Level 3 – Winners & Losers


Jacinda, under enormous pressure from the economy, domestic violence and all the other stresses our level 4 lockdown has caused has finally cracked and she has loosened Auckland down to Level 3 despite there still being 20+ cases a day.

Aucklanders rejoice while the public health commentators get nervous.

There are of course political winners and losers.


Auckland – We get it Auckland, you couldn’t get a ‘real’ coffee for 5 weeks, fuck you are brave and noble. You are practically the same as the boys at Gallipoli, such courage and strength.

Death Cult Capitalists & Treasury – They finally spooked Grant with some terrifying graphs that suggest the last level 4 lockdown has set the economy up for a huge plunge if we don’t get back to work now. The sheer cost on the Government’s books is beyond anything we’ve ever seen and Grant is nervous.

Auckland Organized Crime – what the media aren’t really pointing out is how Covid has seeped into the organized crime community and it is their refusal to give track and trace information that is extending the Delta tail and hindering in stamping this current outbreak out. So a win for Organized crime but a curse on the rest of us.


Anti-Vaxxers – There is a point is there not that after all the attempts to get people vaccinated and all the messaging and promotion – after that, if you still don’t get vaccinated and then you catch it and die, that’s not really on us anymore. If you are too stupid or pig headed to get the vaccination, your death is on you and we shouldn’t have to waste ICU space on you. I will defend your right not to get the vaccine while protecting my right to laugh at you when you die.

Maori, Pacifica, Old & Poor – The problem of course is that the real collateral damage here even at 90% vaccination will be Maori, Pacifica, Old & Poor who will pay the true cost of opening up the borders and moving back to ‘normal’. The traveling rich will spread it, the domestic poor will pay the cost.

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Migrants & Stuff columnists – Jacinda will move the country back into level 4 lockdown at any vaccination rate less than 90% and that’s why the Government have welded MIQ shut.
Stuff will run story after story about how cruel we are being to migrants stuck overseas but it all falls in deaf ears politically and electorally when the stakes are this high.


Moving to level 3 is a huge political gamble for Jacinda but one she feels she can make based on her trust of the track trace infrastructure.

If the gamble pays off, Jacinda will be lauded again as our protector and she could eat a kitten live on the Mike Hosking ZB Breakfast Show and Labour voters will blame the kitten for being delicious, if the gamble backfires and Delta spreads in Auckland requiring going back into Level 4, Jacinda will do something no other power on earth has managed, make Judith Collins look good.

At barely 40% of the country fully vaccinated, don’t for one second think we won’t go back to Level 4 if there is another outbreak.

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  1. C’mon Bomber Jacinda has to be a loser here. It is becoming apparent Robertson, Little etc lent on her heavily with regards to this decision. As does St Ash. He looked like a 2yr old with his favorite teddy bear taken away from him when the decision was made. Hosking had free reign/open season in his last interview with him.

    Winners – Seymour has to be acknowledged. In a sea of paranoia and misinformation he has been clear, concise and logical when all other politicians can’t seem to know what the plan is post vaccination (whatever number it is)

    But let’s be honest there are no true winners or losers for at least 2 weeks.

    In the interim do you trust the gangs to:
    1). Isolate and get tested
    2). Be honest regarding their movements.

    If you want to eliminate Delta it cannot get into either the sex industry or organized crime. Our luck has run out. I’d wager its a 30/70 proposition we get back to zero cases.

  2. Have a look at Melbourne and realise that that can also happen here. And dear Jacinda and her useless handmaidens know that. Combine that with the nothing that has been the Labour Government in the last four years re housing, overcrowding, poverty – adults and their kids, lack of appropriate healthcare, and so on, and understand that dear Jacinda is not going to do anything to jeopardize her glorious future in a think tank when she is done with her stint in Middle Management running NZ.
    And besides, no matter what will happen, she will not have to pay any bills herself, we will do that for her, just like we did for Helen Clark and John Key. They rake up the tab, and you, I and everyone else finds the pennies to pay that tab.

  3. He who laughs last.
    If you come to a conclusion based on limited (biased/slanted) information, dont be surprised when your conclusion is wrong.

