Jacinda’s Choice: “Freedom Day”, Or Failure.


THE AUCKLAND BUSINESS COMMUNITY has told the Labour Government that it expects 1 December to be “Freedom Day”. Since the Labour Party has consistently done the Auckland Business Community’s bidding for more than 30 years, putting a decent sum on 1 December as the day all double-vaccinated Aucklanders get to fly away would seem like a pretty safe bet.

If 1 December does not turn out to be “Freedom Day”, then you can put a big blue ring around Election Day 2023.

It is certainly no coincidence that 1 December was the day chosen by Sir John Key in his in/famous op-ed intervention; by the Act Party; and, finally, by the National Party itself. For those unaccustomed to reading the political runes, this is the New Zealand Right presenting the Labour Government with a united front. If Labour fails to take the hint, then every gun in the Right’s possession will commence firing at it, and they will not stop until the right-wing parties are in a position to form a government.

It has happened before. As soon as it became clear the Labour had won the 2005 General Election by spending money that wasn’t, strictly speaking, its own, the New Zealand Right declared total war on Helen Clark’s Government. There was no respite. The attacks came from everywhere. From National and Act, obviously, but also from the mainstream news media and high-ranking civil servants. Labour also faced the slings and arrows of blogs and websites run by persons whose political connections ran into some very interesting places, and linked them up with some very important people.

This war was as unrelenting as it was successful. In 2008 Helen Clark and her party were cast out of office like an errant puppy that has just been caught widdling on the carpet. John Key didn’t need to say: “And don’t come back until you know how to behave!” Labour had been given the message loud and clear. It would take the Party nine long years to find someone who could open the door and lead Labour back inside the House of Power.

That’s why it would be a political miracle if Jacinda Ardern and her colleagues did not meekly line up alongside the Right and announce 1 December as “Freedom Day”. Auckland is, after all, New Zealand’s largest city and its most crucial political marketplace. Without a fair old swag of the 1.6 million Aucklanders in tow, electorally speaking, a political party’s chances of winning the next General Election are pretty slim.

Keeping Auckland in tow electorally, and keeping its citizens locked-down until Christmas and beyond, don’t really add up as a winning political formula. Especially when a good 70-75 percent of Aucklanders have dutifully presented themselves for their double-dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The idea that they must remain confined within their city’s boundaries, while the unvaccinated of Auckland – and the rest of New Zealand – are wooed and cossetted in what is beginning to look like a futile attempt to persuade them to do the decent thing, is becoming less-and-less saleable as a political proposition.

As a politician with an instinctive flair for political marketing, it is very hard to envisage Jacinda attempting to make that sale. Far easier to see her joining with all the other “serious” parties (and, yes, you’re right, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori are not included in that group) by making the date of “Freedom Day” a matter of partisan agreement.

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The Greens and Te Pāti Māori will, of course, complain that by joining with the right-wing parties Labour is effectively abandoning Māori to the ravages of the Delta variant of Covid-19. The Government, and the parties of the Right, will likely respond with Judith Collins’ argument that delaying the opening-up of Auckland, and the rest of New Zealand, solely on account of the low rate of Māori vaccination would only expose Māori to all manner of racist abuse. It would make them the scapegoats of every Aucklander with a failing business; a job hanging in the balance; and/or a family member whose mental health is faltering.

Te Pāti Māori will protest that “Freedom Day” will amount to “Genocide Day” for tangata whenua. To which a great many of their fellow citizens will reply: “Not if you use the next four weeks to get vaccinated!”

There will also be many Kiwis who angrily lament the fact that making 1 December “Freedom Day” flies in the face of “The Science”. They may well be right, but, sadly, that boat has sailed. It sailed the day the Labour Government decided, against the advice of its medical scientists, to move out of Level 4 and down to level 3. After that crucial decision, “The Science” no longer entered into it. After that day, the decision-making became, first and last, political.

Inevitably, the business community, the right-wing parties, and the right-wing news media was bound to coalesce around a political solution that would leave the Labour Government with just two choices: Stand firm – and lose. Or, join the consensus – and at least retain the chance of winning in 2023.

Not quite Sophie’s Choice, but definitely Jacinda’s.



  1. Well, assuming you are correct, everyone in AKL indeed has 4 weeks to get their vaccine shit together. Shouldn’t be too hard. Both, the urgent messages and vaccine stations, are practically rammed down our throats in Auckland. After ‘Freedom Day’ it’ll be hard feel sorry for anyone who’s not vaccinated.

