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We are all in this together

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, November 2nd, 2021 - 206 comments
Categories: class, class war, covid-19, health, Maori Issues, uncategorized - Tags:

Politics is a funny beast.  It moves around and zig zags and sets of in interesting trajectories depending on what the underlying dominant response is.

Logic often does not matter.  The two most powerful emotions are fear and hope.

And Covid is the mother of all political transformers.  Last year in a balmy autumn as we watched the rest of the world fall apart sitting here in Aotearoa and joining off together to see Covid Alpha off was so satisfying.  The sense of exhileration we all had as the daily infection dwindled and then went to zero was intoxicating.  The sense of hope was strong.

But that was original Covid with a R value of about 2.5.

A couple of months ago Covid Delta hit.  It appeared in India and then spread throughout the world to be the dominant strain.  And with an R value of up to six the prospects of suppressing it and eliminating it were always going to be difficult.

As I commented earlier I believe the Vaccination program has been outstanding.  There has been a huge amount of bile thrown at it by National and its cheerleaders.  But right now we are in the upper half of the OECD in terms of vaccination rates, we are still excelling in terms of daily vaccination rates, we are looking at over 90% of the target population being vaccinated and this year so far we have had two deaths.

But we are now at the roller coaster stage of the pandemic where slight adjustments could be catastrophic.

The fulcrum is finely balanced.  Either we kick on and drive it down through a combination of increased vaccination rates and public health measures or we lose it and watch the infection rate spike.

It feels like National’s attacks are now having greater effect, at least among the gullible although polling has not really shifted.  They are engaged in a remarkable feat by insisting on a set date for reopening while at the same time complaining that measures are to stringent and not stringent enough

There has been a lot of angst about the effort.  Yesterday Des Gorman, who not only does not hold relevant medical qualifications showed that he also has absolutely no sociological qualifications by making some really naff comments on what was happening in the population of Tamaki Makaurau.

He said this:

“Aucklanders are barely able to hang in there at the moment, they’re trying their best. They’re not going out, they’re not mixing and mingling. They’re looking at sections of society who clearly are – the numbers are going up, and they’re asking ‘why am I sacrificing my lifestyle, my time with my family, what’s being achieved here?’,” he said.

Gorman said despite rising case numbers, it is safe to ease restrictions.

“I think it is, providing you distinguish between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Very clearly vaccinated people are a much lower risk to the health system and so they should have greater freedoms,” he said.

His class prejudice is showing.

The part of Auckland that is most highly vaccinated?

The wealthiest parts of Auckland.

The parts that are less vaccinated?  The poorest parts.

And sectors?  Maori and Pasifeka vaccination rates are still disturbingly low.  It seems that class and race are the strongest deciders on if you are vaccinated or not.

We are all in this together.  Gorman and his ilk need to realise that none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

206 comments on “We are all in this together ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    Did you hear Shane Reti on Morning Report? Straight out of the Iwi/Kiwi playbook. Talking about "vaccine utu" and Maori not getting vaccinated in order to stick it to the rest of us.

    • GreenBus 1.1

      Visubversa, I would agree with that. This is their chance to really put some hurt on the wealthy colonists. All this talk about poverty being responsible for low vax rates is just another neo liberal response. I struggle to condone all the extra effort required to get the last 10% vaxxed, it's like pulling teeth and not really have that big effect. The house to house calls must be hard work trying to convince these people against their instincts.

      The Vaccine passport will just drive a huge wedge between the have and have-nots even though the "nots" have had plenty of extra help to get it done, it must be a very unpalatable and personal apprehension driving this vaccine indifference. Heavens knows how this will end.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        This is their chance to really put some hurt on the wealthy colonists.

        Amazing how the narrative flips – suddenly the non-vaxxed go from anti-social arseholes to noble underdogs bravely fighting the evil colonists.

        • Ad

          Shane didn't do his fellow Northanders any favours making a special case for a special regional brand of moronic stupidity.

          • RedLogix

            If Shane really is running with that idea, whether it's backed by real community sentiment or not, it's an incredibly dangerous and stupid line to play. Right now I can't think of anything more calculated to inflame irrational ethnic tensions than this. The gang narrative was bad enough – this steps right into the Yugoslavia turd-storm.

            At the same time the left is floundering on this one too.

            • tc

              Nationals doctor at largesse.

              Wonder what kind of a reception his medical peers give him now he's playing politics.

              If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem Shane.

              • garibaldi

                I think Shane must be under a certain woman's thumb. This approach by Shane smacks of Judith.

              • alwyn

                Well Shane Reti has definitely been part of the solution. He spent the days from 13 October to 15 October giving Covid 19 vaccinations in Northland.

                I imagine his medical peers were very grateful for the help.

                I wonder if any of the multitudinous Labour Health Ministers have done anything similar? I don't imagine that anyone on that side actually have current practising certificates but they could probably help by emptying the rubbish bins or suchlike.

            • georgecom

              shows once more what a complete shambles his party has turned in to. no semblance of constructive logic

  2. weka 2

    there was a NZ liberal on twitter yesterday arguing that people who attended the rally on the weekend should be denied medical treatment if they get covid. I've also seen this argument for unvaccinated people. It's incredibly stupid from a public health perspective, but also from a political one. We also had a long term Standardista here effectively arguing for a police state against anti-vaxxers (extra-judicial arrests). The lack of class analysis (socioeconomic and ethnicity) from the left is increasingly concerning.

    I'm not saying this to 'but the left as well' (although that probably needs to be said), but to point to the break down of traditional political lines. We should be paying attention to this as well as the swing voters starting to look rightward.

    • Anne 2.1

      We also had a long term Standardista here effectively arguing for a police state against anti-vaxxers (extra-judicial arrests).

      If you are referring to a couple of comments of mine the other day (not searching for them because I move on quickly) then you must have missed the little emoticon indicating I was talking tongue in cheek.

      Sure… I do believe the police need to take a much harder line against the crazies embedded in the anti-vax movement, many of whom are going beyond what is acceptable behaviour and are harassing and threatening people both in-person and online as they go about their daily lives. To suggest I was calling for a "police state" is an over-reaction to the sentiments I expressed.

      Edit. Thank-you Stuart Munro @ 4. You have expressed my sentiments better than I did.

      • weka 2.1.1

        nope, you were dead serious, not an emoticon on sight, and I checked carefully what you were meaning over a number of comments and you clarified.

        . https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31-10-2021/#comment-1829161

        Here are the details of Joe's story,

        • a 70 year old woman in a shop was verbally harassed by anti-vaxxers
        • they asked about her vax status
        • when she said she was vaxxed they 'took' to her (I assume this wasn't physical)
        • they told her she was a danger to them because of shedding, and that she was going to die
        • the 70 year old was upset
        • the 70 year old politely told them to fuck off
        • there is no more context than that

        You said you wanted them reported to the police. I asked what for. You said,

        They need to be caught and arrested as an example to anyone else who thinks it is okay to behave in such a way.

        You didn't clarify what laws they should be arrested under, so I said this was police state (police being able to arrest without legislation).

        You tied this into actual criminal activity happening in Auckland, and appear to not understand the difference.

        So, again, here's my point. If people on the left want people, who they disagree with politically, arrested for politics, what will happen when that is applied to people we agree with. Climate action? Anti-racism? Ihumatao? Environmental activism?

        If you set the bar this low (anger in a shop), that is where we are heading.

        Joe takes this to mean that we shouldn't stand up to people we disagree with. That's binary thinking that is not supported by evidence.

        • weka

          and, I'm on record saying I support arrest of protestors in Auckland where they are breaking the law. So please don't run binary thinking lines at me about how it's either lock 'em up or be nice to all the crazies.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Its a crazy world innit?

            I agree, arrest protestors breaking the law but lawful protest then fill yer boots

            However I find it…interesting how many people who claim to be on the left support an authoritarian, fascist, police state crackdown

            • weka

              well it's not like the left haven't done authoritarianism. This helps,

            • weka

              However I find it…interesting how many people who claim to be on the left support an authoritarian, fascist, police state crackdown

              What bothers me about the left's response since covid is the number of people willing to give up rights without much discussion. Fear is a big part of it, people generally become more conservative when afraid, understandably.

              Some of us don't find the state particularly safe though, which is part of why so many people are not doing what they are told.

              • Puckish Rogue

                'What bothers me about the left's response since covid is the number of people willing to give up rights without much discussion. Fear is a big part of it, people generally become more conservative when afraid, understandably.'

                Easy to be left when the goings good but we all know what we need to lead us when the s**t hits the fan angel

        • Anne

          You didn't go back far enough! My original comment included a winky emoticon after I suggested the police take drastic action (forgotten what it was now) against certain individuals tied up in the anti-vax movement.

          Too bloody right I'm serious! We've had enough of the arseholes who are causing no end of problems up here, and sabotaging the tremendous work of so many good people throughout Auckland and elsewhere – aaaand sabotaging our chances of getting out of lockdown and lead a more normal life.

          I'm not going to indulge in a war of words with you weka. You ought to know me well enough now to know my style of writing. If, in the course of the original dialogue, you took offence at something then I apologise, but bear in mind no offence was meant to anyone in any shape or form except the arseholes causing all of the trouble.

          • weka

            You didn't go back far enough! My original comment included a winky emoticon after I suggested the police take drastic action (forgotten what it was now) against certain individuals tied up in the anti-vax movement.

            Nope again, that was a different conversation. People cannot be expected to read the whole of OM to understand what you meant.

            And now you've just said,

            Too bloody right I'm serious!

            So which is it? Joke or you meant it.

            I haven't taken offence. I've named your comments amongst others as displaying a disturbing tendency towards authoritarianism and I've given coherent political analysis of that. That's what we do here.

