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Will National politicise the new Covid outbreak? *

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, August 12th, 2020 - 182 comments
Categories: covid-19, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, national, same old national - Tags:

So the bad news that we were all hoping not to hear has occurred.  There is a new case of community transmission discovered in Auckland.  A test conducted on Monday was positive.

The Government has acted quickly and imposed a level 3 lockdown on Auckland and a level 2 lockdown on the rest of the country.

It does not need to be repeated that this virus is a bastard.  Throughout the world Covid has brought countries to their knees.  Other countries and areas such as Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and Hong Kong are now struggling with far worse outbreaks after initially appearing to be on top of the virus.  This graph shows what is happening to similar nations most of who were apparently handling the virus well.  New Zealand’s line will unfortunately trend upwards.

This is the sort of event where the political parties should display a sense of solidarity and concentrate on communicating to the country what we need to do as a nation to get through this.  Because the cost of failure is clear, you just have to look at the rest of the world to see how this works out.

So how has National responded?  I am afraid that for them it is business as usual.  From Jason Walls at the Herald:

National Party leader Judith Collins is putting the blame for the new cases of community transmission in Auckland squarely in the lap of the Government and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Speaking to the Herald tonight, Collins said she was “extremely disappointed” in the Government, given that Covid-19 has come back to New Zealand.

Asked if she was disappointed in the Government, she said yes.

“I am, like I’m sure the rest of the country is, extremely disappointed that this [Covid-19] has been allowed in through our borders.”

Collins was not impressed, given the fact she said New Zealanders have been told that the country was free of community transmission.

Sunday had marked 100 days since the last case of community transmission.

“We believed it had happened; this has clearly come through a border and must not be something that was homegrown in New Zealand.

“I have seen the Prime Minister tonight, who is leader of the Labour Party, in the middle of an election campaign, speaking about all this failure.”

I have had some feedback about this recent post where I said that Gerry Brownlee was engaging in conspiracy theories.  People claim that Brownlee was right to question the Government getting prepared for a potential new outbreak but they should reread what he said.  He was saying that it was strange that we are getting ready.  He also questioned the recommended advice to wear masks.

In that post I said:

Getting ready for a potential second wave is not puzzling.  The world is awash with the disease and we will be doing extraordinarily well if we continue to keep it out.  And you just have to see what has happened in Australia and South Korea and Singapore to see that the virus will come back and hurt if it is not eradicated.

We have elected to keep our borders open to returning kiwis and selected others.  The only other option would be to seal the borders shut to everyone.  This is not a policy decision this Government is willing to make, and not one that any Government in the world has taken.

Some of these returnees are infected.  We have had a couple of scares but so far so good.  But it should be remembered that there is a low chance that each infected returning Kiwi may spread the virus.  This is through contamination of quarantine staff, or early or late onset of the disease, or plain bad luck.  Te Punaha Matatini, a team of mathematicians and scientists, have estimated that New Zealand could expect one person over the next 18 months to be released into the community while still infectious.  That may be enough to set off a second wave.

So of course the Government should be preparing for the possibility of a second wave.  Brownlee reaching out to the tinfoil wearing sector of the population in an attempt to score political points is just weird.

If you want to have a further example of National’s frankly dishonest messaging around the issue there was the homeless person in the Crown Plaza rumour started by Michael Woodhouse.  After a thorough investigation, the All of Government Response Group concluded yesterday that, wait for this, an unnamed man had actually returned to Auckland on a flight from Melbourne and accessed the hotel legitimately.

You may recall that Woodhouse went to town on the issue.  From now on “went to town” in the context of a National MP should be equated with “told fibs”.  I mean let us analyse what he said.  As reported by Newstalk ZB:

A homeless man sneaked into a five-star hotel used as a quarantine facility and stayed there for two weeks, claims opposition health spokesman Michael Woodhouse.

National MP Michael Woodhouse claims a “reliable source” told the National Party the homeless man pretended he was a new arrival completing his 14-day isolation.

Woodhouse told the AM show that although the story is currently “unverified”, he said his source is an Auckland-based health professional.

“One of the five-star hotels housed a homeless person for a couple of weeks under the pretense that it was someone who came back from overseas. When the person was ready for discharge, he was asked for a forwarding address, only to tell the official that he didn’t have one – because he was homeless,” Woodhouse told the AM Show.

“He hadn’t come back from overseas, he just joined the back of the queue two weeks ago, and spent a fortnight getting three square meals and a bath every day on the Government.

“It just shows what a shambles this thing is. The ministry should be managing this – it’s not actually rocket science.”

Shambles is the right word.  But only if it is applied to the opposition.

Of course the conspiracy theorists will have a field day and will say that this is one big cover up and they have known for a while.  But the time line refutes this.  It appears that the second positive test was returned yesterday afternoon.  Bloomfield has confirmed that he received the news shortly before 3 pm yesterday, Ardern was told at about 4, cabinet then met and the decision was released to the public at 9:15 pm.  The turn around was pretty quick and closing Auckland down in less than 24 hours is phenomenal.

