Level 3 guidance: Work from home if possible, businesses can open premises but can't interact with customers face-to-face, regional travel highly limited, children up to Year 10 can go to school

Level 3 guidance: Work from home if possible, businesses can open premises but can't interact with customers face-to-face, regional travel highly limited, children up to Year 10 can go to school

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released more guidance on what Level 3 will look like, clarifying that businesses can open premises but can't interact with customers face-to-face.

Cabinet will on Monday decide whether the country will come out of Level 4 on Wednesday - April 22.

New Zealand will move to Level 3 if "community transmission might be happening" and "new clusters may emerge but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing".

It will stay at Level 4 if "community transmission is occurring" and there are "widespread outbreaks and new clusters".

Ardern said the information released today doesn't foreshadow Cabinet's decision.

This is what's been provided by the Government on Level 3. The criteria will continue to be refined.

Business

- People must work from home unless that is not possible.

- Businesses can open premises, but cannot physically interact with customers. Accordingly, building and construction and forestry can open under strict health and safety and physical distancing rules.

- Businesses that are accessed by the public or customers such as retail, hardware stores and restaurants can open but only for online or phone purchases and contactless delivery or click and collect.

Personal

- People instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement – including to go to work, school if they have to or for local recreation.

- Physical distancing of two metres outside home (including on public transport), or one metre in controlled environments like schools and workplaces.

- People must stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this to reconnect with close family, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. This extended bubble should remain exclusive.

Travel

- Inter-regional travel is highly limited (e.g. for essential workers, medical reasons, shifting home or business, overseas arrivals going home after being in isolation, foreigners leaving).

Education

- Schools (years 1 to 10) and early childhood education centres can safely open, but will have limited capacity. Children should learn at home if possible.

- Tertiary education facilities open for limited activities involving small groups (up to 10 people), and with distance learning provision for others

Recreation

- Low risk local recreation activities are allowed. 

- Public venues are closed (e.g. libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets).

- Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained.

Health

- Primary care services open (including dental and allied health) and use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.

Output reduced by 25%

The assumptions Treasury is using in its economic modelling assumes Alert Level 3 reduces "normal level" output by 25%, while Level 4 slashes it by 40%. At Level 2, output is reduced by 10-15% and Level 1, 5-10%.

Ardern said the test for a business opening at Level 3 moves to it being "safe", rather than being "essential".

Finance Minister Grant Roberton on Tuesday said he didn't want to "yo-yo" between levels. 

A move to Level 3 can't put NZ's health gains at risk

Ardern said: “There are promising signs our 'go hard and go early' elimination strategy is working and the lockdown is breaking the chain of community transmission. Any move to Level 3 cannot put those gains at risk.

“By design, Level 3 is a progression, not a rush to normality. It carries forward many of the restrictions in place at Level 4, including the requirement to mainly be at home in your bubble and to limit contact with others. 

“Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our primary focus but we also need to position the economy for recovery...

“The main message remains stay home to save lives. It remains the most effective way to break the chain of transmission...

“To eliminate COVID-19 will continue to take a team-of-five-million effort. Under lockdown we have shown our ability to put in place a virtual wall that has broken the chain of transmission. Our new line of defence when we reach Level 3 is common sense, following the rules and trust in one another."

For New Zealand to move to Level 2, there would have to be "single or isolated cluster outbreaks" and a situation where "household transmission could be occurring".

See this document for more on all four alert levels. 

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

181 Comments

So, it is coming ? Next week. They can't go back on this now.

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We don't know if we will move to Level 3 yet. We will find out on April 20. 

"Cabinet will on Monday decide whether the country will come out of Level 4 on Wednesday - April 22. Ardern said the information released today shouldn't foreshadow this decision."

Might want to read the article again (i'm assuming you did the first time, just not very well).

