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Won’t someone think of the business owners?

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, October 24th, 2021 - 174 comments
Categories: business, covid-19, Economy, health, Judith Collins, labour, national, vaccines - Tags:

In the Herald yesterday morning Fran O’Sullivan asked why was there no bipartisan approach to Covid.  She had a point.  Labour and National have managed to agree to RMA reforms that will increase intensification and housing supply.  So why not Covid?

After all this is one of the two global catastrophes that our world is facing and with the second one there is room to kick the can down the road for a couple of more years.  The effects are more gradual and do not involve thousands of people dying in the short term.  At least now.

The answer is that National have never shown the slightest interest in being bi partisan.  For as long as the threat has existed they have sought to attack the Government’s and the country’s effort.  It was not enough and too much.  The Government should have shut down harder and let more people in to the country quicker.  Business restrictions should have been looser, there should have been travel bubbles everywhere.  And there should have been lines in the sand and goals.  It seemed that as the pandemic developed National’s lines in the sand changed.

There have been multiple plans and multiple press releases.  A month ago National said that if 75% of the population over the age of 12 were vaccinated then we would no longer need lockdowns.  Three weeks later the figure was 70% to 75%.  A goal for adult vaccinations of 80% to 85% was also mentioned which is absurd given that in terms of first jabs we were already pretty well there.

And something that has not been said publicly, our vaccination campaign is being rolled out very effectively.

New Zealand now ranks in the middle of vaccination rates per head of population in the OECD, ahead of the likes of Germany, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Austria and Greece.  And for the past few weeks our daily vaccination figure has been the highest in the OECD.  In many nations the rate has plateaued but in New Zealand there is still significant growth in numbers.

And we have not had the same levels of deaths or long covid cases that just about every nation has struggled with.

National’s proposal to no longer require lockdowns would result in the deaths of thousands of kiwis.

Te Punaha Matatini modelling released in September 2021 said this:

There are scenarios where, despite a high vaccination coverage, population immunity is not achieved, resulting in a disease mortality burden that is an order of magnitude greater. For example, with 80 per cent vaccine coverage of the population over the age of five and moderate public health measures, the modelling suggests there would be around 60,000 hospitalisations and 7,000 fatalities per year from COVID-19. Such outcomes could be mitigated if more restrictive control measures, akin to current Alert Levels 3 or 4, were utilised.

Nonetheless, the results suggest that a combination of high levels of vaccination within the community, a strong test-trace-isolate-quarantine system (assuming case numbers are kept sufficiently low) and moderate public health measures may be enough to attain population immunity, greatly reducing the need for strong public health measures, such as stay-at-home orders and workplace closures.

The report concludes that the country has to get to a 95% vaccination rate to achieve these goals.  And it highlights why we need to approve the vaccination for and start vaccinating five year olds and older.

National’s focus this week was not however on the potential death rate but on businesses desire to return to normal as soon as possible.  There was a proposal for more money for business which was immediately gazumped by the Government rolling out enhanced business support.

And after the new traffic light system was introduced Judith was reported as being close to tears.  From Newshub:

“I’m really disgusted, actually, that people are being just shoved aside,” Collins told reporters on Friday after the Government’s traffic light framework announcement.

“It’s alright here for us in Wellington because we’re at a level 2 situation. We can get out and about and do our jobs, keep our masks on, and all of that.

“But I’m hearing this morning from people who are looking to or are closing their businesses – everything that they have saved for, worked for, gone.”

Collins held back tears as she reflected on how tough it’s been for some businesses in hospitality and retail that have been unable to operate for months.

“This Government has the cheek to turn up with some cock and bull story called a ‘traffic light system’, and we’ve got the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, standing there with a stop sign before you even get to the traffic lights.

“It’s an utter disgrace. Am I disgusted by it? Yes, I am.”

Unless we get the vaccination rate up things are going to get rough.  But business closures will be the least of our problems.

174 comments on “Won’t someone think of the business owners? ”

  1. Sabine 1

    Yes, business closures are just a problem fro the ones that lose their business and maybe more.

    But hey, businesses, who needs them. Not the ones that work from home, order their food from home, expect it to be delivered to their homes, specially the booze, the take away and their countdown groceries.

    Heck do we need supermarkets? Butchers? Dairies? Bakeries? Dentists? Bookshops? Clothing stores? Hair dressers?

    Nah. We don't.

    We just do it all ourselfs. While at home, on a benefit. Because no one works anymore, other the from home working journalists, lawyers, politicians, and other pontificators.

  2. Reality 2

    Judith Collins has always promoted "business" as being more important than the health and well-being of New Zealanders. And the ability of the health system to cope with hundreds and hundreds of cases each day. Let alone the out of control number of deaths which so far have been kept to a very low number.

    Her "businesses" that she is putting first would be hugely impacted if Delta was rampant.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      A former Queen St Tax lawyer at that….saying those 4 words will get it censored in the Herald comments

  3. Ad 3

    There would be nothing wrong with Minister Robertson putting the challenge directly to business: we have 'intervened' far enough and for long and deep enough into the economy, so now it is time that you how us all that you can organise yourselves. That is the nature of leading a business.

    The private sector should lead itself.

    It is also what we are all charged with leading into 2022.

    • Sabine 3.1

      Ad, it might come as a surprise to you, but businesses especially the really small ones have been doing it since last year first lockdown.

      We re-orgainsed, created social distancing within our workplaces, are vaccinated, have created online platforms to trade, gone no contact to almost no contact, we deliver now, curbside pick up. Etc etc etc. Everything we can to stay afloat, because our businesses are our income.

      The wage subsidy helped the big businesses more then say a small one like mine. As i said last year, you need the business to stay alive in order to actually claim a wage subsidy. Closed businesses will not claim anything.

      Maybe now it is time fro Grant Robertson to put his thinking hat on and come up with a budget to help businesses that is not going to be 'underspend', but will be spend on those that need it.

      In the meantime where is the legal framework from Government to help people wind down businesses that are obsolete due to Covid? ha…..hard work i guess.

      Where is financial help for people to get out of dead businesses without to big a financial loss – i.e. have to buy out a commercial lease to the cost of several tens of thousands of dollars, so that these same people can start something more suited to the times?

      Where is any fucking help from this government to any small business? And last but least, non of these businesses is anymore res-ponsible for covid then you or the next one.

      But here we are, another piece about businesses and their failure to just die silently, in a ditch so as to not upset some Labourites that rather moan about Judith fucking Collins, who has absolutely no influence in what this current marjority Labour government does.

      And show me one business that can be forced into lockdown for 12+ weeks that would not have issues. Maybe they grow and function on planet Labour, but then there is not one person in this current labour party that ever ran a business. One is a communications woowoo, the other is a 'union' woowoo and the rest is equally useless, non of them ever owned, operated and closed down a business.

      But then i guess, these business people should have just had the good mind to actually run for office and become a politician. Heck, you get paid 6 figures and you never need to show for any success at all.

      Money for nothing and Perks for ever….Vote Labour 2023 – cause it beats working!

      • Ad 3.1.1

        It surprises me not at all, but it may well surprise the CEO of the Newmarket Business Association and Business New Zealand.

        Judith Collins appears to be channelling the damage to small businesses that will go bankrupt. I know of several myself.

        The National Party would be more useful if it channelled the stories of resilience and re-invention that are occurring. If channelling pain was the primary purpose of a politician they would advertise 'therapist' on their electorate door.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.2

      yes Business and citizens need to discover a new way. There will be casualties as we work through this. Hopefully vaccination rates will be high enough to prevent 7000 dying of covid each year, and businesses will keep staff and find a way to counter the virus.

