MEDIAWATCH: Luke Malpass is right – vaccine roll out all that matters


Covid-19: Why the vaccine programme is now the only political game in town

The winter recess has one week left to go before most politicians will be back in Wellington, hoping that the worst of the winter weather is almost behind us.

These next few weeks will be crucial for the vaccination programme, and how it is perceived among the public. From Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins on down – with some helpful encouragement from Ashley Bloomfield – the refrain has been “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”. In other words, what matters is getting the whole population done, and a high proportion of it.

In a purely public health sense, that is surely true. But this is pandemic politics. New Zealand may end the programme very effectively, but sometimes the perception of a shambles in the middle is the thing that sticks.

Let’s cut through the bullshit here, Luke Malpass is right, the vaccine roll out is all that matters now.

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Jacinda and Labour have pulled off one of the greatest public health coups on the planet. Their fearless leadership, their communication tactics and over all strategy has seen us saved from the full ravages of this pandemic.

Yes we are under vaccinated but this is due to us being only 5million people and a supply issue with big pharma. It makes no sense for us to be vaccinated when the virus isn’t rampant here.

Yes there have been holes at the border in terms of workers being fully vaccinated but these are complex fast moving situations and to date good luck and a solid track and trace system have combined to keep outbreaks at a minimum.

So I would argue that to date the vaccination roll out, limited by supply constraints, has been perfectly functional and the Opposition’s criticism is more political than genuine.

My point is ‘to date’ because the real challenge is now in front of us and this is where the wheels could come off.

The fundamental challenge in front of the Government is how the poorly funded clown camp of Public Health manages the full vaccine roll out. This is the very same public health system that failed miserably with the Measles epidemic in 2019 and their lack of community appropriate messaging means vulnerable communities needing vaccination may miss out.

The naked truth is that the public health system does not have enough people to actually put the needles in arms.

To date the Government have set low ball thresholds for vaccination so that they look like they are progressing, that pretense ends when the doors open for everyone to get the jab.

Expect vast levels of incompetence, confusion and anger as the main roll out starts falling over. That’s why Labour keep pushing the dates out because they know public health isn’t ready yet.

If we get another break out while this vaccination roll out falls over, that’s when the solidarity that has rewarded Labour turns bitter.

Opening a travel bubble with Australia always risked the virus getting into NZ before we were fully vaccinated, if that occurs while the main vaccine roll out falters, there will be political hell to pay.

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  1. As Bert says you make your own luck and to date we have been very very lucky combined with being a first world island of 5 million with a health system that while stretched is able to meet our needs. We live on a knife each and if we slip up due to poor management all bets are off . There is unrest in many quarters as this government has destroyed the dreams of many .
    Covid related problems cannot be laid directly at their feet but many other missteps have occurred through poor management by lackluster ministers. It would not need much of a catalyst to stir up the masses.

  2. What difference do you think full vaccination of the coMmunity will make?
    The UK currently has 40% of hospitalisations fully vaccinated. So the numbers are reduced seeing 69% are vaccinated so the majority of hospitalisations are not; but is that OK? Will reducing hospitalisation and death from hundreds of thousands to many tens of thousands make a material difference to how we live and how we travel? And how many will die or be hospitalised by the vaccine? That is a very difficult number to extract from the officialdom or the MSM. There’s plenty of suggestions in the alternative media that it exceeds in 6 months all deaths from vaccines in previous history.
    Officialdom will say “misinformation” ! but they won’t tell what they consider the true numbers are.
    Try finding out how many people have died in NZ within 28 days of having their second shot. I can’t. Although Hipkins says that information is in the moh website it’s well hidden.
    D J S

    • So you think in a country of 5 million where most are separated by 2 degrees of separation a significant number of people can die after getting the vaccine without it coming to light in the press. Just keep wearing the tin foil hat and watch out for the green men.

      • I think that the breakthrough cases and breakthrough deaths in the UK and in Israel where phisa has been the main vaccine, are so large that full vaccination can only reduce the number of deaths and serious illness . There will still be an epidemic and deaths if we open up our boarders and live normally. Maybe no more than from a seasonal flu but that is the case anyway.
        D J S

        • I’ve never seen the seasonal flu so rampant, nor made the headlines daily as covid has David. Around the world they see it way different than your small world.

  3. Last in the OECD Hipkins said we were first Ardern says we are on track?
    How can anyone possibly defend this completely incompetent Government that fails to deliver on anything?
    I shouldn’t but it makes me cross.

  4. ‘However, COVID-19 vaccines have been rapidly developed and many use novel technologies not used in any other approved vaccines.’ – taken from

    Do you think it’s reasonable for people who don’t trust the government or big pharma to wait until the end of the vaccine trial period?