Expectations of the business community have been raised. Winston has signalled the change. People are feeling that we have squashed the curve. JA has to have the pulse of the population.
And many need a hair cut ( pun not intended). Level 3 is coming, folks.

Better chance than average SmoKey. From what I heard 80% was geared to staying on L4 for longer but they left a back door out in one sentence.

Soper's Herald article telling... the COL now know they went too hard, too fast, weren't prepared and didn't need to go to level 4. Level 3 is not much different, but VERY different in terms of economic impact.

Ardern looked totally out of her depth - again, rambling away about all the rules for level 3 at today's 1pm briefing.

We are quite possibly doing the best in the entire world and yet you say that. What on earth do you want from these people?

What they want is everything open and if that costs someone to lose a family member that's too bad because they were probably old or probably got something wrong with them or not likely to be one of their family or one of their customers or just someone else.

That's highly questionable. Australia seem equivalent to us on the health side, without nuking their economy.

Talked to anyone in Aus? From what I've heard a total balls up there.

How about they do the sensible thing with schools and extend the year right through to the end of Jan. School has its summer break in Feb. Thus allowing the very restricted kids who don't have laptops and the ability to have a good learning environment and a chance to catch up.

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Michael Reddell relays a shocker: the Otago group modelling WuFlu effects (medical, of course, not economic) has made some fundamental errors in the assumptions fed into their models. Like, no isolation, and no contact tracing, both of which act to significantly lower the infection/reproduction transmission rate, and thus lower the likely death rates. The critics thus relayed are Ian Harrison, Tailrisk Economics, and Professor John Gibson from Waikato.

Gibson:

There are at least two grounds for concern about the New Zealand strategy. First, the people making decisions are the same ones who botched the preparation for the arrival of Covid-19 and so there is little reason to have faith in the wisdom of their choices....
The complacency by politicians and bureaucrats in New Zealand, who had the advantage of an extra month for preparation and much greater distance from China, is staggering. Obviously that chance to respond to the risk in a low-cost manner was missed and so a very costly lockdown has resulted. While we can hope for better decision-making going forward, there is little reason to be confident of this.

Harrison:

We found that OSRG’s model runs grossly overstated the number of deaths because they made an assumption about the critical tool in the Ministry’s arsenal. It was assumed that there would be no tracing and isolation of cases. This led to an explosion in the number of cases and deaths. The reporting of the range of deaths was also inflated by the simple expedient of excluding the model runs that produced low numbers. One of their six scenarios showed just seven deaths over a year.

And Reddell:

...whatever modelling the government may have solicited or received unsolicited, so far we have none of the official advice (from the Ministry of Health, from Treasury) on what officials made of the modelling, how they assessed risks, costs etc. As I’ve noted before it is our country, our lives, not those of a few Cabinet minister and officials: transparency of key documents should have been an integral part of any sort of serious confidence-building approach.

Just RTWT.

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Jacinda "our go hard and go early elimination strategy" spin really sticks in the craw. Taiwan were boarding inbound China planes and checking passengers in December.

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Oh more than anything... it grinds my soul so hard to hear it. It's like the kiwi version of trumpspeak. Get the hell out, if you want to inspire the nation then be honest for once.

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"Go hard because we went late" doesn't have the same ring to it. I love politics, but not political spin, especially at times like this.

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Redell mounts a compelling fact based challenge to the fallacious 'going early/hard' mantra coming out of party headquarters which is being religiously intoned by the MSM.

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I read all Reddell's posts. Sometimes he's a bit shrill, but in general his criticism of the Govt's responses has addressed points the rest of the media leave on the editing room floor.

MSM are in dire straits. The only way they survive financially is if the govt throws money at them. Criticizing their potential saviors (and for most journalists their ideological soul mates) will seem like a very bad idea to them. Any taxpayer funding of journalism has to be politically independent and not subject to usual left wing biases of large state-funded and media institutions.

"MSM are in dire straits." Good.

