Political Best Case – Worst Case for NZ’s looming Delta Summer

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I fear that New Zealand Aotearoa is about to be tested in ways we haven’t experienced in living memory.

The country is on a precipice and I don’t think people appreciate how large a flock of black swans are circling.

Over Summer either a terrible unraveling is possible or a Kiwi combination of shrewd gambler dumb luck conspire to deliver us to a bumpy normal.

Here are the best case and worst case scenarios as I see them.

WORST CASE

Economy
The OCR rate skips up again, possibly by as much as .5 as the Reserve Bank throws the only thing they have to stop real time inflation from exploding. The problem as I see it is the inflation is being caused by unique supply side constrictions, so the only tool left is the ‘bazooka’, which Adrian Orr used last time with a .75 cut. If he needs to get ahead of a sudden spike in the cost of basics because ports are jammed solid it would need to be one enormous hand break.

And if he has to pull that hand break, we best hope there are airbags for everyone.

The steep rise in repaying the ocean of debt will suck money directly out of the pockets of people, many of whom are on the tipping point between functioning and desperate.

This leads to a plunge in consumer confidence, enormous financial pressures and the necessity to re-enter level 4 forcing those elements of the economy built on hospitality, tourism & retail to shut as wave after wave of sickness and death trips the country back into a steep recession and brutal lockdown.

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Covid
Delta leaks thanks to unclear rules and leaky borders and the contest becomes a race to vaccinate. With less than 600 ICU beds, we overload capacity at around 15 000 cases. Illness, the speed of the spread and a spike in deaths all combine to cause a shockwave through communities, suburbs and wider society. This shockwave of grief and sorrow hits all aspects of civil society, culture, economy, art and politics. The price becomes unconscionable in Maori, Pacifica, old and poor communities.

Crime
While Maori Gangs vaccinate and agree to stop dealing until vaccination rates are up, the 501s see this as an opportunity to dramatically expand their market share which causes and trips immense friction and rapidly escalating violence while National, ACT & the NZME Troll farm go to work playing to the community’s fear and selling Labour as soft on gangs.

At the same time, the psychological impact of lockdown starts erupting with domestic violence & extreme events.

Civil Unrest
As the economic stress of new level 4 lockdown restrictions bite alongside the grief shockwave alongside the explosion in crime, the State’s increasingly punitive approach egged on by extreme partisan social media culture wars breeds the perfect maelstrom of extremist civil unrest.

Foreign Affairs
China’s retaliation at AUKUS becomes economic as well as Sabre rattling. Our presence in the UK flotilla marks us as the mate of their enemy and heavy handed sanctions hit our export market when the economy is at its most vulnerable. Hardliners inside China argue 8 nuclear subs with hypersonic missiles tilts the Overton window where they can take Taiwan by military force and that it’s now or never.

Intense Pacific regional strife would dangerously damage our already hurting economy while causing intense cultural friction between China’s diaspora.

BEST CASE

Economy
NZs flexibility (gig economy insecurity) has allowed it to maintain well beyond what was expected or predicted. While mortgage rate rises dent some pockets, wealthy boomers still have enough disposable cash to splurge at the higher ends of town alongside wealthy overseas tourists hankering for a holiday destination a few steps back from the Apocalypse Now embracing many other countries. Unemployment remains low and hospitality, tourism and retail adapt to vaccine passports quickly enough to prevent many going under. Our exporters and importers manage to negotiate higher transport costs that bypass jammed ports without passing costs on in an already threadbare margin market without igniting an inflation flash bomb.

Covid
Most NZers adapt to the new reality, wear masks everywhere, social distance and get vaccinated. We get to 90% vaccination and experience dozens of deaths and a few thousand cases. We learn to live with the virus and Labour’s shrewd gamble that our sprint to get vaccinated pays off.

Crime
The newly reformed Police Intelligence Unit have taken the time to reorientate the focus onto the 501s and preventing them from importing weapons and South American Cartel meth. This results in well targeted sting operations once lockdown level 2 kicks in. This takes key agitators off the streets and removes those actively attempting to cause turf wars.

Extra resources into social services for counseling and mental health help start to process the trauma of the last 18months and the slight down tick of suicides this year heralds the fruit of Labour’s extra investment into mental health.