            In the absence of you saying you don't support police state type action against political protest I will continue to assume you do. You called for people to be arrested outside of the law, just own it if that's what you really want to have happen. If it's not, then just say so, and I'll amend my analysis. It's not just you, there are quite a few people making these statements on the left, as I said in my original comment.

        • mickysavage

          I don't read Anne's comments in this way. And I feel a similar level of frustration with the actions of Tamaki and Co. Their reckless activities are going to spread the disease around.

          • weka

            She wasn't talking about the Tamakis (and as I've already said, I think they should be in jail). She was talking about two women in a shop that got into an argument with the owner over vaccination. She wants them arrested for expressing their political beliefs. I'd have more sympathy for the position if I saw people calling for the arrest of people arguing for BAU in the face of climate change, because really, what's the actual difference apart from time frames?

            With the future we're going into, we need to hold on to as much democracy as we can, not whittle it away out of fear and stress. We will get to 90%+ from good policy and outreach, and understanding that even the people we disagree with are human beings with the same rights as the rest of us.

    • joe90 2.2

      We also had a long term Standardista here effectively arguing for a police state against anti-vaxxers (extra-judicial arrests).

      Since my septuagenarian vege lady was left in fear after being harassed in her shop over her vaccine status there's been an attack on a South Auckland Counsilor's office and Ngarewa-Packer's husband has been punched in response to their vaccine awareness efforts.

      Standing up to arseholes who think it's okay to undermine public health with threats, property damage and violence ain't arguing for a police state against anti-vaxxers (extra-judicial arrests).

      It's a refusal to be cowed by a motley collection of right wingers, white supremacists, anti-science loons, woo-believers and perennially malcontented fools.


      • weka 2.2.1

        if people are harrassing shopkeepers, tresspass them. If they're breaking the law while they do it, report them to the police. If someone is being physically violent, report them to the police.

        That's not what Anne was saying though, she was saying she wanted people arrested for being obnoxious in their politics. My response was to say how is that going to work with left wing activism? I got no answer from either of you. This is my point here: some left wing people who are losing their ability to tell the difference between what is legal and illegar are part of the problem, and it's politically dangerous.

        That neither of you can do both/and is also alarming. We can stand up to bullies and not call for extra-judicial arrests. This is a political blog ffs.

        • McFlock

          There are current provisions under the health act that have been used. They have nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with health.

          One question is whether the arrested people get bail while awaiting trial.

          Another is whether everyone who gets up to the mic at a nutbar event gets arrested as a ringleader.

          Another is whether incitement (in person or on camera) to violate covid restrictions counts as obstructing a medical officer or something of that sort (a longer bow, but an interesting one). That bit in particular holds hands with "obnoxious".

          • weka

            please show me the legislation that enables the police to arrest two people in a shop having a political argument about vaccination. That's what Anne was referring to and what I just clearly described upthread.

            Nothing to do with protesting in groups and breaking covid restrictions, and I've been on record for weeks saying people breaking covid restrictions to protest should be arrested. And I'm happy for people like Tamaki to not get bail if that's legal to do so.

            I also said last year that the BLM protest was a bad idea.

            I really wish people would take the time to understand what is being argued here because I'm sick of the binary 'if you say something against that you must be for this' stuff, it's tedious and not helping the debate.

            • McFlock

              "Well heeled ladies of of a particular wellness persuasion traveling in a premium marque entered her shop and inquired about her vaccination status. When she enlightened them they took to her, telling her that not only was she a danger to them, because shedding, apparently, but that she was going to die along with every other vaccinated person."

              When medical officers are trying to get people vaccinated, that sort of deranged fearmongering hinders their efforts. Sure, S72 of the Health Act strongly suggests face to face hindering and physical obstruction, but is the outcome actually any different?

              • weka

                when I asked you to tell me what legislation the police could use to arrest two women in a shop having a political argument, I mean specifically.

                Yes, the outcomes are patently different.

                If you want to make debating politics illegal for some, please just say so. TS will probably not collapse under the irony.

                It's at this point I'll shift more to Rosemary's side. It's not like it's a secret that fear and disinformation has been used as tool in NZ for a long time for all sorts of topics. Why authoritarian responses from the left now?

                • McFlock

                  S72 of the health act would be an interesting start.

                  Because the outcome is not different: it's actively stopping vaccination in the middle of a pandemic. That's not a political issue, it's whether the medical officer of health can do their job.

                  also, see: S4 summary offences act: offensive language (telling someone the vaccine will kill them is obviously meant to "alarm", and a store during opening hours being a public place).

                  • weka

                    I won't know what you are talking about until you link.

                    • weka

                      so you're thinking that a medical officer of health has authorised grocery store owners in the exercise or performance of powers or functions under section 70 or 71?

                      In what capacity exactly?

                      Are you wanting ASBOs in NZ? For anti-vaxxers only? Not other kinds of political agitation?

                      in any public place, addresses any words to any person intending to threaten, alarm, insult, or offend that person; or

                      Wait until you hear about this thing called twitter. Or TS at times. Or the local pub.

                    • McFlock

                      Think? Meh. Maybe I'm wrong, or got the wrong section. The Health act is a long bow, like I said.

                      But ASBOs aren't needed in this instance because the summary offences act exists. Sure, things called twitter or pubs exist. The rules apply to everyone. It's just whether the effort is worth it.

                      With antivaxxers like the two in the examples, I certainly understand the inclination to make the effort. With folk like the Tamakis or speakers at their disease-fest, I hope the cops oppose bail.

                    • weka

                      I hope the cops oppose bail too.

                      With the two women in the grocers, I would have thought tresspassing them would make more sense and is easier.

                      If someone comes back after you have given them a trespass notice they will have committed an offence. Call 111 and ask for Police.


                      Don't know what law the police use at that point.

                      We don't actually know what the problem was though, it's an anecdote. If they were refusing to sign in or wear masks, tresspass them. If they're talking politics, leave them alone. Honestly, if you start arresting people for talking about their anti vax views, all hell is going to break loose and the Tamakis will be the least of our worries.

                    • weka

                      it also fucks me off that we think arresting people for spouting bullshit is a suitable replacement for letting Zuckerberg run riot through democracy and public health. We can try and stomp on a couple of women in a shop or some bad Māori selling drugs or whatever, but it's hardly going to solve the system problems.

                    • James 2 []

                      I can concur with Weka's comments on the Authoritarian Left coming out in Covid-19 response and turning off swing voters. I find it terrifying – more than the actual risk to me (vaccinated) from Covid-19 or unvaccinated people, and to the health system.

                      Both Left and Right have Authoritarian impulses, although usually the Right appeal to physical security (terrorism etc) and ramp up the fear factor to justify police powers, discrimination (Muslims etc), and defence spending. But now the Left has a taste of that strategy. …and quite like it.

                      This is on top of the (progressive) Left's dogmatic and autocratic tendencies in identity politics and cancel culture.

                      I still for the life of me can't understand why the response to Covid-19 has been split Left to Right in the way it has. The Left I knew was suspicious of discrimination, huge police powers, Government funding of the media, and a stronger supporter of rights to protest.

                      Who is going to be discriminated most by vaccine passports? Working class and disenfranchised. That's why Liberty, a Left-leaning human rights charity in the UK opposed them and said:

                      "While vaccine passports seem like a solution, they’re actually a by-product of the failings of this Government’s entire pandemic response. They look like a panacea, and they’re being presented as such. But they are a serious reinvention of our relationship to the state and potentially to our employers and as such they need serious debate."

                      The Left I knew also cared about whole well-being, mental health, child education, workers rights, domestic violence, etc. All these social costs (we can argue whether justified or not) have been quite blithely tossed aside in the obsession with Covid-19 deaths above anything in Left thinking. This is even before thinking on economic costs – which actually do impact on social issues too – not just for rabid capitalists.

                      Martyn Bomber points out the relative death rate from Covid-19 and bingo – everything Jacinda has or will do is justified. This is an utter poverty of thinking and a disaster when it becomes national policy writ-large.

                    • weka []

                      part of that is the difference between left and liberal. We haven’t had a strong natioanl politics for a long time around worker rights, health, and so on despite there still being peopleon the ground working all those areas. So it’s probably not surprising during the pandemic. What we’re seeing is largely the liberal response I think, where people who feel secure-ish under neoliberalism are willing to give up certain things for the sake of more security, especially because so many people trust Ardern. Some of those who aren’t so well served by neoliberalism might also be tempted by Labour being sternly paternalistic because of the promise of safety. I don’t think there is a lot of class analysis in that. Certainly the centre lefties on TS have tended to ignore or deny pretty standard left wing analysis for things like barriers in the health system to vaccination and healthcare.

                      Micky points to class in some of his posts, as does Ad (although he tends to swing between that and strongl favouring paternalism). What’s been alarming to me is seeing left wing people argue for things like vaccine mandates to get a benefit. This is horrific as is the lack of awareness of just how horrific it is. My main theory currently is that fear of covid sitting on top of the now permanent fear and stress of climate/eco crises, has caught many people out in terms of coping and being able to integrate into political philosophy.

                      I find the civil liberties and tech guys on twitter generally aware of the issues but they’re more focused on the near picture not the bigger picture. Hence most of last year how exactly the covid app was not going to be a data mining disaster wasn’t actually explained, there was a lot of ‘trust us, it’s fine’ messaging. Later it was explained well, along with pointing out that Labour have a policy of not data sharing, it’s not actually protected in law.

                      Too much is happening too fast while people are stressed and no-one can keep up. It’s a wild ride and we might get lucky or we might end up tossed out the boat into the rapids.

                    • weka []

                      btw, I’ve changed your name to James 2, because we have another James here. Feel free to choose another permanent name on your next comment (it will probably get caught in the filter but a mod will let it through)

                    • James 2 []

                      (Weka – Apologies, I am and same James as from a couple of days ago. I thought I used the same email details. Feel free to use whatever "James" is suitable).

