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This changes everything

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, March 24th, 2020 - 182 comments
Categories: economy, Media, Social issues, social media lolz, uncategorized - Tags:

I find it useful to keep constructing a future even as the immediate moment changes according to government command, so I thought I’d give it a go for us. We’ll need to keep thinking through this and adjust.

Last week Politico speculated on how this virus might alter society. The potential changes are profound.

How We Communicate

Our practises of the hongi, the French bis-bis, shaking hands, and hugs with people you love – maybe that really winds down. This is likely to hit older people and young children hardest because that’s how they reconnect and show care. It’s a world with real communicative reserve and it will feel emotionally cold for a while.

But on the upside, Facebook and Baidu and all the other social networks really win: analogue communication is downgraded for the foreseeable future. We rely far more on regulated networks with great editors as our safe spaces. More virtual headsets!

Our Country

We’re going to expect more from our government and we will let it control more of every part of our lives … even as it has less tax cash to deal with these expectations. Maybe we will give thanks to the medical staff who saved us, and to the agricultural workers and businesses who are now sustaining our remaining export economy.

Skeptics who dismiss official science and the science of vaccines – and the health warnings which derive from that advice – they are going to be increasingly classed as a danger to actual civilisation.

The increase in hyper-nationalism will continue as states become the primary defensive organising principle for identity and protection. The centre – in some states at least – has held.

Our Neighbours

With the amount of severe sickness and death we are about to go through, older people will be an even greater focus of social care. But we will have really, really low tolerance for anyone who is foreign or flouts social behaviour rules or threatens our station in life any more. Hospitality will be a socially awkward instinct and practise to navigate.

Our Shopping

It’s not too hard to see checkout staff at supermarkets pretty much evaporate in years not decades, with a permanent spike in home deliveries. The recycled markets are going to just boom – so long as they don’t have to deal with crowded places. Mechatronics is the game in town to be in, not malls. Ebay and Amazon and Trademe are all on.

Our Household

Everyone who before this crisis thought Chinese were weird for wearing face masks – will be preparing to change their mind. Without face masks and hand hygiene and health sloppiness you’re in for a growling after this. We’re going to have the tidiest and cleanest houses we’ve had in a while. My guess on fertility is that it declines for about a year.

More holidays at home in your own town, and air travel permanently decreased per capita – I think that’s a given.

Team sports and communal worship will continue their decline – it’s pretty hard to see Super Rugby, and evangelical worship regaining their footing. Come back Scrabble, Backgammon, and long distance running and tramping!

Visiting pubs and bars will decline even faster than they have already. Social gatherings will be organised much more at home rather than at venues.

Ourselves

We’re going to tighten our circle of trust until the world allows us to trust again. But we’re also going to massively multiply the social networks we have. Our anxiety levels will plateau for quite some time.

Many of us will have taken catastrophic falls from employment which will devastate us and the industries we belonged to and our actual social means. I’m not doing an economic forecast yet though.

As we head for Level 4, we’re not going to be the same.

182 comments on “This changes everything ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    The increase in hyper-nationalism will continue as states become the primary defensive organising principle for identity and protection.

    While I strongly agree the nation state will remain vital, I'm less sanguine about hyper-nationalism. Like all good ideas, it can always be taken too far.

    If as a reaction we totally reject the trade, travel and connectedness of the post WW2 era, we will very quickly discover the limits of the nation state. If we regress toward conditions that prevailed in NZ prior to WW2 it won't take long for a lot of people to discover what has been lost.

    Worse still when the US Navy goes home and no longer guarantees the freedom of the seas, all other nations are going to suddenly find themselves very vulnerable indeed. Rarely do good things rush into a power vacuum, the reemergence of overt regional empires and colonisation that was the norm through all pre-WW2 history is highly probable.

    I have written extensively on what I regard as the necessity for a federal form of global governance to deal effectively with challenges at global scale. For instance right now NZ stands a good chance of beating COVID 19 within our borders in a month or so, but we will have to remain isolated to international travel until it burns out globally or we develop a mass vaccine for a year or more. And absent global coordination, very much longer. It’s very fashionable to sneer at the globalism of the post WW2 era, but that severely discounts the incredible prosperity it has enabled that most of us too often take for granted.

    But this never meant I endorsed globalism as we currently know it; it remains deeply deficient in many respects. And this crisis has deeply discredited it in the eyes of many, yet abandoning the global principle is not feasible either. Therefore whatever we rebuild, it must be on firmer foundations.

    • BM 1.1

      Do you think there's going to be a mass exodus of New Zealanders coming back from Australia?

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        The official advice is deeply contradictory. The NZ govt has repeatedly said that any kiwis travelling or living overseas should return home. Then they say this involves around 80,000 people. There are contradictory numbers floating around, but at any one time there are probably between 700k to 1m kiwi expats, with around 80% of them in Australia.

        At least 3 – 400k are there on the 'temporary' SCV444 which allows access to a basic Medicare card and that's it. No other social support is available to them whatsoever despite the fact that as a group we pay more tax per capita to the ATO than any other. Morrison has confirmed that kiwis will get no Centrelink support just a few days ago and should return home.

        My initial guess is that somewhere between 10 – 20% of this group, will find themselves out of work immediately and will be looking to return home within a month or so. Especially if they were on relatively low incomes and lack the savings or security to stay.

        The longer it drags on, the more this number will rise. Maybe up to 100k over the next 3 months.

        The other consideration is going to be flights; while at present there seems to be a skeleton service over the Tasman (eg Air NZ is still running about 5 flights per week into Brisbane and similar to other cities), there is no clarity around how long these will remain available. And frankly given the insanity of packing people like sardines into the arrival hall for five hours … that needs sorting out before I'd take the risk of making the trip home.

        • BM 1.1.1.1

          That's what I'm concerned about, we have such a shortage of housing as it is, if 100-200k or more Kiwis had to come home where would they live? where would they work?

          As Ad mentioned we might move into a period of hyper-nationalism, Kiwis could find themselves very unwelcome in Australia especially if unemployment is high.
          Apart from the US no one does patriotism like the Australians.

          Should the NZ government start paying the benefit to Kiwis out of work in Australia, just to keep them over there?

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            Kiwis could find themselves very unwelcome in Australia especially if unemployment is high.

            It's highly likely they'll be first in the queue to be laid off which is unsurprising really.

            Most ordinary Australians are quite unaware of how unfairly their govt treats us and are pretty surprised when the facts are explained to them. It's not as if they actually hate us, in fact of all immigrant groups we probably get more social acceptance than most. But when the drawbridge get pulled up it's not clear which side of it we'll be on. It could go either way.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2

            On reflection, events have a way of confounding the gloomiest predictions. While existing jobs, especially in hospitality have gone, new ones are opening up.

            For instance the supermarkets are urgently seeking extra staff, BHP has announced it's taking on 1500 new jobs, lots of extra temporary roles in virus contact tracking will be needed. Maybe extra cleaners, drivers and so on.