Civil Unrest
Police wisely give Brian Tamaki a wet slap on the wrist and don’t provide him the oxygen of martyrdom as a double vaxxed society moves on with their lives thanks to vaccine passports leaving the unvaxxed to gnash their teeth on Facebook echo chambers that become increasingly irrelevant. Protest dies off to just the fringe and people desperately rush to embrace a new bumpy normal.

Foreign Affairs
China’s internal economic decline and energy constraints dominate Beijing and military adventurism costs more than posturing so they play up the rhetoric while dealing economically. America has too much riding on a global economy that trades with China than to buy a fight and Taiwan doesn’t become a geopolitical flashpoint.

 

Like I said, lot of black swans circling and a need more than ever for a solidarity beyond politics to get through this if the worst case scenario plays out.

But then again, fuck it, our shrewd gambler dumb luck has saved us so many times before, let’s roll the dice!

Get vaccinated. Now.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. The supreme irony in all of this is that Jacinda could utilise the 70% (for now), massive public support for not “letting COVID rip” to sit NZ National, ACT, the employing class, petit bourgeoisie, and aggrieved travellers caught in bubbles and MIQ on their collective arses.

    Just as she could have used the absolute, once in a generation, MMP Labour Parliamentary majority to institute a basic income paid through IRD to all citizens, state house mega build, and vicious capital gains tax on property bludgers.

    But hey, ignore the focus groups and polls when it suits the neo liberal ideology obviously. I don’t support Govt. by focus group but it is interesting to speculate on what has caused the PM to deviate from her previous dedication to such opinions.

    • Most don’t buy into that bullshit anymore as more and more people see through the smoke and mirrors and see a government continually out of their depth. If rhetoric is not matched by actions they become slogans and glorified bumper stickers.

      Secondly this outbreak has been fanned by gangs and illegal drug distribution inside and outside of Auckland. This has leaked out despite the government’s best efforts as has, the double standards given to gang associates to roam between outside and inside Auckland. Regardless of whether this approach is justified or not when parents can’t see their newborns and businesses can’t access their staff, materials of worksites this sticks in the craw.

      The summer of discontent is her and her lord and mighty has no one else to blame other than the person in the mirror.

      • Heh, well you can slice into the Govt. but what is your motley crew going to do instead?

        Chris “Bishflap” admitted on Radio NZ this morning that he generally supported the Govt. approach so far, and it seemed he was just trying to point score over the timing of signing up to Pzifer vaccine.

        So what is Nashnull’s plan apart from double orders of body bags?

        • The bodybags will mount up regardless of what policy we take. At present its only a case of timing. The wildcard is next generation vaccines and treatment although this won’t be in time to stop the first wave here.

          At National and Act have a plan and while not brilliant it is better than doing nothing other than sobibor with picnics and hoping for a giant unicorn with a rainbow sprouting out of its anus to save us.

          • Frank, you righties thought the pretty communist was useless before she was even elected . How many times have you been proved wrong since? And just in case you haven’t noticed, your party has gone down the toilet.

    • The high support for lockdowns was largely contingent on the availability of the vaccine (or lack thereof), and the further we climb that hill (getting there) the more that support will waft away, like a COVID-laden exhalation in a turbulent Auckland westerly.

      Labour will also be acutely aware that its most durable core of support appears to coincide largely with those areas which are most evidently (rather than performatively) bucking the lockdown regime. It would be naive to neglect the partisan split in the pro- and anti-lockdown camps, and political folly to assume that Labour’s voters are in lockstep with the leadership on this issue.

  2. We’ll get to 90% vaccination, and then panic in 6 months as the vaccine start’s to wear of. A very well documented case study out of Israel show what we can expect to happen here at about 6 months in the future (given this is about how long the vaccine apparently lasts and that our mass vaccination program in New Zealand happened over a very short period meaning it will also wear off over a very short time frame):
    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.39.2100822
    Now as restrictions ease in Europe we’re discovering this:
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-021-00808-7?error=cookies_not_supported&code=3efdf7cb-a111-48ce-a8e6-7b085236e4a1
    The “if only everyone is vaccinated” mandates that are being coerced/forced all over the world will likely spectacularly fail in achieving the (presumptive) goal of eliminating the virus. It may buy some time however – especially when it comes to hospitalisations and deaths though (hopefully enough to discover how to better treat the forthcoming severe CoVID cases). But the idea we’re going to eradicate CoVID with the current vaccines is pure fantasy.