  2. “Keeping Auckland in tow electorally, and keeping its citizens locked-down until Christmas and beyond, don’t really add up as a winning political formula”. That, Chris Trotter, is the understatement of the year.

    Auckland can easily make or break governments and let us be quite honest, that is all Jacinda and her ilk really care about. If Auckland turns septic on her government for their bungling and we really should, even she risks losing her job and I promise for many of her other list MP’s and all of her Auckland based ones, that factor is now a distinct possibility.

    This isn’t right or left, it’s about everything. Businesses cannot survive this, they were never meant to be parked, paying rent with no income for however long our woolly indecisive government deem. And then what for their workers? And their hopes and dreams? Aucklanders locked down now well into month 3 are angry. We did not sign up to this bullshit.

    Nor did Auckland did sign up to be a quarantine facility, but it was thrust upon us by her government. We know that Ardern did not keep her reassurance to close the border immediately on Aussie once an outbreak occurred, she bumbled and even then allowed planeloads back after finally closing the border weeks after the NSW outbreak began and allowed the magical failure of self-isolation. No wonder Auckland is where it is.

    Short and sharp has become long and blunt. 90% vax rate in Auckland has become at least 90% and oh, did we forget to mention, that is everywhere.

    If there is not a decision to unlock Auckland by the 1st of November I say we Aucklanders demonstrate our voting power and show her and the Greens the door!

    • NZ is a democracy and, if a ‘freedom day’ is what the majority of the population wants, the government should probably give it to them. However, whether 1/12/2021, or any other day for that matter, is the appropriate day will depend on where the country sits healthwise on that day. They should make it clear though that setting a particular date would not be their first choice.

    • Right on! X RAY
      Thats exactly where it is at, well put.
      The level of destruction of business will not be fully apparent till probably January it will be much greater than certainly Grant Rabertson expects.

      The destruction of lives, dreams and aspirations will see a section of the community battered and bitter for the balance of their lives. (There are still people today bitter about the destruction that was wrought on them by the Lange Douglas Government, 35years ago)
      Jacinda will have be more than “nice and kind” to ever win them back!

      This time it is not just the young business people who are being sacrificed, but also the 16 – 17 year olds who have had their education seriously compromised if not totally curtailed, they will come to resent this Government as time goes on for blighting their future life prospects.

      • In 2 months time people will think back to when case numbers were reasonable by lockdown and wonder why they pressured Govt to open up. This is going to turn to custard, and our cuzzies are going to get sick in big numbers. Business die all the time, they can be rebuilt. Lots of dead people is the cost of BAU.

        • The key Green Bus is when they look back in 2 years not 2 months, and see destruction of business, jobs, and lively hoods of the Kiwi Grafters and the young people who have had their future destroyed by the prolonged lock down. Election time!

          Will there still be cheerleaders for Jacinda then if we still have closed borders, the inability to freely travel within NZ let alone off shore, riots in the streets like Melbourne.

          Jacinda has to have a plan to get us out of the current situation, right now she does not appear to have one. Plan A has failed the bug is away and out in the community, there is no winching it back. So what is plan B? at this point nothing is apparent except “we will figure something by next week maybe”

          Failing to plan is planning to fail.

          Jacinda has failed with plan A that is the reality!!
          So what happens next? that is the question on every ones lips, certainly for those who see there life’s work and dreams destroyed by the day by the lockdown and uncertainty of ‘what happens next”

          • While you assume the rest of the country is concerned about the Aucklander’s inability to freely travel within NZ here in the South Island I prefer it that way. I have no idea how the rest of the mainlanders feel but we will soon find out.

      • maybe just like we had ‘too many’ freezer works and ‘surplus’ manufacturing capacity, didn’t notice govt help for them…. maybe now we have an oversupply of ‘hobby cafes’ etc.

        ahhhhh ‘socilialism’ for the middle class, penury for the proles, dontcha just love it?

  3. I’m 50/50. The smoke signals in the last 24 hours suggest they won’t go down this track however you are right in regards to the REALPOLITIK of the response today.

    10am (sorry 11.30am) will be an interesting decision to watch

  4. There is some risk but a huge benefit to setting a date; it’ll get those still procrastinating off the couch, as The Kraut says. It’s a better, more liberal, option than some of the severe authoritarian measures being proposed by some, and more politically palatable I would suggest – see Liz Gordan’s frightening insistence on (unspecified) “compulsion” .
    It’s not difficult to imagine the anger, frustration and resentment from those vaccinated Aucklanders locked up for Christmas (and beyond) towards the recalcitrant un-vaxed and, ultimately, towards the government itself.