There was a flurry of twitter activity just before the announcement and it has been suggested that Judith was the source of the information.

[tweet https://twitter.com/han_dall/status/1293325483543674881]

National’s point scoring during a pandemic is very disappointing.  Every time they persuade someone in quarantine that it is all a bit of a joke and they do not have to take it seriously, or that testing is not that important, or that masks are a bit of a joke, or they leak information they weaken the collective response and increase the chances of the virus taking hold and spreading.  Right now, of all times, is not the time for political business as usual.

182 comments on “Will National politicise the new Covid outbreak? * ”

  1. Ad 1

    By tomorrow morning Judith will rise with the sun and confess her sins to her Maker, put on her cloak of righteousness,

    and regally rise to greatness by inviting the Prime Minister to form common united media briefings with all the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet arrayed across Parliament's steps,

    and then Judith's wings rise as she forms a successful unitary Cabinet with Labour, just like the two front singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lingstad,

    and after a week of this glory radiating out of our television screens, where people get to dream about the unity that the two sides presented during World War 2, the Greens and Act will see this wisdom and together they are invited by the Governor General, in place of the impossible election to join this magnificence,

    singing with perfect harmony, just as Bjorn and Benny did in that magnificent quartet:

    Did You Hear The Drums Fernando? Sing along my people, sing along:


  2. Robert Guyton 3

    In the accompanying photo, I see cats, replete with cream. (I know, cats can't smirk or gloat, so my analogy falls a little short)

  3. Incognito 4

    What’s with the asterisk in the title of the Post?

    • mickysavage 4.1

      To show that the comment continued in the description.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        Ah, that only shows up in the excerpt; it makes no sense when opening/reading the actual main text. I should not worry so much about trivial little detail 😉

  4. observer 5

    OK, let's politicise it some more.

    If dissolution is delayed, and the election is (e.g.) November, then Bennett and Kaye and Adams and Walker and all the other leavers … are back sitting in Parliament. They would have a job to do.

    They want a delay? Cool. Enjoy your caucus meetings, guys.

  5. Red 6

    A wise lefty on this site once told me, “ everything is political “ I guess he may have forget the part “only when it suits me”

  6. roblogic 7

    Putting the safety of Kiwis at risk for petty point scoring. #NationalNotFitToGovern


  7. Stuart Munro 8

    They will attack of course, never having mastered the elements of strategy.

    Avoiding Brownlee is axiomatic. Play away from thickness .

    Defeated warriors go to war first, and then seek to win – Sun Tzu

  8. Robert Guyton 9

    "OPINION: The worst has finally happened. As we were all warned, and as has been painfully obvious from looking at the pandemic overseas, it was inevitable. Despite a whole nation’s best efforts Covid-19 was always going to pop back up in the community somewhere."

    (My bold)

    Luke Malpass


    • Sabine 9.1

      not sure who he is, but yeah, a lot of people were saying that. And anyone not thinking it was somewhere in dream land happily drifting on some lovely clouds.

      This country is as safe as is the rest of the world, namely one infection away from a major disaster. And considering that we are allowing citizens back in, and upon arrival have them in contact with workers at the airport, hotels etc the chances that one gets infected on the job and takes it home were good enough to wager on it.

    • Uncle Scrim 9.2

      I agree. It was so bizarre to hear Collins and Brownlee complaining about mixed messages last week, saying we can't be both apparently 'safe' (Cook Islands here we come) and 'at risk' (get some masks) at the same time – yes we can! The whole world is somewhere on that spectrum, we were just right on the edge between safety and danger. And still today are in a much better place than most.

  9. Peter 10

    Collins and Brownlee are the scum twins. If they thought spreading covid-19 through rest homes would help their chances they would deliver vials of the stuff there and make sure it was spread most efficaciously.

  10. Robert Guyton 11

    Someone said… "On the positive side, 120+ days with no community transmission in the South Island."


  11. ianmac 12

    Judith Collins = Nastiness.

  12. ScottGN 13

    Radio NZ are saying Collins and Reti have a presser scheduled for 3pm.

    • Incognito 13.1

      Will she come across as a PM-in-waiting? Watch the eyebrows.

    • tc 13.2

      Okey so Crusher has her bulldog on hand for it. We know what they'll do let's see how our msm deal with the fear mongering.

      They could challenge their BS but it’ll be a spray and walk away again probably.

  13. observer 14

    This is why Collins is desperate to politicise it.

    Latest UMR poll: Labour 52%, National 28%, Act 5.9%, Greens 5.4%, NZ First 5.1%.

    (not public poll but already widely reported in media).

  14. AB 15

    Collins speaking now – will try to de-legitimise the election and call for its postponement.

    • Pat 15.1

      as expected

    • Muttonbird 15.2

      She spoke for just 5-6 minutes before taking questions. Just an opportunity to get in front of the cameras really.

      In that 5-6 minutes she complained people don't have certainty about the election. We do have certainty, it's on Sept 19. The only person promoting uncertainty is Collins herself.

    • Incognito 15.3

      Does that mean she’s sending a secret signal to National voters not to vote this time?

