Postscript to Jacinda’s announcement

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POSTSCRIPT:

THE FIRST THING to note about the Government announcements of Friday, 22 October 2021 was the staging. Clearly, the dimly lit Beehive Theatrette is no longer considered an appropriate setting for the Prime Minister’s communications. Accordingly, proceedings were moved to the Beehive Banqueting Hall. (The change may have been dictated by the sheer number of journalists clamouring to attend, but still.)

The second change was in the cast. Where was Ashley Bloomfield, the Director-General of Health? Today’s drama featured no experts. As noted above, our Covid universe now rests on politicians – all the way down.

As for the script, well, the date of 1 December may not have been mentioned, but it was there nonetheless. With Auckland declared to be about a day-and-a-half away from topping 90 percent of Aucklanders with one jab, it follows that the city is less than a month away from 90 percent being double-jabbed. That’s the cue for New Zealand’s largest city being set free from its Level 3 Lockdown, on, or just after, 1 December. When asked if that meant Aucklanders can join their families for Christmas, the Prime Minister said Yes – although travelling beyond the city will require a Vaccination Certificate (according to Chris Hipkins, empowering legislation is on the way for employers keen to enforce vaccination mandates) and quite possibly a negative Covid-19 test.

So far, so Key-Act-National.

Likewise with relation to the announcements of Finance Minister Grant Robertson. The appropriate quote here would appear to be: “Mo money! Mo money! Mo money!”; for another month, at least.

And Māori? Ah, yes, that’s where the fancy-footwork really got going. The nationwide goal of double-vaccinating 90 percent of the adult population, and then transitioning to the new “traffic-light” system of managing the virus, makes no mention of the Māori vaccination rates also topping 90 percent. That’s a significant omission. Like Judith Collins, Jacinda Ardern is clearly unwilling to have the whole country “held hostage” to Māori vaccine hesitancy – let alone refusal.

The Government has masked this by opting to tick-off the 90 percent vaccination target DHB by DHB. This will allow Māori leaders to identify where the extra $120 million for the double-jabbing of their people might best be spent. But that’s about as far as the Government is prepared to go.

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That Peeni Henare’s Banquet Hall contribution gave every appearance of having been brutally truncated – by someone – may indicate that Labour’s Māori Caucus is less than happy with the Labour Cabinet’s decision. Notwithstanding their objections, however, the Key-Act-National position on Māori vaccination rates also seems to have been embraced by the Labour Government.

Colonisation’s roots are very deep and exceptionally strong.

As for the PM herself, Jacinda Ardern seemed more comfortable and on top of her game than she has been for weeks. Though she hasn’t announced 1 December as “Freedom Day” in as many words, that is clearly the timeline she is working to. The Prime Minister of New Zealand cannot assure 1.6 million Aucklanders that they will be free to visit their families at Christmas – wherever they may be located in new Zealand – and then renege on her promise.

Not without all hell breaking loose.

– Chris Trotter, Friday, 22 October 2021.

 

63 COMMENTS

  1. …the city is less than a month away from 90 percent being double-jabbed. Oh, you know this for sure? What if it’s 4 months away? What if 84% doublevax is the best we get? What then?

    • Read the article. A breath away from 90% one jab at least. Therefore wait the required 3 weeks…….second jab.
      You give Germans a bad name mate.

      • All three DHBs need to hit 90. Auckland as a whole could, theoretically, hit well over 90% and still fall short. In this city there is basically no excuse for anyone not to have had a first shot – but what you term a ‘breath’ is actually tens of thousands of people who haven’t even taken that first step, It remains uncertain whether they will do so, and it’s pretty reasonable to assume that convincing these holdouts at this point is a hard ask.

        What this announcement has done is empower an evidently rabidly antisocial and hopelessly paranoid minority to hold the entire city to ransom. We cannot go forward on some Wayne’s World 2 logic, entrusting our fate to the Tamakis of this city. What kind of madness is this? Even if we get over that hump, and even if we hit 100%, we’re still reliant on every single DHB in the entire country to hit that magic number (someone just arbitrarily pulled it out of their arse, I assume) – a nation that is mostly in level 2 and without COVID, and yet we’re supposed to expect them to be motivated to hit that mark as a favour to long-suffering Aucklanders? Why? They’re not on the frontline, down in the trenches, scared and distraught, they’re working and living more or less normally. Fuck us JAFAs, I guess – so long, thanks for all the fish.