      Carping at each other will not help. Business owners and Franchise holders need to work at making their customers feel safe. Customers need to continue supporting local. It appears vaccination masks and social distancing will assist for the foreseeable future.

      IMO when the Health and Science advisors outlined what would happen at 85% level vaxed it was too horrible to contemplate, so 90% was a compromise as 95% would have far fewer deaths but be too difficult to reach quickly. It explains the efforts to vaccinate after opening at 90% to get even higher if possible. Real "horns of the dilemma" situation.

      Vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds before school opens next year would be a much better situation and lead to fewer serious transmissions. Boosters will be needed for some adults to keep immunity levels up.

      Businesses to own the model and practice and use of vax certs, customers the vaccinations and certificates. Government’s role is to make sure it is not abused in any way. (Privacy or Fraud)

  4. garibaldi 4

    In all truth things are going to get rough with or without the problems of covid. Many of the systems we have relied on this century to feed and support our consumerism are collapsing and we still sit here like frogs in a heating pot.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    There seems little point in putting the slipper into Mrs Collins yet again–she said herself “watch the eyebrows”, and now it seems, the tear ducts.

    Regarding members of the NZ petit bourgeoisie however, hopefully this COVID public health emergency may have been educational. “Be your own boss”, “aspirational” vision, “self employed and proud”, “heartland service economy”, SMEs in hock to finance capital in the form of Australian Banks–all amounts to people of not great means taking a punt and believing in the dream–to their detriment now the proverbial has hit the fan.

    While some say we should be letting these people of the hook gently–I have heard too many of them speak with venom of those displaced initially in the 80s and 90s by Roger and Ruth, and their descendants, as filthy bennies and bludgers to let this slide. The middle classes got a higher second tier COVID benefit which even allowed partners to be working–try that on a job seeker allowance!

    So lets have a rebalancing–small business operators do not glow in the dark, or deserve eternal special pleading while working class are largely ignored, they are much like the rest of us (minus the 1%ers) and need to accept it.

  6. AB 6

    Took my teenage son into the local mall today for his second jab. A desolate place even before the pandemic, but far worse now. The Chinese couple who have the Jester's Pies franchise not there and not trading, it was never exactly buzzing at normal times. Ditto the middle eastern family with the kebab shop – they used to work seven days, I recall in the past seeing their school age daughter there after 3pm weekdays doing homework. The cafe trying desperately to turn over a few coffees – the owners looking desperate.

    Collins is a detestable, hard-hearted charlatan. But we have to have sympathy for small business that struggles every day – gouged by landlords and franchisors, trying to get by on slim margins. Many are as much victims of extractive, speculative capital as workers – and in fact more so than the comfortable craft-beer left.

    • mac1 6.1

      Hah! The 'craft beer left' who 1. have a sense of appreciation, 2. and taste, 3. supporting small businesses against the corporate giants, 4. recognising true skill, entrepreneurial adventure and 5. having a sense that what is good can also be different.

      I salute the craft beer left. No longer is the emblem of the left a raised fist but an open hand with a glass foaming at the brim. Cheers!

    • woodart 6.2

      retail was already changing hugely before covid. malls are no longer the goose that lays golden eggs all year round. a combination of outrageous rents and draconian rules have squeezed most small businesses out. only big chains can afford to stay.

    • I Feel Love 6.3

      Malls have been dying for years & when the big chains go leaving those huge empty spaces malls become ghettos. Who else but the big chains can rent out those huge spaces.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Analysis too shallow: democracy requires the opposition to be negative towards the govt, right? By design. Otherwise the opposition would be called the alternative govt, officially. Language matters because humans think in accord with it.

    So when the evidence proves she initiated her collaboration attempt early in the year, her topics of competition were reduced by a major one. So she had to ensure sufficient other topics of concern were available to provide competitive leverage as the system requires.

    • Ad 7.1

      I'm not so sure that Opposition means 'oppositionality'.

      National have already signed up to Labour's NZ climate bill, parts of the RMA reform last week, parts of the Christchurch massacre response, and historically to NZSuper, anti-smacking, and others.

      It's a nationwide crisis, the response to which the government remains hugely popular.

      National should leave pure oppositionality to Act.

      National should keep its powder dry for the economic recovery critique. There will be plenty of scope for that.

      • Good point, Ad.

        In fact, under a Grand Coalition (unlikely with Ms Collins as current Caretaker Leader) between Labour and National, Opposition scrutiny could still be left to ACT (for fiscal matters) and Greens (Social, environment issues).

    • Ed1 7.2

      No, not entirely. In a time of war, there are often coalitions of main parties to recognise that there is a common interest that is so important that normal opposition is an unwanted distraction. A majority of bills in any government term are supported by the Opposition, Issues arising from the pandemic have not been much discussed in broad political terms – I see the wage subsidies as being a special form of unemployment insurance that included all those employed including owner / operators, and both major parties recognise the need for some income to the unemployed, but businesses do not succeed or fail just because of wage costs. Other costs are loan commitments to banks or for trade commitments, for rent, and any contracts for advertising etc. Some may have waste stock or the inability to restock, some will have ongoing electricity and other property related costs. Offsetting that, some will have business continuity insurance which may cover some at least of those costs.

      We have few comparisons of support given to individuals or businesses by other governments, or of support given by banks and lessors – and indeed little knowledge of what is happening generally in New Zealand. There does however appear to be an expectation that Government should have sufficient reserves to provide significant support for a "natural disaster" that is not included in either ACC or EQC – certainly it is expenditure that will not have been allowed for in budgets over the last 20 to 50 years – do personal and company tax rates need to be increased to rebuild reserves? Does EQC need to be expanded?

      Banks and Supermarkets have done very well, and some owners of commercial property will have done well – are we happy to see such high bank dividends flow overseas without significant or consistent participation by them in current business problems?

      Instead we get pleas from Opposition MPS for the government to pay more, and whatever decisions are made, complaints that decisions to pay subsidies should have been made earlier, that the government should have been able to anticipate new knowledge of Covid and the efficacy of vaccines, and that the government should not have borrowed so much to support responses to Covid . . .

      So yes, analysis has often been too shallow, and we have little alternative thoughtful political narrative to compare against government decisions that have been required under considerable pressure for a long time.

  8. Clive Macann 8

    Can someone tell me how businesses a year were closing their doors pre Covid? I believe the number was huge. Are these taken into account when these "Quoted business closures" during our Covid era are put in the limelight?

    Just a thought, that's all.

    • Sabine 8.1

      Businesses close all the time. For what its worth, before Covid i closed my business in Auckland and opened shop in Rotorua later in the same year.

      But i doubt you will find many businesses before Covid that closed shop due to being in a lockdown for 12+ weeks.

      So the businesses that are crying out for help today are in a different situation then those that closed pre 2019. If that difference actually matters.

      • Ed1 8.1.1

        We will also have some businesses that will never re-open – the market for our businesses has changed, possibly permanently. Tourism may never be the same, especially if carbon commitments made by both National and Labour make international flights relatively more expensive in the future. Some new businesses have started – some possibly by people that are getting Covid subsidies from a current employer who is unable to operate – my family ordered some nose clips this morning from a company in the Wairarapa . . . I suspect that many more companies will take out business insurance, but it may be a lot more expensive. Change is hard on some, and good for others – we are very lucky that we have not had the huge personal grief from high numbers of cases and deaths, and we have had a period where domestic demand has been well supported – our health response has been very good, but of longer lasting impact our good economic results should also be celebrated, even while we sympathise with those for whom change is bringing short term losses, and also uncertainty that neither government or opposition can dispel.

  9. Andre 9

    Unless we get the vaccination rate up things are going to get rough.


    So why is this government so timid and feeble about using its powers to lift the vaccination rate?

