Worst Case Delta Scenario – NZ is about to be tested in ways we haven’t seen in living memory


COVID-19: Timing of Delta outbreak couldn’t be worse for the economy – Cameron Bagrie

The drawn-out lockdown affecting the upper North Island couldn’t have come at a worse time, one economist says, with firms set to miss out on the Christmas sales bump and other festive spending.

Govt will have to let businesses fail without elimination, economist says

Businesses should be allowed to fail over the coming months because, if the country is not pursuing an elimination strategy for Covid-19, it does not make sense to try to save every one, one economist says.

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

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.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

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.

Delta spreads 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 and break the track & track at 180 cases a day.

The modelling is grim…

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: South Auckland outbreak ‘could get totally out of control’, DHB modelling shows

According to modelling carried out by the Counties Manukau District Health Board, if border restrictions are loosened for arrivals from countries with high Covid numbers, South Auckland will see between 1000 and 1400 cases a week – even if vaccination rates get to 90 per cent.

Under the modelling prepared for the DHB, if strong border controls and public health measures remained in place and the vaccination rate reached 90 per cent, the Counties Manukau region would see only 40 cases and one hospitalisation per week. This number jumps to 200 cases per week if vaccination rates reach only 80 per cent.

The scenario gets much more grim for South Aucklanders if border and public health restrictions are lifted. The DHB’s modelling shows there will be at least 1000 cases and 30 hospitalisations per week with a 90 per cent vaccination rate, or 1400 cases and 45 hospitalisations if vaccination rates reach only 80 per cent.

Covid-19: Thousands of infections a week, even at 90 per cent vaccination rate

Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, the Government says.

Modelling showed there could be up to 5200 Covid cases a week – just in the Auckland and Northland region – at 90 per cent vaccination rates, Ministry of Health chief medical officer Andrew Connolly said on Thursday. The figure doesn’t include the rest of the country south of the Bombay Hills.

His comments came as the Government unveiled its new strategy to eventually manage between 90 and 95 per cent of Covid infections at home, and not in MIQ, under the care of general practitioners and nurses.

Still, the 5 to 10 per cent of patients sick enough to go to hospital would place a lot of pressure on the health system, Connolly said.

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.

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.


Get vaccinated. Now. It’s here and NZ is about to be tested in ways we haven’t seen in living memory.


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  1. Like most places with a high vaccination rate the earth will keep spinning. Ours should be well over 80% in the next fortnight to three weeks, double vaxed. And for those puritans fence sitting hoping the elimination status quo remained, times up. Vax or take your chances but I don’t like your odds.

    I don’t think it’s going to be as apocalyptic as you predict and the fact is now we in Auckland are strapped to this roller coaster and we will come out the other end a lot sooner than the rest of NZ.

    But it will be a different world and Aucklander’s will know we are no longer and probably never were part of the team of 5 million.

    • The 5000 daily cases is ridiculous – anyone looking over the Tasman at lighter lockdowns there can see the 1500 ish daily cases NSW peaked at, fearmongering just destroys more faith in government departments and media.

    • The only reason we are looking at worst case scenario is because this is the most incompetent government since Muldoon or perhaps ever.
      They have failed to deliver on practically every promise including putting NZ at the front of the vaccination queue.
      I suspect it will all become just a bit too challenging for Adern over the next two years and she will swan off to the UN for a cushy overpaid job and leave the rest of us to suffer from her gross incompetence.
      It doesn’t matter whether she has done this to us out of incompetence or evil, the result is the same.

  2. Yep – there are large issues on the horizon over the next 12 months. Time will tell if it’s better to be in opposition or government during this period.

    One things for sure the purchasing power of New Zealand’s bottom 40% has reduced significantly over the past 12 months and will continue to do so unless radical action is taken

    • Funny how every crisis there has ever been seems to have resulted in the poor suffering more, and the rich minority making gains. Never let one go to waste, eh?