  5. Another boat has sailed; business, parties of the right, Wellington bureaucrats, and ALL the msm have been tag teaming to bring down this government all year. December 1 won’t change their attacks either way, but Jacinda could (possibly) keep the public with her if kindness prevails.

    • The MSM has been trying to bring down this government all year? Examples please? The MSM is full of cheerleaders for this government – don’t you ever read Stuff?

      • Exactly Pope!
        Other than Hosking every other journo just kisses Dear Leader’s hand and licks her boots. I think it’s time they turned on her to see just how good she is. She won’t handle it. “Yes Tova yes Jessica..”uh huh, uh huh…yes, and agaaain, I know the answer because my spin team wrote your question.”

        • So true…Jacinda from announcements not going Hosking ever again shows how shallow her thinking is….cannot defend her ideas against basic arguments, such as “Why?”, “How?”, “Who?”, “Then what?”, “Where?”, “When?”, so on, and so on.

        • Hosking is not a journalist, never was, never will be, he is a shock jock.
          But he appeals to the right because he is the equivalent of Tucker Carlson, an extreme rightwing conformist.

  6. Andrew Little this morning said that there will be no lowering of restrictions so long as any ethnic group or area is below 90% vaccinated.

    So lets wait for the torrent of abuse towards the unvaccinated from those that did the right thing and now want to get back to a more normal life.
    That will be worst in Auckland, but what about South Islanders who haven’t had a case all year? How bitter will they feel towards the people of East Cape, Rotorua and the Far North who ‘can’t be bothered’?

    • Lol, what a daft comment by Mr Little.
      Pembroke Bird has already sunk that 90% boat, waiting for a vaccine that we don’t have.

    • Rotorua can’t be bothered? Since last year the only thing Rotorua got from this useless government is homeless people in motels.
      In the meantime people are getting vaccinated, wear at masks at near 100%, many businesses have been since last year be low contact etc.
      Seriously, the government had since last year to get vaccines in the country, and it decided that Amazon, Fucking Americas Cup and the Wiggles are were more important so that Kiwis can pretend they beat this shit.

    • Anti vaxxers are going to get some justice me thinks. Locking down the majority who did the right thing so that the nutters and lazy people hold the country to ransom, is coming to a head. Why should these people get away with there irresponsible actions and potentially cause a very good PM to lose her job. Time to show some tough love, it’s worked in other countries.

    • No Ada, I don’t feel bitter at all towards the people of East Cape etc.
      I feel bitter towards the people who have been eroding the government’s work from the start. The people who jump on the bandwagon pulled by the Don Keys and the Nat/Act contingent. I’m grateful we have not had any cases of covid in the SI for a while and my guess is this freedom from delta is mainly because of our level 2. Please leave us there for a long as it takes.
      Freedom Day is ridiculously dangerous and we see everyday what the consequences are of thinking we can impatiently ignore the pandemic.

      • Immigrant: “I’m grateful we have not had any cases of covid in the SI for a while….”

        One in Blenheim today. May have come via somebody travelling from the NI. Or it’s indicative of a local reservoir of cases, one of which has just been discovered.

        • I can confirm through a police source, this person travelled from Te Awamutu and is part of an existing cluster D’Esterre.

  7. Back in July 2021 Boris Johnson announced that they would celebrate freedom day. The Covid death rate has increased ever since.

        • Take a hard long look at Jacinda from announcements track record. It ranges from Average (Child poverty) to Crap (Hate Speech Laws, House Prices, Petrol Prices Reforms)
          2020 election was dubbed the “Covid Election” for a reason, my guess , 2023 election will be dubbed “Covid 2.0 Election”

  8. Why write “Sir “ John Key ? If Helen Clark isn’t “Ms” Clark, and chaps are never “Mr “ Anybody, then I don’t know why that shyster is prefixed by a title when others aren’t.

  9. I guess they are not keeping up with what is happening in the UK…

    It seems to be an absolute failure if this is Jacinda’s nuclear free moment.

    NZ is listed as one of the world’s worst performers on emission increases. Its emissions rose by 57% between 1990 and 2018 – the second greatest increase of all industrialised countries. Earlier this year, data showed that New Zealand’s emissions had increased by 2% in 2018-19.

    Climate – more people more emissions, more government pandering to utilities and transport industries who have failed to sort out their increasing emissions.