        I can’t stop thinking about this, mulling it over – and it just feels like a fucking slap in the face after everything we’ve been through up here. I watched Crusher speaking on it, and it resonated. That was a big W for the worst politician in this country, that’s how bad Labour fucked up today – Fear and Loathing is the order of the day. Anger. Doubt … Despair.

        • I like what you say, however don’t believe the minority holding us back is true at all. It’s Jacinda holding the cards not the unvaccinated. Amuses me how people bash a politician and then bash the the minority being blamed for the insane target any rational person knew was impossible. Attack the government not the people.

        • Whether you’re right or wrong Kraut, I doubt will make any difference…

          Singapore, 3 months earlier
          “We can’t eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”

          Now,
          But with the lethal Delta strain wreaking havoc across the globe, it didn’t take long for Singapore’s situation to worsen once restrictions were eased under the new strategy, leading to a significant surge in Covid cases, hospitalisations and fatalities.

          And also a reminder to the anti vaccinated, “less threatening, like influenza,”
          yeah right!

    • Agree …what if some suburbs in Auckland will get 90%+, while other suburbs get about 80%…then what? Will they (NZ Government) use the average % of the suburbs, or total % …The NZ Government thinking does not hold up to basic logic.

  2. Doubt it, one Auckland DHB is at 70% and given around 5% dont take a second dose usually due to a bad time with side effects 90% double vaxxed is a huge stretch. Absolute best case its 3-4 weeks worst case its months if at all

    Whats happened is we’ve shut somewhere between 5 and 15% of NZrs from society and thats not going to end well.

    This is going to get ugly.

    • When do people want to be treated as adult responsible citizens – and take the jab. It’s a bit like going to the dentist but if you don’t you might just lose your teeth. So many are full of complaints but the answer starts with them.

  3. Your post speaks of hope as opposed to confidence. This will go down like a cup of cold sick with the majority of double vaxxed Aucklanders living in effective purgatory.

    The other thing you haven’t mentioned is will the PM hold her nerve when the numbers start hitting 100’s a day…..

  4. Sour Kraut and Frankus Wankus–do enjoy a glass or two of chilled vomit du jour on the house…

    Your beloved Nashnull have nothing to offer bar even more cremations for the working class, so pip pip and please keep those masks on.

    • What happens when we get to 250 cases a day, brown bodies in hospitals and deaths occuring – is that National’s fault too.

    • +1 Tiger Mountain. I am tired of these right-wing concern trolls trying to take over dominance on TDB. I think the 90% deadline gives good, honest clarity. Business world should be grateful: this is the clarity a healthy society needs, not a mere date in time.
      Some business people are not broadly-enough educated to understand that it is the health of society that determines the health of the economy, not the other way round.
      The economy makes a good servant, but not a good master.

    • @ TM. Ha ahhaah a !
      There’s a certain kind of stink that rises from the soon to be deceased. kraut and tank are it.
      national and it’s affiliates are an old mafia spanning ages but they’ve run out of puff. And by puff I mean bullshit. They’re not going to go lightly in to their nightmares without a subneural struggle though. It’s natures way. Ever seen a dead thing dying? It twitches and writhes without causation.

    • It’s a little sociopathic to sarcastically taunt people who’re suffering to keep this country safe. I can assure you that the frustration Aucklanders are feeling is quite bipartisan – and Aucklanders have had just about enough of outsiders telling us what to think. Hold your tongue if you’ve got nothing constructive to say.