  3. I believe many of our Maori whanau are becoming increasingly unhappy and discontent with our current government. And we are now seeing evidence of this with tribal leaders asking for regional road blocks as this government is failing to protect us as a people (and this has happened before) This government did not and has not listened to our Maori and PI health experts. This government is bringing in another one thousand Afghanistan people on top of the three hundred already here. Now are these Afghanistan peoples going to be housed in motels or are the motels just for Maori and PI peoples? In the meantime we have a severe shortage of homes for all NZers but namely Maori and PI (who are more likely to be discriminated against) and we have the Delta raging in our biggest city. Then we have the three waters proposal being rammed through while many of us are preoccupied with Delta and the issues of just being able to survive. And what about our Maori proprietary right in water the water many NZers feel nobody owns. If this government does not sort the Covid and housing issues out before the next election I can say with some conviction they can kiss goodbye to the Maori seats they currently hold. I will say this again many of our Maori people are not happy.

    • Agree CIP, on all your points. It’s not only our Maori and PI people who feel that way bro. I’m hearty for all of us and we must leave no stone unturned now. I hope vaxathon today reaches significantly. At first I thought it was a grab at straws, but now feel a bit nostalgic for my childhood and the telethons of a simpler time. Plus grabbing at straws is exactly the right thing to do now. Housing, inequality, mistrust et al and the actors who gleefully perpetuate the growing divide – well, all I’ll say is that their time is shortening. Humanity is a strange beast and with enough stressors it will gather and fight back. We have a double edged sword now, delta. Get vaccinated everyone. In the words of Princess Leia to OB1, “you’re my only hope” (jab). Hold on everyone, it’s a long bumpy as fuck ride ahead for us all!

  4. Have they done any modelling at 100% vaccination? That would be instructive.
    We are still following the pattern of fatalities from covid of other Western countries, namely that the average age of death by covid is the same as average life expectancy . Considerably older in the UK being 84 as compared with normal life expectancy of 82.
    It was reasonable at the beginning of 2020 to treat this apparently new virus as potentially very dangerous for all we could know back then, but it has long since become evident that it is quite similar in effect to a rather bad flu. Now the miss match between the severity of the disease and the panic surrounding it , and the propaganda surrounding it and the censorship of expert reasoned and concerned voices alarmed at the reaction and at the vaccine raise the question of “what the hell is going on?”. There must be something we don’t know either about the virus or the vaccine that is driving this madness.
    D J S

    • So much spin from government and not enough action.

      Fear and repetition cynically used to create compliance and political loyalty.

      Then the big 180 handbrake turn.

      The NZ Labour government are now pursuing the same “herd immunity with less strict lockdowns” that they and their woke Lynch mob spent the last year and a half mocking Boris Johnson for in the UK.
      They just haven’t been able to say that.

      Somehow it’s capitalism or Nationals fault.

    • What I would like is to have someone comment on this site that has had covid, that has either recovered or is still recovering from the effects of covid. You see, many comment that it is no worse than the common flu yet we simply don’t know that, in fact that in itself is propaganda. That way we have first hand experience rather than the advice we recieve and the propaganda that there is some type of hidden agenda.

      • I don’t doubt it’s degrees worse than flu if you cop a good dose.
        Statistics back this up.
        Covid is a big deal.

        But only ever arguing the worst case scenario as has been done here repeatedly as a PR/propaganda tactic has sidelined sensible debate on readying the country for a staged re opening.
        And “suddenly” here we are.

        • Fatality rate is near identical to the flu. Covid is really only worse than flu in that it is FAR more contagious (i.e. more people get it). Apparently it doesn’t really “feel” like flu though – you’ll know if you have it from what I’ve heard. Apparently you get very weird dreams, spend 16 hours/day in bed from simply feeling very tired, and a lot of people are left with zero taste or smell for a few weeks after recovery.

          • “Fatality rate is near identical to the flu.”