  4. If the government wanted the criminal class to scan a bit more, they would be actually legislating that scanning data won’t be used for anything but contact tracing.
    Saying “oh, you can trust us Ministers and the Police” is not good enough. I wouldn’t trust them either.

    And elderly Maori and Pasifika have vaccinated at almost the same rate as Europeans – it’s the young who haven’t vaccinated.

  5. Losers –
    Auckland in general. The economy shit itself.

    Covid elimination
    Aucklanders were over it. Using Auckland as the gateway to the virus because from Jacinda down, they couldn’t see the risk of an outbreak in crowded poor suburbs, saw us locked down once too often and laugh at coffee’s but theoretically being unable to leave your street is a massive fuck off. Domestic violence never looked so grim. The point is though by week 3, knowing the police weren’t going to much more than warn, such is the passive submission policing model that is Andrew Costers vision, people got moving and mixing anyway. Much to Jacinda’s frustration.

    Chances of further effective lockdowns.
    Slim to none. Auckland is done with them. All that will be achieved is destruction of NZ’s economy next time, whilst Delta does what Delta does. And Aucklanders give the middle finger to authorities.

    Any remaining vestiges of hope Labour had turned a corner and learnt lessons.
    Nope. The plan was simple. In the face of months of Delta basically do what we’d done for 18 months. Keep leaky MIQ’s mostly in Auckland, make vaccination optional for front line workers, have no rational plan for vaccination roll outs, hope the opposition kept infighting and impose a level 4 lockdown in Auckland when it happened. But do not beef up the hospitals, do not build purpose built quarantine facilities away from a major centre, do not beg, steal and borrow vaccines to overcome our hopelessly delayed roll put, do not risk model, and most of all, just don’t think.

    They might want to lock down Auckland even more but forget it. The horse has bolted, the virus is coming to a town near you and Labour’s reprehensible lack of foresight, risk management and severe inability to organise anything is about to haunt it!

    Our government has faked it and got away with it. But now times up!

  6. I live in the deeper south of the south island and today is a glorious, sunny, spring day.
    Yesterday, I drove through some beautiful countryside becoming that clean spring green as here and there under budding trees there are fields of daffodils.
    That countryside is where our economy swells from. The agricultural land that I drove through yesterday is why Auckland. And it’s why Auckland has a cadre of useless riche dragging everyone else along as they flounce and waste. Unfortunately for my argument I quite like Auckland. I actually like massive cities. The larger and madder the better.
    There are vast untouched financial resources hidden under deep, dark, still waters. Aye Boys?
    If my mum, my dad, myself and four dogs could manage a 3000 acre sheep, grain and beef cattle property for 20 years by ourselves with the exception of shearing our sheep once a year? Do the maths?
    We ran 3500 sheep. We had 300 head of Angus cattle. We grew about 500 acres of barley and oats.
    We were freehold on private tenure ( Not crown lease.)
    We got fucked by banksters, mafia-like mercantile firms and got buried by financial marauders using neoliberalism to sweep farmer money up and into secrecy.
    That money’s still there and it’s being added to daily. Fear not for your latte’s beautiful Aucklanders, she’ll be right.
    Grant Robertson knows that. Grant’s hardest job will be to ensure we all survive well while trying not to drop his riche mates in it by showing off just how much money we in fact have for situations like this.
    For example? A big flash city like Auckland? How? Why? Where’d Auckland come from? We’re not an urban economy? If Auckland wasn’t drip fed free farmer money it’d be dead by tomorrow.
    Build a big fancy city using siphoned off farmer money then scatter a few homeless around to assuage suspicion. Put in a seasoned corporate crook like neoliberal GST goff, create a bit of a poverty-cycle kerfuffle, a little societal dysfunction here, a few deeply unfortunate minority population figures there…
    Job done Aye Boys?
    Farmers? Are you there? I have to say, I feel like a lone voice here. How many farmers read this Blog? Can we have a tally up? Show yourselves?

