MEDIAWATCH: Why Tracy Watkins is wrong – we need Fortress Aotearoa!


Covid-19: We need a plan to open Fortress NZ

The Springbok tour was a tumultuous and divisive period in New Zealand’s history as shown by today’s feature article talking to key players, 40 years on.

But it was also, in many ways, a crossroads, and a coming of age for us. It challenged our perceptions of ourselves and our country. It also heralded the arrival of the winds of change.

When, a few years later, the Muldoon Government was swept out of power and along with it some of its extreme interventionist measures like wage, price and interest rate controls, we went from one of the world’s most closed economies, to one of the most open.

Tracy Watkins is wrong – we need Fortress Aotearoa!

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Doesn’t it feel great that the wage shortage has bosses begging us for once? Doesn’t it feel good to have actual bargaining power? How about we keep those fucking borders shut hu?

Why aren’t we talking about the benefits of keeping the borders closed?

  • No hyper tourism
  • Near full employment
  • Higher wages
  • Less migrant exploitation

Imagine how much worse the housing crisis would be with pre-Covid tourism?

If we accept that Covid will require annual injections, that mutations will continue to threaten to mutate and reinfect, and we acknowledge our supply chains will be marred by lockdowns in poorer countries overru by the virus – then why are we hurrying to open the borders?

Add to this the increase in climate extremes that will drive migration, shouldn’t we be keeping the borders shut rather than open?

Many of the free market neoliberal cows are being slaughtered, why try and resurrect them?

Right now NZ voters are forgiving Labour for 190000 kids in poverty, 22521 on emergency social housing lists, mental health sector failures, Oranga Tamariki abuse and locking generations out of home ownership all because Jacinda is keeping Covid out.

All that forgiveness evaporates in a second if Covid gets into an unvaccinated NZ and forces another lock down.

The future is set with external shocks, the tyranny of our distance is now our strength.

We need Fortress Aotearoa – a focus on protecting the realm of NZ while urgently becoming self sufficient.

The climate crisis future we face will cause more pandemics and more mass migration.

Globalism in person is dead. Why race to reopen doors to a dead and dying planet?

Turns out Muldoon was just ahead of the curve.

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  1. The wrong remark about China and we are mincemeat as that is the only card in the deck of any substance. We are trading with ourselves with the revenue earnt from this main market . The trade deal with UK looks a distant second to Australia if in fact we get one . The orders that are coming in cannot be filled due to lack of staff which is strange as there are 122000 on the unemployment benefit. Many of these benefituries are that way due to years of poor education poor housing and poor health caused by short sighted leaders of both parties. The label changes but the message is the same look after the rich and the middle because they vote.
    I know someone who runs a Labour hire business and he says so many of those turning up from WINZ cannot pass a drug test that he is finding it hard to get the most basic of workers. If we do not let immegrants in who is going to do the work?

    • Don’t be silly. You are sounding like John Key and Bill English.
      …’I know someone who runs a Labour hire business and he says so many of those turning up from WINZ cannot pass a drug test that he is finding it hard to get the most basic of workers’…

      OFC he would say that. It suits his purposes, … lower wages, better profits , and much better circumstances to report back to the CEO’s of that private company who then report back to the NGO’s who then report on to govt dept’s who then report on to their MP’s.

      Simple , really.

      Are you silly or stupid?

      Do you not recall both Bill English and John Key saying the same about NZ workers being ‘ too drugged out, lazy and not turning up for work so we must import [cheap labour] ‘from Asia ‘to fill the gap?…


      Are you a neo liberal ???

      • With regard to passing a drug test, if you occasionally use marijuana then it may be up to a month before you can pass a urine test. The advantage with meth is you can pass a test a few days after using, the disadvantage is that you may not be able to last a few days without using.

      • Sadly our recent experience with trying to use the WINZ get people into work program found the same thing. Mention the companies drug tests and/or police checks, as required by the Govt, and those wanting/available for work suddenly all but dry up.

        Try it, you’ll find it is 100% true.

      • Do you even understand what you just wrote? You do know that these comment sections are supposed to be for “relevant” discussion?comment.. And yes, I know that most of the comments on theses sites are no more than self important rants that say more about the ranter than anything useful, but mate.. Really?

  2. Thorougly agree keep the borders shut.
    So many issues helped, so many injustices mitigated, so much exploitation prevented, so much environmental damage limited, the list goes on.
    Covid has achieved what many of us have wanted for decades.
    With retraining and support for industries and workers who have been on this unsustainable destructive gravy train we can build a fairer, smarter more sustainable and equitable Aotearoa New Zealand

  3. In other words, we have to put up with Jacinda and her governments total uselessness on every other front to hope Labour somehow keep Covid out! A government in power purely by chance and definitely not on their record.

    Trouble is no one in her government seems capable of thinking for themselves. We’re still open with most of Australia which is high risk, we still do not have purpose built quarantine facilities and it appears some front line workers are still hanging out for vaccinations.