            They probably won't cover the whole shortfall, but you can sure kiwis will be first in the queue applying for them. (As a group we have the highest workforce participation rate at 76% vs 64% nationally.)

          • woodart 1.1.1.1.3

            shortage of housing..maybe not. already there are airbnb houses being put onto the rental market at reduced rates. that will grow into an avalanche. there will also be thousands of self contained motorhomes for sale cheaply as rental outfits cash up there unused stock.

        • Wayne 1.1.1.2

          This is going to be a huge Trans Tasman problem. Our PM has said she expects that Australia will look after the SCV444 residents, in particular that they have access to the unemployment benefit. I would hope that happens. It hardly needs saying that this is a unique situation and that the normal rules that the Aussie govt applys to SCV444 residents should not be applied at the moment.

          In NZ, WINZ may have to help some of the international tourists stranded here. Many of them (particularly younger backpackers) will run out of money and they may not have good parental support.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1

            The trans-Tasman relationship is going to come under even more pressure over this. Morrison and Dutton have invested a lot of political capital into denying kiwis in oz a fair go, so they are not going to cave unless pressured.

            The other hot spot is going to be what happens when the NZ govt starts negotiating with the Aus owned banks here around mortgage relief and risk sharing.

            Then of course there is the on-going odious 501 deportation regime.

            This could go either way; the crisis could precipitate a real change of heart in good faith, or the two countries might finish up politically further apart than ever. I find it just weird given how close we are in every other respect.

            What do you see happening?

            • Wayne 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope.

              • Molly

                One for you then, Wayne.

              • Anthony Rimell

                I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope

                I wish you were right Wayne, but my eldest son and his wife are booking flights back to New Zealand now, after living and working in Oz for eighteen months. Their jobs are gone, and they have been advised they have no entitlement to any benefit support. So they are upping anchor and returning before Easter. That being when their money runs out.

                The irony of ScoMo invoking the ANZAC spirit while ignoring the needs of productive kiwis in Oz is not lost on me.

              • halfcrown

                I doubt it.

              • I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing.

                I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope.

                I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope and pray.

                I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope and pray and plead

                I reckon the Aussies will probably do the right thing. I hope and pray and plead and grovel

                Geez Wayne! Not while Scomo and Peter Dutton, Petal Credlin, Paul Murray Live, Keen to know what ya think, and the team at Skoi News Straya are in power.

          • Macro 1.1.1.2.2

            Totally agree Wayne. Many NZers in Australia have been there for a number of years – have family and homes, are in regular employment and paying taxes . They are to all intents and purposes now Australian citizens. They cannot just pack up return to NZ.

            This is not unique to NZ though. There are many UK citizens in a similar position. Even indigenous Australians whose heritage in the country stretched back 50,000 years, were not granted Australian citizenship until the referendum of 1967. So with such a xenophobic culture currently in Canberra I fear our plea for mercy will be falling on deaf ears.

          • halfcrown 1.1.1.2.3

            Agree 100%

    • Ad 1.2

      I ain't saying I like hyper nationalism. Just predicting.

      If any event could strengthen global regulation it would be this one.

      I dread what it's going to do to Africa.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        I ain't saying I like hyper nationalism.

        No I never imagined you did.

        As for improving global regulation, I'm under no illusions how difficult a task this is. Brexit is a fine example of what happens when you get it wrong. Any such attempt must take account of local history and conditions, and can only usefully progress as fast as the people will come on board with the process. And nothing can be usefully done unless there is solid ethical and social foundation that supports it.

        Frankly I see it as a very incremental process that might take a century to sensibly progress.

    • Blazer 1.3

      'It’s very fashionable to sneer at the globalism of the post WW2 era, but that severely discounts the incredible prosperity it has enabled that most of us too often take for '

      People sneer at the ramping up of neo liberalism under Thatcher,Reagan and Rogernomics here that took hold in the 80's.

      The platitudes of 'trickle down','a rising tide lifts all boats' and other such nonsense, have been exposed as a crude justification for increasing inequality to a ludicrous level.

      The vaunted free market of self regulation in the banking sector has created an illusion of prosperity that relies on ever expanding,unpayable debt.

      A reset and reform of the whole financial sector is well overdue.

      • KJT 1.3.1

        Ascribing advancing prosperity to “globalisation” is right wing horseshit.

        Western countries used “free trade” rules to prevent third world countries using the same local industry and local market protections that was Western countries path to prosperity.

        Only countries like China, who had enough power to enact there own form of “protectionism, have really prospered.

        • RedLogix 1.3.1.1

          Ascribing advancing prosperity to “globalisation” is right wing horseshit.

          Again the facts confound your narrow ideology. After 10,000 years of very slow and erratic progress by about 1800 there were only 1b humans, and 99% of them lived in dire, brutal poverty.

          The first round of globalisation more or less kicked off around the mid-1800s' and by 1910 the world had already changed dramatically, but empire was still the norm and there was almost no political basis on which to sustain globalisation. The result was two catastrophic wars that by the end of the second one, the world was so chastened the UN was formed in the hope we might not have to live through such events again.

          But the Soviet Union remained a threat. Left unchecked there was every reason to expect it to roll over the rest of Europe once they had recovered sufficiently from the devastation of WW2. The Americans realised that if the Germans could not defeat them on the ground, the US had no chance; the logistics were impossible.

          So instead they tried something different. At Bretton Woods the idea was to use the US Navy, the only one left standing, to ensure freedom of the seas. Any nation that chose could trade freely with any other and the US Navy would provide the security; the only requirement was that you were on their side against the Soviets. They essentially bribed up a global alliance against Stalin.

          This was a hegemony, but not empire as we had ever known it. As long as you played the game on their side, there was no occupation, no taxes, no trade levies. Only occasionally were you asked to provide some troops, although the US always did the heavy lifting. Some core nations like NATO and the Five Eye alliance got special privileges for providing intelligence.

          Over time it worked, Europe became more open and democratic. It worked in Japan, South Korea and many other places. People started to notice that democracies rarely went to war with each other, and the idea was born that by exporting it as widely as possible the US could increase it's security without traditional resort to military means.

          It even started to work quite well in China, the 70', 80's, 90's and 00's saw China achieve in 40 years what the West had taken 400. After Nixon opened the WTO up to China (the idea being to prise them away from their orientation to the Soviets) the Chinese access to world markets and implicit freedom of the seas that allowed their raw materials and goods to be shipped anywhere worked incredibly well. That it came at the cost of hyper-subsidisation and rampant IP theft was tolerated, as long they were heading in the direction of openness and engagement with the world on equitable terms.

          As a result by 2016 the human population had increased almost 8-fold in 200 years and fully half of the human race had escaped poverty for the first time ever. All this during the first two phases of globalisation … even as politically flawed as both of them were. These are facts that are incontrovertible. It is impossible such a stunning change in the fortunes of so many billions of ordinary people could have happened absent global communication, trade, travel, regulations and services. The scientific, industrial and democratic revolutions may have gotten painfully underway in Europe, but they are now spread almost everywhere.

