GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Some people need to get a grip.


The calls for resignations by Todd Muller over Covid 19 incidents last week is desperation politics by National.

Yes there have been some incidents of poor monitoring of inbound travellers . Yes that’s unacceptable but so is the behaviour of people who break a trust when given compassionate permission to travel .

And the response to those incidents has been considerable – eg bringing the army in to help monitor the border.

But really Mr Mulller – calling for resignations? Get a grip.

There have been 22 deaths in Aotearoa /NZ from Covid 19 – that’s 4.5 deaths per million of us.

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Ireland (which has a similar total population size to us) has had 353.15 deaths per million.

Finland( again a country of similar size) has had 59.08 deaths per million.

And Belgium with a population a bit more than double ours – 847.74 deaths per million.

Our Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, his team and the government have done an outstanding job in keeping many people alive in our country who would be dead by now if they had happened to be in any of the above countries when this pandemic struck.

Let’s accentuate the positive and deal with the negative.

Kia kaha

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. Same people demanded Ardern resign over the farcical alleged sexual abuse cover up. No apology or retraction from National when their dirty politics were exposed. Just more of the same. They are extremely divisive and toxic. They offer absolutely zero in terms of anything positive that will inspire any confidence. Their one and only pathway to being back in Government is NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE. Undermine the Government at every turn. Destroy the 93% approval rating Ardern has over her pandemic handling. The most sickening aspect of National at this time is their hand rubbing in glee at the increase in people needing Government support etc etc. Any bad news for Kiwi’s is good news for National. They are the quintessential political Latrine Rodents.

    Their indifference toward the hurt kiwis are experiencing as a result of a little thing called Covid-19 is only matched by their arrogance. Every day they conclusively prove how truly fortunate NZ is that National are no longer in Government and won’t be again for a long long time. National has lost their moral compass and deserve to be expelled into political oblivion.

    • One can imagine what a National govt response to Covid-19 would have been like. It’s scary…….
      – pandering to their donors interests ie. corporates, banks, and therefore delaying any action to impinge on their profit-taking abilities
      – multiple focus groups to ensure a misinformed public’s votes (the ONLY aspect of the public they give a care about) weren’t going to be lost as a result of such policy decisions
      – constant comparisons (eg, See, we aren’t as bad as *insert country here*) to reassure a misinformed public that resulting astronomical infection & death rates in NZ were acceptable. Key was expert at that: the shrug of the shoulders and fake smile.
      – blaming anyone else where possible to deflect culpability
      – appealing to selfishness and employing divisive language to pit interest groups against each other (a tried and true tactic that continues to this day as they languish and dwindle in Opposition).
      – consistent, unrelenting expression of the lie that the economy (ie. profit taking by those at the top of the pile) was more important than human lives (again, something they’ve said during this crisis).

      In short, we’ve seen how they handle crises of this sort. M. bovis, a flustercluck of epic proportions that shat on some of their staunchest supporters – the NZ Farmer!!!!!

      They only care about one thing – the trough, and the proximity of their snouts to it.

      And now Woodlouse has confirmed it………………

      • Oh yes, and you remind me of one of Key’s favourite phrases: “At the end of the day most New Zealanders are not too concerned about….”

        a health system starved of resources
        children living in cold, damp houses
        superannuants choosing between food and warmth
        rivers too filthy to swim in
        foreign banks and corporations sucking billions per annum out of the nation
        opportunists rorting the system for their own benefit and their mate’s benefit and to the detriment of everyone else.

        Well actually, most New Zealanders are concerned about those sorts of things.

        ‘They [National] only care about one thing – the trough, and the proximity of their snouts to it.’


        And they’ll cheat and lie to get/keep their snouts in the trough.

        • Not only will they (national) cheat and lie they will use people for there own personal means as they are doing with some of our elderly people in that building in Auckland that was going to be utilised for quarantine but no longer due to scaremongering. Gee they are showing how low they will stoop.

      • Do you need a hug Jase or just a pull on your ponytail?