    We are at the mercy of a government who is probably the least competent in living memory. Somehow I do not feel reassured!

  4. Trevor
    ‘I know someone who runs a Labour hire business and he says so many of those turning up from WINZ cannot pass a drug test ‘ is the same anecodatal shit that Bill English came up with when he said Dairy Farmers could not get people to milk cows for them.
    This was later proved to be nonsense by actual statistics from MSD.( Remember Bill English? The Double Dipper from Dipton.)
    I have employed people and supervised people for most of my adult life( I am 70 now) and I have reached this conclusion.
    If a boss cannot get people to work for him, or her, it is usually because the boss is an arsehole.
    Napoleon said there are no bad soldiers there are only bad generals, likewise there are no bad employees there are only shit employers.
    I do not say I am a wonderful employer but I employed people in agriculture and horticulture for years and I know that if you go on the job with them, particularly when it is cold, wet and miserable, and work with them with ditch digging, tree planting, stock handling, harvesting etc, the majority of people will respond to the example you set. It is called leadership. It does not matter where they are from. It also helps if you pay them a decent wage.
    I know someone who runs a labour hire business too and he is the laziest prick God ever put breath into. The reason the useless bastard hires out labour is the SOB does not want to work himself.
    Perhaps he is your mate.
    As to the trade deal with the UK. We did it before. Tell me why we cannot do it again? At least we speak the same language and hold the same principles as the British. Nor are they likely to start screaming and throwing their toys around every time we say something that they do not like.
    You might want to check that 122000 figure. Is that the actual number of unemployed or is it the number of people receiving some sort of benefit? A lot of people with jobs continue to get supplementary income because their wages are too low.
    Again it comes down to employers being arseholes.

    • on the money there stevie!
      Those employers who cannot turn a blind eye to cannabis use when there is next to nothing in a job applicant’s blood test are fuckwits.
      Drug testing is just another reason why cannabis should be legal.

      • Talk to an employer who has had someone killed or injured by a worker that had marajuana in their system and you will understand why they cannot turn a blind eye. Would you allow the employee to work if they were drunk.

        • Give me real example where that actually happened?
          I’ll bet my last dollar they had alcohol and or other drugs in their system.
          C’mon where are the incidents????
          Lot of crap gets talked about stoners and machinery. The only industry I can think of off the top of my head is Forestry where there would be a distinct possibility.
          Most industries where there are serious competency levels required for operation of equipment self police .
          We are not very good at health and safety in this country.
          Just another little legacy of deregulation and shit employers getting away with unsafe work environments. e.g Pike River
          Cannabis should be legal. Full stop.
          It would be far easier for employers to police it just like alcohol if it was.

          • If you drug & alcohol tested 3 workers using a urine sample after an incident, and one failed for alcohol, one failed for meth & one failed for marijuana. You could reasonably say that the one who failed for alcohol is currently under the influence & is most likely impaired, the one on meth may be impaired depending on how recently they used & how deeply the drug has its fangs into them (addiction related issues), the marijuana user may also be impaired depending on how recently they’ve used the drug.

            If the incident occurred 5 days after each of the 3 workers had last used their drug of choice, only the marijuana user would fail a urine drug test. It is likely that none of the workers were impaired by their drugs at the time of the incident.

            However if you wanted to assign a simple cause for the incident, you could blame the dope smoker rather than look for the real cause. If you looked deeper, you might find that the drinker has a new baby & isn’t getting any sleep, the meth head is preoccupied with his worries about paying for his P & whether the boss will discover that he has been stealing from the company and the supervisor (who passed the drug test) shouldn’t have had the team working on that steep hillside without putting the correct safety procedures in place. So who actually is the problem?

    • A lot of those 122,000 are older people who cannot find work. What about all those superannuation beneficiaries ($14Bn) some of them (including me) have other adequate income so we should be means tested. Tories have no time for homeless, unemployed, sickness beneficiaries, etc as no votes in it. Greedy Tories looking for cheap labour and low wages. They will reinstate the tax rebate on mortgage interest for the speculator friends.

  5. Being mentally idle… you present a picture.

    Ridiculous how little we address … reality. Diversions all the way.

    How are we going to deal with the end of the industrial revolution’s benefits and the beginnings of its pay-up-nows? A bill presented for a mansion, ‘of a sudden’.

    Martyn, you’ll endure more than me, payment-wise. Though ‘The Road’ is still firmly in mind re my old age.

    Ridiculous how we put this present comfort before slightly further on Hell. The only thing in our favour is we see it. We are cockroaches, who can not only turn our necks but can see the prospects. That’s it about us.

    I really must stop taking offense from the fuckwits who will kill us sooner by a few decades than is needed.

  6. And this is only the tip of the list.
    Why aren’t we talking about the benefits of keeping the borders closed?

    No hyper tourism
    Near full employment
    Higher wages
    Less migrant exploitation

    100% , Martyn Bradbury.