      • woodart 15.3.1

        yes. nat fans should boycot the election. that will teach the rest of us a lesson!!

  15. McFlock 16

    The same crowd who wanted the borders opened up to students and rich yanks now complain covid is back. And Collins criticises the management of the borders when she can't manage her own damned caucus.

  16. Ross 17


    It's like saying that sport and politics don’t mix. That was the fallacious argument of those supporting the 1981 Springbok tour. Governments need to be held to account.

  17. Byd0nz 18

    Sounds like the Nats are trying for Coup de gras. Funny to watch the Collins live moan with Brownlie. Oh dear Labour is not asking them for advice.

    • In Vino 18.1

      Coup de grace, old chap.

      Mind you, in French 'gras' means fat, so maybe you were making a clever allusion to a certain Nat…

  18. observer 19

    This Collins/Brownlee press conference is insane.

    She wants the election put off until NEXT year. Wow.

    • AB 19.1

      De-legitimise an election Labour, with its partners, did win (2017), de-legitimise an election Labour might win (2020). These f*ckers are dangerous.

    • dv 19.2

      Lab should call her and put the election off til sept 2022

      • lprent 19.2.1

        Dates for a different election date after early December (the absolute max assuming you used all available authority without legislation) would take a act of parliament.

        If you're going to do legislation for a few months until 2021, then you may as well do a few years until we are absolutely sure that we are clear of infection.

        September 2023 anyone? It makes as more sense as 2021. There is a pretty good bet that there will be a diminished chance of covid-19 outbreaks then.

        Until then, September 19th 2020 looks as good as anything else. NZ isn’t a failed state – we already do 1.24 million advance votes in the weeks leading up to the 2017 election in NZ. another few million shouldn’t be a problem.

        FFS: are the current National MPs all mindless idiots?

    • gsays 19.3

      Listening to Collins, I was reminded of a sulky young teenager that doesn't want to sit at the kids table at a family Christmas lunch. Despite having spent the morning, telling people what was in their presents before they were opened and relentlessly tormenting their younger sibling.

      I was hoping one of the journos would hand her a straw that she was so desperately grasping for.

  19. barry 20

    Brownlie today continuing his conspiracy theory hints

    • 16 minutes ago

      He wouldn't go into more detail about what he meant by those comments.

      17 minutes ago

      "I'm just outlining facts," Brownlee said.

      17 minutes ago

      He said the messaging around further outbreaks about 10 days ago, the advice to wear masks and have them available, and the PM's visit to a mask manufacturer are all "very interesting things to happen".

    • tc 20.1

      Hipkins owns him with the line that Gez should swap a tinfoil hat for a mask the other week. A zinger that nails them.

      Jude's probably hoping he keeps the 'china virus' meme to himself, that would be uncomfortable for the former Oravida minister.

  20. barry 21

    I must say that Collins didn't look like she believed what she was saying. She looked like she didn't want to be there.

  21. observer 22

    Collins complains that gov't has not held a briefing with National's health spokesman.

    Perhaps that's because National's previous health spokesman made things up. If you want trust, don't destroy it.

    • tc 22.1

      Probably can't keep up with who it is this week.

    • dv 22.2

      Do they know who the health spokesperson is for the NATS?

    • Incognito 22.3

      Hmmm, Collins was briefed yesterday and immediately leaked the info. She and her Party have a serious incontinence problem but without the embarrassment that usually comes with it.

      • I Feel Love 22.3.1

        I for one hope National don't even know who this family in South AK is, otherwise they will probably leak it.

    • Tricledrown 22.4

      Yet Jacinda talked directly with Judarth an hr before media conference.

  22. Heather Tanguay 23

    A nasty, spiteful, mean woman, trying desperately to make herself and her cabal relevant. The behaviour is appalling and has a real Trumpish ring about it, making a public health emergency a political game.

    • PaddyOT 23.1

      That " appalling fear raising" out there she says; then her real fear hits the airwaves.

      No to postal voting Trumpism fear because we have two referendums that postal voting would not be fair to do by mail.
      Didn't we vote by mail before, for a flag, Judith?

      " I think mail-in voting is horrible,” Trump said in Tuesday’s coronavirus press conference.

      “You voted by mail in Florida’s election last month, didn’t you?” the reporter asked.

      “Sure,” the president replied. “I can vote by mail.”

      “How do you reconcile with that?”

      “Because I’m allowed to,” Trump said."


    • georgecom 23.2

      keep the election as per scheduled, move date back if we cannot quickly get on top of the covid outbreak. And come election day lets all cross our fingers for an election result that decimates the National vote and marks Collins as dead woman walking in terms of leadership. After the election the fragments of National can drop Collins and Brownlee at the curb for the rubbish truck to pick up.

      We all know National is desperate, but stooping to the levels of implying a conspiracy about release of covid data, holy shit. Either a spiteful little childish tantrum, or tinfoil hat stuff. Either way, by going there, Collins and Brownlee have shown they need to be decimated in the election. Not fit to govern.

  23. JohnSelway 24

    While I completely disagree with the conspiracy theories Brownlie was throwing down I do think they have a point in being unable to campaign while the government sucks up all the oxygen.