    Greenhouse gas emissions (industry and household): March 2021 quarter

    Electricity, gas, water, and waste service emissions rose 28 percent (552 kilotonnes).
    Household emissions fell 7.6 percent (203 kilotonnes).
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing emissions fell 0.6 percent (64 kilotonnes).
    Services excluding transport, postal, and warehousing emissions rose 2.5 percent (22 kilotonnes).
    Transport, postal, and warehousing emissions rose 1.6 percent (13 kilotonnes). Emissions for this industry are still well below pre-COVID-19 levels due to ongoing border closures, impacting international travel.
    Mining emissions rose 3.2 percent (12 kilotonnes).
    Construction emissions were little changed, up 1.4 percent (4 kilotonnes).
    Manufacturing emissions were little changed, up 0.1 percent (3 kilotonnes).

  10. So situation normal then, MSM & the right wing will carry on as they always have & attack the Labour govt, “ your dammed if you do & dammed if you don’t” grow a set & stay the course that is the best for the whole country.

    • Damned if you do and damned if you don’t?
      Some gems from today to share from a local site:
      “I wonder about our current state of affairs. Our leader seems to want to destroy the country she is leading. And seems to be motivated to completely control the citizens or worse destroy them as well.”
      “She is the white equivalent of Robert Mugabe.”

  11. I find it interesting that people have such a hard time understanding that this virus gives no fucks about us, our needs, our lives and our rulers. And all of us are making it up as we go along, trying to squeeze another week of bill paying out, because what else is there to do and its not as if anyone would really come to help?
    So here we are, and we are slowly realising that we fooled ourself with our smugness as to ‘having beat covid’ and we sit in our little hovels, scared witless, knowing full well that we are not prepared because we squandered 18 month on ‘feel good, we are the bestest in the world’ idiocy.
    Funfact, we were not even prepared for the outbreak of a bog standard kiddies flue, and our hospitals weren’t either.

  12. Auckland remains locked down indefinitely. That’s the announcement today.

    Not until at least 90% double doses are reached will these control freaks change anything. Whether we comply is quite another thing.

    Labour and the Greens are history! Vote them out.

    • “Whether we comply is quite another thing”.

      It’s not Auckland where the non-compliance is – although no doubt variable among the three DHB’s. It’s other regions/DHB’s where there’s more push-back. Living in Auckland and wanting to holiday in Te Tai Tokerau? Don’t count on it. Anyway, Mr Harawira and his supporters will have the road blocks up.

    • There is a sizable portion of the population that desires to be locked down. If you salary or benefit is guaranteed; you don’t want to travel the world and otherwise life is unaffected you would support the status quo – that’s what many on the right don’t get.

    • “Auckland remains locked down indefinitely. ….. Whether we comply is quite another thing”

      This is what you chose when you supported lifting the L4 lockdown so early.
      Now you can enjoy a year or two of rolling lockdowns and interference in your life style, instead of having had to endure a once only 3 or 4 week extra period at L4.
      Just enjoy your choice and stop moaning.

  13. It’s a April Fools joke in October by the PM!

    The number of people that are fully vaccinated is 68%.

    The number of people with only one jab is 17%.

    Do the math. The missing 5% to make it to 90% is playing hide and seek?

  14. Labour capitulated to COVID in September.
    They’ll reap the consequences of that move regardless. I thank thank them for the past 18 months of freedom but extend no sympathy in regard to their recent decision.

  15. Everyone who takes a serious interest in politics knows that Jacinda Ardern is a charismatic but weak personality who is putty in the hands of the political mafia, so the dire straits to which her administration has reduced our people should come as no surprise.
    It is one of the ironies of history that intolerable regimes are often brought down in the reign of leaders who are better and kinder than their predecessors. Louis XVI and Mikhail Gorbachev were by no means the worst types to ascend to the throne of France or the the leadership of the Soviet Union respectively.
    There might not be a revolution here, but Jacinda’s handlers should not expect our people to be an easy pushover. Let’s see how it plays out.

    • Everyone knows that posts beginning with ‘Everyone knows’ is going to be nonsense. e.g.’ Charismatic but weak’

      • Some actually believe they are smart when they begin an opinion with a statement. But as you say Rodel it just comes across nonsense.
        People were crying out for a plan and way forward. They have one now, it’s their choice to adhere to it or not.