    $120 million to Maori health providers is a worthy step, but looking at Hokianga Health, I really doubt funding more community outreach and more mobile clinics is actually going to result in a lot of success. Because Hokianga Health is a locally led and controlled health organisation that is apparently highly regarded for its outreach and mobile clinic services for remote communities as their regular mode of operation. Yet the vaccination rate in the areas they serve remains very low, and indeed the vax rates of their own employees is very low. The bulk of the problem appears to lie somewhere other than outreach and mobile clinics.

    The tentativeness of the announcements around vaccine passports will have done very little to change the minds of those that think their decision to refuse vaccination won't ever affect their lifestyle.

    To shift those hesitants, it would need to be made very clear that "no jab, no job" and "no jab, no entry" will be very much the norm across almost all activities and almost all sectors, with only a very very few exceptions only for absolute necessities of life.

    The glib unconvincing reassurances that the healthcare system is up to the massive problem coming at them is also not the best message at this point. It really needs to be made clear that the more unvaccinated we have, the more badly broken and bent out of shape our health system will be, because of the sheer numbers of unvaccinated covid patients.

    That will be entirely because of the unvaccinated. Who should therefore be the first to bear the reduction in care cost that it will impose on all of us.

    • Cricklewood 9.1

      The health system will struggle to cope with double vaxxed cases in the incoming first wave… our most vulnerable that vaxxed early are now those with badly waning immunity.

      The last UK vaccine monitoring report tracks a steady rise in double vaxxed people presenting to hospital.

      Of some concern it also appears that if double vaxxed and then catch Covid you dont produce a full set of antibodies as well.

      This is a long way from over.

      • Andre 9.1.1

        Who are those UK double-vaxxed hospital patients getting it from? Vaxxed or unvaxxed contacts?

        Notably, the UK experience contrasts with the US experience, where fully vaccinated covid patients in hospitals are extremely rare.

        • Cricklewood

          From both, as efficacy wanes the viral load and ability to spread increases.

          It's also likely a fairly large cohort in the UK and USA already had some form of contact with covid prior to the vax which seems to confer better long term immunity whereas our most vulnerable like the rest of us are covid naive outside of the spike protein.

          If boosters dont happen it wont be pretty I suspect.

          • Andre

            That it's still possible for a vaccinated person to catch covid from a breakthrough case, even though it's much much less likely to happen, is not an argument against vaccination or any kind of justification for vaccine refusal.

            Nor is the fact that a significant number of people in the UK and US have derived some immunity from fortunately surviving an infection an argument against vaccination- in fact that's even more reason to get vaccinated here.

            While I have indeed come across a few articles that claim disease-derived immunity is stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine-derived immunity, the strong consensus appears to be that in fact vaccine-derived immunity is generally stronger and longer-lasting.


            Nevertheless, comparing vaccine-derived and disease-derived immunity is kind of a pointless comparison; the entire point of the vaccine is that you get immunity without suffering the full-on horrible experience and risk of long-term disability or even death of the actual disease.

            • Cricklewood

              I haven't said its a reason not to vaccinate, My point is purely that the vaccine efficacy wanes over time and that in of itself will put pressure on our health system. Especially if we are slow with boosters. Given the latest UK surveillance report has @99 out of 100000 over 80 presenting in hospital over a three week period and a clear upward trend in cohorts over 50 years of age it is very likely we will experience similar. Clearly this is still well under rates of hospitalization for unvaxxed people but nonetheless represents a significant number of people and we'll likely be in a red light situation for a number of months.

              Your link is relatively old, try this one from The Lancet published two days ago, its a good read. Quite positive but does note we will likely need an updated vaxx in the short to medium term.

              Its an area of study thats moving quickly.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              That link is to an infographic with zero references.

              Here's actual research…a little academic, but give it a go.wink



              Sorry, I couldn't find an infographic type presentation that seems to be your preferred medium, but here's a chitty chatty piece saying pretty much the same thing as the above papers.


              • Andre

                Rosemary. if you want to get your protection from covid by … getting covid, go right ahead.

                When you do that though, how about trying to do the decent thing and keep it to yourself rather than spreading it around to others that aren't as pro-disease as you are.

                Or is that too much to ask?

                • RedLogix

                  It's not quite as unreasonable a proposition as you make it out to be. For the large majority of people under the age of 60 and in good health, the odds of a bad outcome or hospitalisation are very low.

                  And once you've gotten to around 85% of the population vaxxed the absolute numbers of unvaxxed landing up in hospital starts to become increasingly manageable.

                  Either vaxxed or not, everyone is going to wind up with some degree of immunity in the long run. I'm not sure that dividing us up into mutually hostile camps on the basis of vax status is going to help much.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Either vaxxed or not, everyone is going to wind up with some degree of immunity in the long run.

                    They may only be numbers, but not “everyone“.

                    Unvaccinated seniors account for two-thirds of Covid-19 ICU cases and deaths in past 28 days [23 Oct.]

                    "Tragically, we have seen people delaying vaccinations because they were complacent and thought they would not fall sick only to find themselves not only infected but also in the ICU," he said.

                    Some thought seniors in their household would be safe by staying home, and hence not need the vaccine, he noted.

                    "The facts show otherwise. So, if you are still unvaccinated, I strongly urge you to step forward and get vaccinated now."

                    • RedLogix

                      To keep this in some kind of context – in the period since Jan 2020 roughly 100m people have died – just 4m or so with COVID. And many of them very late in life. Estimating the excess deaths is an even more complex picture.

                      By linking to unhappy stories like the one above you distort the true picture. We knew very early on that this was a disease that mostly impacted the elderly and already ill. There was every reason to focus our efforts on protecting these people – vaccines being one important tool in that effort.

                      But to constantly scare the rest of the population into thinking COVID is somehow the new Black Death steps out of the realm of rational public health measures – and into something else altogether darker in my view.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    By linking to unhappy stories like the one above you distort the true picture.

                    The sobering 'story' (report) linked to may not be a good fit with your worldview (or with our common wish for this pandemic to be ‘over’), but it's factual, unlike your "just 4m or so". Would you rather such ‘stories’ be censored on the grounds that they are (somehow) distorting the ‘true’ picture?

                    Please take some time to reflect on why you chose to round down the current estimate of Covid-19 deaths (4,959,628) to 4m, rather than up to 5m, then reflect on why you chose to refer to these deaths as "just" 4m. As for “And many of them very late in life.” – that’s a bit chilling, imho.

                    But to constantly scare the rest of the population into thinking COVID is somehow the new Black Death steps out of the realm of rational public health measures – and into something else altogether darker in my view.

                    Are you suggesting that, by linking to that recent report on the Covid pandemic in Singapore, I'm attempting to "constantly scare the rest of the population into thinking COVID is somehow the new Black Death"? If so then I believe your venturing into the realms of pandemic fantasy.

                    Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries
                    [updated 20 October 2021]
                    AS COVID-19 has spread around the world, people have become grimly familiar with the death tolls that their governments publish each day. Unfortunately, the total number of fatalities caused by the pandemic may be even higher, for several reasons.

                    There have been 7m-13m excess deaths worldwide during the pandemic [15 May 2021]

                    • RedLogix

                      Having taken an excess fraction of the already elderly and ill, is it unreasonable to suggest excess deaths might go negative after the pandemic is over?

                      I realise this question skates past the sheer misery and grief COVID has brought to the world, but it's worth asking even if no-one can offer a good answer.

                      And I still stand by my view this time last year. At that moment we knew enough to have finished it, but politics got in the way.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Having taken an excess fraction of the already elderly and ill, is it unreasonable to suggest excess deaths might go negative after the pandemic is over?

