Latest Covid outbreak are the cascade failures of an underfunded neoliberal State


The over hyped manner in which the media are reporting the Rydges case as a seperate new eruption of the virus is so irresponsible because the process to quell this outbreak is actually working very well, all things considered.

What we are seeing with the plethora of leak revelations from the quarantine process is the issue of capacity.

We are asking a neoliberal State that has been purposely starved of public service resource for 35 years to suddenly protect all the people.

In this Covid response, I’m not looking for perfection from my Government because perfection isn’t possible when you starve a public system of funding, I’m looking for people who can adapt, learn & respond in real time with a true value to protect public health!

I see that in Labour’s response.

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I see only dangerous game playing from National.

As we continue to learn to respond to this pandemic, alongside the myriad of problems a system run by humans brings with it, I look to those who can fix the problems, not simply leverage political point scoring.

Jacinda doing her best is far preferable to Judith doing her worst.

Beyond the immediacy of this pandemic and beyond the Election, we need a long discussion about self sufficiency and rebuilding our economy in a genuinely sustainable and green manner because this requirement for solidarity and the common good has been laid bare by this plague.

It’s not ‘Socialism by stealth’ if the entire country is calling out for it.


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  1. Oh dear. Confusing Socialism and social welfare. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

    Where as the country may be calling for better social welfare, I doubt they are asking for socialism.

  2. Jacinda doing her best is far preferable to Judith doing her worst.

    Collins doing her worst is no different from her doing her best. No matter which course she chooses its going to be a disaster for NZ.

    • Hey I recognise you Draco T, you are the serial commentator who haunts The Standard. Neoliberal, neoliberal, neoliberal = bad, bad, bad

      • Ben I think that DTB can be categorised as first anti-capitalism, and second, as applying a pragmatic lens. You seem to be drawn to hyperbole.

  3. Neo Liberalism applied to the NZ health system produced authoritarian management styles, admin bloat, decentralisation, and inconsistent standards. The underlying strategy of sinking lid defunding was always to push people to the private sector.

    The private sector does not, and will not, cater for whole communities, let alone whole countries. There is no united Public Health organisation, responsibility is split among a dozen agencies. Medical professionals have pointed this out for years–usually with the caveat “luckily we have not had a full pandemic”…

    The other factor is deliberate undermining by senior and junior public servants–they take the piss by not doing as instructed and leaking when it suits them. Would not happen? well it clearly has since 2017 at MSD and Immigration. When senior Nats from Mrs Boag to “Merv the perv”, Woodhouse, and MPs like Falloon were caught sabotaging–does anyone think Nat friendly state sector individuals would not?

    • If we want an indication that this is happening ‘senior and junior public servants–they take the piss by not doing as instructed and leaking when it suits them,then think of the revelation about UK Labour officials actively undermining their leader Jeremy Corbyn – a sort of postmodern-union go-slow. When Labour officials will do that to their leader, why not supposed civil servants who trot in and out of government back to private iterations?
      The 13-page contribution, seen by The Independent, says: “Given that Labour was less than 2,500 votes in key seats away from forming a government, having won 40 per cent of the popular vote, it’s not impossible that Jeremy Corbyn might now be in his third year as a Labour prime minister were it not for the unauthorised, unilateral action taken by a handful of senior party officials in 2017.”

  4. It remains to be established where and how either of the recent outbreaks came in.
    Is it possible that the Rydges hotel pair both caught the virus from the fridge where it remained preserved from a previous resident . That neither of them caught it from the other.
    My inclination is that the possibility of transmission from a frozen package or surface is being underrated .
    The implications for food trade internationally are such that the incentive to look determinedly in any other direction are stark.
    D J S

    • My sources tell me that the freezer company at the centre of this had been swabbing for weeks and getting positive tests on the surfaces of imports.

      • A lot of people would be interested in that Andrew . What is the sources connection? No doubt they don’t want to be named.
        D J S

  5. National lives and breathes hate, and loves to spread it throughout the country which is foreign to humanity.

    We need to go back to Egalitarianism.

    Everyone in this beautiful country should share in the wealth of this country.

  6. [Comment declined for publication. Email not legitimate. Please provide correct email address as an act of good faith. – Scarletmod]

  7. The over hyped manner in which the media are reporting

    Last night I watched the evening news on both TV1 and Newshub. The difference in the reportage and deliverance of the news was extraordinary. (And, this is a new development; they have seemed more equitable up until the last week or so.) On TV1 the news was delivered calmly and factually, in the same steady manner that carried us through those first six weeks of Lockdown. No drama. Just what was happening.

    On Newshub, everything that happened about the pandemic was catastrophised. And the word “Catastrophe” with numerous synonyms was thrown around. Everything was drama or conspiracy or some super-duper oversized ultimate disaster for the country now and forever and someone somewhere “was responsible” and “had to be held accountable” and was probably hiding a whole lot of stuff; conspiracies among officials were a near dead-cert, the govt was obviously “at fault”, causing a complete botch-up; the govt were pretty useless really and should probably all resign.

    That may sound OTT. It sounded over the top while I was trying to make some sort of sense out of it, until I stopped. I’m just glad I went with Newshub first, so that TV1 was able to restore some sense of normalcy, balance and sanity. (What the heck Newshub are trying to prove, or why, I don’t know. Maybe they’ll have all settled down again tonight.)