        Why do Smith and Brownlee both need to keep their snouts in the trough?

    • In my memory, National has always been the party of negativity, with a few exceptions (a couple of the Think Big projects in the 1970s showed a bit of positive thinking). National seldom comes out with any detailed alternative plan for anything, it is just negativity (The Monty Python argument sketch comes to mind).
      The trouble with conducting negative politics is that if you keep it up too long voters get bored and look for someone who can offer them some hope. That is why Jacinda Adern will very likely lead Labour to another victory in three months time, she offers hope and confidence whilst National can only sit on the sidelines and tell everyone the end of the world is nigh.

      • ‘In my memory, National has always been the party of negativity, with a few exceptions (a couple of the Think Big projects in the 1970s showed a bit of positive thinking)’

        How does serving the interests of overseas corporations and getting the country into extreme foreign-based (US dollar) debt, whilst promoting rapid polluting of the environment, count as positive? Like everything National did and does, ‘Think Big’ was promoted on the basis of lies and rorts.

        There wasn’t even much secure long-term employment delivered by ‘Think Big’ (most of the items were constructed overseas and assembled by short=term contractors who departed one the job was done.

        And the squandering of resources involved entered the folklore in places like Taranaki, where the ground became littered with bits of bent pipe and nuts and bolts because no one could be bothered to pick them up when there was an apparently never-ending supply of new ones- courtesy of the NZ taxpayer. Few people remote from the regions most affected had much idea what was going on.

        The currency crisis that ensued was very much exacerbated by, if not directly caused by, ‘Think Big’.

        But the hoteliers and restauranteurs made a killing, and everything superficially boomed until the construction phase was over. The NZ woke up the fact that NZ had been sold a set of white elephants by the likes of Mobil -who wanted somewhere to carry out their experimental process but didn’t want to fund the experiment themselves. .

        The debt incurred in all that wasteful spending did impact on every New Zealander eventually, as the financial crisis Think Big was a large component of evolved into a pretext for the treasonous policies of Douglas, Prebble and company, with their version of TINA.

        By the way, some of the best agricultural land in NZ was sacrificed to those outlandish, grossly inefficient [in both chemical and economic terns] projects, and New Zealand’s emission profile was seriously affected for the worse. It would have been a lot cheaper and better for the environment if every car owner in the country had been given a CNG conversion kit, fitted for free!

        But you know what governments are like, whether National or Labour: find the worst solution to a problem and implement it, ‘fast-tracking’ (Thanks for nothing, Bill Birch) if there is too much opposition from well-informed sane people.

        Whether Bill Birch and co. got direct back-handers from global corporations is still open to debate.

        Oh, and while we’re on the topic, wasn’t Labour deeply involved in the sale of electricity to a global corporation at a heavily discounted price to persuade them to build their smelter in NZ?

        And wasn’t Labour op to it’s eyeballs in shit over the price of natural gas delivered to another overseas corporation for conversion of gas into synthetic fertiliser?

        Right now Jacinda is falling over herself to get an America corporation to make a film here.

        Meanwhile, are the ultra-rich are going to have their yachting party in Auckland, courtesy of taxpayer subsidies?

        ‘whilst National can only sit on the sidelines and tell everyone the end of the world is nigh.’

        I think you will find that it is, but not the way National portray is.

        Economic collapse: 2020-2022.

        Environmental collapse: present day to about 2040, after which who knows what (since there won’t be any ice in the Artic and atmospheric CO2 will probably be around 450 ppm).

        • ” Meanwhile, are the ultra-rich are going to have their yachting party in Auckland, courtesy of taxpayer subsidies ”
          Yes that spectacle should take our minds off the pandemic and poverty for a few weeks.

    • The pile-ons of Vance and Watkins are a fittingly shallow follow-up to Nikki Kaye. Yesterday she seemed to delight in stirring up oldies who were upset that the hotel they live in was earmarked to have quarantined occupants – which didn’t happen. The story was presented as a government failure but what was behind it? Given that there are no international tourists arriving, one has to suspect that hotel chains are falling over themselves to take on new international arrivals so as to get their hands on the Government coin. Its a pity they haven’t put more effort into formulating proposals to provide a safe services. National’s Deputy Leader should have dug a bit deeper, asked a few intelligent questions and found out who were really the aggrieving parties rather than engineering yet another dishonest ‘gotcha’.