                    Whenever that will be. Given the magnitude of pandemic excess death, I suppose anything’s possible – is someone (anyone) with a track record of reliable pandemic predictions suggesting it? Maybe time will tell.

                    And I still stand by my view this time last year. At that moment we knew enough to have finished it, but politics got in the way.

                    My opinion of your opinion is similarly unchanged – it was/is unrealistic.

                    Let's agree to disagree about your opinion that 'we' could have finished the pandemic over a year ago, when there were 'only' 6.7 million reported currently active cases and the first approval of a Covid-19 vaccine in the Western world (Pfizer–BioNTech, on 2 Dec. 2020, in the U.K.) was still two months away.

    • Ad 9.2

      The govenrment appears to have outsourced vaccine mandates to retailers: no vaccine proof no entry no business.

      That indirect vaccine mandating provides all pub and retail shops with simply huge social power.

      That provides society+market to sort our vaccination rates for the last 10% by itself.

      • Andre 9.2.1

        That indeed seems to be what is happening. But that's a slow, uncertain and low-visibility process that carries risks for those businesses. It's also a cowardly abdication of government responsibility to outsource it like that.

        • Ad

          You say cowardly, I say smart. It's the minimum-exercise-of-state-power thing.

          Business wanted to open, people wanted retail experience: here's the deal.

          Plus state just gets to monitor it all through the vaccine passports.

          • Andre

            Whether it's smart or not depends on the ratio of potential supporters that get alienated by stronger pro-vaccination actions versus potential supporters alienated by being kept in lockdown longer due to the timidity shown towards vaccine refusers.

            I'm very firmly in the latter category.

        • Tricledrown

          Andre its business that has been asking for this the general public wanted eradication.

          Business is abdicating its personal responsibility which it always bangs on about.

          If we had held out opening borders bubbles etc we could have all been vaccinated and ready for the onset of opening borders to vaccinated people.

    • mickysavage 9.3

      If you think about the numbers of Maori that need to be vaccinated, (possibly about 200,000) the $120 million is about $600 a head. That should be enough to overcome logistical problems in getting the job done. But IMHO it is money well spent and local providers such as Te Whanau o Waipareira should be used.

      • higherstandard 9.3.1

        Older Maori have a very good vaccination rate.

        What is it that worked with older Maori, or what is it about older Maori, that caused them to be vaccinated at a similar or higher rate to the general population that is prohibiting similar vaccination rates in the younger Maori population.

        • Patricia Bremner

          The Kaumatua have stories and graves from the 1918 'flu. epidemic

          • barry

            and more of them remember the polio epidemic of the 1950s, that left maaori children crippled or in iron lungs. Some still feel the effects today (long polio is real).

            • Patricia Bremner

              Yes Barry. I had Polio in 1947 at age 6. At age 21 I had the oral vaccine as I had not had all types of Polio. I think that saved me from Long Polio….or Post Polio Syndrome, constant tiredness growing weakness and general poor immunity, as two friends had and later died. One aged 43 and one at 59. There were serious outbreaks in 1950 and 1956 when June Opie caught Polio as an adult and was kept alive in an iron lung breathing machine. Her book “Over My Dead Body” became a best seller.

              I am 80 next month, so feel blessed. The friend who died early was a Maori victim from Benneydale in the King Country. A village of 300 had 26 cases of polio in children aged 2 years to 14 years of age.

              The schools were closed for the term (3 terms a year then). We ended up in Waikato crippled children's Hospital. Some parents accepted calipers for their child, and patients went home at about 9 to 10 weeks.

              Some parents (my Father) opted for the controversial Sister Kenny treatment of hot packs and exercises and stretches. About 6 months later I walked out of the hospital unaided, with a limp which gradually lessened over the next two years. I was an out patient for 10 years. I was fortunate to see Sister Kenny museum in Nobby . There were all the photos of the hospital laundry mangles and all the children in various stages of their treatment. I wrote in the book about her supporters in our family.

              Some virus attacks on the body leave long term damage, or the propensity for later illness. Which reminds me.. I am due for my shingles vax, as I have had shingles, an illness related to Chicken pocks in childhood.

          • Andre

            I find it surprising that kaumatua haven't been more influential in raising the vaccination rates among rangatahi. In most aspects of maori culture, respect for the elderly and their wisdom really seems to be a thing, as far as I can tell.

            • Robert Guyton

              Maori (and other First Peoples) were severely affected by novel disease from over the sea and were greatly reduced in number. Why, oh why, are the influencers not reminding people of what went before? The counter to all that is…vaxx up!

            • Patricia Bremner

              I believe some DHB had not formed relationships to set that up. They held onto the necessary funding until they were directed to pass it to the people by Minister Henare during his checks in Taranaki and Tairawhiti. The numbers are now improving.

        • joe90

          that is prohibiting similar vaccination rates

          Social media as their source of everything.

      • Andre 9.3.2

        Considering the effect on our medical system and the cost to treat covid patients, even if that $120 million only gets 20,000 people jabbed at $6000 apiece, it will still be money well spent.

        It's just that what I know of how at least one well-regarded Maori health provider operates and they obstacles they're up against, I have my doubts that that $120 million will in fact make much of a dent in that 200,000 unvaxed number. But I'd be very happy to be proven wrong.

    • Gypsy 9.4

      "So why is this government so timid and feeble about using its powers to lift the vaccination rate?"

      I'm going to make it worse for you. I have this morning seen the framework for the 'mandate' regarding healthcare and education workers. The ‘mandate’ is now little more than a firm encouragement. The actual exemption process could accomodate a large truck.

  10. mac1 10

    Some stats. 45,000 businesses start up annually in New Zealand. Some 45000 businesses close annually. How do we tell which are Lockdown related?

    Here's another graph. It looks like 50% of businesses are closed after 10 years.


    There is a normal cycle of business. How much actual research has been done into business difficulty and failure? If so, which sectors prosper and which are difficult? How much is Lockdown related?

    I can't get a car port built for months. A painting job was the same.

    Some businesses also have their time. My father owned a corner grocery. The supermarkets killed his business in the Sixties. (It's now a Real Estate business.) No one wept for the demise of the corner grocer who was local and accessible on foot.

    Country stores have gone, pubs closed, communities decimated by rural change.

    In town, the milk bars have gone, the local butcher, fish shop, drapery, newsagent. Where I live now, in the Seventies there were 14 bookstores and newsagents- now there have been three for a decade. Four supermarkets rule with the highest prices of any small town, as are our petrol prices. Distribution costs, loss of food industries like abattoirs, all are factors.

    The new and burgeoning industries of dairy and wine require cheap labour and their products are not sold at local prices.

    Even during the Thirties Depression, in NZ one third of people were impoverished, one third maintained their status and one third prospered.

    What does this all mean? Society is in change, accelerating and uncertain. How much is Covid related.

    How do governments respond?

    • Ad 10.1

      Need they do more?

      Headline unemployment at 5% still, balance of payments looking great, exports still strong, wasteful travel and retail down, horticulture still desperate for workers, minimum wage up, $15b spent on wage subsidies, hundreds of millions spent on sectoral support.

      Plus our most wasteful sectors of cheap tourism, cheap foreign students, and cheap seasonal workers have been choked down to a minimum for years to come.

      There are a lot of upsides to this economic carnage: what are the policy interests in trying to reverse that?

  11. Tricledrown 11

    Damien Grants opinion piece on stuff today blaming the printing of money for all the problems in the economy . He completely ignores supply problems as if they don't exist.

    Once a conman always a conman. Member of the Dirty Politic's taxpayers Union .Alah ACT party propaganda arm.

  12. Adrian 12

    There is a good argument for the fact that Covid payments may have kept more businesses in business for longer than they would have survived in normal times.