        • I wondered whether the comments above by “Bert” and “Rodel” were deserving of a reply. One could have fun with Rodel, but I resist the temptation.
          While there is nothing of substance in either comment, it would seem that their purpose is to disparage my own opinions.
          I doubt that anyone would question Ms Ardern’s charisma, but I have no problem if they do. Charisma is at the best a subjective phenomenon. Her weakness of character however may only be apparent to those who, as I said, “take a serious interest in politics”. I became aware of how she lacks the sort of character necessary to be a leader when she defended her decision to work for Tony Blair by saying “I needed a job”. That was a weak excuse which exposed a fundamental weakness of character and at no point since has she displayed the kind of principled determination necessary to solve any of the real world problems afflicting New Zealand.
          In the end it is not about Jacinda Ardern. It is about “a plan and a way forward”. The great majority of our people accepted the New Zealand government’s elimination strategy which was based on expert advice. When the government later abandoned that widely acclaimed strategy and its respect for expert opinion, creating the present shambles, we parted company with the government. We are now working on our “own plan and way forward” irrespective of what the New Zealand government is up to. Our plan will be based on science, it will be rational, it will be simple and it will be transparent, qualities entirely lacking in the NZ government’s approach since April of this year. Furthermore, people really will have a choice over whether to adhere to the plan. We will advise vaccination, but we will not blackmail, bully or coerce people into being vaccinated. We will continue to support the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated members of our community. We will not tell lies or give misleading information on the efficacy of vaccines. So yes, quite a different plan to Jacinda’s.

          • All good stuff Geoff , but what should really be the skills and objectives of a political leader in a parliamentary democracy ? It isn’t supposed to be a dictatorship or an autocracy . The government is supposed to be a committee . The decisions are supposed to be made by the group as a whole, not directed from the mind of one person. And I think that though the decisions disappoint often, the process is working as it should. The charisma is then the appropriate requirement as that is what is necessary to convey the decisions of the group to the public .
            D J S

        • Bert
          that plan reminds me of Forest Gump running and running and running without a finish line until one day he decided to stop running. The only difference…Jacinda will not have that many running with her. She’ll soon be running alone because we don’t even know if there is such a magic number of 90% willing to get jabbed. That is the real problem, it could all stop at 84..85…86%…WHAT THEN JACINDA.?????

          • What ifs “are like a box a chocolates, ya never know what ya gunna get”. Seems like you been afflicted by a bit of Forest yourself Kraut.

            • FFS Bert…’What ifs “are like a box a chocolates, ya never know what ya gunna get”. Seems like you been afflicted Kraut’, thats all YOU ever do Bert!
              If someone posts that Labour or, heaven forbid, St Jacinda has fucked up you constantly throw in ‘what ifs’ and ‘what aboutisms’ by constantly saying ‘If National were in charge…we would be worse off’ or bang on about John Key who hasnt been PM for 6 years! But for some reason you bring him up whenever someone is critical of PM or the Govt failures in general.
              Key wasnt perfect nor was National, Jacinda is not perfect either nor her Govt…accept it!!

              • Well that was a whole pile of wank fest from Whail Oil proportions. Read your own posts, better still Whail Oil has a new site but you know that already, keep trolling me, just gives me more evidence of hard right wing theories.

                Thank’s again for posting though, you drop kick.

  16. Well we in the ACT party are laughing all the way to the bank. Everything is rosy here. We didn’t make poor life choices. We all have medical Insurance. We all send our little darlings to private schools to avoid the riffraff. Our gated communities keep us and our Mercedes secure. So looking forward to christmas and getting away on the boat. I really can’t see what you are all moaning about

      • ‘Some people are just so apathetic. I feel no sympathy for them at all.’
        (Rough quote from “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy” episode 1. Free moral support to anyone who can identify whom I quoted!)

        • In Vino: “Free moral support to anyone who can identify whom I quoted!”

          Vogon captain? Sounds just like something he’d say.

    • I think you had better remain imprisoned in your gated communities. If you venture out the virus will get you and your medical insurance won’t save you. How will you be able to enjoy your Mercedes if you are six feet under the ground?

  17. JA has stuffed it all up but lets face it, if the Crusher was PM things would have been and still would be a lot worse. Of more concern is the fact that Britain and Singapore are both getting wobbly over their freedom choices and that one recent mega study found that the higher the rate of Covid Vaxs, the higher the infection rate.

    Im not anti Vax and its hard to say whether the data is all good, or there are other factors like waning immunity or changed behaviour, inadequate reporting etc but a Harvard study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology taken across 68 countries found no discernible relationship between vax rate and no. of cases. Worse still, of the highest vaxxed 5 counties in the US, which range from 99.9% to 84.5% vaxxed, the CDC rates 4 of them as areas of high infection rates. Conversely, of the 57 counties that are designated low transmission counties by the CDC, 26% are counties with a vax rate of 20% or less.