            Its actually hard to find comparative data on this – and confounded by confusion between CRF and IFR. Bit of a minefield for the uninitiated really. However, both influenza and Covid-19 clearly age related. For Covid-19 is geographical location a factor? Possibly ethnicity?

            Here’s a paper by Simon Thornley and colleague you may have seen that supports your view, written for the BMJ last year, pre Delta, essentially a critique of Baker and Wilson, both proponents of New Zealand’s lockdown.

            I recall they didn’t get much traction at the time despite some coverage in msm. Have they been proved wrong? Or simply silenced?


          • Nitrium. After watching professor Warren Tate on zoom describing the symptoms of long haul Covid you might change your mind. Quite a large group can be bedridden for months with symptoms similar to severe Chronic Fatigue with added respiratory problems. Some having to be taught to walk again. I think describing it as a bad flu is short of the mark.

            • Yes, if I can add to my earlier comment re diasgreement over fatality rates of Covid-19 compared to influenza. In the absence of comparative age-related data – well, I can’t find anything in a brief search that compares the two, apples for apples (the Thornley critique is essentially about the modelling) – I can accept the possibility that they are similiar. That said, looking at the total Covid deaths in some countries it seems to me they far exceed those that might be recorded for influenza.

              But yes NW, there is little doubt that for a good many Covid has some pretty nasty ongoing health outcomes. In this respect it is NOT like the flu. Plus of course it plays havoc with the health system.

        • I don’t disagree with the emphasis on ” sensible debate” as this is plural. That is why, in fact, I can’t understand why we have yet to hear more regularly from a ” recovered” patient. Why is that?

        • Since a lot of people whine & moan when they merely have a cold, coming in to work telling everyone they have had the flu, it isn’t surprising that most people have no idea what the flu is actually like, so it is easy to believe that COVID won’t be too bad if you’ve never actually experienced the flu. Some people are going to be in for a nasty surprise.

        • We are not told the condition of positive testing individuals except those that are hospitalised. As the cases are mostly being identified by testing known contacts the probability is that most cases would never have known they had an infection of anything. So the number to chose from to tell their story is probably very small.
          D J S

      • My nephew in the UK and his wife just had Covid, literally out of bed today after 6-7 days. He said it was simialr to a bad case of (tougher than normal) man flu.
        He and the wife are unvaccinated.
        I’ve had two long time friends (from school days) who’ve had it also and made similar type comments. Other than loss of taste and smell for a few weeks afterwards.
        NOW one swallow does NOT a spring make. And there is a whole spectrum of suffers. But diferentiate between the original covid and the delta and it’s ‘soon to be’ variants. Invariably they become less dangerous but more contagious.
        And thgere are MANY different ways to protct yourself, other than being a human guinea pig for a gene therapy rush job.

        • “And thgere are MANY different ways to protct yourself, other than being a human guinea pig for a gene therapy rush job.”

          Could you name these please, very interested.

        • You know me Bert pro vaccine and believe in the covid story but one strange think is that both of my boys live in Melbourne 1 in construction the other in a large company . Both tell me that despite the large numbers quoted for Victoria neither have any friends or business colleges with the virus. I do wonder where the 5000 daily figure comes from.

          Off subject but glad to see you getting a pay rise and more in the wind.You medical people deserve all you get plus some

        • Surprising how the stupid gene runs deep in your family way back to the home country. With the rate of spread in UK you would have to be raving mad not to have vaccine.