  13. Adrian 13

    I’m not surprised that the failure figure quoted by Mac is as high as 10, 000 normaly

  14. chris T 14

    I think anyone who has read media over the past 12 months would see both the Nats and ACT making suggestions and wanting to work with the govt with Covid.

    It seems to be more a case of Ardern's ego and not wanting to lose the heroine on white horse status thing.

    Which is odd, given it has gone a bit tits up with that method.

    • KJT 14.1

      Is this satire or stand up comedy?

      • chris T 14.1.1


        If you missed them saying they wanted to work with the government re covid and her ignoring it, that is your issue.

        Sure. She disagrees with their ideas so far. all fine.. This doesn't mean she isn't refusing to work in a bi-partisan relationship.

        • KJT

          Pretty hard to work with someone who is intent on sabotage. And can't make their tiny minds up about what to do.

          Or intent on trying to take credit for things that were already happening, or were inevitable.

          National has had more U turns on covid, than a trawler chasing a school.

          If National ever looked like a Government in waiting they have blown any credibility they had.
          Even the twit Seymour shines in comparison.

          Thank our lucky stars that they had so little to do with our response so far.

          • chris T

            "National has had more U turns" on covid, than a trawler chasing a school."

            I understand how you would ignore it as an ever changing situation and you are obviously understandibly biased. But so has the govt

            • KJT

              Funny. I'm not even a Labour supporter. I give credit where it is due.

              National have ignored reality and science as well as the lessons from overseas throughout. Coming up with both inconsistant and dubious "solutions" the whole way through.

              It would have been better if they had been an intelligent opposition and addressed some of the real issues, such as the MIQ lottery. Not that they would have done any better, prioritising cheap labour and wealthy bludgers over workers who need to travel. And opening up “bubbles” in all directions.

              • chris T

                TBF you can't really blame them. Apart from maybe Mitchell, and Reti as viable leader options they are running with the stand in leader trying not to leak as many voters as possible.

                It is kind of funny.

                It is like a re-run of watching Labour before they fluked Ardern.

                All we need is Collins apologising for being a female on National TV and then Bishop to temporarily take over and wave a fish around in parliament

            • observer

              Hansard from last Wednesday …

              Hon Judith Collins: Is she saying, then, that she agrees with the National Party that we need to have a date of 1 December by which her Government needs to complete the vaccination programme that they promised to do this year?

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: It would be difficult for me to know exactly what I would be agreeing with when, on 17 August, Dr Shane Reti said that they may need to go to 85, 90, or 95 percent; on 23 August, the Leader of the Opposition said a target of 70 to 75 percent; on 18 September, Chris Bishop said the first target should be 70 to 75 percent; and, actually, all on the same day of the 19th, Shane Reti said 90 to 95, Judith Collins said that they'd give a date by the end of November, and Chris Bishop said 85 to 90. So I'm not sure what I would be agreeing with.

              Hon Judith Collins: Well, if she's going to make up numbers like that, as she just did, perhaps she could answer—

              SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Leader of the Opposition knows what she said was out of order, and therefore she will withdraw and apologise.

              Hon Judith Collins: Yes, I withdraw and apologise. Thank you.

              • alwyn

                The fact that Trevor ordered Judith to withdraw and apologise doesn't mean that what Collins said was wrong, It just means that you aren't allowed to imply that someone is making things up. Reality has little to do with the rules of the House.

      • garibaldi 14.1.2

        C'mon chris T , to work with Judith you have to shut the fuck up, or be as vile and underhand as Cameron Slater. Take your pick. To work with Seymour you would have to be a true believer in the infallibility of the market place ie a plonker.

        • chris T

          You might be right. This doesn't make the opposition refuse to work with government a valid claim. It just means again Ardern refuses Collins help because she doesn't trust her.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 14.2

      It seems to be more a case of Ardern's ego and not wanting to lose the heroine on white horse status thing.

      Thanks for letting us know how things seem to you. Perhaps you could provide a link demonstrating how the National party leadership has been reaching out to government in the spirit of 'Covid collaboration', and how the government has rebuffed National's advances – just to help understand your unusual PoV.

      "Cocking up", "screwed up", "stuffed up", and now "tits up" – it's almost as if chris T would prefer someone else as NZ PM – I wonder who?

      • chris T 14.2.1

        I don't have to.

        I just have to point out that the Nats and Act had to drag Arderns arse back into sitting parliament actually at parliament to work together because Ardern was trying to ride solo and have the odd zoom meeting.

        This fact is public knowledge.

        • observer

          At level 3. Then Wellington moved to Level 2, when the House could sit again. So the only issue was whether Collins could wait a few days.

          It came back to bite her. For the Vaxathon Ardern was out and about because she had stayed at Level 2 regions throughout, but Collins was self-isolating at home in Auckland and missed it. That cost her far more media coverage than her silly stunt ever gained.

          • chris T

            Read my link below. Both Ardern, Mallard and Hipkins had to have their arses dragged in, as they didn't want to have to properly collaborate

            • observer

              Again … level 3. Then level 2.

              Not waiting achieved … nothing. For the opposition.

              • chris T

                As you seem to not be able to read links. Levels were irrelevant



                Ardern said she was disappointed that option had been rejected by the Opposition.

                “We were absolutely willing to make ourselves available for the scrutiny that yes we need to provide,” Ardern said.

                “We're asking the public to do things differently, and I think that Parliament needs to do things differently too. You will have seen the proposal – I think it met the needs of accountability and scrutiny but in an online platform that means we don’t put staff at risk and those involved in the convening of Parliament.

                However, she was not willing to once-again ask the Speaker to suspend the House without agreement from other parties.

                “ So I will participate, despite the fact that I totally disagree with the position they have taken.”

                • observer

                  I can read links, but I can't make the facts any clearer.

                  Wellington was at level 3. It then shifted to Level 2 for reasons that had nothing to do with Collins, Seymour, the Speaker, etc. It was the same level shift as anywhere else.

                  MPs only had to wait a few days for that shift to happen. Parliament is sitting at Level 2 as it was always going to.

                  • chris T

                    I'm sorry but I think you can't read.

                    One more time. Ardern was still having to be dragged in


                    " So I will participate, despite the fact that I totally disagree with the position they have taken.”

                    Edit: BTW she was moaning about being dragged back into parliament as she said it was to dangerouse, while doing 1pm pressers with no mask and about 20 reporters 4 feet from her

                    • observer

                      Either you believe Collins & co made Wellington move to Level 2, or you don't.

                      I'm pretty sure you don't, so again … the House sits at Level 2. Collins gained 3 extra sitting days, made no difference to accountability, and the resulting media coverage was a disaster – for her.

                  • chris T

                    Don't have to.

                    I have Ardern's own words saying she didn't want to, but in her words they made her.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      It's a mystery to me, chris T, (Messiah complex much!) why you are tolerated here; perhaps you're being employed as some sort of inoculant, to keep us lively. Getting a bit silly though, you are 🙂

      • chris T 14.2.3

        "Cocking up", "screwed up", "stuffed up", and now "tits up" – it's almost as if chris T would prefer someone else as NZ PM – I wonder who?"

        If I had to make a choice atm, given the businesses dying, probably Key tbh.

        • KJT

          Compare the businesses "going tits up" in the UK due to runaway covid, to NZ, where the economy, employment and business overall is doing reasonably well, despite the doom from tourism and the like who would have been equally if not more "tits up" without our 18 months at level one.

          • chris T

            " and business overall is doing reasonably well"

            The weird bit is both you and Labour actually believe this.

            Which isn't actually funny.