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      Labour can't campaign either. Nor the Greens.

      • JohnSelway 24.1.1

        That is true but Labour and Ardern will suck up all the media oxygen so it isn't fair on the greens either.

        No other party can even do a proper campaign launch

        • Muttonbird

          National only have themselves to blame for not launching earlier.

          Life's not fair, poor life choices, etc. Mike Hosking will tell you all about that.

        • woodart

          bollocks johnselway. nats have plenty of dosh, a proper campaign launch for them would be champagne on a launch, at the dock, with planking and other assorted nat party games..film at eleven…yuk…lifes not fair johnnyboy.

          • Muttonbird

            John reckons we should all wait until the Nats are ready. Maybe loan them a coupe of players to make it fair?

            Guess what, it's not little Johnny's U8 football tournament…


            • JohnSelway

              Yes – that's exactly what I said. Fucking nitwit.

              • Muttonbird

                You said it's not fair. It's fair. Fucking nitwit.

                • JohnSelway

                  Oh I don’t think it’s particularly fair no. I don’t know what to do about it – but for all parties that have yet to have a campaign launch it’s pretty unfair on them. It’s not labour’s fault nor is it because I support national. I know if I were the leader of a party and suddenly my campaigning got thrown into disarray I would feel pretty jilted by it.

                  but I never said we should wait until the Nats were ready. Perhaps reading isn’t your strong suit.

        • Sacha

          How many votes is a 'campaign launch' worth these days? As many as a glossy manifesto, a street corner meeting, or a hand-cranked gazette at the fete?

    • barry 24.2

      It would help them if they used their press conferences and time when they do have attention, to do something other than whinge and make stuff up.

    • I Feel Love 24.3

      Yet Paula Bennett is on air campaigning … oh? That's different? Somehow????

  24. Muttonbird 25

    Collins reckons she's going to need 12 months to get the National Party back on track, headline:

    Collins calls for election to be pushed back to late November or 2021


  25. Brian Tregaskin 26

    from Fear Facts Exposed FB group–well said and best explanation of Nationals ruse 🙂

    What Judith said…

    Judith said she is disappointed about this particular Covid outbreak – again.

    Then things got very self centred and petty.

    Judith was upset that Shane Reti has been trying to tie up Chris Hipkins in meetings since 12 noon but there has been no meeting yet?

    National have pestered Chris Hipkins every half hour about this dire matter of doing what National demand – but now it is past 3PM and Hipkins is still focussing on the pandemic rather than National.

    Yes – mind boggling isn't it.

    Judith is so upset about the lack of respect for pre-election conventions she needed a press conference about it.

    She says this Government must not make major decisions in a pandemic in an agile fast way – without first spending hours having endless consultations with her.

    A quick phone call from Jacinda is not good enough at all – says Judith.

    The whole thing is about Judith and her election chances.

    Judith told us she needs to know immediately – right now – today about the election date – NOT tomorrow, NOT on Monday – nor anything silly like that.

    Stamp feet. Huff and puff.

    Judith says it is unsustainable to expect a fair election when she is not free to campaign.

    A rattle has been spat onto the floor.

    New Zealand deserves better – says Judith.

    New Zealand is dealing with a Covid lockdown – and there is Judith in all her malignant glory – being a selfish loser.

    Judith called upon the PM to shift out the election to where National would benefit most.

    Apparently next year suits National best according to Judith.

    Judith was self centred, power crazy and she had nothing to say about the people and their jobs or health or anxiety.

    Is anyone surprised?

    And 20% prefer her as leader.

    What Judith said…

    • PaddyOT 26.1

      You missed out the endless sound loop, ' I want transperency, we've been waiting all day, transperency , we've been waiting all day'.

      Seems like she's remembered what NZers were asking for during Natz last term.

    • georgecom 26.2

      "however" Judith Collin added, "we only have ourselves to blame. If we had got our shirt together earlier, rather than playing silly buggers and turning our political party into a complete shambles, we would have been ready to start our campaign several weeks ago, rather than scramble to pull something together at the last minute which some covid cases has interrupted. So yes, I am having a tantrum but really the fault lies entirely with me and my party. I can understand if Kiwis wouldn't trust us to run the country, heck, they probably wouldn't trust us to be able to buy a round at the pub".

  26. Judith's name should be changed from crusher to shocker.

  27. Mark 28

    In their position I couldn’t resist to state the fact that with the way the localised Auckland shutdown was executed a key mistake was made.

    I know that hindsight is a beautiful thing but in this case we had many examples of failed localised shutdowns: Wuhan, Milan and New York are just three examples.

    In Aucklands case it took 15 hours till we closed the roads.

    I fear the consequences of this will be a north island or worse nation wide lockdown.

  28. NZJester 29

    Lets not let the Toryists win.

    I see some expat yob is saying what we are doing does not work and the 4 new cases proves it. No the number of deaths here prove what we are doing does work. The Toryiosts don't care if a few people die as long as they can make a profits. They want us to put money ahead of human lives and hope that heard immunity will win the day. Well the US is reaping those rewards in the numbers of infected and dead. No thank you Toryists, I would prefer the on and off again lock-downs.