      • Have not had covid personally. But my daughter (23) is currently in MIQ due out Sunday, with her half brother and sister (7 & 9) who caught sars-cov2 from their father as part of the recent west Auckland cluster, my daughter is their caregiver. Father (mid 50s), partner (mid 40s), partner’s daughter (early 20s) and 3 month old all positive, father and partner are alcoholic meth users and don’t eat well, father fully vaccinated had the worst symptoms, akin to a moderate flu – funnily enough he actually felt much better due to detoxing off alcohol and meth despite having sars-cov2. Partner and daughter had cold like symptoms, baby had zero symptoms. Half brother and sister, zero symptoms, not a sniffle, no temperature, nothing. My daughter and partner who have been in close proximity to the kids for weeks with no protocols observed, negative every time.
        This suggests unless you are symptomatic you are not likely to spread sars-cov2, children are the least likely to be affected, and even relatively unhealthy people can recover completely with no treatment. Bit like all those anti-vaxxers are saying.
        It took nearly a week for them to organise a place in MIQ, my daughter said they just make it up as they go along. Complete waste of time and tax payer money.

        • So, from the scenario (or is it a fable?) you have outlined, how would the whanau have fared if the original spreader had not been vaccinated and also, given the addiction you describe, what effect would this have had on the father’s ‘worst symptoms’.
          This sounds like a story that needs some qualified professional evaluation before being accepted as a reason for letting Covid-19 run rife throughout the country.

          • I don’t presume to know the outcome of the proposed scenarios. Someone asked for real world stories and I have given mine for others to draw their own conclusions from as you have. I agree that it is still only an anecdotal story and would indeed need evaluation. I would not bother to make up such an elaborate fable!

    • Covid is real and dangerous – it is the worst pandemic since 1919. Once it circulates in the community, it will result in many deaths (not just the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions), and cause heaps of long term effects like long covid and people having bad lungs for the rest of their lives, and then them getting respiratory issues and early deaths from this 10 or 20 or so years down the line. This will ruin many peoples and families lives.

      For some people, esp. the young and healthy, it won’t be as bad, and will be like a flu, but for many many others it will be bad, really bad. I don’t think we heartlessly can dismiss it as a ‘bad flu’. Just read about what is occurring overseas – read the stories from hospitals and people who have had bad cases. No need to dismiss covid based on a few anecdotal examples from people who didn’t get it so bad. Unfortunately we can’t see how real it is until it really hits here.

      The centrist middle-class Labour govt are essentially signalling they are going to fuck over a lot of people in the elderly, disabled, people with respiratory issues, and those vulnerable people at the bottom of the working class (disprop. Maori, Pasifika but also include many Pakeha alike). The hospitals will be swamped – only 186 actual ICU beds! Existing inequalities will be hugely magnified. It’s capitalism in action but sped up.

  5. Here are some questions for anyone who hasn’t yet been fully vaccinated…

    Do you intend to get vaccinated?

    If so, what has prevented you from getting vaccinated so far?

    If not, how do you personally plan to protect yourself from COVID-19 over the coming months, assuming that it will become endemic in Auckland (and probably the rest of NZ) in the near future?

    Or are you not worried about COVID-19 at all?

    Interested to see the answers.

  6. We will find out in the next several weeks I guess the degree of shit storm we are facing.

    There are some simple things the Govt. could do regardless to make it all a bit less shit for working class people…
    –widely advertise available COVID related payments, like waiting at home for test results, and make the payments direct to workers using their National Health number, via IRD
    –pay several hundred dollars Basic Income pw to all citizens via IRD for the duration, recover such payments from higher earners via tax system as necessary
    –distribute free food by neighbourhood
    –free Wifi nationwide for 6 months
    –fare free public transport

    • Some great ideas here TM. It is a shame people need food banks but it is even big shame that rather than letting people retain their dignity the government suppliments the food banks and makes people line up and beg instead of giving them a decent amount of benefit. Unfortunately I would expect National would do the same as the poor in NZ get shafted all the time and must be getting close to the tipping point when they refuse to dof their hat and say thank you sir

  7. Well this is where we’re all heading (Australia is very much the global “leader” when it comes to draconian totalitarian CoVID mandates):
    I do question if this is the sort of country we want going forward(?), For record, I very much don’t.