          Right up to Tiananmen Square. After this the CCP doubled down. Under Xi Xinping they closed their society down, the Great Firewall was split the internet in two, the oppression of minorities and religions intensified. And most critically they made it clear that they regarded the time of the US to be over … and that henceforth China would rule the world in the old imperial style. The old idea of Chinese superiority, as expressed in the term "The Middle Kingdom" at the centre of the world was exhumed and given official approval. Far from wanting to participate in Pax Americana, the CCP has determined it wants to overthrow it and impose a new order centred in Beijing, run according to CCP totalitarian imperial dictates.

          It's taken the Western world a while to notice this. COVID 19 is going to damage CCP credibility severely, despite the propaganda storm being unleashed on the West at this moment. Their gaming during the month of February to ensure the virus would travel outside China as widely as possible is becoming apparent. The folly of having so much global supply chain concentrated in the one nation that has openly declared it's hostile imperial intentions is becoming obvious. And if they exploit the next few months of global crisis to invade Taiwan … all bets are going to be off indeed.

          • Blazer 1.3.1.1.1

            Your very subjective views of history cannot withstand scrutiny Red.

            e.g-'the UN was formed in the hope we might not have to live through such events again'….they tried that with the League Of Nations…the UN with its veto powers is shown up time and again as being quite toothless regarding international mediation in conflicts.

            'Their gaming during the month of February to ensure the virus would travel outside China as widely as possible is becoming apparent'….where's your evidence?

            Does Globalisation equate to Empire?

            China,Russia and non compliant countries(to the U.S …'we don't have friends….only business interests)who realise that the $U.S and its control of the IMF,B.I.S and World Bank allow it unfair advantage are wanting a more level playing field.

            The U.S has invaded/interfered with 37 nations since WW2 ,and some like Chile were democratic regimes.

            Sanctions and financial constraints is now the preferred method of aggression.

            • RedLogix 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Does Globalisation equate to Empire?

              I'm honestly not sure quite what you mean by this, but the answer is in principle no. If you had bothered to read my comment carefully you would see that I described both of the existing phases of globalisation (the first from 1850 to 1914 and the second from 1945 to present day) as being 'politically flawed.

              The first phase entirely lacked any global regulation whatsover, and the inevitable clash of empires resulted in WW1. The League of Nations was widely regarded as a good idea, but too limited in scope.

              Post WW2 the UN was a far more serious attempt. But it too had several distinct flaws. One I outline below, and the other of course is that it was far too US-centric. And global institutions such as the WTO, World Bank and IMF were very prone to seeing the world through an American lens.

              This might not have been necessarily fatal over time, but the next flaw undermined the UN concept right from the start.

              the UN was formed in the hope we might not have to live through such events again'….they tried that with the League Of Nations…the UN with its veto powers is shown up time and again as being quite toothless regarding international mediation in conflicts.

              The veto power was of course abused by all the permanent members at one point or another. It was controversial from the outset; the majority of smaller nations rejected it, but the refusal of the Big Five to sign up to the UN Charter without the veto, meant that it became entrenched. It was of course a bad compromise, and is justification for reform, not the rejection of the UN as a whole.

              Ultimately until the major nations are willing to cede at least some of their sovereignty to the UN Security Council, we are stuck with it. The fault lies with them, not the UN.

              My key point is this. Despite both attempts at globalisation being politically and fatally flawed, they have at the same time delivered an incredible leap in human development. Since 1800 life expectancies have doubled, infant mortality is a fraction of what it used to be. There is now less than 1b people not connected to an electrical grid. Health systems of some sort are available to more than half of humanity. Everywhere you look the numbers are incontrovertible. There remain of course many huge challenges and shortcomings, but the overall direction humanity has traveled the past two centuries is crystal clear. We are for the most part all a lot better off than our ancestors were just 200 short years ago.

              Imagine now what we could achieve if we got it right? What if we did manage to forge a global alliance that did meet security expectations, that was not captured by the interests of the great powers, and was democratically accountable to all it's member nations?

        • halfcrown 1.3.1.2

          +100%

  2. We have locked NZ down for a month, and during that time, hopefully, there will be few serious cases and no deaths. Success?

    Then what? Back to normal? Not a hope. This pandemic will not be over until there's a vaccine freely available for 80% of the world (or, more realistically, the first world).

    Which means a minimum of a year, more like 18 months. We could be hit by a second and even a third wave of Covid-19.

    And when it's been subdued, then we'll be left with the economic hangover. This event will make the Great Depression look like a minor dip in the Dow.

    We should be opening up the discussion (soon) on what sort of post-pandemic world we want. Fortress NZ is one possibility.

    And don't forget, though climate change has moved into the background, having a pandemic doesn't suddenly lower the pent-up CO2 emissions.

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.1

      Although, most of the cases are from Kiwis returning to NZ. So that source of infection could be stamped out, or reduced to manageable levels. Also, I recall the PM saying there may be local lock downs in the future if they see a Covid-19 break out in a region.

      I guess there may be continued restrictions to travelling overseas and around the country as well.

    • Fran 2.2

      I am a bit worried by the constant refrain about getting a vaccine for this virus. We still don't have one for Sars, not for lack of trying but because corona virus's are tricky. We might not get a vaccine but hopefully we get an effective treatment. Perhaps we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket.

  3. Wayne 3

    What will the post cover world look like? I don't think "Fortress NZ" will apply. Trade will still happen, and largely to the same extent as in the past.

    But I reckon far less personal overseas travel, at least in the next 2 or 3 years. Also a lot less consumerism. Fewer new clothes, fewer things, a simpler life.

    So perhaps an economy that for years to come will have a lower base than say in February 2020. Lets say 10% less. That means fewer jobs, or maybe they will be different jobs. But probably not as well paid on average as present (past) jobs. The "low wage' economy that so many complained about here may soon look pretty good in retrospect.

    Probably we don't get back to an economy the size of Feb 2020 for at least 3 years. And even then it will be different.

    • Blazer 3.1

      Lot to be said for a 'simpler life'.

      Becoming a 'Kardashian' is a delusional aspiration for most.

      The popular obsession with GDP 'growth' is not conducive to healthy living.

      An observation of the alignment between Q.E ,low interest rates and the price of 'shelter' can not be ignored.

      In 2006 100 people 'working' at Goldman Sachs earned over 20million each!

      That is an indictment on so called prosperity and progress.

      Since the GFC ,very little has changed.As we now see, most of the banking system is insolvent and a large percentage of private enterprises look to the Govt to bail them out…again.

    • KJT 3.2

      For most people wages have been dropping for decades.

      A slowing of the exponential rises at the top, may even put a much needed brake on price increases and the dysfunctional speculation in existing assets. Those people may have to actually work for their living.

      A shock like this shows who is really valuable to society.
      And, it isn’t those who have been a warding themselves million dollar, incomes.