            • KJT

              Observation and statistics.
              Reality, not Bridges bullshit about “20% of businesses failing due to the Government”

              I have rather a lot of small business owners in my circle BTW.

              Look up the graph of bankruptcies and business failures by year.

        • KJT

          Key was a pragmatist not an idealog.

          First Government to raise welfare for some time, even if not by much.

          I doubt he would have done things much differently from Adern.

          Though his party may have pushed him into full Boris.

          • chris T

            Doubt he would have done things much different either.

            Would just prefer his business savvy and understanding of what businesses are going through.

            • KJT

              I doubt if Key, as a corporate stooge who made his money playing games that should be illegal, with currencies, has any deep empathy or understanding of, entrepreneurship or small business.

              You would actually gain more "on the ground" understanding of that, in a chippy.

              • chris T

                This is a common thing I used to hear when he was around.

                Even the most billigerent anti Key people can't be dim enough to not realise he didn't get to where he got to from a state house without a shitload of business savvy, communication skills and empathy.

                Not sure where you get illegal from. Dude had left when shit went down.

                • KJT

                  Oh. It was all "legal".

                  Doesn't mean it was "moral".

                  Having done both, twice, I can tell you the skills to make a small business work, are not the same as those required to rise in a large corporate.

                  And. He got up from a State house, just like the rest of us from a low income background at the time, who have “done well”, because of NZ “Socialism”.
                  A good education and State support. Thanks to the trade Unions and the post war Labour party.

                • RedLogix

                  If you cared to dig around in the archives of The Standard back in the early days we discussed this possibility at some length. In particular we had a contributor who put some time and effort into getting to the raw sources.

                  For myself I came across sufficient first-hand information to convince me that Key had fudged his CV to make create sufficient ambiguity about exactly where he was and what he was doing during a crucial period in the 80's.

                  My memory isn't serving me well on the details at the moment, but I came to the firm conclusion as a young merchant banker he got led into some reprehensible behaviour that should have seen the light of day. It's far too late now to relitigate it all – and to be fair it may well have been a close scare he learned from.

                  But pretending nothing happened doesn't serve the truth either.

                • mac1

                  How's this for empathy? Google 'John Key smiling assassin'. You get this.

                  "Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001."

                  John Key – Wikipedia

                  https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki

                  • chris T

                    The dude has not been PM for about 5 years ffs.

                    Get over him

                    Edit: That was harsh. Someone asked who I would prefer running the show. I said Key. Not your fault. Mine.

                    I think from a purely personal point of view he would have done it better.

                    Hand up. Could be totally wrong. Just my opinion.

                    Just think it is a substance over Arderns PR thing

                    • mac1

                      Answer the point. Demonstrate some evidence that the hair-pulling smiling assassin has demonstrated the quality of empathy to the extent you allege.

                      Btw, when you edit, it is possible to remove the offending words……….

                      Now you allege he has substance? John Key, the man who could not remember at the age of 20 what his position was on the subject of the 1981 Springbok Tour?

                      The man of substance who when challenged with facts said, "And like lawyers I can provide you another one but I’ll give you a counter view."

                  • chris T

                    Though admit she handled the nutty prick in Ch Ch well

                    • chris T

                      There is no reply option on your post.

                      So will just have to do it this way.

                      I just answered which leader I would prefer at this time man. Not at any time. But if you actually want me to.

                      " Demonstrate some evidence that the hair-pulling smiling assassin has demonstrated the quality of empathy to the extent you allege."

                      Upped the minimum wage every year.


                      Now you allege he has substance? John Key, the man who could not remember at the age of 20 what his position was on the subject of the 1981 Springbok Tour?

                      Who f'ing cares? He is a twat personal investment wise and is a business dude, but would be better running it atm

                      Have no idea what the last paragraph is going on about

                    • chris T

                      You are actually going on about Key and the Springbok tour and the mass split and them and us attitude while we are about to hit a vaxxed and un vaxxed, Clean and un clean one.

                      It would be funny if it wasn't so wrong

                    • mac1

                      "The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety is required by law to review the minimum wages annually, to take effect 1 April each year." This from- https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/employment-and-skills/employment-legislation-reviews/minimum-wage-reviews/

                      Thw PM, n your case John Key, has some discretion, but it's pretty well mandated. so not a good example of Key's empathy to cite his following a practice from 1987 onwards.

                      The quote about Key's 'another view' can be used to discover the whole issue by google searching the exact quote as given. It was a classic example of dodging an issue when presented by facts proffered from a reliable source.

                    • mac1

                      A 'man of substance' should be able to remember whether he did or did not support the 1981 Tour. He was after all at Varsity at the time. Key chose to not remember as he would have potentially alienated a sizeable proportion of the older population whichever way he believed at the time. What he believed then to me was not so important. That he could not, or chose not to, remember was, however, very revealing.

                    • chris T


                      All cool.

                      I think we will never agree on this. I just don't give a shit whether at a certain time in someones life they agreed or disagreed with the Springbok tour.

                      It was 40 years ago.

                      If someone said they agreed atm and now don't after 40 years are they still scum?

                      II keep hearing it on talkback. I was a glint in the milkmans eye, but even I can see there is some shit you should get over.

                      Maybe some people have changed there views since supporting it isnce then?

                      Is that ok? Do they lose arsehole status?

                      Maybe Key is one. I have no idea. Is he not counted?

                      The whole thing is getting old except who had to deal with it. And she wasn’t really NZ. It was people there facing aprtheid

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      When Key said that he didn't have a strong view on the tour, and felt somewhat ambivalent about it, that was fine.

                      But when honest John said “I can’t even remember.” – yeah nah.

                      Not one of his most ‘right honourable’ moments, imho.

                  • chris T

                    Just said I would prefer him as PM atm dude. The whole question was a stupid hypothetical.

                    He ain't and wont be,

                    Don't get the fixation.

                    But all cool

                    Edit: I probably put that badly.
                    I was asked her you would rather have as PM atm

                    I said Key due to his business nous.

                    I am totally aware of his faults, This wan’t the question, And just personally think it would be better ATM than Ardern (Would make a Maria von Trapp joke here but would be suspended)

                    And Ardern in another 3 years or so once business grew again.

                    It is purely personal opinion and I don’t really care of peoples personalities if they can run the whole country

                  • chris T

                    Fair enough.

                    And I do agree his answer was a cop out.

                    And actually an interesting lax in coming up with a decent answer, given his track record.

                    Glad I wasn't around tbf

    • Tricledrown 14.3

      For Christ's sake what planet have you been on Chris t.National have been saying the govts been wrong at everything it's done.

      It reflects in the polls people now have access to news on tap around the World many families have other family overseas

      National on 20%.

      The ongoing disaster that happened in the UK with the Conservatives the UK equivalent of National is on view for all to see.

      National and its fanboys hosking/herald club have pushed that approach here at every opportunity

    • Patricia Bremner 14.4

      Are you forgetting Woodhouse leaks and his mythical homeless man ? etc.. they really truly wanted to work with the Government… though… they got very busy changing leaders and writing books.

      In the last 3 months. "Ardern should get off the podium/ on the podium.. where is she hiding?/Open the borders/close the borders/ .. She is a tyrant/ now she is full of ego and riding in on a white horse.

      • chris T 14.4.1

        She isn't hiding

        As usual she is trying to get as much media attention as possible.

        She just had to be dragged back to fronting in parliament.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          When was the PM "dragged back to fronting in parliament" chris T? Your comments over the last few days have been more fact-free than usual (if that's possible) – wonder why. Good for a giggle though – please keep up your flood of claptrap.

          From the link you provided @14.2.2:

          The idea that they are being forced to sit is quite incorrect. Nobody is forcing them to do anything,” Woodhouse said.