  5. Chris all hell is breaking loose. 129 new cases tells us where that’s going. It isn’t pretty. You say Jacinda’s performance today seemed she was on top of her game. She will take that observation happily I’m sure. It takes a certain skill to paint a black picture white but she will know her political future hinges on what happens from now until the end of summer. We saw figures today that revealed 9500 business closed in August and its anyones guess how many have closed since. That statistic along with the people of Auckland being locked up for another month isn’t the road map to re election. Jacinda’s kindness of giving Auckland Christmas only works if the Covid death toll stays down and the hospitals stay functional. How Covid ripping through families self isolating at home while they try to feed themselves and stay out of hospital is beyond me but they’ll have no option. The gas torch is now on this Government to make this work and on their past performances that won’t happen. If the shit slowly hits the fan and is flicked over the rest of Aotearoa Judith could eat the babies instead of kissing them and would win the next election anyway.( I seem to remember Martyn having a similar quote about baby eating and I couldn’t resist it)

  6. The good ole ‘divide and conquer’ routine again.

    The colonialists just can’t help themselves from playing that ole card.

    A bit like J Dubyah Bush, ‘ya’ll with us or ya’ll with them”. In this case, you Maoris are on your own again.

    Sounds like something Helen Clark said back in her day when she stumbled to explain what ‘Closing the Gap(s)” really meant!

    Basically, what will happen regardless of what Maori do. They will carry on regardless and open up the country to more viruses imported from offshore.

    With more reported cases on a daily basis and an increasing number of hospital cases climbing steadily. The health workforce will be outnumbered by cases and ICU patient workers ratio’s per bed.

    We can look forward to a comparative mortality rate as in the UK and infection ‘R’ rate of above ‘1’.

    Merry Xmas NZ, you voted for a lame-duck government and you got it.

  7. “Colonisation’s roots are very deep and exceptionally strong.”

    You’re usually better than that Chris (but not always).

  8. wow the merchant banker frank managed to make a lockdown comment without reference to Sobibor or any other extermination camp, maybe he’s calming down in his old age

  9. The only people holding this country to ransom are these rabid vaxxers who don’t understand medical practice, scientific method, informed consent, personal choice, weaponised health, clinical trials, natural immunity, leadership hypocrisy, preferential treatment, corporate peddling, expert opinion, balanced reporting, unsubstantiated claims, professional ethics, confidential records, being played, blaming Maori, government propaganda, government coercion, government threats and government hate.

  10. So, the PM, the one who was going to invite the hell that He Puapua offers onto NZ, is nothing more than someone politically rooted in colonisation? Whatever was the fuss all about?

  11. Vaccine passports and 90% vaccination continue our myopic obsession with one element of Covid risk beyond any rationality or proportionality.

    There is solid evidence showing humans under conditions of fear and anxiety, without diverse views, make bad decisions. We over- and under-emphasize factors, essentialise, and exclude. We jump to simple solutions, often destructive of more core values.

    All are on display here as we move to a two-class society where human rights, freedom, and democratic values are, like in China, viewed as dangerous to our ‘safety and cohesion’.

    In a world where vaccination has a limited effect on transmission and wanes, and multiple other tools exist (treatment, rapid testing, natural immunity, etc) the totalising and anti-democratic focus on extreme vaccination targets and passports shows our policy response is delinked to any reasonsble version of the public good and simply now a matter of control. That traditionally is something the Left excel at when it’s best intentions are overcome by its soft authoritarism. Cancel culture is another example.

    • It’s funny how concern about moving to a two-class society seems to have become a thing around the handling of Covid. We often hear about strategies being divisive.

      In the context of a world where there are clear divisions about believing science or not and the wide differences about vaccination that is odd. There is division.

      If the notion is around antipathy between sides of the divides, is that about the sort of people we are? Are we self-centred, self-serving, intolerant and lacking empathy?

      Motels in Rotorua housing so many in emergency housing indicates the divided place we have created and accept. It seems to be that adjustments to cater for who we are are furiously rejected as ‘control.’

      Control, perceived in any way is anathema to some. And anything done is seen as control. From the beginning of covid they wanted no restrictions or limitations, no impositions, no changes, everything should have carried on as normal. They had it that natural immunity would evolve. Sure there would have been some causalities. Most importantly no way in their their self-centred, self-serving world it would be them or anyone in their family.

      • I’m not entirely clear on your point. Myself and others are not against control – that would anarchy.