                      Interesting points to reflect on – thank you. I think there us something to your fear theories. The Left used to attack the Right for their fear narratives, but the Left is catching up. Not of course that there isn't serious challenges and concerns, but before the Left offered hope, an ideal, and a path – what are they offering now? Feels like guilt and fear to a large extent.

                      The at-home-worker bourgeoisie have ridden largely in comfort during lockdowns and other interventions, and supported Labour. New Zealand has suffered – what Bryce Edwards has exposed – a large transfer of wealth during Covid-19. Certainly that mirrors trends elsewhere, and would have likely happened under National/Act – but this is supposed to be Labour!

                      I wonder if the voter base will track moves away from traditional working class you see in the US Democrats and UK Labour, especially given the influence on identity politics obsessions.

                      I'm glad you brought up that privacy issue. The lack of statutory protections you identified, combined with the recent Court decision to somehow suggest Treaty principles can override privacy protections, is hugely concerning. I have heard repeated anecdotal evidence (treat with dash of salt) of tracking data being used for other purposes. Unfortunately, many of the elite iwi and their supporters share a very paternalistic and infantalising view of Maori – much like the "anti-racists" of America.

                      It's a warped world when the supposed Left support views (vaccination for benefit) that someone like Rodney Hide might support. But this is the prime example of cognitive dissonance and how humans make bad decisions under conditions of fear, stress and anxiety. But what should you do when your political philosophy cannot integrate something? Humility, and adjust your outlook, look to other elements or theories that provide use.

                      I also hate to sound like a Groundswell-er, but the mass funding of media, including for "misinformation", has had a huge effect too I think – particularly on the fear quotient. I think MSM have been so terrified/ideologically consonant/money influenced that they thought if they give a voice to even a moderately sceptical/opposing views, that will somehow valorise rabid anti-vaxxers or similar. I read an interesting article by Kate MacNamara on the quite cosy links between the usual experts (Wiles, Baker, etc) and Government spin machine. We should all be re-reading our copies of Manufacturing Consent.

                      This is all why I think a rebalancing is sorely needed and for me, the current Labour Government, being remarkedly unreflective (but almost auto-tuned to polls and focus groups), is unable to provide this.

                    • weka []

                      we have a long term right wing commenter here called James. Please choose a different handle, thanks.

                    • weka []

                      I’ve been aware of the pressure to support the collective effort. Definitely posts I would have wanted to write if I had had the time but that would have felt off in terms of public messaging. In two minds about this. Labour have taken the track they have and there is sense to support that now until we get to 90%+. But it’s a window not and indefinitely open door and I expect more criticism next year.

                      Their handling of 3 waters makes me think they’re in full paternalistic mode. I don’t trust them in setting up the new Disability Ministry, although hopefully the Greens are having input on that.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I wouldn't be opposed to cracking down on the… well I guess now it's "meta" bullshit, either.

                      But walking into a store, asking a question, and invoking doom when you get a response you don't like isn't just offering a different opinion. Tone and volume do add to the alarm felt by ambushed strangers who can't actually leave their shop unattended. Trespassing a jerk very much depends on the jerk – sometimes it's best to avoid it as much as possible, then take their reggo and get the cops or a bailiff or suchlike to deliver the notice later (but that doesn't actually help you at the time).

                      A counterpoint would be when I popped into a gift shop and in a couple of minutes the shop person was talking about how "man's law" didn't exist and we were all subject to "god's law" and so on. I left and never went back, but neither of us yelled at the other.

                    • weka []

                      Quite. We don’t know how the conversation started or what the harassment involved. But I’m still not seeing anything that rises to the level of calling the cops. My guess is they were being dickish and the shop person didn’t like what they were saying. Tensions are high in a lot of places.

        • joe90

          I live in an area with a deprivation index of 10 and where a large number of the most criminally victimised portion of the city's population lives.

          Only 67.5% have had their first vaccination and 52.3% their second, mask exemptions are going for $50 a pop and folk are open about their preparedness to ignore covid and covid rules. IMO, a direct result of the activities of the ant-vaxx confluence.

          Any appeasement of these loons troubles me.

          • weka

            I understand. I'm not convince that ridicule and arrest for disagreement are a useful strategy in resolving that and I think the authoritarian stuff will make it much worse. The push back needs to be more nuanced.

            I think the low vax rate in places is also due to long standing neglect by the rest of the country. Which is partly why I object the treating non-vaccinated people are one amorphous selfish/thoughtless/stupid lump and with no regard to class politics.

            This is the best thing I have seen written on this,


            That's not an anti-vax aragument. It's pointing to the complexities we need to navigate to solve the issue. Rose is clearly saying she's not being influenced or sharing anti-vax conspiracy stuff, there's something else going on. I think it's a big surprise to parts of society that not all people buy into the vaccinations are all good idea, or that science is god. But the reasons are very clear to those of us who have been around this a long time. For me it's the disability and alternative health sector, and many of the concerns are similar or overlap.

            Trust is core. I don't think can be gained by force. The problem isn't the vaccine mandates, it's the lack of strategy for bringing people along. As Rose says, she'd be more inclined to get vaxxed if she could buy a house. No team of 5m for her though.

          • Chris

            And it'll be the poor who won't have the luxury of being able to work from home and will have employers demanding attendance at the workplace, so on top of all of this will be more likely to be exposed to infection.

        • theotherpat

          to coin an old phrase….the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few……

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.3

      …that people who attended the rally on the weekend should be denied medical treatment if they get covid. I've also seen this argument for unvaccinated people.

      Only yesterday did one of our national garbage- piles -masquerading- as- journalism post an article about a wee tot whose cleft palate surgery was postponed at the last minute due to unforeseen overloading of the hospital's ICU and HDU. They somehow managed to work this story into yet another 'guilt trip the filthy unvaxxed into doing the right thing' hit piece. As far as I know, Hutt Hospital has no Covid patients…but what's wrong with a little conflation between friends?

      Because as we all know, it is entirely due to the selfish and irresponsible and psychopathic unvaxxed that our public hospitals can't cope with any stress. And it is only since Covid that there has been any surgery wait lists or overloaded EDs.

      Handy foil, that virus. And handy for the lockdown stressed vaccinated to be able to level opprobrium at those who are not. And why not target unvaccinated kiwis?

      As Jacinda 'the Kindness' Ardern said the other day we need…

      "…a way that we can keep vaccinated people safe from those who have not been."


      We are not all in this together.

      (P.S. Someone might like to have a wee word in the PM's ear and let her know that the Pfizer shot does not prevent infection or transmission and that the viral load of an infected vaccinated person is similar to that of an un-vaccinated person. The justification for her 'two classes of people' is based on false premises.)

      PPS Christ…just watching that interview again…she needs to put aside her pet modellers and look at some actual data and research and medical opinion from over seas about the ethics and medical justification for vaccinating children with the mRNA shots.

      • weka 2.3.1

        thing that fucks me off about that is that anyone who does have a reaction to the vaccine is not going to be well looked after by the state. For all those reasons, the decades of basically not giving a shit about poverty and disability.

        And pro-vax people basically don't give a shit about this. I'm ok with vaccination if we can be honest, and we're just not. I can't even talk about this here in terms of the disability community because people are so utterly convinced that their google searches mean shit to people with chronic illnesses, they can't even see the issues let alone discuss them.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          I can't even talk about this here in terms of the disability community

          Yes indeed. This makes it very difficult to discuss the pros and cons of the Pfizer shot when any kind of hesitation is seen as social media inspired anti vax ravings.

          Some people with disabilities live very finely balanced lives as some neurological issues can be exacerbated by change. The acknowledged side effects of the Pfizer shot include some of the manifestations of neurological precariousness. Dizziness and extremely low blood pressure caused by thermoregulatory impairment or orthostatic issues can be managed by modifying the sufferer's environment. Last I heard there is no antidote to the Pfizer shot, and you can't suck it out once its in there.

          Not that I'd ever talk about that in public…'cause, you know, anti-vaxxer!!!!wink

          And then there is the whole thing that the Ministry of Health has proven over the last twenty years (since they reluctantly took on the disabled) that they make a pantomime out of consulting with the community and have demonstrated time and time again that they don't really give a shit.

      • weka 2.3.2

        As for your last bit, sure, and many people are going to be surprised in the next year or so when we get lower protection than many believe. But it's also true that it's not a linear thing. It's the relationship between vaccination, non-vaccination (including kids), death of individuals by vax status, how that impacts on the health system, and collective protection via transmission rates and how that impacts on individual death rates and impact on the health system.

        Also long covid, no idea how much they are taking that into account (have the bean counters looked at increasing the WINZ budget? Maybe the new disability Ministry will look after them, /darklol).

        So while you can pull out an isolated aspect of vaccination like viral load, the whole picture to me still looks way better if 90%+ people are vaccinated than if we had no or low vax rates. Of course, there were lots of other tools we could be using alongside that, and we won't because the MoH is conservative, and NZ wants BAU asap.

      • weka 2.3.3

        Only yesterday did one of our national garbage- piles -masquerading- as- journalism post an article

        We actually need a reference for making claims like this, due to the heated nature of the debate and that it's going to go on for so long. Even just naming which media it is so people can look it up.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Sorry…I usually do provide links but I'm a little busy right now. ( A ewe who had a very traumatic lambing a week ago, and her surviving lamb, are requiring a large amount of convalescent support. Run a little ragged I am. )



          • weka

            could you tell if the man asking the awkward questions was from the media? (had his back to camera)

          • weka

            "They said if it was this side of Christmas, the surgeon would have to cancel his annual leave."

            From the RNZ piece. Good grief, imagine if the health system had to provide surgical services in January and some people had to take their annual leave at a different time.