  8. There are far bigger problems on the horizon than the spread of delta. This government and the progressive neoliberals who hold so many positions of influence are undermining the functionality of our institutions.

    Some of the things we’re facing:

    – a handover of power to unelected tribal elites
    – continued metastasis of Critical Race Theory and radical gender ideology throughout our institutions
    – the insistence that mātauranga Māori must be valued just as highly as so-called “western” science”
    – mandated equality of outcome for Māori and non-Māori in schools and tertiary institutions
    – legislation that will require the police to go after “hate speech” instead of actual crime
    – jailing of parents who prefer “wait and watch” to “affirmation” of their child’s gender dysphoria
    – the burden of proof shifted onto the defendant in sexual assault and rape cases.

    Woke ideology is a far greater threat than a virus with a fatality rate of <1%.

    • PPII. Why do you always dump on Maori? It seems to be bordering on eugenics. Maori have been shafted since the day we arrived and the system still adversely affects their lives. Try walking a mile in their shoes.

      • Show me where I’ve “dumped” on Maori, and if you think anything I’ve said borders on eugenics you either don’t understand the word or have an overactive imagination. We all know Maori have been shafted – what makes you think Critical Race Theory is the answer?

  9. PPII sobering words, for sure. I don’t think we know the fatality rate yet though, for NZ. I had real influenza (not man flu) nearly 20 years ago, nearly 30 years old. Sick as fuck. Absolutely wasted me, diarrhea and vomiting, couldn’t keep water down even. My body fought it off after several days. Super keen not to catch anything similar now I’m much older. Please get vaccinated everyone

  10. Global trade will never be the same again.
    ‘Made in NZ’ instead of Made in China will become the new/old school normal.
    Yaaay! I always wanted home grown manufacturing to rise from the ashes. Hopefully we will be allowed to build earth wall homes and reduce carbon further.

    Empire of dirt.

    Just like international travel and commuting has been cut off at the knees, now we just need to kill off most animal farming to finish the job. Not a good time to invest in ports, dairy, wool or meat.

    It was the only way to bring about change and build back better. Population control programs at the UN might not have any more love children for a bit.

    Dont whine everyone will actually be happier instead of rushing around in cars and buying dumb shit.

    Cyclists should get the lane eventually.

  11. Industrial civilisation is an unsustainable heat engine, predicated on the conversion of fossil fuels into waste.

    The collapse we are witnessing has nothing to do with Covid and everything to do with declining energy availsbility, rapid overheating of the Earth, and outrageous levels of money-printing by bank’s -especially central banks.

    Everyone has been repeatedly warned aboutl all this. And the vast majority of people have ignored the warnings.

    They are now about to become victims of their own stupidity and their ridiculous faith in inept and deceitful policians.

  12. On the issue of woke justice in NZ.

    Does anything think there is something wrong with practicality in the law, when the Wanaka Wankers who have been tested for Covid and negative break quarantine are publicly named but appear to be cooperating, while the alleged sex workers who break the law by travelling all around (and presumably having sex) and have Covid and don’t co-operate get name suppression!

    Seems like bad behaviour as usual in NZ has a woke flavour!

    • Oh and all the leaders of the gangs seem to be getting exemptions to get round the country because gang members can’t just telephone or email their influence? I mean they seem to be able to use cell phones to do their dodgy deals!

      Wonder why professionals are leaving NZ and criminals can’t wait to get here!

      Extra benefits and ear to government via the woke networking, for crims here supported by woke media and blogs!

  13. Very good article Martyn, except for the doomsday numbers.
    So let’s talk scaremongering: Stuart Nash, on the radio, boldly declared Sydney alone had 1800 deaths…do we want that in in NZ?, he said. Well he lied. NSW has had 500 deaths. Be that as it may, there will be some deaths, as long as the are NO deaths from covid, we’re ok yes? Cancer, heart attacks, old age and other such minor things don’t matter, just covid matters. Back to the ‘being tested like never before’ scenario: this govt is about to have the blowtorch put on it’s most sensitive body parts. I don’t think they will be able to handle the pain. We are about to find out what this govt is really worth. Because when it comes down to it, once we get used to it, there is a lot more to life than Covid19.