        The point is vaccine certification to do every day activities and internal travel is simply unheard of state power in a modern democracy. It is literally Soviet Union level. And they’re not some temporary measure. NZ faces tough days, but not disintegration yet the level of control is in extemeis.

        I’m double vaxxed and pro-vax but way in which NZ has, almost with glee, embraced a two-class society is frightening.

  12. With or without “the date” Dec1, this is all heading for it, near enough. Without actually agreeing to NACT demands this is what “the right” have been bleating on about so enjoy. If Auckland was to open up now it would obviously be a disaster, so this looks like a good compromise.
    Well picked Mr Trotter, correct again. Of course “the date” may or may not be achievable, that is in the lap of the gods. Out of Govt control, although they should do more to encourage and motivate the remaining unvaccinated. I’m sure they will.
    I wonder if individual regions eg Taranaki / East Cape etc could stay the elimination strategy if they choose to, like the Aussie states have done quite successfully and kept the virus out of there turf.

  13. She did not appear confident at all. She held the new guide up for barely a second then pulled it down and said it can be found on the moh’s website. I’m sure this new traffic light system will be tinkered with before December. They have a goal yes, a good goal, but no cohesive plan, they are fumbling the ball just before the try line.

  14. Ardern didn’t have the guts to tell Aucklanders this miserable never ending lockdown had just been extended indefinitely. A separate state in a stateless country. At least it saved her having to front to say a meaningless review will be done in the next two weeks blah blah blah. She remains, clinging to duel opposites of ellimination and suppression in a single country, against all logic..

    Her best hope was early December, whatever, but her plan incentivised vax holdouts to hold out.

    Poor planning and execution of Covid defences by her government has left Aucklanders stuck in this shit, and the very real “What if” the complex mathematical calculations fail to meet their targets by mid December it will be too late for her to back out and she’ll know it. Auckland without Christmas. Then kiss goodbye your government Prime Minister.

    Several more weeks of Aucklanders locked down are simply to buy her government time, nothing more, a deferral of a decision that should have been made months ago.

    Poor governments who cannot plan ahead or manage, like hers are then all the more easily eliminated by their own ineptitude.

  15. BS to colonialism, I am over it. This is a public health issue people!
    We lost the plot with Auckland going to L3 too soon. No-one likes being held hostage BUT until we’re all protected no-one is safe. Unfortunately the anti-social elements have made this a lot harder than it should be.
    Any useful ideas what to do about it?

    • Stop giving the anti-social elements a get out of jail free woke card, and exemptions, would be a good start!

      Gangs are not exactly good at following rules, giving leaders exemptions is probably not a good idea especially when cell phones seem to work during lockdown without the Covid transmission risks.

    • I agree, this is a public health issue – I am sick of the politics that surface at every step our government ,health professionals and civil servants make as they work to manage the situation. Each one of us should naturally be playing a sensible role to help contain the virus and avoid catching it, even if there was no Level system in place. The government is only trying to promote ways to do this.
      It is the “ferals” in the communities who for one selfish reason or another are sabotaging everyone elses efforts and sacrifices. How do we deal to the “ferals”? Banish them ? Put them at the end of the line should they need hospital care ?
      I am not referring to those who really do not want to be vaccinated but who otherwise comply. Remember in the war there were conscientious objectors. I am referring to those who happily shit on everyone else in the name of “freedom”

  16. There are all sorts of contradictory claims about the effects of the virus and the vaccine from all over the world. But here in New Zealand lets think about what is happening and watch what happens in the next few months.
    To date we have had 5400 odd cases and 28 deaths. In the present outbreak of delta we have had just over 200 cases and two deaths of already very ill people .
    If there was no PCR test,would illness , hospitalisation and death associated with viral infections look any different to what would be expected in any normal year ?
    So far this outbreak surly not. Keep watching as the virus spreads around and I don’t believe it will alter the normal pattern .
    D J S

    • The normal pattern is that of seasonal influenza( 4 months). Covid has been with us for every month over the past two years plus. Comparing the two is disingenuous. However should you choose to do so, how many deaths would there be without the flu vaccinne. To give you an example. In the U.K. 5500 deaths in a month, 5100 were unvaccinated. Now, it is personal choice on the vaccine but the evidence is clear. This virus is not “normal” so there is no normal.