            And yeah, shit that RNZ wrote all that without pointing out the baseline state of the health system in NZ and why it is the way it is.

            • mpledger

              I'm sorry, but a surgeon's planned annual leave has to come before non-emergency surgery. People have to put their own welfare first before helping others. Remember, these are people's jobs and employment law exists for them too – they shouldn't have to be saints.

              [When a surgeon takes leave has huge ramifications because there are a lot of people involved in surgery and pre- and post-operative hospital care. I would guess a day of surgery (say 5 patients) would impact on 50 other hospital employees, probably more.]

              • weka

                I would guess we have enough surgeons in NZ to stagger holidays. This is a failure of planning and management (and I would guess historical patterns and doctor entitlement).

      • Molly 2.3.4

        Thanks, Rosemary.

        Thought the current strategy was political rather than considered. Here our PM shows a disregard for harm and facts that will increase a divide rather than bridge it.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Thought the current strategy was political rather than considered.

          Yes. I fear Our Leader has made a blunder of monumental proportions with both her speech and that interview. Her body language is a giveaway too. All that hand-wringing when she's speaking about the truck loads of confidence the vaccinated will have once more people are vaccinated and they (the vaccinated) can feel safer….indicates a lack of confidence in what she is saying.

          For whatever reasons people have chosen not to have the Pfizer shot…Ardern has added another. Being told by Her Lady of the Kindness that you're a danger to the Good Folks and need to be kept apart from them would tend to make a few middle fingers twitch.

          I understand her little sortie Up North here today inspired a few hecklers.

          • weka

            probably the most authoritarian thing I've seen from Ardern. Am curious what the game plan is, because it's not like the people that hate the government are going to disappear, and it's very likely they will grow if Labour entrench two classes of people long term. Do they think that they can force people to bend to her will? I guess so. But I expect resentment even in some of those that get vaxxed so they can take part in society again.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.3.5

        A bit racist isn't it, knowing full well Maori are dragging the chain when it comes vaccination rates

        • Rosemary McDonald

          A bit racist isn't it,

          Tbh, its all a bit weird. You'd think her Maori caucus would have told her that this is exactly the wrong way to win the reluctant and the recalcitrant over…especially with conversations around colonisation prevalent in that community. I don't think she and the rest of government have any idea of the depth of mistrust out in the margins.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well I'm a big believer in personal choice and, unfortunately, it will take a few deaths in the Maori community to change peoples minds

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Actually…I have some optimism. Most Maori are young. Many are fit and take care of their health….most of the kuia and kaumatua up north here have been vaccinated and it is their kids who are kicking over the traces.

              We'll see.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.3.6

        P.S. Someone might like to have a wee word in the PM's ear and let her know that the Pfizer shot does not prevent infection or transmission and that the viral load of an infected vaccinated person is similar to that of an un-vaccinated person.

        The "Miracle Injection from the Pfizer Gods" and other Covid-19 vaccines, while far from perfect, do provide partial protection against Covid-19 infection. And, if a Covid-19 infection does get established, then while peak viral load may be similar in the vaccinated and unvaccinated, the viral load decreases significantly faster in vaccinated individuals, which would explain why hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19 are substantially reduced by vaccination.

        Scientists are analysing the epidemiological data. Fortunately, with over 7 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far, there's plenty to analyse.

        Community transmission and viral load kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study [29 October 2021]

        Covid-19: One in four vaccinated people living in households with a covid-19 case become infected, study finds [29 October 2021]
        The most statistically significant data point is that vaccinated people certainly have a faster rate of viral decline,” said Ferguson, “so they may potentially be infectious for less time, but they don’t necessarily have any reduced peak of viral load. Most transmission probably happens around that peak of viral load, which is why we think we’re still seeing substantial transmission rates from vaccinated people, both to unvaccinated people and to other vaccinated people.

        Lalvani said the faster rate of decline in viral load in vaccinated people helped explain why they get fewer symptoms, quicker resolution of symptoms, and—crucially—have much lower risk of developing severe disease. The modelling showed, however, that vaccination did not affect the time people spent “in the window of highest infectiousness” during peak viral load, and only partially prevented transmission of the delta variant, he added. “This means that unvaccinated people cannot therefore rely on the immunity of the vaccinated population for protection, they remain susceptible to infection, and risk of serious illness and death.

        What is the vaccine effect on reducing transmission in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant? [29 October 2021]
        This study confirms that COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and also accelerates viral clearance in the context of the delta variant. However, this study unfortunately also highlights that the vaccine effect on reducing transmission is minimal in the context of delta variant circulation. These findings have immediate public health implications. Higher vaccination coverage rates need to be achieved because indirect protection from vaccinated to unvaccinated people remains suboptimal. The question of whether booster doses will improve the impact on transmission should be addressed as a top priority.

        Research efforts should be directed towards enhancing existing vaccines or developing new vaccines that also protect against asymptomatic infections and onward transmission. Until we have such vaccines, public health and social measures will still need to be tailored towards mitigating community and household transmission in order to keep the pandemic at bay.

        • I Feel Love

          It's not going to stop her peddling that BS every freakin' day… & Someone to (again) show evidence that it does limit infection. The vaccination is safe & works.

          • weka

            works with limitations, that Rosemary is pointing out. She's just balancing the people saying it's all good instead of being honest. The problem we have is when we get to 90%, are people going to not wear masks, wash hands, distance etc, because they think they're immune?

      • KJT 2.3.7

        “Someone might like to have a wee word in the PM's ear and let her know that the Pfizer shot does not prevent infection or transmission and that the viral load of an infected vaccinated person is similar to that of an un-vaccinated person. The justification for her 'two classes of people' is based on false premises.)"

        “Someone should have a wee word in your ear" that you are mis leading people with cherry picking that gives an erroneous conclusion. A common tactic for people such as anti-vaccers and others.
        The statement that “vaccinated and unvaccinated have the same viral load”. Out of context, is intended to give people the idea that the chances of transmission is the same. Which is false.
        Research has shown that vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit covid than unvaccinated. And it has been conclusively proven that vaccination greatly reduces the chances of severe covid.
        Your statements are dangerously mis -leading

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Research has shown that vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit covid than unvaccinated.

          You need to provide a reference or two…

          In the meantime… it gets very complicated.


          (you need to read the first three paragraphs)



          And of course after 5/6 months you're going to need a booster because the Pfizer's ability to prevent symptoms has just about worn off.

          Vaccines offer protection from infection/transmission and symptoms for a limited time. Not a horse we can bet on in the long term.

          And so on.

          • weka

            You made two claims,

            1. the Pfizer shot does not prevent infection or transmission
            2. the viral load of an infected vaccinated person is similar to that of an un-vaccinated person.
            1. Everyone knows that the Pfizer vaccine doesn't provide absolute immunity. That's not the same as not providing any immunity at all. Afaik, evidence still supports the idea that vaccination limits infection (people generally don't get as sick), and slows transmission (for a range of reasons).

            There's a semantic thing going on here. Rosemary says 'does not prevent' meaning in the absolute sense. People react because to them it does 'help prevent'. I really wish people would start communicating better on this.

            Also 'just as likely to spread in household' is not the same as 'just as like to spread in the community' (or other situations)

            Rosemary, do you accept that the vaccine helps limit transmission? It seems like you do to me, but I think others see you saying that the vaccine doesn’t work at all.

            1. that should be a simple enough thing to support or refute with a reputable link (Rosemary, and anyone else). The issue then becomes how to use that evidence in the covid response.

            I know it's tedious to have to keep providing links, but if we don't, it's just a round about of assertions and building tensions. I'm also going to ask that people don't just post links but give a short explanation of what is in the link.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Vaccines offer protection from infection/transmission and symptoms for a limited time. Not a horse we can bet on in the long term.

            I take a punt on the 'flu vaccine horse' once a year, and haven't lost a bet yet.

            "Miracle Injection from the Pfizer Gods" et al. aren't perfect, but bear in mind that vaccine roll outs to protect against Covid-19 began less than a year ago.

            Large U.S. study finds majority of mRNA COVID-19 side effects are mild and temporary [1 November 2021]
            While serious side-effects from mRNA vaccinations have been reported to the government, these events tend to be rare. By age group, deaths related to vaccine side effects were lower than expected.

            The researchers confirm that vaccines remain the most effective weapon in preventing severe COVID-19 infection.

            Wouldn't be surprised if improved vaccines are developed as Covid-19 transitions to being an endemic global pathogen, and medical researchers learn more about its long-term impact on human health.

            The beauty of the newish mRNA vaccine technology is that precise, improved vaccines can be developed comparatively quickly.

            Flu, cancer, HIV: after Covid success, what next for mRNA vaccines?
            [1 November 2021]

            The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines: Parent FAQs

          • KJT

            As you very kindly provided some for me.

            And an example of carefully thinking about what studies are saying.

            For example. A study that says "vaccinated are just as likely as vaccinated to spread delta within a household" is not evidence of the difference in transmission rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated in the community overall. Say vaccinated are a hundred times less likely to spread covid, they will still almost certainly spread it to someone who is sharing the same bed, kitchen and rooms, 24/7.

            • Shanreagh

              I think one of the 'vaccinateds' needs to have an 'un' in front of it. Agree with this. Out in the community a way for both vaccinated and unvaccinated to minimise spread is to maintain mask wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing.

              At least in the US many anti vaxxed are also anti mask. I hope that sort of approach does not take off here. In the meantime as the power companies say during a power cut, 'treat all wires as live'. So treat all unmasked people as having the virus. wink

        • weka

          The statement that “vaccinated and unvaccinated have the same viral load”. Out of context, is intended to give people the idea that the chances of transmission is the same. Which is false.

          Research has shown that vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit covid than unvaccinated. And it has been conclusively proven that vaccination greatly reduces the chances of severe covid.