      I suspect people are going to be very pissed of with the tax dodging wealthy when the bill for this, comes in

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        The extremes of wealth are a much harder problem than you narrowly imagine.

        In any creative endeavour with a large number of people involved, a very small number of people will produce a large fraction of the added value. For example if you have a scientific field in which 100 people publish a paper, 10 of them will publish fully half of the total. 1 or 2 will be cited by almost all the others.

        The same applies in the music industry or art. There are tens of millions of talented and capable musos and artists out there, barely a few thousand of them ever gain widespread recognition or make real money at it. Look even at your own sport of sailing, millions world-wide participate in a huge variety of ways, but there are only a relative handful like Alex Thompson at the very top of the game.

        Nor is gross inequality anything new, looking back over 10,000 years of known history shows exactly the same patterns, often even more extreme than modern times. The root cause has nothing to do with 'capitalism' or 'neo-liberalism'.

        What has happened is that the modern world has reduced absolute poverty more dramatically than ever before. By 2016 fully half the human race had escaped absolute poverty for the first time ever. But at the same time the enormous tidal wave of creativity this has enabled has also meant that relative poverty has increased. A very small number of people have indeed become incredibly wealthy, beyond all possible ethical reasoning.

        We've solved the problem of absolute poverty, but now the historically latent problem of relative inequality comes into focus. We need to understand the real nature of the problem we are trying to solve, before we can do anything useful about it.

        • KJT 3.2.1.1

          Rubbish.

          • RedLogix 3.2.1.1.2

            Amazing how well you've summed up your argument in just one word there.

          • David Mac 3.2.1.1.3

            Do you think I'm a gullible idiot for thinking that red's thumbnail sketch of what's happened in the last 200 years is pretty much on the money? I'm sure I'm not alone, are we all sucked into believing the lies?

            Seems to me Joe Average 2020 is doing way better than Joe Average 1890. eg: His teeth aren't rotting blood poisoning killer stumps in his jaw.

            Too many people yelling for equality these days figure they're due an Aventador and fortnights in the Maldives.

            It is equality of opportunity that matters, making it happen will always be down to you and me. Always has been, always will be. Spread the world's wealth evenly amongst us all. By the end of the first week, some people will have more assets and some less. Trends that in most cases will continue on. eg: The broke person that won Lotto 2 years ago.

            • David Mac 3.2.1.1.3.1

              Fortunately Aventadors and the Maldives have absolutely nothing to do with the recipe for a genuine contented life. Money plays a minor role. Having enough is enough and doing more with less is satisfying.

            • Blazer 3.2.1.1.3.2

              Lifes not ..so wonderful for many.Interesting article.

              https://psmag.com/news/the-suicide-rate-is-at-its-highest-in-a-half-century

              • David Mac

                The second leading cause in deaths for American males under 35. Ouch. I can't help but wonder how many of those young men that topped themselves aspired to be Aventador owners and wrestled with the reality of their lives. Looked in the mirror and saw loser boy.

                The solution is not giving them Aventadors. The solution is hooking them up with what they're good at and laying out pathways for them to make the most of their unique gifts. Opportunity equality.

        • Blazer 3.2.1.2

          If you have a financial system where created money is allocated to 1% of the population ,their 'first user' advantage ,disadvantages the other 99%.

          The financial sctor in the U.S is 7 TIMES bigger than the farming sector.

  4. Two things out of that post this morning.

    Online Shopping

    We had an order for a food delivery, which we have been getting for many months now, cancelled and money returned.

    We will survive.

    Two, personal relationships will be strained with couples that don't really like each other, locked up for weeks.

    I predict that the divorce rate will sky rocket.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      I predict that the divorce rate will sky rocket.

      Or maybe they'll finally have the time to confront their issues honestly. Could go either way.

      Maybe we'll have another baby boom wink

      • Not by the way our neighbours were screaming at each other this morning.

        Absolutely screaming at each other.

        And it happens on a regular basis, and now they are in lockdown, together.

        What a bloody circus.

        And I agree, there may well be a baby boom on the other end of the scale, make love, not war.

        • David Mac 4.1.1.1

          Yep, the flatmate we've actively avoided for 14 months is about to be sitting across the coffee table with a buried to the first knuckle finger up his nose.

    • SPC 4.2

      I'd guess it would be because it's in breach of the new rules. More than two of an item etc, and or items out of stock.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Anybody (else) subscribe to the notion that humanity has had a shot fired over her bows by all-that-lives-but-is-not-human? Sent to our rooms to think about what we've done, as the Facebook meme says. Perhaps it's the thinking that will be done by every person that's most important here, especially light of Tony's comments re. secondary pandemics and climate change.

    • Anne 5.1

      Anybody (else) subscribe to the notion that humanity has had a shot fired over her bows…

      Yes. From Mother Earth. Like a wise old owl who knows it all…. we have been warned to mend our ways – or else!

    • Muttonbird 5.2

      Extending human life expectancy through medicine is a direct challenge to Natural Selection, as is wearing glasses and using prosthetics.

      We humans do this because we've developed empathy and civilisation which are themselves also part of Natural Selection.

      Nature will throw up mutations and this one is certainly taking down the weakest in order to itself survive.

      It’s not the first and it won't be the last.

      • mike 5.2.1

        the world need clean up its act no more bat soup no more destruction of the enviroment we are on notice

        • Muttonbird 5.2.1.1

          Yep. I reminded of Mad Cow Disease which, if I'm right, was a dreadful condition brought about by the practice of feeding animal products to those same animals, and repeating.

          Similar thing with bat soup. Don't eat diseased creatures, ffs.

        • joe90 5.2.1.2

          In the west we eat swine, chickens, horses, and sacred cows, and the viruses our ancestors carried pretty much wiped out indigenous peoples around the globe. And then they either shot or enslaved the rest.

          But bat soup is bad.

    • mary_a 5.3

      Robert Guyton (5) … I'm of the same mind as yourself. Something had to give eventually and I believe this is it.

    • Sabine 5.4

      the problem is that those that fuck it up for all are those that have access to the tests, the masks, gloves and health care etc etc etc and are insulated by all of the money.

      its the poor that are the least responsible for the fuckuppery that our world has become that will die in the largest numbers, that will live with unemployment for the rest of their lifes, while those that care little about anything other then their bank balance will tell them to pull bootstraps and get on with it.

      So nah, nothing will change, people will die, poor people will be poorer and rich people will be richer. Unless the government actually wants to finally save He Tangata rather then big business. And so far i don't see much of it.

    • weka 5.5

      definitely. We're being offered a reprieve. What we do with it is up to us.

      • I Feel Love 5.5.1

        Well the third world has been feeling this for … since forever? Taking a hit for the team, so to speak.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    This could be a positive, as long as they cant turf renters out when things turn around.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120510118/rental-market-flooded-with-former-airbnb-properties

    • Jimmy 6.1

      May become a renters market instead of a landlord's market

      • bwaghorn 6.1.1

        I hope so . I'm neither by the way.