    • The whole agricultural labour shortage in NZ is due to over intensive farming and the rise of farm land owned by non farmers. Neither are particularly desirable for NZ, which made the majority middle class wealthy on the backs of most people owning a bit of where they live and work or getting a state house. Prior to neoliberalism and globalism NZ didn’t need exploited labour, they used “exploited” themselves and their families and friends to farm, the kids worked hard, but inherited the farm, (before the 80’s and other financial crisis that took the farms off these people) and we seemed to have cheaper food and happier people in those days.


      “If my mum, my dad, myself and four dogs could manage a 3000 acre sheep, grain and beef cattle property for 20 years by ourselves with the exception of shearing our sheep once a year? Do the maths?
      We ran 3500 sheep. We had 300 head of Angus cattle. We grew about 500 acres of barley and oats.”

      The government allowed the banks to profit off people who trusted the bankers to advise them on investments and some of that advice was extremely poor/fraudulent advice to sell bad bank products.

      The disastrous impact of banks selling risky financial derivatives to farmers is still being felt in rural communities more than a decade later. How did it happen and how can we stop banks doing it again?

      Or in the case of the Crafers, crazy to allow that level of debt with people who had a bad track record and not financially literate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CraFarms

      • Thanks for the links saveNZ. I feel there is much to learn about how the family farmers have been manipulated to their disadvantage.

      • @ SaveNZ.
        The banks ARE the problem, specifically ( But not exclusively ) the foreign owned banksters. They’ve arrogantly and confidently strolled over our agrarian primary industry for decades but they could only do so by being mentored along the way by a cadre of crooked, certainly and ironically morally bankrupt , all-bribed-and-paid-for politicians. My father was ( And likely still is, in some parallel universe somewhen ) a staunch advocate of the unionised farmer whereby farmers and their downstream service industry workforce held fast together against the banksters with the smell of easy money in their nostrils.
        When most people talk about banking and farming, most discuss the influence banking has on farming as if banking per se was a choice farmers had. Farmers ‘choose’ to borrow money to smooth out the landscape between seasonal and market variations.
        Let me assure you, there’s zero choice about borrowing. You either borrow/mortgage or you get a city job. ( That’d be my advice to any young person thinking about agriculture as a career option. Get a good education, earn your $six figures +, buy a nice house, come home on Friday evening, switch off and have fun. )
        Banking’s relationship with agriculture is abusive and exploitative and very, very profitable and as that hideous imbalance continues farmers will be arrogantly shoved into places that farmers should never go. Chemical farming making farmers easily loathed as environmental destroyers. Borrowing money to keep ahead of the bankster treadmill leads to overstocking, exhaustion and social isolation which leads to depression and suicides.
        Hating on farmers is exactly like a blood sport. Everybody hates the cocky so lets go get them. They’ve not worth much more than a possum or a rabbit.
        The banks, their all bought and paid for politicians and the MSM must make sure the cities see farming and farmers as a pest species only deserving of ridicule and loathing.

        • …”’My father was ( And likely still is, in some parallel universe somewhere ) a staunch advocate of the unionised farmer whereby farmers and their downstream service industry workforce held fast together against the banksters with the smell of easy money in their nostrils”…


          You’ve said it for ages and it seems this is the ticket to head those banksters off at the pass, – as parallels can literally be made between today and an old western movie about cattle rustlers / thieves.

  7. Good article Martyn. The gangs will take over eventually.
    Te Paati Maori are saying that Govt. shouldn’t lessen controls until all Maori are 90% vaxxed, not just the general population. Why aren’t they instead actively encouraging vaccination among Maori?
    Action (or lack of) = consequences.
    What they are saying doesn’t make any sense.
    People not vaxxed should just stay home. No supermarket, no doctor, no visiting friends and family, no hospital. Just stay at home and keep looking at Facebook.

    • This “Us” and “Them” split citizens is extremely dangerous thinking – this is where Authoritarianism begins, with the segregation of a population for the “health” of society. Please everyone take time to listen Brendan Malone on these issues, he is pro-vax and provides a balanced commentary on the harms the government and media are fomenting in NZ.