  17. People need to stop being so critical of the lockdowns. Many countries who relaxed their lockdowns are paying for it with death. Labeen are right to be cautious. It is getting frustrating in Auckland, but nice to know life is still considered precious here!

    Bear in mind NZ has a similar population to Singapore, and just has 100 with Covid and not multiple figure Covid deaths in a day.

    Covid 19 coronavirus: Singapore extends restrictions amid deadly outbreak
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/covid-19-coronavirus-singapore-extends-restrictions-amid-deadly-outbreak/3AY6HR5DOF6N7M4TXIH6LWPWN4/
    A total of 18 people died from Covid in Singapore on Wednesday, a grim new record for the tiny nation of just 5.6 million. That same day, 3862 new cases were recorded, followed by 2937 on Thursday.

    Nations also need to have a social responsibility to neighbouring countries.
    UK’s neighbours criticise Covid policies as cases begin to surge across EU
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/21/uks-neighbours-criticise-covid-policies-as-cases-begin-to-surge-across-eu

    Pandemics like Pollution and Climate change, reveal the need for all nations to collectively act for current and future generations good and abandon enabling individual gain for future major and potentially irrevocable losses to other life going forward.

  18. Strange how the right-wing never refer to the daily Covid death rates of all these other countries around the world. Surely the main task of any government is protecting and saving the lives of its citizens despite their age or political beliefs. The right-wing are just thinking about the economy and are disappointed that our economy has turned out world class. Now they hope that Labour’s Covid response finally fails and that infections and deaths explode out of control, hospitals are overwhelmed as being the only way that the right win the next elections. None of the speculation and conspiracies I read above makes me believe anyone knows exactly what is going to happen but I will err on the side of the scientists and experts.

    • Yes and notice how the antivax say Covid is no worse than the common Flu. Given the Flu is seasonal( 4 months) and Covid is annual you’d like to think these types aren’t your accountant.

  19. “As noted above, our Covid universe now rests on politicians – all the way down.”

    It’s always nice to see a Discworld reference 🙂 Can we have some of the magic now please? Because we’re going to need it!

  20. Goals (double vaccinating 90% of the population) and associated measurable targets (The evidence shows that 90% of each DHB’s population are double vaccinated before greater freedoms are universally granted) are of themselves good.

    I’m concerned that achieving the key goal will be well nigh impossible however for these reasons:

    i. The targets are unrealistic and will be too difficult to achieve.

    ii. The DHB’s who are lagging behind in their vaccination rates, have not, to date, shown that they know
    how to motivate their populations to proactively get vaccinated. Seemingly to date they have discouraged
    ambivalent communities in their catchments from getting vaccinated (through their behaviours and
    attitudes).

    iii. Equally, vulnerable populations in these DHB districts, have to date, demonstrated ambivalent or
    negative interest in getting vaccinated.

    iv. The targets are of themselves very tough ones to achieve. They require determination and commitment;
    which is obviously lacking in many of the DHB’s and communities that are lagging behind in getting
    vaccinated.

    v. As the toughness of the targets becomes clear to under-motivated DHB’s and their unvaccinated
    communities, they will probably give up trying. This is what happens with unrealistic targets.

    vi. There is little that motivated DHB’s and citizens in these catchments where the targets have been achieved can do; whatever is tried will ultimately be too hard, and they too are likely to give up.

    Putting all this together strongly suggests to me that the 90% target will not be achieved universally throughout NZ. The government may already have calculated this. If the above proves to be right, and the government continues to say that Aucklanders (and the rest of the country) can enjoy a relatively ‘free’ Christmas and holiday period, they will need to do as is suggested in the blog, announce something along the lines “we did we the best we could, we didn’t get to the 90% target, nevertheless we will introduce a freedom day on December 1st, 2nd (take your pick which day)”. The government is seen as being benevolent and giving most voters what they want .Politics, and Labour, will be the winner.

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