      • mike 6.1.2

        it will be a buyers market so many have bought the bubble

        • David Mac 6.1.2.1

          Yes, I think it's a mug buying property in this market that is yet to react to the recession signaled by our Finance Minister's report, regardless of how low interest rates are.

          The state of the market is signaled in the advertorial real estate pages of the NZ Herald. None of the real estate editorial is ever behind the paywall. That is of course because none of it is editorial and it is all advertising.

          6 months ago the pseudo headlines were pitching stories like ' 97% OF AUCTION SALES EXCEEDING CV'.

          Today, the headlines desperate to puff air into the lungs of the ailing Cashcow declare "KERRE McIVOR'S GREY LYNN HOME SELLS FOR OVER CV."

          Read between the lines.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Certainly, NZ won’t be the same. Our country’s shame since “Roger’n’Ruth’s” wrecking ball swung through the provinces and manufacturing in particular, and public infrastructure, was the subsequent underclass created.

    That group was not “repurposed” or retrained, or even considered, it was essentially discarded. And then demonised–“dob in a bludger” TV ads during the Shipley years, “Jobs jolt” from Helen Clark.

    Now of course in tragic circumstances, a whole new intake is discovering right now how life can turn to shit overnight–not due to ‘poor choices’ or ‘bad attitude’–but, macro economic and international events way beyond any individuals control. Perhaps New Zealand’s aspirational, tradies, self employed, SME operators etc. will get this, and “Bennie bash” stigma will drop away. Of course tax payer largesse has always been OK for pensioners and WFF and corporate welfare and Farming sector recipients!

    So that is my hope, that the role of the state, public ownership of essential infrastructure, and well funded health care, will once again be seen as a good thing and vital to a functioning society.

    • KJT 7.1

      It should be, but I have seen some people getting poised for a bit of disaster capitalism already.

      Noting all due credit to some of our corporations, like supermarkets, who, on the whole have gone to rationing rather than price gouging.
      I hope that public spiritedness extends into the future.

  8. Grumpy 8

    I thought this was good when announced but now come the exceptions. We have just been advised that all the Electrical Wholesalers will stay open, as will mechanics, Repco etc. What a farce!

    • A 8.1

      They are doing exceptionally well for a rapid response. At least we have majority lockdown which is the most important.

      It buys time if nothing else…for our country to watch how it escalates overseas and thank God we live here.

      • Grumpy 8.1.1

        We had planned to shut down and work from home but as suppliers to the electrical industry, now that the wholesalers are staying open we need to as well. We presume building sites are also exempt because otherwise their would be no need for trade suppliers to stay open

        I also understand car repairers are exempt so garages, parts suppliers etc are all staying open as well. This is NOT a shutdown.

        This is a huge disappointment. We were prepared to do our bit but if we do, our competitors can use the opportunity to steal our market.

        • Andre 8.1.1.1

          Essential services to stay open include:

          Building and construction:

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

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12319181

          That appears to exclude routine building sites, so the wholesalers and the likes of Bunnings should be just dealing with tradies doing repairs. They shouldn't be dealing with business as usual, new construction sites should be shut down. Although they might be getting more DIYers at the moment.

          Similarly since transport is still essential, car repairs are still essential. Although with much less driving going on, they should be doing less work. Again, there may be an increase in DIY going on.

    • pat 8.2

      and the warehouse, Mitre 10 and Bunnings….I suspect they will all be changing their position within 24 hours or the whole purpose of the shutdown is undermined

      • Grumpy 8.2.1

        Its undermined already, they have applied for and been granted exemptions. Who is this guy Ombler?

        • pat 8.2.1.1

          link?…Only story Ive seen says spokesperson said it is not inline with gov directive

          • Grumpy 8.2.1.1.1

            See below at 10

            • pat 8.2.1.1.1.1

              yes I saw your post…i dont dispute they are saying they are remaining open what i asked for a link to was confirmation they have official sanction and have been granted exemptions

              • Grumpy

                Just looked at the new guidelines on NZ Herald and I cant see how they can justify staying open either. Look forward to seeing how many teeth the authorities have to shut them down.

                • Naki man

                  I was very relieved to hear there will be a lock down only to learn yesterday that the rules don't apply to my industry and i am expected to keep coming to work. Not sure how that is going to work out.

              • bill

                The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has been approached to explain why The Warehouse will be considered essential during the lock down.

                Gotta keep those wheels of commerce turning and those plates of finance spinning. Not suggesting that's be how any response will be worded, but that's basically what it boils down to.

      • patricia 8.2.2

        No Warehouse Trade only for the others.

  9. bill 9

    “This Changes Everything” says the post.

    Uh-huh

    So, John Ombler – who appointed him and why, what degree of accountability applies to him and his powers (which are what btw?) in his role as "All of Government Controller"?

    • Grumpy 9.1

      Yep, seems he has already gutted the shutdown. What we are seeing is NOT what the PM announced.

  10. Grumpy 10

    "he first thing you need to know is that all 48 Ideal branches remain open for business as part of the supply chain to building and construction along with utilities and communication."

    Received today from Ideal Wholesalers. Question is, if they are open as part of the supply chain to building and construction then what industries are closed?

    It would be tragic if the whole idea of the lockdown and the battle to control coronavirus was weakened by all these exceptions. This is NOT what the PM told us!

    • A 10.1

      Goodness. Look on the bright side, if some suppliers open and are not needed they can go home.

      And stop spreading grumpy germs!!

      • Grumpy 10.1.1

        This is no longer a shutdown. How effective can it possibly be when there are so many exceptions, none of which are necessary.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          So the current hospital building projects are unnecessary? What about people whose toilets back up – the plumber is necessary then, surely? Where are they supposed to be getting their supplies from?

          Paying builders to make you a new deck is out. A pub or theatre doing a reno is out.

          • Grumpy 10.1.1.1.1

            We supply a lot of hospital building projects and we are closing. What type or volume of emergency justifies every building, electrical and plumbing outlet to remain open?

            • Andre 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you closing because of a direct instruction from authority, or because you believe you are expected to from your interpretation of very sparse, broad and generic information published in the media?

              Do you have some kind of means for your customers working on essential projects to get what they need from you to carry on with essential projects during the shutdown?

              • Grumpy

                We are closing because that is what we were advised to do immediately after the PMs announcement by our accountants.

                We apparently can have one person at our warehouse who can dispatch items if urgently required. Our accountants thought this was a grey area.

                All other staff can work from home doing design, quotations and admin tasks.

                Today we find the The Warehouse, Bunnings, Mitre 10 and all the electrical and plumbing wholesalers will be open. Currently it appears liquor stores also.

                They must have better advisers than we do. It makes a mockery of the shutdown.

                Also, as someone working in this area, I can say that the likelihood of an urgent and crucial call out is quite low. In most cases institutions have in house maintenance who hold good stock of spares for prone items.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Oh, some sort of emergency that involves a rapidly changing situation where responses might rest on the ability to develop new infrastructure quickly, or indeed simply to repair (as would be done normally) current infrastructure damaged in a hostile climate and necessary for the preservation of life.