    • We (Maori) didn’t say that (stay home) when they came with influenza, TB and Polio and even if we did, they wouldn’t have listened. Yes some of our people who are anti vax need a kick up the backside but I can understand some having genuine grievances. Our government is quick to want to jab us and home our homeless in motels because of Covid but there is not the same level of concern or urgency when it comes to us receiving timely and equitable health treatment or public sector help with the majority of state sector services.

  8. Love how ‘gangs’ are the new hate group to pretend they are the problem for the woke and government and Natz supporters – it used to be landlords. They got rid of the landlords so the woke/Greens/Labour/Natz could put the renters on the streets and in motels in 2021.

    Maybe by pretending NZ gangs are the problem, the woke can lock up the local gangs and leave the more organised and sophisticated individuals organising the organised crime and bringing in the hundreds of kilos of Meth, people trafficking, cigarettes, not the KFC and $100k drug/takeout runs that our local gangs are good at. Harry Tam could use another 2.7 million, I’m sure to give the government some more advice on drug rehabilitation and domestic abuse issues.

    anti vax people are everywhere, and seem to be very middle class. If they offered $100 a jab outside gang and drug houses they would probably make a killing.

    illegal immigrants are awash, so maybe just look into a few factories and construction sites in Auckland and orchards in Hawkes Bay. Maybe NZ citizenship worth millions for each jab, could draw them out.

    No word on the prosecution and naming of the patient with Covid who refused to stay in their bed and thus potentially spread Covid around in a North Shore hospital, putting the staff at risk and others not being able to access health care as many doctors and nurses are all stood down. Seems like just as bad, if not worse, as the Wanaka wankas making big news are their names are out in the public eye.

    I’m sure Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen would be lining up too, if he was alive for his government vaccination, like a good Kiwi resident. Sarcasm.

    No mention if vaccination was compulsory for the inmate on remand spreading Covid in Waikato, or if Tarrent has had the jab yet.

    Don’t think the scientolists or many religious groups will be keen for the jab.

    Seriously, pretending and spreading the message non vaccination and Covid spread, is all due to Gangs!!!!! Wake Up!

  9. The New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association are two of the most powerful gangs in the country with links to Police and Parliament. They get to decide who will be judges and which convicted people get the most severe penalties.
    At present lack of discipline among its members has demonstrated these gangs disregard for the law as applying to themselves. Specificially breaches of quarantine.
    Obviously the captains of these gangs will demonstrate their even-handed approach to quarantine breakers by applying the maximum penalties( imprisonment) to their members who breach quarantine.

  10. I’d say anyone who thinks a proper coffee comes in a paper cup consumed on the run, is the loser sucked into spending for the sake of consumption, there is so much more to a real coffee, conversation and the scent of the roses.

  11. Auckland will never go back to Level 4, unless the death toll skyrockets in Auckland due directly to Covid.
    Dr Ash spent a lot of time with the media, instead of securing our vaccines…Dr Ash failed NZ during the measles (South Auckland) and mumps (East Auckland) outbreak in 2019, that spread to Samoa with deadly effect…Dr Ash is strongly disliked in South Auckland, and Samoa…I am from South Auckland.
    Covid saved Dr Ash, shame no-one in the Main stream media has pointed this out…yet.

    • During the measles and Covid outbreaks did anyone see Dr Ash actually working within the South Auckland community…No.
      Dr Ash had two jobs, Quarantine, and Vaccines — failed on both, yet, lectures Kiwis nearly day about doing the right, smug shit

      • This from Bob..

        “During the measles and Covid outbreaks did anyone see Dr Ash actually working within the South Auckland community…No.
        Dr Ash had two jobs, Quarantine, and Vaccines — failed on both, yet, lectures Kiwis nearly day about doing the right, smug shit”

        So Joe, are you Bob or is Bob you?

  12. The “deadly delta variant” has infected over 1100 people, some got sick, some barely noticed it, one old lady in her nineties (and with multiple co-morbidities) passed away.
    Listening to “the podium of truth’s” message to the flock of five million you’d think we were going through a combination of the black plague, Spanish flu, mad cow disease, swine flu, bird flu and Ebola.