    Absolute agreement , but you have left much out. I would request the full list of benefits, please. Of which there are many, many more.

  7. The last time I looked we weren’t living in the middle ages….and I wasn’t a fucking peasant.

    The Statute of Laborers 1349

    That odious statute passed by the ‘ Lords’ and ‘ Ladies’ of the parliaments and estates of England in the 1300’s in response to the Great Plague as the peasants demanded better wages and conditions because there aint no more peasants alive to shovel their shit in the fields to make ‘ em rich anymore.

    Well, the ‘Lords’ and ‘Ladies’ can go and get completely dead eyed fucked and learn to pay their fair share of the tax burden. As with the ‘Statute of Laborers 1349’, – Rooter Screwer Roger Douglas’s neo liberalism is dead.

    And with Jenny Shitley and Ruthy Shitter Richardson not following far behind.

    Its time these dead eyed arseholes were brought to book.

  8. “Doesn’t it feel great that the wage shortage has bosses begging us for once? How about we keep those borders shut?”
    ” Well, that’s a big double-duh yeah of course and yep siree doodle right there I tell ya Mr! ”
    I could comfortably write without fear of reasonable contradiction that not only is closing our borders logistically common sensicle from a logical and common sense angle poise but it’s what God would-a wanted and you can tell that by the way He’s surrounded us with big, deep heaving oceans brimming with edible creatures. He’s also given us soils from which we can grow all manner of foods, Pots and psyilacyban’s with which to partake in the noble traditions of partying with.
    Or? We could go full boris and make room for our invaders and open up for a freedom day !
    To think this pink, bleached-ferret headed money fetishist can even suggest a republican spin Dr-esque ‘Freedom Day’ when death after misery is the only outcome is surely a compelling argument for his immediate sterilisation.
    Right now? We should thank the Baby Jesus we have Labour in, warts and all, to protect us from nutters like boris.
    Imagine if fucking collins was ‘in’ ? And her cadre of greedy God botherers slithering about in the shadows?

  9. So Watkins shows herself to be just another apologist for the colonial power structure that uses “neo liberalism” as camouflage.. No surprises there.. She’s just another pseudo intellectual with more self regard than actual intelligence… To have written articles as utterly shallow, and devoid of realistic context is all I would expect of her ilk.. If someone was to do a forensic examination of her output over the last decade or so, then I would be most interested in seeing which of her many shortcomings gets hung out to flap in the wind… I do think it’s past time that a powerful microscope is applied to the whole of NZ’s tory teddy bears in what passes very poorly for a fourth estate here.. One that doesn’t pull any punches, “cause that’s what’s needed now more than ever.. I grew up under the yolk of Muldoonism, and even then, the union knew that he had usurped their political philosophies, and as is typical of a tory reactionary, misapplied them to create a totalitarian environment… All he did at that point, is demonstrate that tories are too limited in their thinking to understand the difference between what we were fighting for, and what he had imposed… And now we are graced with two generations of “journalists” who are no more than tory pundits who only succeeded because they followed the money… Any wonder that NZ has a fourth estate in name only?

  10. “Imagine if fucking collins was ‘in’ ? And her cadre of greedy God botherers slithering about in the shadows?”.. I don’t even want to go there.. The nightmares have stopped at last.

  11. So if we keep those borders closed and in light of the fact that we’re already at near to as possible full employment how do we generate the necessary growth to pay for the housing that the most vulnerable need? It’s all very good saying we don’t have hyper tourism but we also don’t get their spending in NZ net effect is that we will all be poorer once the sugar rush of Labour’s monetary policy wears off.

    We are living in a fantasy funded by an insane increase in public debt and gorging on low interest mortgages and HP. Interest rates will go up soon and if we are still hiding behind our moat then we could be in serious trouble if runaway inflation driven by this outrageous quantitative easing coupled with flat to possibly negative growth hits our economy. This will see NZ set adrift, unable to pay its bills and the most vulnerable and indebted having their lives destroyed.

    We can forget about the housing crisis being fixed or nurses getting fair pay as there won’t be any money left.

    We have to trade and engage with the world – we can’t keep hiding away and being scared as we will get left behind. We are too small and inconsequential for major economies to give a rats arse about so we need to get back out there and start living again.

  12. I remember Watkins only for her interview with the dog man of Iraq, seemingly identifying him as a nice replacement for PM John Key – she may have said he was made in the mould of Key, dunno, but if I recall correctly, she wrote warm fuzzy words about his remarkable work reuniting sad dogs with their sad owners in the wreckage of that tragic war. These are the things that – apparently – make men rich.

  13. “Right now NZ voters are forgiving Labour for 190000 kids in poverty, 22521 on emergency social housing lists, mental health sector failures, Oranga Tamariki abuse and locking generations out of home ownership all because Jacinda is keeping Covid out.”

    Don’t count on it.


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