  29. Grafton Gully 30

    Memory problems "I don't think I swore," she told the news outlet. "I don't think I said it."


    And paranoia "worried about the lack of transparency"


    Are worrisome signs in a potential prime minister.

  30. Brian Tregaskin 31

    Muttonbird:Remember when, just 2 days ago, Judith Collins vowed National will do ‘whatever we have to’ to get power back?

    DO NOT let National anywhere near top level discussion and decision making. Judith has shown she cannot and will not play nice, and they just can't be trusted.

    DO NOT postpone the Election date –have it on Sept 19 or over a few days – every day of delay is a risk that an unknown will present itself .

    DO NOT be a sap and play into Nationals hands or MSMs hands!

    Sorry Duncan and Tova you are not calling the shots here.Our PM is too smart to fall for any ruse

  31. Brian Tregaskin 32


    Plain politics, not safety fears, are root of opposition calls to delay New Zealand election

    Claire Robinson

    With access to information and the voting process remaining open, there is no reason to postpone the September poll because of Covid-19 outbreak


    Claire Robinson is professor of communication design and pro vice-chancellor at Massey University college of creative arts.

    [You copied & pasted the whole article from the Guardian, which I’ve now deleted for the most part. Besides possible copyright infringement, it is poor behaviour to just dump a whole lot of text here without adding your opinion as to why anybody should read it. In addition, you should add a conversation starter, e.g. why you agree/disagree with it, thanks – Incognito]

    • Incognito 32.1

      See my Moderation note @ 9:47 PM.

    • lprent 32.2

      I’ve never been a fan of Claire Robinson’s writing (I don’t watch much free to air TV these days so I can’t comment on her talking head appearances). She has tended to brush very lightly over political topics.

      But this article is a sound summation of the issues around shifting election date. Essentially it comes down to what is the case for doing it? If you can’t guarantee that same issue won’t arise in the new target date, then there is no real point in shifting dates apart from straight medical issues.

      That can be handled with the week by week procedure by the electoral commission and the director of health.

      The reason to defer writ day at present is a good one. Mostly to consider if legislation needs to be considered for introduction about election changes to cope with a level 3 or 4 lock-down. Longer periods of advance voting perhaps? In a level 3 or 4 the essential issue medically is that you don’t want voters to crowd together in lines in polling booths on the same day. Spreading that day over a week or more would probably be preferable. That would carry about as much risk as queuing at the supermarket did in level 4.

      In the last election there were 2,591,896 valid party votes cast. 1,023,059 were valid advance votes. This isn’t exactly a major ramp up.

      Elections aren’t held for or at the convenience of political parties and politicians. They are held for the voters to cast a vote on their political representatives. Self-involved fools of politicians should remember that.

  32. RedBaronCV 33

    As far as I am concerned Nats and Covid are already politicised. Every time someone breaks quarantine or does some thing stupid to expose us all to covid ( apart from the few who obviously have other deeper issues) I immediately think " I bet they for vote National or maybe Act".

    Suspect I'm not the only one thinking like that – with the constant demands to open borders etc- and that sort of linkage is probably fairly hard to shift.

  33. Observer Tokoroa 34

    Stunning News

    On the Radio this morning I heard Judith Collins tellingly inform Distinguished Kim Hill, that she is a Lawyer.

    Wow !

    Judith maybe under some stress, but she in no way had anything like the clarity of Kim Hill.

    Most Lawyers have excellent clarity and avoid running all around and round a toddler's paddock. Judith Collins did however give out masterpieces of nonsense – including full on mountains of nonsequiturs.

    I hope National can do a bit better. But it looks unlikely.

    • Tricledrown 34.1

      Most people in NZ are discusted by Collins Brownlee Trumpish behaviour.

      They haven't learned why they are polling at 28% on average polling.

      Collins own words when in a hole why would you keep digging.

  34. Observer Tokoroa 35

    On a Serious Note


    There is obviously tremendous interest in Covid-19 Virus. We are fortunate to be on the expert side of New Zealand's approach to managing the nasty Virus.

    Above all, Sensible Kiwis have assisted each other to follow the instructions of our Prime Minister Ardern, Health Minister Bloomfield, Fiscal Grant Robertson, and Exceptional Chris Hipkins.

    These few Leaders have given us the best run of the whole viral World.

    Unfortunately, the National party have not contributed anything towards the well being of New Zealanders. If anything, they have nothing but Dollars on their minds. They are always at it.

    However, the vital thing we need will be Vaccine. We will be unable to work along side National on that. because their minds are occupied on their mean little Pockets and their big houses.

    Vaccine discovery is the most necessary item we will need in the near future.

    I feel we should set up a Kiwi Foundation of Vaccines. So that we are ready for the much wanted Break Through.

  35. Chris T 36

    You could argue Ardern has been politicising it from the first out break with her daily 1pm health speeches the other bloke could do.

    • left_forward 36.1

      You could, but you'd be a dawk if you thought that the best interest of New Zealanders was not her only motivation.