  13. The South Auckland community, which I am proudly part of, know bullshit artists when we see one…Dr Ash is a bullshit artist…why?
    Dr Ash had two jobs, Quarantine and Vaccines. Dr Ash failed on both counts…resulting in fear within South Auckland, all because Dr Ash, who is paid $350,000 per year, could not do his job.
    During the measles and Covid outbreaks did anyone see Dr Ash actually working within our South Auckland community…No. If he does show his face in South Auckland, it will be with media minders, and lots of security.

    • Least we forget that St Ashley had to be taken off Labour’s electioneering campaigns?

      No he’s not politically compromised at all…yea right.

  14. During the measles and Covid outbreaks did anyone see Dr Ash actually working within our South Auckland community…No.
    Dr Ash had two jobs, Quarantine, and vaccines — he failed to do both, despite this he gets paid $350,000 every year, causing the outbreaks, and still lectures Kiwis daily on doing their job of obeying the health rules, smug shit!

  15. During the measles and Covid outbreaks did anyone see Dr Ash actually working within the South Auckland community…No.
    Dr Ash had two jobs, Quarantine, and Vaccines — failed on both, yet, lectures Kiwis nearly day about doing the right, smug shit

  16. Why did we go into lockdown when community cases started to manifest? Cases are still manifesting but we are going down levels? If we just wait long enough then will the government ease restrictions for no other reason that they can? While making stuff up and changing definitions?

      • Nope, the answer is not vaccinations. The answer is that they are confident in that they know where the cases are and that community spread is under control.
        You’ll remember 1 case becoming dozens overnight.
        Currently no exponential spread.

    • The government will ease up on the totalitarianism if the Wiles-Baker-Hendy-et al doctrine (“the science”) starts to contradict itself, starts to harm instead of help, or causes the government poll numbers to fall. Sister Ardern has evolved throughout this endemic, initially wanting zero deaths, then zero covid, then zero cases and then today, “zero tolerance for Covid”. Forget “jab, jab, jab”, sister’s got spin, spin, spin.

      • If the sun is out tomorrow it will be warm, if I get six numbers in the lotto, I’m a winner, if, if, if. If it doesn’t contradict itself it’ll be Sister Jody’s spin, spin, spin!

        Imagine wanting zero death’s how appalling.

  17. All other countries over 5 million are still experiencing raging covid-19 infections resulting in exceptional demand on hospitals and ICU’s, and unacceptable deaths. The grim-reapers of the right wing are sad that Covid-19 is under control and that widespread deaths with streets full of body bags is not happening. I was initially surprised that Tamaki moved to level 3 like the ill-informed tory followers were however after Bloomfields explanations last Monday and today it is now clear that Delta can be reigned in. Thank you Jacinda and Ashley.

    • “All other countries over 5 million are still experiencing raging covid-19 infections resulting in exceptional demand on hospitals and ICU’s, and unacceptable deaths”.

      Yes. You’d think here in Godzone some people have no idea what is happening elsewhere. Where does their horizon end? Cape Reinga?