              • pat

                if there is a life threatening situation that requires emergency response it will be met….its 4 weeks ffs

                • McFlock

                  When the bathroom light switch died, that wasn't an emergency.

                  When the pipe in the kitchen ceiling burst and the mains tap had to be switched off to stop the indoor rain, that was ok for a few hours. But three weeks without running water, in lockdown? That needs either a plumber or a relocation.

                  • pat

                    and should that occur im sure a suitable remedy will be available….nobody is going to stop a plumber from attending such an event….that is somewhat different than keeping the plumbing aisle open at Bunnings so you can browse for taps for your bathroom upgrade

                    • McFlock

                      The media conference today said they hadn't mentioned specific businesses. I agree about domestic DIY shopping, but wholesalers at least need to be operational.

                  • pat

                    tradies carry basic stock…and they possess their greatest asset, knowledge which enables them to improvise…and if push comes to shove can access materials through networks…..it dosnt require wholesalers to remain open

                    • McFlock

                      If they're sourcing it through their networks, that's no different from getting it from a wholesaler. It still involves a third-party communication and not-quite-close contact.

                    • joe90

                      Plumbers turn up, eyeball the job, and then climb back into the truck and fuck off to do the shopping.

                      It's what they do.

                    • pat

                      @ joe

                      you need a better plumber

                      @McF

                      but dosnt require contact nor the wholesalers to be open.

          • bill 10.1.1.1.2

            What about people whose toilets back up – the plumber is necessary then, surely?

            Shit in a bucket ffs. I'm with Grumpy on this – a lockdown is a lockdown. And if your bogs out of actin and you don't have a bucket, using your neighbour's bog introduces far fewer potential vectors of transmission that a plumber who has done however many visits that day…and the day before…and the day before that.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.2.1

              lol great. Covid replaced by dysentary. And using your neighbour's bog involves your neighbour letting you in their house.

              Level 4 doesn't stop pipes bursting or electrical faults.

              A plumber's jobs are well logged, and a little bit of ppe and distance will keep the tradies safe. Otherwise we're heading into winter and if the heater blows the mains fuse, people are fucked if they're not tech-minded.

              • Grumpy

                The Christchurch earthquake should have taught us how resilient and resourceful people are. Toilet issues were creatively solved and electricity done without.

                This is a much more challenging life threatening emergency.

            • Pingao 10.1.1.1.2.2

              Plumbers will attend to plumbing emergencies so people can stay healthy – have clean running water, hot water and sanitary waste systems. Any tradies having to turn up at people's houses for emergency repairs will have their own H&S protocols and procedures. It's a contagious virus y'know.

  11. AB 11

    "Many of us will have taken catastrophic falls from employment which will devastate us and the industries we belonged to and our actual social means. "

    A number of us have already experienced that over the past decades. This crisis is additive, not new. The only thing new about it is the trigger. After this crisis, economic growth will start up again, people will get comfortable, then something else will trigger a collapse. Like a series of rising vortexes (vortices?) that spin up rapidly, crash down and rise up again. This crisis will actually change nothing – or at least nothing fundamental, just the sort of surface behavioural stuff that you describe.

  12. Grumpy 12

    So, Bunnings, Mitre 10, Warehouse, Electrical Wholesalers, Supermarkets and now we hear that Liquor outlets are trying to stay open. When was this shutdown supposed to be?

    We just had our courier driver call in to see if we would be open. He has been doing the rounds of his customers and remarked that the whole exercise has become a farce. We accepted the need for the shutdown for the public good but it now just becomes a counter productive “feel good” exercise. If we need to have a shutdown make it a proper one!

  13. pat 13

    "the government have NOT decided that the Warehouse is an essential service"

    News conference MBIE spokesman

  14. Adrian 14

    A Placemakers I went to this morning ( four weeks at home with my wife with house repairs I havent done for years, which has been regularly pointed out to me constitutes a Local Emergency as far as I'm concerned ) they told me 5pm tomorrow is lock down time.

    Don't know how Bunnings et al may get away with it, but Kiwis do probably "need a project "to ease tensions. Keeping bored husbands and handywives ( there's a new word for you ) occupied probably is an essential service. And an electrical outlet said it is account holders only ( i.e tradies etc )

    • McFlock 14.1

      I'm going to try hand engraving and a couple of writing projects.

      But I'll probably end up watching 280 hours of netflix lol

  15. adam 15

    WINZ is shutting down, and now sending out email saying they can't cope with the phone calls – so don't call.

    Love these guys.

    [to clarify, WINZ have not shut down. They’ve closed service centres to limit CV spread (as per the govt advisory for workplaces to limit contact between people), and their call centre is currently overloaded, but they are staying in operation for the duration. https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/ – weka]

    • Tiger Mountain 15.1

      Minister Sepuloni on RNZ today seemed to have little grasp of a number of the subjects–such as abatement levels–important for people doing sporadic work while on Jobseeker allowance, or was pretending not to, and is in fact totally captured by the neo lib clowns in charge of WINZ/MSD. A UBI type payment, bypassing WINZ/MSD, is what is needed right now.

      Phone contact is the option for people with no Wifi, but who in need of assistance has enough call time to wait anyway. Crime wave coming up unless the military and others are organised into a Civil Defence group to distribute food and supplies.

      • adam 15.1.1

        Agree can't see much more than desperate people doing desperate things, unless they cut out winz from creating it's usual mess.

        A UBI type payment seems about the only work around. One which will go a long way to help the poorest and those most in need.

      • Patricia 2 15.1.2

        Not only impossible to ring WINZ / MSD but MY MSD not letting people in either. Major overload which is only going to get worse.

  16. Carolyn_Nth 16

    Had an email from my local auto workshop, car mechanics. Said they have been deemed an essential service. Makes sense as many will be using their cars for supermarket shopping, pharmacies, etc. They will continue to do WOFs, repairs, etc.

    • bill 16.1

      Can't quite see why a car (ie- a specific one owned and run by an individual) is essential. If I had a car and it went bung, I'd be in the precise situation that I and many thousands of others have always been in.

    • Rosemary McDonald 16.2

      Carolyn_Nth…a huge cyber hug coming your way if my mechanic will still be working.

      I was quite beside myself yesterday getting my head around not having my old girl back on the road. Well not on the road as such, but back with us so we can live in it. It's home.

      We're getting organized, being without our Bus, but it will not be easy cohabiting with a young couple who will be going out to work most days.

      • Molly 16.2.1

        Don't know if it is of any use, Rosemary. But we have a paddock with hardfill in it, on the outskirts of Pukekohe. Unfortunately, no facilities in terms of shower or toilet, but if it works for you as a self-contained unit, you are welcome to brighten our garden with your housebus if you need somewhere to park. I'm happy to give permission to The Standard to pass on my email to you if you want it.

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          Let me know if the two of you want to connect up.