    Provisional approval has been granted by medsafe.

    Or should we just have forced vaccinations?

      • ‘Think for yourself, question authority’ is my mantra, has been since I was a youth back in ‘96. Thought it was a progressive position.
        These days trying to be reasonable with the normies gets one in hot water.
        I here you loud and clear aircooled guy but to the NPCs you might as well be speaking mandarin.

  5. Martyn feels that a bad vaccine roll out could be bad for this Government’s re election chances. Yes, and why should we be worried. I certainly don’t want another 5 yrs of this. The roll out is just a highlight of everything else that hasn’t been achieved. You might hate Nationals policy direction but at least after Three years you’ll see something. You may not like it but something will be achieved. This Government gets things right eventually but In my case I may not see the results. Will we be saying “ you’ve had nine years. Nine long years.

    • “You might hate Nationals policy direction but at least after Three years you’ll see something.”

      Yes, the rich richer and the poor poorer, so we will see something.

  6. I rang the 0800 number and am booked in for 1st and 2nd jab. Easy as and looking forward to it. It took 9 minutes and 27 seconds to organise over the phone. Very nice lady with a south african accent based in Christchurch. Had a good laugh about the Lions beating SA by kicking all their points. Last tracker I saw said Australia was last in the OECD but the right wing never lets facts get in the way of a good whinge. No covid in the community, low death rate…if only national/ACT had been in charge things would be so much better. Just a quick recap…the Right demanded border be closed to NZers coming home, demanded border be open for Australians to enjoy the 2020 ski season, demanded more shops be open during lock down, demanded that state surveillance be used with a covid card, demanded the borders be open with Australia ‘yesterday’, stated that the MoH was ‘lying’, stated that Nzers were receiving ‘short doses’, Claimed that there was a ‘conspiracy’ regarding lock downs, claimed that ‘bad internet’ was a good reason to travel up and down the country during a level 4 lockdown. Incompetence, thy name is National/ACT.

  7. We already had nine years of National old view calling yourself new view and we did see a lot of homelessness, a huge increase in Maori imprisonment rates, growing inequalities, beggars on the streets, people sleeping in their cars (as no housing crisis) huge immigration, run down state services, lots of state houses and land sold and replaced with expensive apartments and the rich getting even richer of course.

  8. ‘Let’s cut through the bullshit here, Luke Malpass is right, the vaccine roll out is all that matters now.’

    I disagree, Martyn; the ONLY thing that matters is preventing accelerating meltdown of the planet. Without a planet to live on, it will make no difference whether people are ‘vaccinated’ or not.

    And clearly, from what we are witnessing overseas, the so-called vaccines [that are not actually vaccines’ are not effective. J

    It’s all just another rushed through policy that enriches corporations whilst failing to address anything that actually needs to be addressed

    Indeed, LINO polices have now transitioned from tragedy to farce, which is pretty much what we expected all along.

  9. Pre delta varient I’d agree we could wait but delta is a totally new ball park, if we get it here lockdowns will be 3 months minimum hundreds would die and we’d have thousands of cases. It would take a month for it to spiral out of control and our health department which nearly collapses every winter just with flu outbreaks would look like Spain/Italy.

    My 80 year old Gran hasn’t even been contacted, my mum who is a home healthcare worker whose coworkers and herself were failed by the govt over ppe and next to none of them have been contacted to be vaxxed YET mates in their 20s and early 30s who work in tech and it for the DHB,MSD / Ird have all been vaccinated. Wtf because I’ve got a mental illness and health issue I’m supposed to be in group 3 and able to get vaxxed but when I enquire I get told to wait my turn.

    Judging by how Ashley and the Moh lied through their teeth about PPE gear in the middle of lockdown and said it was going to care workers and it wasn’t and the unions had to get involved I don’t believe a damn thing the MOH says..

    If we get delta varient in here and a three month lockdown the trauma and anxiety that’s going to cause is going to cause major mental health problems and businesses and employees who are just clinging to their jobs are going to go under…

    Everyone needs to be giving this govt hell over it’s quite blase attitude. They’ve done good things but delivery is not their strong suit and I think the year of the vaccine is looking like the year of delivery.

    Noone wants a Tory govt but delta would ensure one.

    god damn what’s the point of having a hugely influential and celebrated world leader if she can’t use her influence and reputation to secure more vaccine supply

  10. The wrong people are in charge of setting up the vaccine centers many have no cultural skills or background and we wonder why those most at risks aren’t attending. We have not learnt and we are still making the same old mistakes not consulting with Maori and PI as to what they think will work bests, this showed in the recent lack of buy in to the large vaccine center set up to do mass vaccinations in Auckland.


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