    • Incognito 36.2

      You could but you’d have to argue why the person in charge does not front the media and the NZ public and tries to avoid accountability, responsibility, openness, and transparency.

      Give it your best shot!

      • Paddington 36.2.1

        The PM has no reason to front these daily sessions other to maximise political effect. An occassional appearance would be more than sufficient. Labour have leveraged this crisis beautifully for political gain. All power to them, but denying it is just naieve. Or ignorant.

        • Sacha

          All those overseas articles observing the power of a visible national leader communicating well must just be bunkum I suppose?

          • Paddington

            There is a big difference between being visible and exploiting a crisis. But she's a politician, and that's what they do.

            • Sacha

              What would 'not exploiting' look like?

              • observer

                It's funny how "exploiting" is perceived, isn't it?

                The Prime Minister has ultimate responsibility for the country's response to a virus. The Prime Minister has no responsibility whatsoever for the results of the All Blacks.

                Only one of those is "exploiting".

                • Paddington

                  The PM has ultimate responsibility. Doesn't mean she has to pretend to be a micro-biologist.

                  • observer

                    Give an example of her pretending that.

                    You're really big on the sweeping statement, but when asked for evidence, you have nothing. Why do you keep dong this?

                    • Paddington

                      Watch tonights ppb again. You'll see the evidence.

                    • Incognito []

                      The PM bases her decisions on evidence and is guided by (the) science. Her job is to relay some of the decision-making process back to the people who are mostly lay-people. In other word, the PM is sharing her information and (basic) knowledge with the general public. Only a fool would see fault in that.

                  • Incognito

                    Did she dye her hair pink/purple? Did she fake her PhD degree? Are you wearing a tinfoil nightcap at night?

                    • Paddington

                      " In other word, the PM is sharing her information and (basic) knowledge with the general public. "

                      No, her job is to win re-election. She doesn't have information that a half decent health minister couldn't share.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nope, her job is to lead the Government in an unprecedented time of crisis. Funny that some have accused her of not being interested in the Election and downplaying it. How naive!

              • Paddington

                Not turning the daily briefings into a party political broadcast.

                • Sacha

                  So if we check recordings, the word "Labour" will appear?

                  • Paddington

                    The PM is the leader of a governing political party in an election year. Anyone who doesn't know which party she leads must be asleep.

                    • Incognito

                      That’s a “No” then. Quite a relief to see that you didn’t resort to making outright lies, just insinuations.

        • Incognito

          The buck stops with the PM, as the saying goes. She has the ability to clarify and justify decisions, as they are made by Cabinet, not by Uncle Ashley. She also has the trust of the NZ people, as polls have shown. Despite the howls of protest and wacky conspiracy theories from the usual suspects, the PM nor the Government that she leads have deliberately orchestrated this outbreak. However, she might want to distance herself from the daily pressers ASAP to avoid further insinuations and accusations by dim-witted RWNJs – I’d nominate the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister of Health. To argue differently is deliberately misleading but quite understandable coming from RWNJs.

        • observer

          The "daily sessions" with the PM ended months ago.

          They returned on Tuesday.

          I know that doesn't fit the fantasy narrative, but it is a simple, verifiable fact.

          • Paddington

            Who cares when it ended? I'm expressing my considerable admiration for how well the PM has exploited this. Previous PM's have been no different.

            • observer

              I care, because truth matters.

              It's an attack line constantly repeated, and it's false.

              • Paddington

                The 'truth' is the PM fronts these daily sessions. She doesn't need to. It's politicking, pure and simple. And it's not an attack line. The PM is a politician in an election year. Any politician would do exactly the same. But for goodness sake don't try to make this out as anything other than bald opportunism.

                • observer

                  They. Are. Not. Daily. You are repeating the lie.

                  So, details please …

                  Should she not have made the announcement on Tuesday? Yes or no?

                  Parliament is not sitting any more, so should she have fronted to media yesterday? Yes or no?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Ardern doing her job, & doing it well. Collins’ eyebrow similarly hardworking.
                Check out the Paddington Brow Bar – just joking wink

                • Paddington


                • Chris T

                  This attitude pretty much says it all.

                  Do you actually not want a fair election?

                  [I can’t be bothered with your insipid trolling any longer. The incumbent leader/party generally has an advantage over the challenger(s). The fact that this Coalition Government grapples with a huge crisis should offset their ‘home advantage’ to some degree, as the Opposition carries zero responsibility. To even think that the latest turn of events is being cynically manipulated to tilt the election in favour of the incumbents is ludicrous. The National Party has made its bed and has to lie in it so please spare me your crocodile tears about a “fair election”. Banned till Monday week, which is Super Troll Day – Incognito]

            • greywarshark

              Paddington is exploiting this situation and this blog to sound wise with a world-weary air. He's devious and projecting this onto our PM. See projection referred to today in one of the posts.

              • Paddington

                Actually I greatly admire the PM, so you've got that entirely wrong. But she lies, and exploits and makes mistakes just like any other politician. The popular ones (eg the last PM to be as popular) just do it better or cover it up better than the others.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Paddington, by your own admission you "greatly admire" a political leader who you believe "lies, and exploits and makes mistakes".