        • Rosemary McDonald 16.2.1.2

          Sincerely appreciate the offer Molly, but the problem is we have no Bus.

          Planned on a week staying with the Young Prople while the Bus had major engine work done …mechanic took a day or two to find problem then another day or so to source parts…all the while we had this growing fear that shit would get real and exactly this would happen.

          Bus locked in repair shop and Peter and I imposing on the YPs at this time of lockdown. They off to work, then coming home to have to decontaminate to try and protect us.

          We are working it out. I have made new curtains for the Bus and Peter has just finished reading "Rottenomics". There's a deck needs painting and lawns to mow and if I get truly bored I might clean the Young People's windows

          Twelve years ago we named our Bus 'Patience". Times like this we remind ourselves why.

          (Your paddock with hard fill (how did you know I have a thing about getting bogged down?) sounds wonderful. With the NZMCA shutting all the members out of our park over properties you could make a few lifelong friends. We're mostly all properly self contained so don't need ablutions. We also have a one upmanship thing going on with solar power…so these days most don't need mains power. Just need somewhere safe to park. )

          All the best Molly.

      • Carolyn_Nth 16.2.2

        Well this is what they quoted, but I don't know we can assume they are open to business for the general public – and they may have misunderstood this:

        Just to let you know that we are classified as an essential service under Transport & Logistic’s so are therefore OPEN

        • Any entity providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes (vehicle testing & mechanic’s)
        • pat 16.2.2.1

          does your local garage have a contract to maintain an essential services fleet?….I suspect not

          • weka 16.2.2.1.1

            Yes, I doubt that a motorhome would fit that but one would hope that the mechanic would use some discretion given the situation.

            • pat 16.2.2.1.1.1

              I fear MBIE are making a bit of a hash of the 'essential business' definition

              • weka

                probably not unexpected, it's a massive task to organise all this. I hope people use common sense too, those that have it. It should get more organised over time if people don't panic and overload systems.

                • weka

                  unless they were having an emergency, they shouldn't have closed without telling Rosemary in advance. My mechanic is closed and they closed early too.

          • Carolyn_Nth 16.2.2.1.2

            No it sounds like they are talking about serving the local community with WOF testing, etc. But surely it's important for lots of people to have legal and safe cars for supermarket shopping?

            • pat 16.2.2.1.2.1

              what is the purpose of the lockdown?

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Yes. That is the crucial point.

                There are too many businesses trying to claim they are essential – worried more about their finances than stamping out Covid-19.

                Essential businesses are classified as:

                https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/#Essential-businesses

                Essential businesses, and those that support them, will continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand.

                This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available.

                Note that they include "energy" and "fuel".

                I do think there will be an issue for some people getting groceries, if their WOF is due during the lock down, and they aren't able to get it renewed, or if their car breaks down, and they can't get it repaired.

                I think there's an assumption that most people will drive to the supermarket, because they don't want lots of people using public transport.

                • pat

                  there may be an issue in a small number of cases…and then other arrangements will need to be made.

                  we are talking 4 weeks, not 4 months or years

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    The email says the mechanic may not be in the workshop every day – so doesn't seem to be expecting expecting a lot of business.

                    How many cars in the country will have their WOF's due to be renewed in March-April?

                    And I suspect the lock down will last longer than 4 weeks. A time limit is set so people know it won't go on indefinitely but we should expect the time to be extended. Someone interviewed on Checkpoint tonight said that.

                    • David Mac

                      The mechanic will fix vehicles belonging to nurses, policemen and checkout operators.

                      School teachers, outboard motor mechanics and chimney sweeps will be asked to come back in a month.

                      I think it's amazing how many of us are wrestling with the bleeding obvious. I think 1000's of us would spend days trapped in wet paper bags.

                      Bring on a proper virus, one that kills everybody in 24 hours. There we'd be…. "Is it ok to have laces in my shoes or do they have to be velcro tabs?'

              • bill

                To have a ~3% hit rate instead of a ~70% hit rate?

                • pat

                  to break the chain …what numbers I suspect are an educated guess but if we are going to do it then we should do it properly or not at all

                  We have one shot at this, not just from a public health perspective but also a public compliance….fuck this up and the widespread public support is gone

                  • mauī

                    Considering this thing has a doubling rate of roughly every 3 days, if we wait a week to be more prepared then we would work from a starting point of 600 confirmed cases instead of 150.

                    So 4 times the numbers and more widespread throughout the country. That definitely ups the stakes..

                    • Incognito

                      The first cases were brought into the country and secondary infection of partners/spouses/close family members. This was relatively easy to track and manage, therefore, and could have been stopped completely, at least in theory, by refusing entry to all travellers, including returning Kiwis, for example. However, now we have confirmed community transmission, it becomes a completely different kettle of fish.

            • Andre 16.2.2.1.2.2

              Then there's all the people that still need to get to and from their essential services jobs. With public transport reduced to a skeleton service and no traffic on the roads, I suspect a fair number of those that used to take PT but have access to a car will go to driving themselves.

              So there's still a need for mechanics services and WOFs etc, though at a much lower rate so they won't be busy.

              • pat

                if WOFs were considered an essential service then VTNZ wouldnt be in lockdown (as they should be)

                https://vtnz.co.nz/

                • Andre

                  Doesn't appear to be all of them.

                  All Driver Testing and WoF only VTNZ branches will be closed from 5pm 23/03/2020 …

                  It appears the branches that do COFs will still be open, and they can also do WOFs.

                  • pat

                    COF for essential services….ie truck and trailer units suppling supermarkets

                    • Andre

                      I am aware of a car that is used every day to get someone to and from her essential healthcare services job. The WOF is due in 3 weeks. Public transport is utterly impractical for her to use.

                      After her WOF goes overdue, in pat-world how does she get to and from her essential services work? Does she continue to drive her now illegal car, because everywhere that does WOFs has been shut down?

                      Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the list of essential businesses that may remain open includes

                      • Any entity providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes (eg vehicle testing, mechanics, tyre services)

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12319386

                      If you're under the impression that there's some hidden proviso that restricts that to providing services to entities contracted to essential services, have a look at the rest of the list where those entities are specifically called out.

                    • pat

                      and what cop is going to issue an infringement notice for a WOF that expired during the lockdown?…and what would said people do if their vehicle broke down and they had to wait 6 weeks for an imported part to arrive as is common enough in usual times?….if you are working in an essential service provision will be made

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m flabbergasted!

                      That’s not the point of a WOF, to avoid a fine if it has expired.

                      The point of a WOF is regular safety check of your car. If your tyres are bald or your window wipers disintegrated, or your seatbelts worn, you not only risk the safety of your passengers and yourself but you’re a hazard on the road.

                      It is illegal and unsafe to drive a car that wouldn’t pass a WOF at any time.

                      https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/warrants-and-certificates/warrant-of-fitness/

                      IMO, it clearly is an essential service.

