasury not forecasting a recession Inflation to return to the 1-3 percent target band next year Wages set to grow 4.8 percent a year over forecast period Unemployment to peak below the long-term average Fiscal Rules met - Net debt ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New cancer centre opens in Christchurch
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall proudly opened the Canterbury Cancer Centre in Christchurch today. The new facility is the first of its kind and was built with $6.5 million of funding from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group scheme for shovel-ready projects allocated in 2020. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in top of the south’s roading resilience
    $12 million to improve the resilience of roads in the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions Hope Bypass earmarked in draft Government Policy Statement on land transport $127 million invested in the top of the south’s roads since flooding in 2021 and 2022 The Government is investing over $12 million to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders continue to support the revitalisation of te reo as we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Mā...
    Ko tēnei te wiki e whakanui ana i tō tātou reo rangatira. Ko te wā tuku reo Māori, e whakanuia tahitia ai te reo ahakoa kei hea ake tēnā me tēnā o tātou, ka tū ā te Rātū te 14 o Mahuru, ā te 12 o ngā hāora i te ahiahi. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Wildlife Act to better protect native species
    The 70-year-old Wildlife Act will be replaced with modern, fit-for-purpose legislation to better protect native species and improve biodiversity, Minister of Conservation Willow-Jean Prime has announced.   “New species legislation is urgently needed to address New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis,” Willow-Jean Prime said.   “More than 4,000 of our native species are currently ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further safety initiatives for Auckland City Centre
    Central and Local Government are today announcing a range of new measures to tackle low-level crime and anti-social behaviour in the Auckland CBD to complement Police scaling up their presence in the area. “Police have an important role to play in preventing and responding to crime, but there is more ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Govt confirms additional support for Enabling Good Lives
    The Government has confirmed $73.7 million over the next four years and a further $40.5m in outyears to continue to transform the disability support system, Minister for Disability Issues Priyanca Radhakrishnan has announced. “The Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach is a framework which guides positive change for disabled people, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand gets AAA credit rating from S&P
    Standard and Poor’s is the latest independent credit rating agency to endorse the Government’s economic management in the face of a deteriorating global economy. S&P affirmed New Zealand’s long term local currency rating at AAA and foreign currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook. It follows Fitch affirming New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointment of Environment Court Judge
    Christchurch barrister Kelvin Reid has been appointed as a Judge of the Environment Court and the District Court, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Mr Reid has extensive experience in Resource Management Act issues, including water quality throughout the South Island. He was appointed to the Technical Advisory Group advising the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ’s biggest ever emissions reduction project hits milestone
    New Zealand is on track to have greener steel as soon as 2026 with New Zealand Steel’s electric arc furnace project reaching a major milestone today.   The Government announced a conditional partnership with New Zealand Steel in May to deliver the country’s largest emissions reduction project to date. Half of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Poroporoaki: Paki Leslie Māngai Nikora
    Pokia ana te tihi Taiarahia e Hine-Pūkohu-rangi Hotu kau ana te manawa! Horahia ana te whārua o Ruātoki e te kapua pouri Tikaro rawahia ko te whatumanawa! Rere whakamuri kau ana te awa o Hinemataroa Ki te kawe i te rongo ki te mātāpuna i nga pōngaihu Maungapōhatu, tuohu ...
    3 weeks ago

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