    • Great references Nitrium. And yes, you’re right – we are only buying a brief reprieve with vaccination. The short term efficacy of the vaccines is being mitigated somewhat by the false sense of security and complacency that sets in afterwards.
      We will need booster shot before next winter – well, for those that don’t recieve a “natural” immunity boost by contracting the virus between now and then at least! 😉

    • Nitrium from comments I see people have not read the excellent papers referenced you know what they say about horses and water in in this case donkeys

    • Meh.

      1. Eliminate till there are vaccines 2020-2021
      2. Vaccinate until there are anti-viral treatments (Mercks new pill, even better than the off patent Ivermectin) 2021-2022

      We will be offering Pfizer third doses to those vaxxed March-April soon and the rest of us will be using the Novavax one next year. There is also this 12 month anti-body treatment

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-06/azd7442-astrazeneca-fda-authorise-covid-antibody-treatment/100517498

      • There’s more talk about us all being exposed to covid by Xmas. Those of us who have been double vaxxed may get a minor dose.That dose will up our immunity.
        Natural immunity plus vax is meant to be the very best

        • Sure – 28 proteins rather than 1, lasts 12 months rather than 6-9 months then a booster.

          For mine, its not till April-May most will have been exposed, and only some will have had break through infections

    • I’ll add to this that just today both Sweden and Denmark have suspended giving the Moderna vaccine to its younger populations. They are (presumably) only doing this because they know that the vaccine is doing more harm than good in this demographic.
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-07/sweden-denmark-moderna-covid-vaccine-pause/100519714
      It should be noted that the Pfizer vaccine works in the exactly the same way as the Moderna vaccine (i.e. they are both mRNA vaccines that force your body to create a lot of the virus’s “spike proteins”, which it turns out are in of themselves pathogenic), so I don’t expect that Pfizer’s vaccine will be any safer.
      https://portlandpress.com/bioscirep/article/41/8/BSR20210611/229418/SARS-CoV-2-spike-protein-S1-induces-fibrin-ogen

      • However your first link states…

        Sweden recommends people born during and after 1991 use Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine instead. So given your analysis “so I don’t expect that Pfizer’s vaccine will be any safer.”, I find your summation extremely confusing?

        • Yeah I see what you’re saying, and it’s just conjecture on my part. The technology and mode of action between the two vaccines isn’t different. The fact that only the Moderna vaccine is (so far) a cause for concern and the Pfizer vaccine is still fine is up in the air. Maybe Pfizer (or both) turn out to be fine. By all accounts the vaccines are a better alternative than catching the virus for the medium term for many people. My concern revolves mostly around what happens after that (especially the durability and long-term side-effects of these new vaccines).

    • “In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect. Stigmatizing populations can do more harm than good. Importantly, other non-pharmacological prevention efforts (e.g., the importance of basic public health hygiene with regards to maintaining safe distance or handwashing, promoting better frequent and cheaper forms of testing) needs to be renewed in order to strike the balance of learning to live with COVID-19 in the same manner we continue to live a 100 years later with various seasonal alterations of the 1918 Influenza virus.”

      I think this perfectly sums up the Governments strategy. Whilst many “don’t like being told what to do and being treated like a child” during the 1pm presentations, no one can accuse the Government of not getting the above message across…

      “the importance of basic public health hygiene with regards to maintaining safe distance or handwashing, promoting better frequent and cheaper forms of testing”.

      So as Aircooledguy says…to the anti Government out there…”you know what they say about horses and water in in this case donkeys”.

  3. Worst Case Scenario;

    The Seven Deadly Crisises get worse! Remember?

    Homelessness – 24,000+
    Poverty is up – 190,000+
    Housing, absolutely a cluster…. -40,000
    Health system crashing
    Covid – Given up on elimination, just like all these Crisis!
    Terrorism – Incompetent leadership from the top!
    Crime! A False Profit gets away with murder!

    Time for an election now or, the PM steps aside and lets the grown-ups take over because this experimental government has run its course.