                  Personally I couldn't admire anyone with that combination of flaws, but if that's what appeals to National party supporters then the behaviour of Key, Barclay, English, Joyce, Ross, Bridges, Collins, Brownlee, Walker, Falloon, Woodhouse, Bennett, Boag et al. starts to make sense.

                  “Strong Team” laugh

                  • McFlock

                    It really is politics through the eyes of a moral vacuum: duplicitous PM is turning briefings into party political broadcasts and faking empathy better than the nats ever could because her job is to win the election, and while the commenter is annoyed that she's on the other team her skill at deceit is worthy of admiration.

                    Because they can't comprehend having a PM who genuinely empathises with the people she is supposed to lead, nor can they comprehend the concept that a politician might view themselves as having any obligation other than furthering their career.

                    The worldview of the practitioners of Dirty Politics.

                  • solkta

                    Strong smell.

                • Incognito

                  Yup, demeaning comments about the PM to undermine her authority and to further erode public trust in politicians and the political process. It can’t be irony that you state that you “greatly admire the PM” and it must be sarcasm.

      • Chris T 36.2.2

        That would be a first.

        There is zero reason that Bloomfield just can't front it.

        Especially given the new lock down, the government shutdown and the election coming up.

        • observer

          Bloomfield is not elected. The elected government is ultimately responsible.

          We went through all this before ("why is she hiding, why won't she front?"). She is there, she is not there, just toss a coin and attack either way it lands.

          • Chris T

            No. He is the expert I want to hear from. The facts. That's it.

            Parliament has shutdown till the election.

            What is the point of Ardern doing her pep talks apart from politicising leading up to it and getting all the media oxygen?

            • observer

              So when there is a major issue, of huge concern to the public, you want the PM to refuse to face the media? You want the media to say "We wanted to put these questions to the PM, but her office said she was unavailable."

              Again, you have to make a choice. She fronts, or she does not front.

              Tell us what the PM should do and why.

              • Chris T


                I don't get your point.

                I don't care if she isn't there.

              • Paddington

                Who said I wanted information from the deputy PM?

                • Incognito

                  Nobody said that. Are you as paranoid as Gerry?

                  Your comment was a reply to observer @, 13 August 2020 at 5:04 pm.

                  • Paddington

                    Who said " So you do want information from the deputy PM answering ". So you were wrong again, weren’t you?

                    • Incognito

                      It was a comment from observer @ 13 August 2020 at 7:17 pm. So, you replied to the wrong comment and didn’t answer, but just negated, which is so typical of you here.

                  • Paddington

                    "She is getting an Emmy for her performance."

                    Well she deserves.

                  • Paddington

                    You knew the comment was to observer, yet you still got it wrong.

                  • Paddington

                    You knew the comment I replied to, and still got it wrong.

                    • Incognito

                      At the time I did not know that because in the back-end I looked at which comment you replied to and that did not say what you stated it said. You still haven’t addressed that comment properly and you’re just bleating on about me being wrong. Why don’t you address the questions that other commenters have put to you instead of evading genuine engagement? I’ve not banned you to give you exactly this opportunity but you’re squandering it, as usual. Do you have any interest in engaging here because that is not obvious at all. Just asking because you have presented an ‘interesting line of facts’, so far. I’m growing tired of your comments so why don’t we draw a line under this disappointing exchange and you start engaging with other commenters in a genuine way?

                  • Paddington

                    " Do send in your nomination and do vote for her. "

                    The funny thing in all this is that I may still be voting for her. It is becoming increasingly apparent the border control process has been absolutely botched (https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/nearly-two-thirds-of-nz-s-covid-19-border-isolation-staff-had-never-been-tested-a-week-ago.html). My dilemna is I have absolutely no confidence the nats could do any better. Sigh.

                  • Paddington

                    " Why don’t you address the questions that other commenters have put to you… "

                    I have.

            • Sacha

              You seem to be confusing 'speaking while PM' with 'politicising'. I hope you get some help with that but you have done more than enough diverting here for one day. On your bike.

              • Paddington

                This is an election year. In fact we are just weeks out from an election. We have a second wave of a global pandemic, possibly the result of mistakes at our border. The PM is speaking at length in daily briefings, and is enjoying huge political gain as a result. If you think that is not planned, you are seriously naieve.

                • Sacha

                  'Planned'? The PM somehow made a Covid resurgence happen on cue? How daft do you think the rest of us are?

                  • Paddington

                    You're being obtuse. The planning is around exploiting the political advantage. The Pm could take her own advice https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/coronavirus-jacinda-ardern-s-message-to-covid-19-conspiracy-theorists.html. But then why should she? She's doing what politicians do. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Never let a good crisis go to waste.

                      It's because she doesn't try to squeeze every drop out of them that her handling of them wins her such approval. Maybe she's read her Taleb – there's never a shortage of crisies.