          I'd really like to see an explanation suitable for lay people of how viral load relates to transmission, if anyone has one.

          This is complex stuff, not everyone has the time or capacity to read and interpret clinical trials or even science reporting.

          • KJT

            It is not all that complicated.

            Symptoms like coughing and sneezing spread respiratory diseases. If vaccination reduces symptoms like that, even if the "viral load" is the same, which seems rather dubious, then the disease is less likely to spread.

            Masks work because they keep someones coughing, sneezing and puffing, contained.

            It is unfortunate that specialist reporters, especially science ones, apart from a few standouts, like New Scientist, have joined the Dodo.

            Also unfortunate that so many science publications/research papers are behind expensive paywalls. Leaving it to media to decide which ones to make public. Media that often have little ability to assess or understand them.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.4

      Well I asked for people to be fined if they were breaking Health Orders if they organise rallies. Does that make me a fascist?

      • weka 2.4.1

        why would that make you a fascist? Seriously, what you are on about. Can you really not tell the difference between enforcing a public health order, and denying people medical treatment based on their politics?

        I've said I wanted the people organising to be arrested (where the law is actually being broken). Are you really having so much trouble following my argument.

    • georgecom 2.5

      vaccine reluctant v anti vaxxers weka. bit of a difference

      some of the hesitant might be those in the lower socio-economic echelons or the more deprived, the harder to reach elements

      I have seen the antivaxxers more of a white and middle class variant myself

      ethnicity and socio-economic can go some way to explaining the last to vaccinate populations, those who are now getting their jabs for example. the vaccine hesitant.

      I don't think it is particularly helpful to analyse the fringe or the wacko/odd elements. the picture is far less clear. if we throw together the amalgam of types represented at the recent 'freedom' rallies. white, older, middle classes, privileged maori, some mentally challenged, conservative – a widish spread.

      as for being punitive, here is my view. some people in society cannot be trusted to do the right thing. case in point where drugs are involved. selling and buying. a druggie is going to put getting their next hit over self isolation, isolating at home will take a back seat to a hit of p when the addiction needs servicing. so such people they need to be put in MIQ and some of them probably jail for the sake of keeping the community safe. if people cannot be trusted to do what they should do with covid I don't have much problem with some authoritarianism.

      if a druggy is in jail or the community and wants to access rehab, fully support the state funding such and making it easily accessible. if a gang wants to put it's people through a drug rehab that's fine as well if they stop dealing in P, if Destiny wants to run rehab that's fine as well as long as it is not tied in with a drive to get people converted and stuffing money in Tamaki's pocket.

      Your comment in a post further down sums things up well with the word 'nuanced'. A nuanced analysis of events (apart from comments about the National partys covid policies as that does warrant some scorn and ridicule I think).

      • weka 2.5.1

        I might agree about the addict vision if I thought that a) prison wasn't going to make things worse and b) we actually funded the kind of rehab people need. The other option is to supply them with the drugs they need.

        The people I know who are anti-vax and well down the rabbit hole are Pākehā and not stupid. They're good people, and part of the community I live in. I don't consider them particularly fringe other than on this, but I guess it depends on what we mean by fringe. They tend to be apolitical and thus unaware of the connections between the current anti-vax movement and white supremacy or hard right politics. They have solid political reasons for not trusting government but it's not the kind of personal experience distrust that many Māori or poor or disabled people have.

        I think that ridicule and ostracisation is a short term gain strategy that will probably back fire. But then keeping people living in poverty and not honouring Te Tiriti has had the same effect. Likewise voting in neoliberal governments.

        • Shanreagh

          They tend to be apolitical and thus unaware of the connections between the current anti-vax movement and white supremacy or hard right politics. They have solid political reasons for not trusting government but it's not the kind of personal experience distrust that many Māori or poor or disabled people have.

          I am perplexed by what 'solid political reasons' there would be that mean that people would put their own health and the possibly the health of others on the line.

          I can very easily see that mistrust could build up in some Maori, poor or disabled (though older Maori are getting the vaccinations in some areas as keepers of the memories about the 1918 flu epidemic)

          What would these solid political reasons be and why/how would they have become related to personal health?

          How would this sentiment be countered? Would it be likely that there are others?

          • weka

            A big part of the belief system is that the world is being run by people who are killing it. Let's call that neoliberal capitalism, but the focus is on uber wealthy with a lot of control outside of democratic processes. Nothing particularly controversial there.

            It includes pharmaceutical companies, a harder notion for some lefties to accept. There is a strong focus on the US government, again nothing particularly controversial, and a good reason to not trust government.

            I don't agree with a lot of the details but the broad strokes aren't that weird. Hell, I don't trust governments either in the week of COP26 and NZ basically saying we're going to fiddly the books on GHG emissions. Labour can't be trusted on housing, welfare, poverty etc.

            The concerns about freedom and loss of rights is also on point. What we are doing might be necessary but it's also dangerous.

            All that coupled with a belief in natural health and a distrust of mainstream medicine (again, the details might be off, but the broad strokes are often on point. Think how money influences what gets researched, or how broken peer review is) is where it converges with the covid/health issues.

            Personally, I have zero problem with people taking their own personal unvaccinated chances with covid. The issue is about how that may impact on others (through transmission, and health system use).

            There are people who still believe that covid is just like the flu. And who don't trust the MSM, so get their information off youtube and FB. It's pretty obvious that the MSM has bias, I personally don't find that a problem because I can think critically about what is being presented, but I've seen some fucking appalling coverage of things in my time, so it's not like I don't also understand why people who don't see their values being reflect have low trust.

            • Shanreagh

              Thanks for the explanation. I find it a tad unconvincing, a little like cutting one's nose off to spite one's face to put one's health (which is non political) at risk because of a political stance. And also a political stance that may be derived from happenings overseas? So I accept this a little but to put others at risk? To possibly get infected themselves then be part of a load on a possibly overloaded health system.

              Perhaps anti vaxx and part of a fringe group and not vaccine hesitant. To seek to talk to them will mean huge overturning of belief systems/possible slight conspiracy theories.

              If they can self isolate and mask up/socially distance when out then that would be some protection for them and others.

  3. weka 3

    I don't really understand the calls to open up Auckland early. Yes people and businesses are hurting, but we haven't gotten to a point of not being able to vaccinate to 90%, so why would we quit the containment process at this critical point?

    • Jimmy 3.1

      The decision to open up a bit more will be political not based on science. Has there been a poll lately saying Labour's popularity is slipping? Or just their internal polling is telling them Aucklanders are getting annoyed and likely to vote elsewhere.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Labour are between a rock and a hard place. I was meaning the people calling for the opening up before we get to 90% (left and right callers).

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Unfortunately I don't think we are all in this together.

    Groups like Groundswell are doing their best to sabotage the vax effort, and a pool of fellow travelers including Leo Molloy, Whaleoil, and the Tamakis miss no opportunity to do likewise. It is folly to pretend that these persons, who are trying to build a local version of Trumpism, are anything but sociopaths, or that their antivax efforts are well intentioned or principled.

    We may have some sympathy for the poorly vaccinated communities, but none for those who conspire to mislead those communities for political or financial advantage.

    • mpledger 4.1

      If people don't go to church then the church doesn't get their income. When people don't go to church for a while then they may realise that they don't need the church after all. If you were members of a church that was entirely dependent on participants' incomes then you'd be playing the "freedom" and "covid-19 is a sham" cards to get people attending and paying.

  5. I think the move from level 4 to level 3 was the first indication they were responding to pressure from National and the media. The rushed way it looked makes me feel like it was two or three weeks before they planned to.

    Now that Labour is much better funded I expect they are working with polling and focus groups etc. to take the pulse of the country, but I can't help thinking that they probably don't take into account the effect that honesty, leadership, pushing back, and having the courage of their convictions would have. Perhaps that can't work if the RW media are doing their best to spin things though.

    Many on the left don't seem to realise how seriously Labour takes that pressure. I've suspected it for a while, and Willie Jackson let something slip the other day on Facebook. They came out of nine long years in opposition only through the grace of Winston, and even after the popularity boost they got from the shooting, Simon and RW media had caught up with them in the polls due to their campaign of attrition.

    • Ad 5.1

      Not even this government can sustain crisis-mode forever.

      We have only very late 2017 and 2018 to see what this government could do outside of full reaction mode.

      As a political market, Auckland is right at this moment fully up for grabs.

      Any citizen can forgive you for immediate actions inside a crisis: whether they forgive you for getting out the other side – well that's where you lose your political capital by the hour.

  6. Pete 6

    Increasing levels of angst at the current lockdown can be related to privilege?

    The privilege of thinking that death and illness with serious affects will not befall us and ours, they'll be for someone else.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.1

      Yes Pete, and anger when the realisation that they are also at risk.

      • garibaldi 6.1.1

        The way I see it is the only privilege involved is the privilege of being educated enough to realize a couple of jabs will very likely keep you clear of hospitalisation in a situation where the hospitals will not be coping because of overloading. If that is privilege then I plead guilty.

    • mpledger 6.2

      When I see people walking down Lambton Quay without masks, I think what lucky lives they must have led to believe that covid-19 is going to pass them by without any affect.

    • KJT 6.3

      Privileged people may be correct, that it is less likely to affect them.

      They are able to work from home or not work at all. Had good healthcare all their lives. Have medical insurance to jump hospital waiting lists. Live in uncrowded houses and don't have to work in workplaces with a hundred others in close proximity. Have a place away from others, to hide if necessary.

      They weigh up the chances of getting covid seriously themselves, against "more important things" like holidays in exotic places. And the inconvenient loss of income if the "workers" are not working, when it is the workers that will get covid, not the business owners.

  7. RedLogix 7

    A good post Mickey and I appreciate the thought that went into it. You are spot on with this "Logic often does not matter. The two most powerful emotions are fear and hope." If nothing else a decade of experience here should have hammered this lesson home.