  18. The decision to move Auckland out of Alert Level 4 while new cases of Covid were still being notified in the community signaled an end of the New Zealand government’s previously successful Covid elimination strategy.
    The government has not openly announced the change. It has almost gone so far as to deny that there has been a change, but the evidence showing that it has is so strong as to be almost conclusive.
    Firstly, if the tough measures (Level 4) have failed to achieve the object (elimination of community cases) logically you do not turn to less rigid measures (Level 3) to achieve the same object. You would either continue with the rigorous controls as long as necessary, or introduce even more rigorous measures. The abandonment of Level 4 before the object of Level 4 had been achieved was tantamount to both an admission of failure and a change of strategy.
    Secondly, the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has stated that zero community cases is no longer the goal. Since zero community cases is the definition of elimination, that also is tantamount to a change of strategy from “elimination” to “suppression” or “containment”.
    Thirdly, the New Zealand government has been quietly renaming its alert levels. Alert Level 4 was originally named “Elimination”. It is now “Lockdown”. The word “elimination” is being slowly phased out of public discourse.
    Fourthly the shift of emphasis to “vaccination” is an implicit admission that the elimination strategy has been shelved. Vaccination was the backstop to elimination. It is now the alternative to elimination.
    Like the boy who said “The Emperor has no clothes” some New Zealand public health experts are now daring to state the obvious, which is that the government has moved away from elimination.
    What are the consequences of the change in strategy from “Elimination” to “Vaccination”?
    First, as the government has pointed out, elimination is still possible, but it can only happen through good luck since it will not now happen by design. People and governments are free to trust to their luck against a highly contagious disease such as Covid, but if they do they cannot claim to be taking a cautionary approach.
    Second, vaccination does nothing like what elimination can do. Covid vaccines may be relatively safe but the evidence suggests that they are also relatively ineffective. Furthermore they will never cover the entire population as elimination did. Many will remain unvaccinated because they are considered too young, have medical contra-indications, or choose not to be vaccinated on other grounds. So there will be Covid-related illness and there will be deaths and there will be long term adverse effects even among those who have been “fully vaccinated”. The public health system will be under strain even if it is not completely overwhelmed, and in the short term at least the economy will suffer more than it did under elimination.
    Elimination has given New Zealanders domestic freedom of movement and social interaction. It benefited public health, not just with respect to Covid, but with respect to continued access to medical treatment for all types of non-Covid related conditions. The productive economy by any standard functioned well.
    However elimination was not Jacinda’s first choice and despite appearances it has not had her full commitment. She originally planned to follow Britain down the track of suppression, but just in the nick of time yielded to the weight of public and epidemiological opinion. Even then the trans-Tasman bubble, instituted against epidemiological advice, greatly increased the risk of Covid here, and has now left thousands of New Zealanders stranded in Australia. Without the trans-Tasman bubble, New Zealand might not be facing its current dilemma.
    Some argue that it was inevitable that there would be outbreaks of Covid in New Zealand and, in effect, that the elimination strategy would fail, yet there was no inevitability about it. If the strategy succeeded in the beginning, it could have succeeded over the longer term. It just required commitment and sound decisions. Putting MIQ under the administration of the New Zealand military which has not managed to win a war any time in the past sixty years was not a good decision. Neither was opening the trans-Tasman bubble to indulge the desires of a narrow section of New Zealand business and the most affluent section of New Zealand society at the expense of virtually everyone else.
    So what now is the prospect ahead of us?
    “With luck” Covid may be eliminated once again.
    Otherwise individuals will have to make some decisions of our own. First whether to become vaccinated and second to what lengths if any they should go in order to avoid infection by the virus. For some the answer will be strict isolation regardless of vaccination status. For others avoidance of high risk situations such as large public gatherings, or meetings with strangers, social distancing, mask wearing etc, will suffice. The foreign advisors who successfully, and against the mass of local opinion, urged Jacinda Ardern’s government to drop its elimination strategy are saying that the answer is to “teach people how to risk calculate” which is a classic neoliberal argument. Put people in an unpredictable situations where there are many unknowns, they are saying, and you can still expect them to make the decisions which have good outcomes for themselves and others. The truth is that some will do better than others, but overall this strategy will come at a high social and public health cost.
    Further down the track we should consider the wider risks of persisting with a colonialist government for which pragmatism so easily degenerates into political expediency, a government which is never completely open about its strategies, and a government which works on the assumption that if only the right sentiment is conveyed persuasively and with conviction, the need for practical action may be avoided. Whether with regard to poverty, housing, public health, or foreign relations, and now Covid, the walk and the talk of the New Zealand government lead in very different directions.
    The state which lacked the will to defend New Zealand’s border against Covid will in all likelihood fail to defend its people against other potentially more deadly threats.

    • A nice summary, it certainly looks to be where things are heading. Time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

  19. As PM Jacinda says – ‘Speaking at today’s briefing, after the release of new modelling which suggests lockdowns may still be needed if the country achieved an 80 percent vaccination rate, Ardern said vaccine certificates, better ventilation, some mask use, and the possibility of changing border restrictions so a full 14-day quarantine isn’t required could used in the future.

    But for now vaccination is the main tool.

    “It all comes down to vaccination.”‘https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/452126/covid-19-briefing-it-all-comes-down-to-vaccination-pm

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