                    • Incognito

                      The PM’s advice was for paranoid fear mongers such as you. There’s no “exploiting” or “planning” other than dealing with the current crisis. Meanwhile the National Party is self-destructing in a mushroom cloud of highly dangerous paranoia. Maybe you should offer your ‘invaluable insights’ to them.

                    • Paddington

                      "It's because she doesn't try to squeeze every drop out of them that her handling of them wins her such approval. "

                      Are you serious? The pained expression. The serious furrowing of the brow. This PM is a master. That's why she has the approval, not becasue she is in any way sincere.

                    • Incognito []

                      Are you serious? A person showing real emotion and empathy must be faking it. She is getting an Emmy for her performance. All polls and approval ratings are based on her acting skills. Yeah, right!

                    • Paddington

                      " The PM’s advice was for paranoid fear mongers such as you. "

                      Paranoid? Fear mongerer? Good grief you are as sensitive as ever.

                      The PM's advice was for votes. She is politiking, and who'd blame her? It's just amazing you are fooled by it. Rather than holding her daily PPB's, I rather she was addressing the reason we're back in lockdown.


                    • Incognito []

                      I urge you to send an e-mail tonight as you have single-handedly solved the case of the community spread and found the source of the ‘index case’. Well done!

                  • Paddington

                    I don't for a moment think the covid resurgence was planned. According to Winnie it was a case of incompetence around the management of quarantine https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12356430.

                    • observer

                      So you do want information from the deputy PM answering media questions, but you do not want information from the PM answering media questions.

                    • greywarshark

                      This is hard to bear.

                    • Incognito

                      You find Winnie a credible source or is this just because it suits you?

                      Your sweeping insinuations, your refusal to back them up with specific information, and the lack of any substantial evidence are exactly the reasons why you and I clashed in the past. You simply keep repeating the same insinuations and attack lines that are not really “attack lines”, just making some comments and just asking some questions but evading questions by other commenters. Yeah, right! You probably smirk more than Gerry does when you write that kind of nonsense.

                      You’re not commenting in good faith. I’m letting you know now this ‘game’ will be a lot shorter than in the past here. I’ve already banned Chris T and you’re still free to comment here but this is you only and last warning. Make it work!

                    • Paddington

                      " but evading questions by other commenters. "

                      The reason we've clashed on the past is because you don't exercise moderation with any kind of finesse. Your banning of ChrisT is a classic example. You're idea of unacceptable is something you don’t agree with or don’t understand. It's quite pathetic.

                      As to "evading questions by other commenters" I challenge you to provide an example. You won't be able to.

                    • Incognito []

                      Compared to Lprent’s, my Moderation is the epitome of patience and finesse 😉

                      However, it is a diversion again (!) because you don’t respond to either way of Moderation here. Nice try, but no cigar for you.

                      FYI, Chris T has been trolling this site for donkey’s years, has had many warnings, and copped a few bans. It was the behaviour why Chris T was banned, but that is something that cannot seem to understand and/or accept. Either way, you’re really not that smart to defend Chris T and criticise Moderation on TS. In fact, the latter is a bannable offence here.

                      Since you asked:





                      None of which has been answered by you. All you seem capable of, or willing to, is giving evasive replies that suck oxygen & energy out and away from the commentariat. Maybe you’re a sophisticate trollbot; you certainly come across like one.

                      BTW, this is your last chance to show that you want to play a part in the TS community although I have a strong suspicion you will blow it in your idiosyncratic way. Still, it’s not over till the Fat Lady sings.

                    • Paddington


                      Your first link…here's my response, with a clear answer

                      Will National politicise the new Covid outbreak? *

                      Your second link…very clearly answered at https://thestandard.org.nz/will-national-politicise-the-new-covid-outbreak/#comment-1740859.

                      Your third link…again a very clear response @ https://thestandard.org.nz/will-national-politicise-the-new-covid-outbreak/#comment-1740818

                      Your fourth link…the one you found difficult to understand, was answered here

                      Will National politicise the new Covid outbreak? *


                      BTW, you’re banning of Chris was for a particular comment that was totally innocuous. It was a petulant response that wrecks open dialogue, not enhances it.

                      [Next? There won’t be a “next” for you for a while. Stubborn slow-learner who refuses to take heed. The Fat Lady has sung, a Requiem, just for you. I’m sure you enjoyed it because you repeatedly asked for it. In the end, I could no longer ignore and refuse your request. God knows I tried. You won’t be wasting anybody’s time here for two months, by which time the Election will hopefully be done & dusted and the new Government sworn in – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 10:42 PM.

                    • observer

                      I stopped engaging with Paddington on this because there is not even an attempt at good faith. I'm happy to debate and disagree, but not waste my time.

                      When asked for evidence that "the PM pretends to be a micro-biologist" I would expect at least a quote, an example, or a link. Something to support the claim.

                      Instead the response was:

                      "Watch tonights ppb again. You'll see the evidence."

                      Might as well say "I got nothing, so go search for the wild goose". It's empty bluster, by somebody found out.

    • Sacha 36.3

      The other bloke is not elected leader of the nation. Though he'd have a great shot if he ever wanted to be 🙂

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