    A couple of things struck me as I was reading it. It's well and good to point to India "A couple of months ago Covid Delta hit. It appeared in India and then spread throughout the world to be the dominant strain. " but then you omit to examine what happened after that. Francesca raised this point last night. Note how our media was more than happy to fearmonger the India story when cases were rising – but have utterly ignored it when it turned into a story of hope.

    Secondly – and I think your post implicitly acknowledges this – that the first round of lockdowns in 2020 were a reasonable response given how little we knew at the time. But the precautionary principle cannot be used asymmetrically. It doesn't work to justify an action to avoid a risk, while at the same time ignoring the costs of that action. And there is no question that lockdowns come with substantial costs, economic, social and political.

    The second justification for lockdowns was to buy us time to prepare for COVID, but again that agenda was hi-jacked by the vax-only crowd who a year ago where promising they would be the silver bullet. As a result I don’t think we used the time we bought to the best effect.

    Thirdly it's clear that many of our most important institutions have failed us at critical points and the narrative was deeply politicised from the outset. People are not blind to this and have lost considerable trust as a result. To have these same institutions then double down with vax mandates and other forms of compulsion has only deepened the distrust.

    It's my view this last round of lockdowns were a mistake. With COVID now endemic globally there was nothing to be gained in the long run, and every chance they would fail. There were other more intelligent strategies we could have chosen. Sadly the tool that initially brought the nation together has turned against us, and now erodes the hidden fault lines that might divide us as a nation.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Thanks RL. I was really fond of elimination but I have come to the realisation that it is not a long term strategy. We might have beaten it this time with some luck. Maybe even the time after. But the time after that …

      Vaccinations are important. But there needs to be a whole lot more.

      Really smart leadership would marry the Covid response to the climate change response. We are in for a bumpy ride …

      • Ad 7.1.1

        You never know; a small state with a coherent and battle-tested Labour government might well do precisely a little intersection of COVID and Climate.

        I think it just might start with Auckland.

  8. Stephen D 8

    National's whole attitude to the handling of the pandemic puzzles me.

    Their leadership have done their best to undermine the government at every turn. When mostly this is counter intuitive. Polls should be telling them that they way the pandemic is being handled appeals to the voting public. Not the opposite.

    At times the likes of Chris Bishop and Shane Reti have said some sensible things. But very few and far between.

    The questions going begging;

    1. Is Judith's policy the only policy?

    2. Are they using focus groups as per JK?

    3. If not why not?

    4. Do they seriously expect to win in 2023 with this behaviour, or have they, in their heart of hearts, given up already?

    5. I'm sure there are plenty more.

  9. Ad 9

    Mickey it's a noble idea, but one that's only sustained within crisis.

    Everyone can now see how not-together we are. Class. Ethnicity. Mobility. Digital resource. Autonomy. Helplessness and dependence. Mental damage both short and long term.

    We are shortly to head back to good old fashioned government. We've had too much of it in our lives and for too long. So Ardern is pulling back the whole media presence as of today:

    • Only one post-Cabinet briefing, as usual
    • One on Wednesday with Hipkins
    • One with Robertson on Friday

    So the entire political economy of crisis is evaporating, as it should.

    Now it's time they turned to the stuff that makes us not-together.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Finally. Neither an individual nor a nation can sustain crisis mode indefinitely without disintegration. We're seeing the early signs of this already.

  10. DukeEll 10

    Don't like being locked down? sick of looking at our closest international neighbours with 80% double jabbed being able to party and enjoy themselves? Live in a nice part of Auckland and have done the responsible thing and been double jabbed?

    Check your fucking privilege wealthy dicks

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Exactly how does 'privilege' work to prevent people from being vaccinated in NZ?

      I could understand if there was some govt policy that stated only privileged people could access vaccines.

      I could understand if there was a big shortage of them.

      I could understand if it was really hard for people to access them in a timely fashion – but that idea gets weaker as each day passes.

      You tell me how this works. How exactly does me being vaxxed prevent anyone else from doing the same? Did my two jabs use up the whole fucking supply or something? /sarc.

      • weka 10.1.1

        he didn't say that. He said that people complaining from wealthy suburbs about not being able to go out and play need to get a grip. It's pretty much what micky said in the post too. It's Māori in particular who are going to pay the price of opening up Auckland too soon. Why should they pay?

      • DukeEll 10.1.2

        akshually, i was being argumentative towards Mickey's postulation as it ignores the people who have been left behind in the wealthy suburbs but have kept up with the joneses coz that's just what you do.

        I find this hate by postcode existentially depressing whether pro or anti vax.

        but anti vax most of all. secessionist wankers

        unable to vax, lots of sympathy

        • RedLogix

          I find this hate by postcode existentially depressing whether pro or anti vax.

          I can def go with that yes

          • DukeEll

            Cherry picking your answers from some clearly laid out criteria?

            You used to be cool round here, Starting to get the feeling you'd rather let lockdowns rule over freedom if freedom means you do something you personally don't agree with.

            Circular argument I know, but in the wider context of not having to listen to twenty somethings talk to world leaders with their jaws jutting out, I think it's important to make sacrifices for society. and sacrifices by definition are personal

            • RedLogix

              For what it's worth – and I've said this before – I vaccinated more from a sense of duty than conviction.

              I think it's important to make sacrifices for society. and sacrifices by definition are personal

              Oddly enough it was the usually totally out-there maverick Eric Weinstein making just that argument – who settled the matter for me.

        • Patricia Bremner


  11. Reality 11

    Amidst all the loud demands for opening up, out there each day are teams of vaccinators doing their thankless task of trying to get the vaccine resistant to get vaccinated. And the health sector battling away ceaselessly in hospitals. While the privileged ones who want to go shopping seem to never give any thought to the mammoth task it has been to keep NZ with so few deaths and hospitalisations.

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      Thank you Reality for thanking the thankless.

    • observer 11.3

      Agree 100%.

      All those easy words (contact tracing, testing, vaccinating) are in fact real people who will never be in the headlines, and rarely thanked for their work.

      How often do we see a "vox pop" where they ask health workers how their day was? As opposed to random people on the street saying "no-brainer innit". We don't hear from the people who are too busy keeping us safe to complain to the TV cameras.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.4

      yessmiley wonderful people.

  12. Patricia Bremner 12

    We have to hope the clearance for children to have the vaccine comes through quickly enough to assist us to protect those with health issues and the unvaccinated by lifting our vaccinated rate to 95%. of the eligible.

    National and Act have been making noises which encourage the evangelical the hospitality and the groundswell activists. "Freedom and Individualism" aligns with the right.

    "Collective action for public good" aligns more with the left.

    We are hitting a wall of resistance born out of a long lock down without the resulting success, as cases rise people look for someone to blame for business failures, mental health strain and a growing sense of dread as cases rise.

    Cries of "They did not lock us down properly. Only some were locked down. Those people are not vaccinated. Why can't we get what we need ? We are being divided into vaccinated and unvaccinated by the pass. Freedom The Government has given up" and so on.

    Meantime we battle a pandemic, climate change and local woes with varying degrees of success.

    In hindsight some decisions may prove to be poor, but in most cases if they are based on welfare and wellbeing they will over all be helpful.

    It must have near killed Jacinda Ardern to learn how many would get ill with Delta, as it proved too difficult to eradicate. The modelling was horrible. We had a sense of anger to realise our "Sacrifices" were not removing the threat of covid. 7000 a week could not be true surely? Four weeks on there is a sense of resignation as reality hits. We now hope for 1400 instead of 7000 as vaccinations increase. Each point matters and represents less deaths and long term illness.

    Along with that is a balance of not overwhelming the health system, so health problems and accidents will receive treatment if needed. As well we wish to keep work loads and risk for health professionals at levels that don't break them. We need to recognise the huge input already to try to vaccinate a whole population.

    So vaccination to 90%+ of the eligible was a way to lessen these impacts. This target was set for each DHB. The aim was to achieve this before the years end.

    Our poor attitude to lived partnership meant one Maori Health provider had to take the Health Department to court to get health data for their Maori patients so they could target them. Well done John Tamihere, that will save lives.

    In spite of those set backs remote communities are being accessed by their own now they have been financed adequately, though that took public action and a visit by the Associate Minister of Health to some DHB's who were not passing on designated funding through poor relationships.

    The public felt that was too slow for Tairawhiti with their widespread people, and so when disparities became public donated $110 000 towards a mobile vaccination clinic. The locals expressed surprise as support poured in from round the country to the Givealittle page, showing ordinary folk wanted all to have the option of being vaccinated. The PM said all DHB's had been funded. (Yes, true, but why not Maori Health Providers?) Still paternalistic.

    This pandemic has hurt some wealthy during the lockdown, but will hit the poor harder when restrictions are lifted. It will lay bare the inequities in our society. What we do then really sets our future.

    • Ad 12.1

      That Te Whanau Waipereira case against the Ministry of Health needs its own post all by itself.

      Te Whanau o Waipereira were seeking access to individualised data on Maori who were not vaccinated, so they could be traced and offered the vaccine.

      MoH refused, and got comprehensively told to re-think their decision not to release in the High Court.

      When the Royal Commission on COVID goes ahead, differential Maori outcomes need to be front and centre of it.

      Before COVID I used to think DHP's were a mechanism for different regions to respond appropriately to different regional groups. COVID has underscored that model has utterly failed, and actually the NGOs in some areas simply need to be allowed to do the job they are more effective at doing.

      • weka 12.1.1

        What's individualised data? Is that names and contact details of non-vaccinated people? Major Privacy Act issue there. Which could be resolved if as you say we used culturally appropriate models. If Māori were seen as partners, then it would make sense to let them run health care for their people. Pāhekā would benefit from this too in the long run as Māori health models were adopted by the mainstream.