    • What grown ups???? There AREN’T any this is NZ. Anyone with an ounce of original thought or real ability always leaves. Run by the PMC’s )professional managerial classes) aka fuckwits are us!

    • What I’d like to know Denny, is who are these “grown-ups”?

      Maybe we should offer the job to Gladys B – she’s on the job market now 🙂

    • You ask for an election but who would you vote for that would make a difference to the path NZ would take. In principle I lean to the right so that means Act or National but I am yet to see or hear the path they would take that would solve the problems you list . Sound bites do not make policy

  4. The vaccine message could have been sent out with a message that those not vaccinated by a certain date say end of November you could not travel on any public transport buses ferries planes could not visit any public facility like libraries swimming pools etc .
    Fiji had the right idea by saying any person paid by the public purse tax per or rate payer is no jab no pay.
    Now we are starting to get all uptight about using toilets which makes the government look stupid and losing control of the message which to be fair has worked to date but not anymore .

  5. Yes, the Gang members who are getting permission to go into Auckland is weird…Sonny (Waikato – Mongrel Mob) is feuding with the Auckland Chapter of the mob over territory for the last decade…Michael Tam (Dunedin Mongrel Mob) is widely not trusted within the mob due to his money losing ventures…he escaped to the Hawkes Bay.
    I do not believe those two are in Auckland to help with the vaccine roll out within the Auckland underworld. I reckon they are using it as cover.

    • No, he is making a rational argument on how best to understand the ever spreading epidemic of the Delta strain of Covid 2 in NZ. So that THINKING people can rationally develop their own best responses to a life threatening illness. There is lot to process , daily , and it is natural to be fearful. The unvaccinated are going to die in increasing numbers. I expect personally to have to make the difficult decision of not attending the funerals of some of those I know who are unvaccinated during the next 18 months.That is the reality of what NZ is facing if you don’t understand that then you are irrational .

    • @ Prag-…?
      And you spelled Martyn’s name incorrectly so there goes your cred you moron.
      Adern, and what ever her government is, is doing a very, very good job re c-19/2 all things considered.
      roger douglas did his best to steal our shit then get clean away with it. His twerker boy-toy of choice, seymour’s, doing his little floral best to wipe rogers stains off our assets meanwhile we have a cadre of bible bashing freak show escapees in national who can’t do much more than shoot blanks at the moon. Meanwhile, Adern can’t let the truth set her free because I doubt most of you fuckers could handle the truth. You’d get all neurotic and would need a shrink session followed by a herbal tea and a foot rub.
      Jacinda Adern is rising daily in my estimations as a prime minister enduring a trial by hell fire while surrounded by Death Cult Capitalist zombies braying for the blood money of others.
      Close the borders. We can easily cope. Fuck the banks especially the foreign ones and fuck urban business. Just because most of you aren’t farmers doesn’t mean you can’t survive off the land. ( Raised middle finger and a raspberry. )
      Speaking personally, I’ve rode down a life of paradigm shifts and if I can do it anyone can.
      Developing new ways of doing old things are essential because they’re going to become the new normal.
      BTW? Fuck capitalism. Fat lot of good you are, you worthless fucking junk idea. ( Unless you’re filthy riche of course but even then, the money you stole from others will be no use to you once your plugged into a life support machine.)
      Check this out in the Guardian.
      George Monbiot.
      “Trashing the planet and hiding the money isn’t a perversion of capitalism. It is capitalism”
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/06/offshoring-wealth-capitalism-pandora-papers?utm_source=pocket_mylist
      Close the fucking borders!? Then sleep well and grow a potato…

    • If Martyn is depressed, paranoid and spreading this poison what say you of those organising and attending protest gatherings this weekend?

      “A prominent epidemiologist has dubbed the gatherings a “perfect storm”, which have the potential to become super-spreader events.
      Epidemiologist Professor Rod Jackson said the events, particularly those in Auckland and Waikato, had a number of worrying elements that could help rampant infection spread.”

      If Martyn is depressed, paranoid and spreading this poison what do you say of Dr Damian Wojcik of Northland?
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/covid-19-delta-outbreak-anti-vaccination-gps-hindering-northland-rollout/WCI3C6I6VZ3AMJRZJEW54LY2YA/

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