                    • pat

                      and Im flabbergasted at your flabbergast…your car is likely as safe the day before its wof expires as it is the day after….we extended the wof period from 6 to 12 months so extending an up to 4 weeks is not a major road safety issue….especially as the overwhelming majority of vehicles will be spending considerably less time (and) on less congested roads

                    • Incognito []

                      You’re kidding, right? Please say that you’re not seriously mean that.

                      If you drive around on tyres worn to the metal cords because your WOF is not due for a another few months you’re officially classified as a road hazard (AKA a moron).

                    • Carolyn_Nth

                      It may depend a bit on where people live eg rural area where it's a 1-2 hour drive to a supermarket.

                      As with some dairies services small communities will be able to stay open.

                      I can walk to my supermarket, and here's a bus back to near where I live if I have a big load. Buses will be running for access to supermarkets. Also I have someone who can bring deliver groceries to me, though they don't live very close.

                      I wouldn't be keen to take a bus, at least until my throat improves – hopefully when the antibiotics do their work.

                      Some people have disabilities preventing them from walking or taking buses.

                      And it would be difficult for some single parents with children to walk or bus any distance to a supermarket.

                      Is the AA an essential service?

                      I suspect some people would take the risk of driving with an expired WOF during the lock down, if they are unable to renew it.

                    • Rosemary McDonald []

                      It is the disability thing that preys mostly on my mind. The Bus has wheelchair hoist yo get Peter in, then he transfers into a proper carseat. He is too tall to sit in his wheelchair in a moving vehicle…even harnessed he tilts alarmingly around corners.

                      So, I dipped into our house funds and bought an old Honda from the local auction on Saturday. There is only one make and model car that I know I can fold his lanky frame into…so I am feeling less vulnerable now I know we have transport should we need it.

                      I booked it in for a much needed service, due tomorrow. I phoned that mechanic to cancel, assuming they would be winding down, and he said they would still do the oil change etc but not the valet service. I am truly grateful as plan B was a quick trip to Repco and do the job myself.

                      And I'm getting too old for that carry on.

                    • pat

                      Incognito…if your tyres were down to the cords when you went for a WoF theyve been sub standard for quite some time…should that be the case the police have the power to pink or green sticker the vehicle shutdown or no.

                      Time to realise that the shutdown does not mean a gov funded holiday….it has a purpose

                    • Incognito []

                      Agreed, that’s kinda what I said to Bill, just a minute ago (I saw his comment before yours, don’t ask). The point is that all WOF criteria are potential safety issues. If it doesn’t affect safety, they can’t and won’t fail you on that particular issue.

                    • bill

                      I'd heard rumours of real people inhabiting this world you speak of Incognito. To be honest, I didn't think it, or such people actually existed. Sheesh. Seems I was wrong on at least two fronts today…

                    • Incognito []

                      Well, Bill, I shall confess that I’ve been driving around on tyres down to the metal because of an alignment issue and failed the WOF miserably, of course. I was shocked to the bone but ignorance is no excuse and I could have caused a major accident …

                      Meanwhile, my only real worry was the expiry date on that little sticker on my windscreen, as I had no fucking idea about the sorry state of my tyres.

                    • pat

                      @incognito

                      "greed, that’s kinda what I said to Bill, just a minute ago (I saw his comment before yours, don’t ask). The point is that all WOF criteria are potential safety issues. If it doesn’t affect safety, they can’t and won’t fail you on that particular issue."

                      so if its happening without the shutdown there is as I said no increased risk with the shutdown with less k's travelled

                    • Incognito []

                      Undertaking WOFs and keeping cars safe by fixing/repairing safety issues is essential business under Alert Level 4. Unless those cars travel zero km and are not used on the road at all.

                    • pat

                      "Any entity providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes (eg vehicle testing, mechanics, tyre services)"

                      https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/#Essential-businesses

                      note…"for essential work purposes"

                    • Incognito []

                      Exactly! It is essential that you keep your car roadworthy and safe at all time. Therefore, as a legal requirement, it must and will continue under Alert Level 4. Please don’t start taking risks and cutting corners because you’d expect some leniency from Police officers. It won’t absolve you from responsibility if you cause an accident.

                • pat

                  Carolyn Nth

                  I suspect many would/will take the risk as well (and the risk need not be overstated)

                  The gov has said that rural areas without supermarkets will still have access to food ….and as someone 30 mins drive from the nearest supermarket I took quite close interest

  17. pat 17

    Bunnings continues to defy NZ Gov intent

  18. Ian 18

    I hope that in the future politicians and activists stop demonising farmers. Without official advice I have been trying to figure out what services we need to keep our dairy farms producing food. It is a very long list and we all like a chat but if we need a puncture fixed ,or an irrigator repaired or the ute warranted it needs to happen. Rural folk have a ton of common sense and all this shit can happen without contamination.We got to get through this and beat the prik.

    • pat 18.1

      which is a lot different than the local bottle store. or garage, or hardware store being open so people can amuse themselves while waiting out 4 weeks

      • mpledger 18.1.1

        THey should close bottle stores and let people buy alcohol at the supermarket. Unfortunately there are too many alcohol dependent people to do without alcohol.

    • Robert Guyton 18.2

      Where's the winter-feed going to come from?

      • Ian 18.2.1

        Hi Robert .I can't talk for Southland but in Canterbury it will be business as usual with winter feed. Dairy farmers are a very resilient lot fortified by years of media and political persecution from people like you brother. I can assure you the cows will be fed over the winter and your lattes and icecream will still be available.

        • Robert Guyton 18.2.1.1

          We'll see. I don't drink latte or eat ice-cream, btw.

          • Ian 18.2.1.1.1

            We are self sufficient in winter feed and the irrigation ,supplemented by water storage has boosted yields with the nice ,dry weather. Be kind to your Southland food producers and from my observations at the supermarket almond juice and all that sort of stuff is not subject to panic buying. Take care

  19. SPC 19

    Nation state governments will only survive to the extent they can QE their way through this – otherwise the debt will ruin the nation state and leave the body politic to be ravaged by capitalism. Whether the Germans will allow the ECB to do QE to support the indebted nation states of the EU may well decide its fate.

    Our issue will be how long we deny entry to outsiders should the world be over-run by the virus for a few years.

    That would make this a good time for internal tourism (no overcrowding). And for the next month – well its good time of year for those close to biking trails and day walks. And if not, then by either caravans or access to camper vans. May would still be a good time to do the longer scenic walks – if the huts are made available.

    • Adam Ash 19.1

      Social Credit principles would be useful to apply to the upcoming debt. The money can be created by the government (Reserve Bank) and spent into existence via the aid programmes. NZ did this to build a couple of big airfields during WWII. This way there is no interest-bearing debt. The remainder of the national debt could be similarly retired. Won't happen like that, of course, as Ms Arden has no desire to meet the same fate as Pres Lincoln, JFK or his brother. (Tinfoil hat? Maybe.)

  20. Billy 20

    Apparently keeping Wall Steet alive is more important than the lives of WWII veterans in the United States:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/1242245135129346050

    And everyone else’s grandparents.

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