          On the one hand chris T says our PM “had to be dragged back to fronting in parliament“, and on the other hand Nat MP Woodhouse says “Nobody is forcing them to do anything“.

          Who to believe.

          • chris T

            "When was the PM "dragged back to fronting in parliament" chris T? Your comments over the last few days have been more fact-free than usual (if that's possible) "

            Fair play Lol

            I admit I might have been guilding the lilly a bit, but you have to admit she was pushing the Zoom thing.

            At the end of the day she chose to go back and we get boring questions no one watches again, so all good. And good on her.

            Fronted up and all that.

            Should probably admit I watch the boring questions.

  15. Drowsy M. Kram 15

    Good to see another day where new cases of Covid in the community have been kept under 100 (80 today), and no new deaths.

    The comparatively high vaccination rates in the Auckland region will be helping. Sincere thanks to Aucklanders for this. If you know anyone who isn't vaccinated maybe ask them why, and try to be (as) kind (as possible!)

  16. observer 16

    Open up … lock down … open up … lock down …

    National's confusion continues:

    Shane Reti talks about Northland, and Level 3 (TV1 Q & A):

    “What I’m hearing from everyone in the community, certainly from iwi and certainly from business representatives as well and in general discussions, they’re enthusiastic to actually move up a level and keep ourselves safe until we know what the testing environment shows us.”

    But unlike Judith, he's dealing with the reality on the ground. Very different from spouting slogans and expecting the virus to listen.

    • KJT 16.1

      Reti, from what I hear, was a decent Doctor.

      What he is doing in National i'm not sure?

      • Tricledrown 16.1.1

        Wealth and Morality maybe he is a Calvinist.

        But he has more Mana than the rest of National put together he doesn’t do petty like crushed Collins

  17. georgecom 17

    Will Collins still be around to serve in a David Seymour lead coalition Government? Act will need the support of the smaller parties but I doubt Collins will be leader of one of them and in line for the Deputy PM job.

    • mac1 17.1

      You have to allow for a 24 year difference in ages, georgecom, between Collins and Seymour. so you're probably right. In three years time Judith will be receiving Superannuation. If Seymour were to be Leader of the Opposition, let alone of the government, at Judith's age, it would be at least 2045 and she'd be 86 and I'd be 96 not out, batting for a ton….

      • georgecom 17.1.1

        I was factoring in the average swing of 9 years, 'time to let the other side have a go' scenario. So another 4-5 years the opposition is probably due a turn. I assume Seymour will still be opposition leader, hence my question which smaller party leaders will be around to give him support. The leader of the National Party might covet the deputy PM job, pretty sure Collins won't be in a position to ask for that position. Might be that guy from Botany.

        I laughed when I heard Collins comment that 'some business won't survive this government', pretty much like the acting National Party leader huh.

  18. In another forum I have just had a rather torrid exchange with a fellow poster who believes that the traffic light system is unfair to businesses such as those in the hospo business because of the requirements to have vaccinated people on staff.

    She instances a hospo business in Auckland where the owner/chef is not vaccinated and 3 of the 5 staff are not. This is apparently means the traffic light system is 'not fair'.

    My take on it was that if I had a business I would rather be able to trade through all levels (including not having to trade in a contactless way in lvl 3) than have the stop start level 1-4 system. I sense I must be missing something.

    Well, I know I am, and it is all about this anti vax paranoia that seem to have gripped parts of the country.

    This is someone who is for the new system.


    And Liz Gunn, the former TV presenter has just issued two turgid and overwrought vids about the 'rape' of NZers by the vaccine. Both are here.



    Quite apart from the equating of a voluntary vaccine with an unvoluntary action of rape which offends this old womens' lib person, she is asking for people to rise up and the MB concerned has become full of people writing that I would class as low level insurrectionist.

    The group has been mass emailing the PM about the poor unvaccinated.

    I gather there is a possibility that court action will follow to over turn the vaccine passport idea.

    Have others heard of this group? I understand Peter Williams is to be asked to be the front person and there will be the usual anti vaxxers taking part, some with deep pockets.

    In the meantime here is draft legislation setting up the vaccination register.

    Phew I’m exhausted dealing with the level of paranoia and nuttery makes me feel a bit as though it has affected me as well…hence coming here to an oasis of sense.

    Aha a reveal of ‘our situation’ from the main protagonist


    • observer 18.1

      I first heard of the group yesterday.

      When you look at the names it's clear this really is the far, far fringe. Too wacky even for ACT. More like the worst of USA Republicans.

      Their support will be negligible, less than 1%.

    • chris T 18.2

      TBF you could just not go on forums where people are comparing a needle with rape.

      Kind of know a couple of girls who have been literally raped and it is kind doing them a diservice.

      • Shanreagh 18.2.1

        Yes I know Chris but it was totally unexpected when I set out to watch it. I was totally outraged myself about the needle analogy and the false coercion analogy, I had not expected this from a woman presenter actually.

        The board there has been getting more and more paranoia from a couple of posters. One has been turned from a vaccine hesitant to a hostile anti vaxxer in the space of a couple of months. With the arrival of Liz Gunn's vid last night it has turned full on weird.

        • observer

          It's not something anyone can rationally engage with, so I'd suggest it's best ignored, for our own health at least.

          "Ardern is terrible" is politics, can be debated. But "Ardern causes earthquakes and does rapes" is not politics, it's somebody having a public breakdown. Very sad, but nothing we can do about that.

          (Edit: I see the Herald is running the story now. I wish they wouldn’t.)

          • Shanreagh

            Thanks observer 'Breakdown' & 'fragile' are things I mentioned and was howled down…'she is passionate and upset'. It upset me to see any person fragmenting and I am sad/glad in a way I was not the only one to notice this.

            To me the stance is not worth it if it is detrimental to our health. I hope someone is able to convince her to step back.

    • chris T 18.3

      BTW Feel free to let me know what this forum is. I would like to talk to them.

    • mickysavage 18.4

      Wow she has really sipped the cool aid.

      She is just pissed that she cannot travel overseas in the forseeable future.

    • chris T 18.5

      Still waiting for the old link to this forum here bud.

    • dv 18.7

      Geez Bizarre

      Liz Gunn in the same article said

      Former Breakfast, Good Morning and RNZ presenter Liz Gunn made an emotional claim, saying Friday's earthquake that hit the central North Island was Mother Nature's response to Ardern's announcement about new vaccination targets, passports and the traffic light system.

    • mac1 18.8

      There's an angle on this story which points to a large failing in the human psyche. That is people's fascination with, and credence in, famous people. Seemingly, if a famous person pronounces on some issue it is given more credibility, ipso facto.

      In this case, two presenters, Gunn and Williams. Maybe a good name for men's apparel, but why should I listen to people pronouncing outside of their expertise when they criticise views from people who do have that expertise.

      Is it a 'fandemic'?

  19. chris T 19

    In fact I would almost call it a disgusting icomparison

  20. tsmithfield 21

    I do wonder if history will show that the cure has been worse than the disease with respect to Covid.

    Many small business owners are under incredible stress. Often they have their houses mortgaged to support their businesses. Hence, it is likely many will lose their houses through no fault of their own.

    I do wonder about the suicide rate due to this and the general stresses people are under due to lockdowns.

    Also, the significant number of medical procedures and tests that have been delayed due to the Covid situation.

    81000 medical tests and procedures have been delayed due to the Covid situation.


    This situation seems very strange and almost criminally neglectful to me given we have had long periods without covid patients in the health system and even now is not an issue for most of the country.

    But I do wonder how many unnecessary deaths there will be due to missed cancer diagnoses etc.