  8. The latest Covid outbreak shows how tricky and infectious this Covid 19 Wuhan Sars/HIV engineered virus is…

    The real measure of success of this Coalition Government is how many deaths NZ has had …very few!

    Compared with other countries Jacinda and Winston and their advisors have done an outstandingly good job!

  9. ” Jacinda doing her best is far preferable to Judith doing her worst ”
    Yes the choice in this election is a stark one.
    “We are asking a neoliberal State that has been purposely starved of public service resource for 35 years to suddenly protect all the people ”
    Yes this pandemic is also not just dangerous to our lives and health when we face the prospect of neo liberals finding a way to exert more control over our public services.
    They thrive on crises that affect all of us.

  10. Boom, Soper is off, putting the boot in for the unlawful beginning to the level 4 lockdown. Who would have thought? Why oh why did they not pull strings for this jilted tart back in April 2018? They have been on his bitch list ever since!

    The media are getting all larthered up over the revisit of Covid, its all the gummits fault. But somehow, trying to assemble private and public services together in real time to stop a pandemic using no guide book is incredibly difficult, name a government of any persuasion who has got it so right as ours?
    Answer? None!

    But they’re learning!

    • name a government of any persuasion who has got it so right as ours?

      Yes, those cries of “f, f, f failure?” are so much hot air – they are ridiculous. WAKE UP, people. We HAVE the best, most successful system on the planet, on a par with Taiwan who took a different approach. What is the matter with people that the best on the planet is being shouted down as a “Failure”???? What the hell do they want?

  11. Originally the Government’s goal was to flatten the curve so our health infrastructure would be able to cope with the anticipated demand , with the level 4 lock down the community spread was contained and then the Government changed the goal to ” elimination ” . An optimistic goal and difficult to achieve, however 103 days without having any new infections is impressive in view of what has happened over seas. The latest cluster also appears to be contained ,so all in all, I really feel we have, including the Health Ministry and the Government managed the pandemic so successfully that the predicted infection and mortality rates have been minimised.
    Yes the media as usual is baying for blood in order to sell copy and we have all watched and heard the media’s behavior at the press conferences, I’m surprised by the repetition of questions and at time pretty stupid questions. Also the National party, desperate to score political points ,spreads it’s doom and loom seems to be part of the course.
    Summing up I believe the Governments approach has been successful and the so called cascade of failures are just tabloid media melodrama.

  12. …”a neoliberal State that has been purposely starved of public service resource for 35 years,” This is not acknowledged at all in the highest levels of government. Jacinda declares our health system as “world class!” And this is the problem. Our health system is manifestly worse than third world. Even in the deepest dark Africa they know to quarantine sick people out of public spaces and burn the f down the quarantine quarters afterwards. Seriously, WTF NZ?

  13. Your heading Martyn is absolutely true. +100 One thing that could be done to rebalance our country’s economy; I was thinking that we need to bring estate tax back, While entrepreneurs and smart business people deserve to profit from their own efforts, there is no reason that their progeny, often of comparatively ordinary acumen and enterprise, should bask in their parents achievements monetarily. They are too often spoiled by the easy money ‘Money for nothing, chicks for free’, not just a song, often literally. The Alex cartoons by Beattie & Taylor are very illuminating about how the upper-crusty could have been thinking in 1990. /sarc

    Estate tax, stamp duty, if we can’t get a tiny FTT on the money swishing round the world, (often money made through manipulating money), just ephemeral cunning that morphs into something real), then we should apply these taxes at reasonable rates. Lower the GST to 10% with 5% going to government, and 5% going to a credit pool for the area where it was earned, ready to utilise in assisting in remediation or new methods of protecting against hostile climate change.

    So, now here is a wonderful tax idea thought up by a citizen not being paid $100 per hour or more, given freely and sealed with a heart and a kiss. And a footnote message – ‘All best wishes for a happy NZ that works for all!’

  14. We were told the military had taken over the quarantine facilities some time ago now. It turns out they hadn’t. Although I do recall them mentioning, “running”. But I think in most peoples minds that meant top to bottom military. Its like saying you were reassured that a hotel had a policy to cover fire alarms when there were quarantined guests staying at the hotel to avoid mingling. If I was running things, the policy would be designed by government and the quarantine facilities would implement that plan. That way everyone is on the same page, with the same quality of system. And yes statistically based risk modelling is great, but at the end of the day run it past a sanity check. If staff at airports are exposed to people returning from overseas, but the risk model says low risk due to masks and social distancing. Test anyway. It only takes one slip. More so since they are the only ones exposed to new cases in theory , so the cost and logisitcs are easier. Another lapse was saying that only front line staff in contact with passengers needed testing. What about staff cafeterias and changing rooms where exposed people and non-frontline staff may be be mingling? Again, think it through. Same with not testing asymptomatic people who had been exposed. Who you now have to go back and recheck, test anyway. Same with all the hand wringing over masks. At least they stop infected people couging on others. Good step directly employing security on better wages. Now lets roll this out across government. Stop contacting everything out to companies who are just clipping the ticket and forcing down pay and conditions.

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