  2. Things could be worse ,,,, ” Bolsonaro is on his third Health Minister in four months in the middle of a pandemic, and his fifth Culture Minister (one was fired after extensively quoting approvingly from Josef Goebbels) ”

    And in NZ we should beware of gift horses ,,,, “In 2009, PayPal founder and major Facebook investor Peter Thiel wrote a notorious essay. He argued that allowing women to vote had made democracy untenable and that someone should therefore invent the technology to stop it.

    These days, Thiel, a Trump supporter, is founder-chairman of Palantir. Named after a magic all-seeing stone in ‘The Lord of the Rings’, it’s a data-analytics firm set up with help from the US Department of Defense. Last week, Palantir got the US government contract to run a new system for tracking the spread of COVID-19.”

  3. It’s true that MOH was brilliant at keeping the death rate of the rest homes as low as they did.
    Would have been better to know how they were treated and now we need to follow World Health Organisation guidelines taken seriously.

    The reason infection is being detected is because testing is now being carried out in earnest.

    Ashley Bloomfield has dropped the ball.

    On 17th of March 2020 NZ MOH Director ‘Ashley Bloomfield was instructed by the World Health Organisation to test, test, test and not to fly blind’ – but Mr Bloomfield failed to do this.

    All he chose was a low quality single “swab test” only on a few hundred a day and that was a fail.

    We wrote about during two separate types of testing on every person inn NZ as China is now doing.

    China conducted ’10 million tests’ on the whole Wuhan population in May after a second wave came along.

    We are flying blind even now, so expect more cases of clusters to eventuate here due to his lack of testing and allowing NZ to ‘fly blind’.

    Ministry of Health must incorporate with the current ‘swab test’- “the antibody test (also called a serology test.) which confirm all who develop immunity to Covid 19, to save citizens lives and avoid false negative throat nasal swab tests.
    Conduct full Covid 19 testing of all our citizens firstly and complete a full assessment of solid robust controlled ‘track & tracing’ of the Covid 19.
    We must have mass testing of all our whole community firstly to have a solid ‘robust tracing process’ to fight Covid 19.

  4. Wow.
    Some real partisan myopia on this blog lately. More than normal, probably the heavy vetting of posts.

    Utter failure of very simple quarantine requirements by the current government is not all about how shit the Nats are, not their circus, not their monkeys.

    Open your eyes, demand better of your government. The one o’clock press puff pieces have been selling a reality that hasn’t been happening.
    The government have been found to be just a catchy slogan again.

  5. Whine, why, Keep Calm and Carry On? You must be very annoyed at not making that prominent position in the Labour Cabinet that you wanted. I presume that you thought you could do better than many there. And you could be right, but now, if you do know what it’s like to go into politics at the top level, will you please stop cutting all down. The rest of the country need to keep their spirits and understanding at a high level. If indeed you didn’t go for a top political job then STFU please.

    • That’s an interesting bar to set to allow comment, I take it it also rules out your own contributions.
      Cancel culture is the lefts answer to debate, it’s not taking them (you) to a good place.

      • But your comments, to use your own words aren’t debates , there “puff pieces”. The rights answer to trying to control narrative and shutting down debate. Not a good place to be.