        • Ad

          Yes the whole case was about whether public good interest in a pandemic overrides human privacy issues for individualised data for Maori.

          The Privacy Commission to the High Court fully supported Te Whanau O Waipereira's position.

          The Court found that it was appropriate to override privacy issues in the sharing of data.

          Given the degree of deprivation Maori are in, the data of Maori people are routinely shared across multiple Departments and Agencies like MSD, banks, debt collection agencies, Health, Corrections, Police, IRD, MoJ, Armed Forces, intelligence agencies for international crime, and more.

          So frankly MoH is just bordering on racist here.

          This whole 2021 vaccine rollout is a cruel lesson in how DHB public health rollouts work much worse for Maori – and yet it's Maori who need them more.

          I have little time for John Tamihere but they are right on this one.

          • weka

            if the state had an actual partnership with Iwi they wouldn't need to override privacy issues. The people who get health care via Iwi would already know under what conditions data would be shared.

            This matters. National were on the verge of implementing their Big Data programme when they lost the 2017 election. They were rolling it out in beneficiaries so most of NZ including the left basically didn't give a shit. But see all those people out there not trusting the government? Giving away rights like this is part of that distrust.

            I saw Māori NGOs saying they were ready to set up a vaccine programme for their people earlier in the year and the MoH wouldn't let them. It's not bordering on racist, it is racist (institutional racism). That's a different, overlapping issue with privacy rights.

            Afaik health records are not routinely shared with a wide range of government departments, and there needs to be a good reason when they are. Certainly WINZ can't just ask for beneficiaries' health records and get them whenever they like. I'm guessing what is happening is the individuals are signing away their rights when they access services.

          • Patricia Bremner

            Yes I understand that many have qualms about JH. Though he had a case here and laid bare the prejudice. It should be front page news.

            • Ad

              He's well positioned now.

              His revenge against MoH officials for this and other slights will be served very cold.

      • SPC 12.1.2

        The governments requirement of 90/90 vaccination rates for each health board was an indirect way to get the regional HB's to up their game and work with Maori agencies to achieve this goal – many NI HB's cannot met this target without doing this.

    • SPC 12.2

      I would prioritise boosters for the oldies (the health compromised and health workers – to sustain a limited number of workers in their jobs) ) before the 5-11's – the 9 aged care home cases shows that break through infections are beginning – and for the oldies these can be fatal.

  13. Maurice 13

    Pause for thought …


    In his keynote address to the National Conservatism Conference Oct. 31, billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel argued that false consensus has silenced debate on important questions,

    “If there’s a misinformation problem, it’s a centralized misinformation problem—and it’s the misinformation coming from the Ministry of Truth,” said Thiel.

  14. vto 14

    Imagine if we had conscription today…

    imagine the protests…

    we have it so easy today…

    none of the queen's soldiers lining poor sods up at gunpoint to go kill queenie's enemies for her…

    conscription… vax mandate… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha the whole torrid story is an absolute mess of ignorance and hypocrisy

  15. Adrian 15

    I too have had it with the stupidity of the anti-vaxxers, in conversation with one the other day I was informed that all one needed for disease protection was Vitamin D from the sun and belief, agreed VitD is very important but I asked if that was all you needed wouldn’t people in tropical areas never get sick or suffer from all of those tropical diseases. There was a brief halt in the flow of stupidity but normal service resumed pretty quickly, apparently their “ belief “ was not strong enough. We will just have to wait until they all get the Covid and then the stupidity may fade out or be buried.

    • RedLogix 15.1

      but I asked if that was all you needed wouldn’t people in tropical areas never get sick or suffer from all of those tropical diseases.

      Not a strong argument – for a start there always is a much higher disease burden in the tropics from a whole range of pathogens that simply don't occur in temperate zones.

      Also rather surprisingly in modern times many people in the tropics live mostly inside and avoid the sun if at all possible. And given their darker skin tones are often surprisingly Vitamin D deficient.

      The point I've repeatedly made is that there are probably a range of sensible low cost, low risk measures we could have should have done, like universal VitD supplementing, if we really cared about public health rather than defending our tribal political agendas.

      So no surprise this is spilling over into real life.

      • Rosemary McDonald 15.1.1

        Burden of Disease associated with low Vitamin D status in New Zealand

        Robert Scragg et al

        Suggests wider study and perhaps Vit D supplementation and advice to Maori and Pacifca that 'sun sense' protocols may not be entirely appropriate.

        Worth a read

        • SPC

          Do not forget zinc – good for cell health – for the old and those suffering impacts of diabetes (kidney, lung and heart problems).

        • Molly

          Told after my cancer diagnosis that optimal Vitamin D levels give a 50% protection rate. Paid for my own test and was at less than a tenth of the optimum level. After reading this result, my oncologist prescribed the supplement. Horse bolting and stable door comes to mind.

          Apparently, many women lose the ability to metabolise Vitamin D from sunlight. Along with mammograms, this knowledge would be useful to know. (The reluctance of the doctors I have met to suggest or prescribe supplements has been noticeable.)

          • Rosemary McDonald

            My significant other was a guest on the hematology chemo ward around the time that this was unfolding. The poor registrar on the ward kept getting baled up by the sickened and desperate to see if they too could benefit from Vit C. A close family member didn't ask…just brought up powdered ascorbic acid and proceeded to administer it. SO has been taking 2000mg daily ever since. The chemo left him sun sensitive, so in recent times he's been popping Vit D as well. Zinc he has been taking at the advice of a pharmacist when the doctors were deciding what to do with the deep necrotising wound from a white tail spider bite. The pharmacist's Master's thesis was studying the effect of zinc supplementation on wound healing, and he was surprised that it was not SOP for stubborn wounds. There was a similar study done at Dunedin hospital that also showed positive results. He's kept taking it after the wound was sorted because it seems to ease some of the inflammatory stuff his skin is prone to…again the result of chemicals. Being a full time wheelchair user… maintaining his skin integrity is paramount.

            I do not know where the reluctance comes from with the medical profession…doctors especially…for what should be complementary products.

            I guess some of them perceive simple (and comparatively cheap) potions to be weird witchy woo…not real Science.

            Or they don't like it when we take responsibility for our own healing.

            Our Ministry of Health could have stepped up to the plate at the beginning of last year and challenged the lot of us to slim down and get fitter. They could have dug out the old Plunket books that extolled the virtues of cod liver oil (yum) and rosehip syrup or haliborange tablets.

            But no. They shut us all up and the MSM encouraged us to have inter house bake offs, sharing the results on faceache and messenger. Now, they're offering hamburgers and kfc at Maori and Pacifica targeted vaccination drives.

            And its not just here in Godzone. Free donuts after your vaccine folks?

            Sighs. Shakes head.

            • RedLogix

              deciding what to do with the deep necrotising wound from a white tail spider bite.

              I copped one of those decades ago – took almost a year to heal. I had completely forgotten about that until I read your comment.

              But yes I think you have a solid core of support for what you're saying here. While I'm the resident fan-boy for modernity – and make no apology for it – that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of room for improvement. And modern health, diet, lifestyles – and a whole host of factors including inequality that play into it – are all overdue a major re-think.

              If there is one thing I'd love to see come out of COVID is a whole new debate on the real meaning of public health. It would be a noisy stoush but part of me suspects it's a project that really could unite NZ.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                took almost a year to heal. I found the dead white tail under Peter's hip when I was getting him up. Two wee red dots. This was Labour weekend 2010. Finally healed after much pissing around, two surgeries, and MRI and six weeks hooked up to a negative pressure wound healing gizmo. Almost a year from bite to final dressing removal. A nightmare.

                During this time, and while enjoying a three week sojourn on the plastics ward, we spent a fire alarm lockdown chatting with the medical photographer. His white tail spider bite (gardening, cleft of buttocks) was dealt to by medicos in Napier by lancing quite deeply the resulting swelling. Cleaned out (no infection) and packed with gauze while it healed from the bottom up. Most Kiwi doctors will deny it is a spider bite caused the wound. South African doctors on the other hand…they recognise a spider bite when they see one.

                • RedLogix

                  Really interesting – learning something there. Thanks.

                • joe90

                  South African doctors on the other hand

                  Same. 20 years ago in A&E with an angry, infected, near-black wound the size of a 50c piece on the back of my calf. Nurses were pissing around treating it as a contusion when a yarpie quack took one look and said "that's a fucking spider bite". Had me hooked me up to IV antibiotics quick smart, put me through the roof digging around, dressed it and sent me home with the cannula in my arm. I returned a for couple of days in a row for more antibiotics and dressings and it took months to heal.

            • mpledger

              An academic nutritionist told my class that most nutrition supplements don't contain the vitamins they say they do or provide them in a way that the body can absorb well – supplements don't have to conform to the same standards as medicines. My impression is that it puts doctors in a tough spot – there may be a small body of evidence that a vitamin is helpful but that is not useful information if there is no product that can deliver that vitamin – otherwise the end game is expensive urine.

        • RedLogix

          I assume you spotted the remarkable result from BioBank that Campbell recently highlighted that higher Vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes of death?

          It was probably a shame that this substance was called a Vitamin – because in many ways it's better thought of as an essential hormone. Because we evolved as largely hairless mammals we normally photosythesized it quite nicely, and we developed a range of skin tones to adapt to the climate zone we lived in.

          Modernity has rather buggered this arrangement up, and it's really only in the past decade or so that we've come to fully appreciate this. Basically if you have a darker skin tone, you're no longer living in or near the tropics, and you live indoors much of the time – then you are almost certainly Vitamin D deficient without supplementation.

          The implications of this for NZ should be obvious as you have hinted at.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            The implications of this for NZ should be obvious as you have hinted at.