    Also, the fact that our immunity to other common diseases has probably dropped due to our lack of exposure to these due to covid restrictions. There could be a much worse effect when these things come back in.

    • observer 21.1

      But your framing is a popular fallacy. It's really "what if there was no pandemic?" which obviously we all wish was true. The real comparison should be "what if NZ had let far more people die from Covid, with fewer restrictions?". Would the other problems you raise be reduced as a trade-off?

      The international evidence shows we don't have to wonder … we can see what has happened and is still happening in countries where they accepted thousands of Covid deaths. There is no benefit in the trade-off.

      Cancer treatment in the UK, for example

      Covid overwhelms. The separate question is why we let our health service run down over many years. That happened long before the pandemic.

      • chris T 21.1.1

        With all due respect you are twisting their words.

        It is simple fact that a lot of small businesses have stuff like their houses riding on their debt and they are currently losing them.

        It is also simple fact a lot of people working for said businesses will probably end up sacked as the business owner drains the last of their money. As they lose their houses.

        It is also simple fact that it will be interesting, but ugly to see whether we lose more from suicide from this, Covid, or delayed heart op's and cancer treatments over the whole thing.

        Because currently covid is looking lower

        • observer

          The suicide question first gained traction last year. It was a classic case of "seems like it could be true", based on assumptions, not data.

          But the evidence says otherwise.

          • tsmithfield

            Often these sorts of effects are very long term. We found that in Canterbury after the earthquakes where people are still being impacted in their mental health long after the event.


            So, even if your point is correct at the moment, it doesn't mean it will stay that way over time.

            • observer

              That's correct, we don't know yet. We can't.

              We can only choose to make assumptions (see countless op-eds over the past 18 months), or wait for the facts.

              Social media has been full of people saying "what about the suicide rate?", and pushing reckons as facts. They are wrong.

              As a reminder, false rumours about suicide have been online throughout the pandemic. This was early on –


              As always, facts take longer, which is why reckons get there first. They have no merit.

              • tsmithfield

                I disagree. We may not have long-term data on the Covid situation. But there is plenty out there on the long-term effect of traumatic events as I pointed out above.

              • mauī

                In this case the reckons are reasonable and logical and deserve to be tested fully. On the facts side there's a scarcity and they don't all line up,

                "The researchers looked at rates of hospital treatment for parasuicide (attempted suicide) using hospital diagnoses for children aged 10–14 years from the Ministry of Health, and found a “clear upward trend in the latter half of 2020 from a stable baseline” of about 40 children per month to a peak of 90 cases. Rates have remained high, but have subsequently declined, but not back to baseline."


                • observer

                  So you've cherry-picked a small age range from a press release by Family First, citing Simon "let's be Sweden" Thornley.

                  Whereas my earlier links cite the findings for the entire population, the Chief Coroner and the Suicide Prevention Office. A reliable, objective and all-encompassing source.

                  If we want "facts", we need to do better than Googling for predictable propagandists.

          • chris T

            I was almost stupid enough to answer this post with a different reply.

            But stopped.

            Look at the dates.

            Does anything stand out to you?

      • tsmithfield 21.1.2

        But there effectively was no pandemic in NZ for a very long time. Yet this situation with the health system has arisen.

        I agree that the situation with Covid would have been much more damaging in the short term. But like other pandemics, would probably have settled down after a couple of years. So, I agree that the situation was very difficult for politicians to navigate, and that they probably had no option but to take the path they did as there would have havoc for a few years.

        But in the long term, I wonder if the situation we have will prove to be more damaging in total if the numbers could be properly counted compared to the amount of damage if the virus was to be left to run unchecked.

        • McFlock

          Thing is, any problem caused by lockdowns seems to have also been caused by disease running rampant in the streets.

          Health services interrupted? Definitely.

          Business and economic harm? Definitely.

          Stress and depression caused by staying indoors and the deaths of loved ones? Definitely.

          The big problem is that we just don't get how bad it can be. Colleague asked an Indian colleague how things were going back home. The dude had lost 20 relatives to covid. In a year. Puts it into perspective.

  21. chris T 22

    There is something really annoying me now.

    And I don't even live in Auckland at their lockdown level.

    I have tried to see the uber Standards pro govts no matter what point of view. I have taken into consideration we didn't seem that urgent at the time. but

    I am sorry. If the govt had got the vaccine out quicker (which they could have). We would have opened up earlier, be doing the stupid lights system earlier and less businesses currently dying would not be dying.

    This is just obvious to me.

    But then maybe I am just an idiot. And twisting things.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 22.1

      But then maybe I am just an idiot. And twisting things.

      Reclon you're not twisting things wink

    • observer 22.2

      To take your question in good faith … it's an interesting counterfactual to imagine what our vax rates would be now if Delta had not arrived, and we were still at zero cases.

      Obviously we can't prove any counterfactual, but sadly we have seen clear evidence for 18 months that many people don't respond until they have to. See the attitudes towards scanning, masks etc. "It's not here, no need".

      So while the government could/should have pushed vaccination more, it's hard to believe the public would have responded in the way they have now, in an emergency. Absent Delta, our vax rates would be much lower.

      Could the gov't have forced more people to get the jab? Yes, but in a land without Covid, the response would be sadly predictable. For months Ardern was accused of using fear of something that wasn't here … and now it is.

      People don't respond to what will happen or what is happening elsewhere. We've learned that about ourselves, alas.

      • chris T 22.2.1

        I doactually see your point here

        "So while the government could/should have pushed vaccination more, it's hard to believe the public would have responded in the way they have now"

        But I also think there was a prolonged delay to getting the vaccine that meant we got it later then we could have.

        Don't get me wrong. Other countries may have needed it more urgently, which would have been perfectly understandable. Just prefer people just telling us.

        For all her streangths, for which there are many, Ardern will always be in my head the govt saying they are the most open and transparent, while being the least open and transparent in NZ's history

  22. Tricledrown 23

    Never happy Christ had we gone down Nationals prescription of opening bubbles following other countries let it rip. You may not be here.

    And as Pfizer said we couldn't have got the amount of vaccine to do it any earlier. Chris T John Key claimed we could have got the Vaccines earlier that lie backfired big time.

    We still have had only 2 deaths in this outbreak compared to any other jurisdiction we are doing better than any other country.

    Chris T you obviously have never had to face this level of hardship.My parents lived through the great depression in Ireland one of the worst effected countries lucky to get 1 meagre meal in a day.Then lived in London for half the War with bombs and doodle bugs raining down scurrilous landlords profiteering out of the war with the shortage of housing.

    None of our generation has had to put up with anything like that.Some people are just fixated on whinging, never happy.

    • chris T 23.1

      "Chris T you obviously have never had to face this level of hardship."

      Again with all due respect.

      Yes I have, but it was a long time ago and nearly died.

      I am not facing any hardship. I don't live in Auckland or own a business I just rock up to work, so please don't presume to know my situation.

      I just know people who own businesses in Auckland who are looking screwed and trying to tell people they have no job any more.

  23. Tricledrown 24

    Chris T they could get jobs in the likes of Fisher and Parker healthcare who are screaming out for workers.as a business person sometimes you have to go backwards before you go forwards.their are shortages in care facilities hospital workers

    As a business person in the 1087 crash I had to change what I was doing because all the cheques were bouncing and no one was paying their bills.

    I worked for many Chinese business people over the years and learnt a lot about why they were so successful. One of the best learnings was from an older Chinese man who worked 2 jobs into his eighties.He said that don't expect the job or business to be there or profitable for ever,have an ace or 2 up your sleeve ie another business or job to go to if that one doesn't work out.

    That was lucky for me as in 1985 I bought another small business and in 1987 when my main business was going to the wall I started the new business which was very profitable and survived.

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