  6. @K…
    “Open your eyes, demand better of your government. ”
    But how? I write letters, I come here and fuck around wasting my time, I talk to people when I can.
    I’ve even cornered a couple of senior ministers in person and nothing…
    How does one demand anything of this government or any other, for that matter.
    They don’t need to listen to what we as individuals have to say. They don’t care what the average person thinks. We have no power to influence the way our politic functions. Jesus, only a scant few can be arsed to vote for fucks sake so no wonder we, with more than a modicum of common sense, are in shock and awe at how politicians can simply please themselves and fuck us all.
    I think we need to step away from the day to day and go back in time and see where things went pear shaped.
    I seem to remember that there were some pretty fucking dirty, nasty little tricks played on us like deregulating the trade unions, fucking us with absurd OCR interest rates and throwing us to the Australians. ( A primary industry thing. )
    Now, today, there are young parents who were not even born in 1984, so what the fuck are they going to know what #A happened to us and #B what AO/NZ was like before the scum ripped us off.
    There are only two ways to fix things for all of us.
    Yep. Only two.
    #1 Mandatory voting. One day every three years when we must vote. For fucks sake! What’s the problem with that? More importantly, why has that not yet happened? Are there politicians who’d rather not have their little worlds within worlds disturbed by the beastly hoi polloi trying to get value for their taxes?
    #2 Riot and in so doing burn down Parliament then Auckland and Wellington.
    Many of us would like to see the latter but I think the former is more likely to have a more positive outcome.
    Our politic is in tatters. Once we look beyond the ‘kind eyes’ of the smiling, tooth collective and the nasty, ugly, vicious little natzo’s we don’t see much of anything. They’re all smoke and mirrors. Our politicians have no substance. We’re fucked. We have hungry kids and homeless people and our stuff and things which should be free to us are instead so horrendously expensive. We’re exhausted and angry and so, by default, are terrified. We live in fear constantly and we need a fucking break and it’s only we who can achieve that. Not our politicians who bend down to kiss the arseholes of big business. And a word on our Big Business. What wankers. What a pompous, arrogant, classless cadre of swine they are. Our nouveau riche bourgeoisie are a fucking embarrassment but at least they got that right, I suppose.

  7. If we sacked everyone in the national party that failed or was incompetent they wouldn’t have anybody left. Muller is desperate and desperate people do desperate things and national and our bias media have been waiting for one slip up so they can attack like the attack dogs they are.

  8. The mainstream NZ media is so deep into the NZ National Party pocket that the media now sensationalise’s anything and everything that it can to have a go at the Coalition government.

    There will naturally be not a peep out of the mainstream NZ media that National sat on the information of the 2 sisters traveling around NZ and putting the lives of 5 million people at risk. Nope instead National showed to us all how shallow and selfish it truly is i.e it put ego and political point scoring ahead of the safety and well-being of 5 million people of which a number are voters and will be voting(I hope)at the upcoming election.

    I and probably so many others have now switched off from listening to the TV news or reading an article from the Tabloid NZ Herald. I cannot be bothered reading or hearing what Mike Hosking, Tova Obrien, Mark Richardson, Duncan Garner or the so many others that are quite obviously in the NZ National Party pocket have to say. Their ‘opinions’ mean diddly squat to me.

    It’s amazing with National and even the mainstream NZ media that it demands resignations but whilst there was a National government and mistakes plus broken promises galore were made there were no such demands by the mainstream NZ media. In fact their lack of a voice of condemnation shows how worthless their media organisation is to be taken seriously.

    And whilst I am having a go at the mainstream NZ media I acknowledge mistakes were made by the officials in the Health Department. But then did the National government of the day demand there be resignations when fecal matter was dripping down the walls of Middlemore Hospital? Probably not. I am sure John Key would have said that he is ‘comfortable’ with fecal matter dripping down a wall of a hospital in a lower socio economic party of Auckland.

    National and its supporters ALL LOOK AFTER NUMBER ONE i.e themselves. They deem themselves absolute perfection on the planet and that they have never ever made any mistakes in their entire lifetime.

    If National truly cared about NZers then they would have made the authorities aware of what happened instead of ‘sitting on it’ for a number of hours and ONLY made the information known in parliament. What they did was self-serving, opportunistic and disgusting.

    One really needs to take a serious look at National and ask ourselves if they really do merit a vote at election time especially because they put themselves ahead of NZers at a most difficult time in history???!!!!!!!

  9. If any Minister is to resign it should be Chris Bishop for manipulating health officials to release the women in the first place.


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