  14. As XRAY said further up in the comments: “Vax or take your chances, but I don’t like your odds”

    Auckland is now at 90% vaccinated so we meet her criterion for level 2: If she changes tack and hangs on to level 3 over Christmas in order to try and ‘save’ that 10% too dumb to get vaccinated, well, the 90% is going to be mightily pissed off. Time will tell how it pans out but expect anything from openly flouting the rules to mass protest. The cops will be helpless in the face of the masses. Further salt will be rubbed in the wound when seeing people overseas on TV having a fun Christmas.

    The financial impact:
    It’s massive and will ripple on for years. Let’s not forget that this is a consequence of the lockdowns, not the virus. At this point Robinson is just papering over the cracks and putting on a rictus grin.

    The medical and social impact:
    The incompetence of the government’s medical advisors is now laid bare for all to see. It was obvious to any thinking person that elimination was always a ridiculous idea simply because it contained no exit strategy. It was OK last year while the vaccine was being developed, but as soon as it came on the market we should have ordered 10 million doses and pressed fast-forward on the vaccination program. If we’d done that we would have been fully vaccinated 6 months ago and almost out the other side of this thing. Yet these wonks are still trying to die in a ditch over elimination! Are they just taking the piss now, or what? Of course the lockdown rules would never be followed with the absolute rigidity shown in their simplistic models because we have a feckless underclass that don’t follow ANY rules. Do their models take into account the depression, suicide, education upset and the postponement of tens of thousands of medical procedures that prevent curable but potentially fatal conditions? In the final accounting of this mess it may be that their ineptitude will kill more people than the virus would have.

    • Sure Andrew, things are going to get grim because of our foolish “aussie bubble” opening us up to delta, but at least we have had nearly 2 years of relative success. Your lot would have plunged us straight into disaster from the word go.

      • Will this PR stunt work?
        Is there enough vaccines on hand to vaccinate 90% of the eligible population?
        Does this manufactured Genocide of the Maori population help the government’s polling numbers?

  15. There is no Heart in the Government Covid strategy — its’ fatal flaw…Beating people over the head with doom, and gloom messages works on 80% of the population…the other 20% of the population wants more…for example, Jacinda from announcements, and Dr “Don’t look at my track record” Bloomfield actually going to South Auckland (without the media, supporters, and security detail) and knocking on people’s door, asking (not telling) them to get vaxx, and paying them to do so…
    Arresting/threatening to arrest poor brown people who say nah, just confirms the 20% feelings towards the Government

  16. We do have to stick together and work together for all our sakes, the hurt and angry, the self-centred and those also who want a good society that can manage to make the most of what the neoliberals have left us after they passed the work of the country to business and bureaucrats who get their ideas waking up in the night and sending thought messages to their bedside computers.
    I think Kiss might have a good message for NZ here – I was made for loving you baby . or another song, Love will keep us together! Kiss – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmELf8DJAVY

    It’s the bureaucrats who run the country and business people scurry around like tiny mites in a compost bin. The people need to train themselves in something called state support and be in charge of the SSC as proper opposition to the politicians and their exuberance. The name, State Services Commission was changed to the Public Service Commission in 2020. A nice detail!) At present we have a government following informed and positive scientific leaders in Covid knowledge. Let’s keep on, remembering that we have an economy underpinning us which we need to keep going even on short rations.

  17. Positive stuff.
    Professor Baker took part in the Vaxathon, and said it was a fantastic day.
    “I went along actually and got my second Pfizer injection in east Porirua yesterday and I thought it was a celebration really of the whole country coming together in this united way to beat the virus and it was a really positive atmosphere so I think we need more events like that.”


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