    So what I am saying is, with our Covid naive population, the vaccines on their own wont save us. CDC also reported that the rate of severe hospitalisations and deaths rose from 0.1 – 9% and 0 to 15.1% Jan to June 2021 for fully vaccinated folks.

    Yet our governments entire strategy hinges on Vaxxing, and the Traffic light system is a travesty. Mostly we will remain unmasked and not use any lockdowns. Way to go. Singapore (which is densely populated but has good compliance, similar population) still has face masks and a raft of social distancing going on. In a month or two, their freedoms have taken them to about 3500 cases a day and the healthcare sector is beginning to get worried. Businesses are still complaining and there is a daily death toll.

    Here the govt is telling us that cases will climb to 200 a day. Without stricter social distancing rules and some kind of alternative treatments or approaches, we will be extremely lucky if our Covid rate peaks at that.

    We are in a pickle and JA got us here but we did get a glorious year of freedom from worry before it was back to reality.

  18. Thanks Blinky my thoughts too and I’m sure many others. good info.. I’m no anti vax but the global narrative at the moment doesn’t match up with our so called plan..

  19. The battle ground and responsibility has now been thrown to the DHB’s. The 3 of them.

    Normally these 3 DHB’s in Auckland are fighting each other for resources and funding and staff!

    Now it’s game on between them to screw the numbers to see who can come up with 90% of their constituents fully vaccinated!
    Which DHB is going to be first at putting their hand up and shout ‘Bingo!’
    Not only to be called out by the other two who’ll contest the accuracy of their data within their catchment.

    These 3 DHB’s have never played nice so why would they start now? More funding and resources?
    I wonder if there is now an incentive to shout ‘Bingo!’ first?
    Well, I’ll give you a hint at which 2 catchments that shouldn’t be shouting ‘Bingo!’ first. Waitakere & Manukau!
    If this happens, we’ll all know that they’ve fudged the data!

  20. Regarding the 90% target, I doubt that’s going to happen. The trouble is that the requirement is for all regions, but uptake varies too much across the different DHBs, and there’s no urgency to get vaccinated outside Auckland.

    First dose numbers in Auckland have been stuck just below 90% for a while now, but Counties Manukau DHB has lower uptake, and some people don’t come back for 2nd dose.

    For NZ, I think getting 80% fully vaxxed is no problem , 85% is a stretch, 90% ain’t going to happen. Or , if it does happen, it will only be achieved in Auckland , and take many months for the rest of the country (well into next year).

    Keeping Aucklanders locked down for Christmas will lose Labour the next election, trying to maintain the regional boundary around Auckland when people want to travel for Christmas is just completely unworkable, there’d be massive road-blocks, people would lose their shit over the whole mess.

    The only sensible thing to do is to set a date for national reopening, or lower the vaxx target to the more reasonable 85% and forget about the regional boundaries.

  21. We need to keep an eye on some of the macho countries using the regular peeps as an advance force.
    For instance shocking Oz figures – NSW and Vic.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/453981/victoria-s-new-cases-top-2000-again-as-lockdown-set-to-be-lifted-in-hours 21/10/21
    There are now 22,889 active cases of Covid-19 in Victoria after 2232 new cases today and 187 people have died during the current Delta outbreak. The new cases come as Victoria hits its 70 percent full-vaccination target.

    Then the report on UK is YUKy.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/453965/uk-hospitals-on-brink-as-government-resists-fresh-covid-19-measures 21.10.21
    …Britain has the eighth-biggest death toll globally from Covid-19, with 139,000 fatalities. But it also had a quick start to its vaccine programme and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lifted almost all restrictions in England, ending social distancing measures and mask mandates.
    Johnson’s government has said it was relying on vaccinations, including booster shots for the vulnerable, to avoid winter lockdowns, having already shut the economy three times….
    (Sounds as if UK is risk-taking.)
    Doctors have expressed concern that an increase in numbers going into hospital, combined with pressures on the National Health Service (NHS) from seasonal viruses, could leave hospitals unable to deal with long waiting lists and function normally.
    Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, called for more measures.
    “This is the middle of October. Things are only going to get worse,” Taylor told BBC radio
    “The health service is right at the edge … if you push much further we will not be able to provide the level of service that people need to have.”
    Javid said he did not believe the pressure on the NHS had become unsustainable, and added the government would act if that changed.

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