            Dealing with the MOH over disability stuff, and trying to get their attention on the public health hazards of indiscriminate agrichemical use, there is no doubt in my mind that a large proportion of MOH bureaucrats are cognitively impaired to some degree.

            Or they are willfully and maliciously aiming for the worst possible health outcomes for most of us.

            Campbell has become quite the hero over the past few months. His pedantic attention to the minutiae of some of the papers he discusses has earned him some respect. Did you see that his opinions on aspiration of the IM injections got the fact check wand waved over it…by none other than our own H Petousis -Harris for one. Her evaluation piece did not place her in a good light at all. A miserableness of spirit.

      • swordfish 15.1.2


        The point I've repeatedly made is that there are probably a range of sensible low cost, low risk measures we could have should have done, like universal VitD supplementing, if we really cared about public health rather than defending our tribal political agendas.

        Yep … the uber-politicisation around Covid – most notably regarding anti-virals – has frequently bordered on the unhinged.

        • RedLogix

          Yes this bad habit of starting with the political position and then selecting evidence to confirm it needs to be turned around – literally.

          I found Haidt's ideas on how we evolved to be political and moral creatures to be my turning point – understanding that there are good reasons why there are a range of differing political viewpoints. Basically we all share a number of common moral ideas, but differing personalities place differing weights on them, which means collectively we can access a wide range of responses when the ground shifts under us. It means as a species we can tolerate innovation and changes of environment better than any other. Good politics plays this game with a view to creating a unity of purpose – bad politics seeks to divide.

          In many ways you see this playing out in real-time here at TS.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            …bad politics seeks to divide.

            I'll be honest…Ardern's efforts last week gave me the shits.

            Doom has overlaid the gloom.

  16. Adrian 16

    In reply to various posters, if someone, unmasked of course, is yelling at you in close proximity about your fully vacced status, isn’t that a form of attack against your well being, and therefore a criminal offence, not unlike brandishing a deadly weapon? They would get more than a polite “ Fuck Off “ from me.

    • weka 16.1

      has anyone said that that is ok?

    • McFlock 16.2

      Assault includes the application of force or the threat of force.

      Giving more than a polite "Fuck off" gets tricky, though. You do have a right of self defense, but it needs to be reasonable as a response to the assault (threat: "I'm gonna hit you") and the likely assault the threat threatens (hitting you).

      It's not difficult as such, but the paperwork can be quite extensive. One would need to justify why one felt threatened, what one felt would be the repercussions should that continue, and why one's response was reasonable and proportional to that threat.

      It's not about making up excuses, more about being able to clearly describe why one felt in danger and therefore how one's response was the minimum required. And that escalation/de-escalation circumstance can change in a fraction of a second.

      • weka 16.2.1

        Almost no one is in danger from another random person telling them their vaccine is going to kill then. Somewhat different where there is a power differential.

        Adrian made up the bit about not wearing masks. If the incident happened in an area with transmission and they were physically close then obviously that is a danger.

        Not hard to tell the difference between those two things

        • McFlock

          Again, depends on their tone. Calmly saying it is weird and disconcerting, but not immediately threatening. Raised voice, large body language, and so on? All raise the likelihood that the next thing coming your way is a fist. So one can physically prevent that.

          If the incident happened anywhere in NZ, there's a danger. Who's to say the person coming into your store with wild theories didn't figure it would be fine for them to take the backroads out of Auckland?

          • weka

            no idea what you are on about McFlock. It was simple story, I responded to it as it was presented. If people want to make up other stories to prove a point, have at it, but this is looking pretty silly.

            • McFlock

              "Well heeled ladies of of a particular wellness persuasion traveling in a premium marque entered her shop and inquired about her vaccination status. When she enlightened them they took to her, telling her that not only was she a danger to them, because shedding, apparently, but that she was going to die along with every other vaccinated person."

              Hopeless obsessives going into people's workplaces to confront employees about crazy theories usually like to yell and make a big scene. Seen more than a couple of them in my time.

              If these particular folks were calm, had a relaxed and open body language, and used their indoor voices while claiming the person in the shop they chose to enter was presenting a real and serious threat to their own safety, not only is that somewhat incongruous, it still doesn't rule out the use of force unless they leave immediately upon being told to. S56, if I recall my security days correctly, of the act I linked to at 16.2. And it can be trivial to escalate that to self defense, if needs be.

              • weka

                are you saying that people in shop shouting about politics can be punched in self defense?

                • McFlock

                  Depends how they're shouting, and how nutty their politics are.

                  Someone within a couple of feet, yelling about how I'm killing them? Big, aggressive posture for the camera, while store clerk keeps a relaxed and submissive posture?

                  Even if you, personally, think someone coming into a regular store and yelling about death is not an indicator of an irrational and possibly violent person, realistically most normal people would experience a stress reaction and become afraid of some manner of assault.

                  As long as other people are there, and/or security cameras are operating, if yelly mc'politics' makes any sudden gestures too close to anyone else, or suddenly turns towards or steps towards (ahem "advances upon", in the paperwork) anyone else, those other people can defend themselves as if from a physical assault and as long as they don't break yelly mcp too badly, the cops will just pick up yelly and take 'em away.

                  And they might even press charges against yelly for assault, disorderly, and a variety of other "you're a dickhead" offences.

                  • weka

                    not seeing a lot of shouty in this to warrant physical self defence strategies,

                    "Well heeled ladies of of a particular wellness persuasion traveling in a premium marque entered her shop and inquired about her vaccination status. When she enlightened them they took to her, telling her that not only was she a danger to them, because shedding, apparently, but that she was going to die along with every other vaccinated person."

                    • McFlock

                      But then nor does "took to her" imply a calm, non-confrontational tone.

                      Adrian took it to mean "yelling". In that case there would be more than enough of a nucleus around which their desired outcome could condense, using a basic escalation model.

                      Whether that outcome involves the direct use of force at that time, or just enough conflict to make a reasonable police complaint for trespass or threatening behaviour, that's very much up to the person facing the stupid.

                    • weka

                      Adrian made a bunch of shit up, like maskless.

                      I'm pretty sure that if the incident was as bad as you say, Joe would have conveyed that.

                      Don't even know what we're talking about now tbh, other than stretching the situation so far it doesn't make sense in an effort to beat back the nasty anti-vaxxers. Overegging things isn't going to help.

                    • McFlock

                      Given this particular scenario was brought over from open mic rather than being one mentioned in the post, it's not unreasonable to consider different possible permutations of what transpired based upon the description.

                      If Adrian really wanted to give these two a shove out the door or a bit more, that would have been quite simple to engineer almost regardless of their volume or tone.

                      • The onus is on the trespasser to leave as quickly as reasonable, and 9 times out of 10 obssessives can't resist stopping for an extra word.
                      • We're not as bad as the US states that have the "hold your ground" license to kill laws, but nor are we expected to assume violence is unlikely until the punch is actually thrown.

                      Put those two together, there's a lot of freedom, as long as you can justify it with words. You can't hit someone just because you feel like it, but if a confrontation turns into a removal which turns into a self defense situation, well that's just unfortunate.

                    • weka

                      right, you're coaching him on how to be physically violent, without getting an assault conviction, against two women who were stating politics you and Adrian disagree with but who probably weren't breaking the law.

                      Or, it's a hypothetical situation, nothing to do with what happened in the grocers, but the ideology is still clear enough.

                    • McFlock

                      right, you're coaching him on how to be physically violent, without getting an assault conviction, against two women who were stating politics you and Adrian disagree with but who probably weren't breaking the law.

                      If they don't break the law, there's no need for force at all. Because they immediately leave. Those are the rules. I have nowhere told Adrian how to let the other fool escalate the situation to the point one can use force, nor any techniques to apply that can escalate defense of property to defense of self.

                      But your interpretation that people can come into a workplace and say whatever they want without any repercussions in response? If you're dealing with someone who knows the law and has worked a crowd for any length of time, that's complete bull.

                      As for "politics", active medical misinformation (even delivered with the sweetest manner) kills. Some "politics" shouldn't be treated as a mere difference of opinion. Some people should be thrown out the damned door when their "politics" endangers other people's lives.

    • Sabine 16.3

      Dude in the current times it should be considered a form of assault by anyone – irrespective of being jabbed or not.


      Because a jabbed person can transmit covid too. So if you are positive, meandering about in the public, unmasked, not keeping distance etc you can very well spread the stuff like butter on warm toast.

      Un-jabbed people are not more a danger to you personally then a jabbed one. They are however a danger to our underfunded, understaffed and under resourced health system. And that is why we are racing to get people jabbed, so that they don't fill our ICU beds of which we don't have enough, or enough fully trained and qualified staff to man these ICU beds.

  17. Alan 17

    Bullshit Mickey, I know plenty of people that definitely do not fit into your so called 'privileged' category. Many of them are highly pissed off with the 'cannot be arsed' factions holding us back.

  18. Jimmy 18

    There are many people in the less wealthy (poorest) suburbs of Auckland like Mangere, Manukau, Birkdale, Beachhaven, Stanmore Bay etc. that are also pissed off at the people who cant be bothered getting vaccinated.

  19. UncookedSelachimorpha 19

    In my neck of the woods there is a small but very vocal anti-vax community (evangelical even). Unfortunately they are also anti-mask, and brag of having bogus mask exemptions. It is a bad combination, being unvaccinated makes mask wearing more important, of course.

    There is a lot of talk of the unvaccinated spreading disease. True to an extent, but to my mind the benefit of applying increased health measures to the unvaccinated (e.g. exclusion from crowded venues, indoor close contact situations) is more for their protection. Preventing the unvaccinated from catching covid is important for everyone – they are much more likely to develop serious disease, have a bad outcome and also clog up the health system.

  20. UncookedSelachimorpha 20

    …Massive admiration for the sign holder in the Tamaki picture – couldn't agree more!!

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