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Jacinda believes we don't know what happens overseas. Her first words in speech today was enough to turn TV off, man we lucky to still have that button.

I don't watch it. And I don't watch the 6pm news. Hardly ever did, but don't at all now.
Nauseating. Especially all the home video shit they show. And the presenter chit chat.
If they cut it back to 30 minutes then we would get the key stuff.

You'll likely find this an interesting perspective. The news is the 6pm hyphotism of the nation. The part of the nation who listens to it. Why do we need to keep hearing that annoying jingle and C19 message every 30 minutes on TV and Radio. We've got the message.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/14/a-pandemic-may-be-reported-like-...

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We did objectively go hard, compared to other countries.

Also compared to where other countries were in their spread of the disease at the time we went hard, we also went early.

Sorry if that bothers you.

Believe lucky should be the word.

Yes, we were exceptionally lucky to be afforded the opportunity that we were.

The government still went hard, and went early, capitalising on that luck instead of squandering it.

We really didn't. Look at the cases per population figures. That is the clearest indicator of whether we went 'early' we are above Australia and many many other countries on that metric because we went late. The Govt had failed to do any significant testing prior to mid March, and so had not detected the growing problem - creating a huge surge when they finally pulled finger. You don't find what you don't look for. We also didn't have our first known case till almost a month or more after most other countries and so benefited greatly from the data that provided.

Imagine that, with the clamour that was going on already when the government shut down travel from China as soon as it did. Stu McCutcheon, the Chinese Consul General and others all pushing for open travel from China.

Also would not have prevented community spread through infected folk who were asymptomatic on the plane.

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Quit carrying water for the govt, it was obvious then and is obvious now. There were many many people clamoring for universal quarantine of arrivals before our first known case in late February for this very reason. I personally started asking for it in late January for Chinese arrivals. The appallingly late moving Coalition has only (finally) instituted it a few days back, that has cost NZ tens of billions, huge unemployment and 10's of thousands of businesses destroyed as a result of this lock-down and it is clearly the biggest screw up of any NZ govt in my memory.

Yep, their biggest delivery so far.

They finally delivered!!!!

Coming from the waterboy himself. I am not surprised that you knew best before anyone else. Trump is now claiming the same thing.

A couple of weeks after the 20th Jan announcement of the WuFlu tahfbis was fairly clear this was coming and there was little chance of stopping it. I started prepping then.

Yes agree!and read or listen to what University of Canterbury Professor on china says about this also: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/christchurch/canterbury-mornings-wit...

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Profile, China only told the WHO on the 31st December. But you say that Taiwan knew already and somehow Jacinda should have known before them? Do you have a link for that or just more unverified "alternative facts"?

"On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China" published 5th Jan.

https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-ch...

"...unverified "alternative facts""? So lame. "As soon as China reported the unidentified outbreak to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019, Taiwan assembled a taskforce and began health checks onboard flights from Wuhan."
Nice little timeline for you linked below.
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0574-f1
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0574_article

So your link shows that Taiwan boarded planes on 31st December, which is the day that China admitted to the WHO that they had some mystery pneumonia and somehow that reflects badly on NZ? You don't think Taiwan might have the jump on any other countries? Have more reason and greater ability to keep tabs on China? Are you really suggesting that somehow NZ should have acted before anyone else in the world, when that is in no way the role NZ has in the world? Does NZ have famous, world leading infectious diseasel labs or universities. Do they send teams around the world to test animals for potential pathogens as some other countries do?
NZ was one of the first countries in the world to instigate a travel ban on China, back in early February. They also imposed a lockdown with a lower number of infections compared to any other country in the world, except Israel. It might not be a measure that you are happy with, but it is "going hard and going early" on that measure. Which is the only one they ever made claim to.

Not man enough to admit it wasn't a "...unverified "alternative fact""? Yep Taiwan had the jump on us and good for them. Pity our world leading infectious disease labs and or universities didn't cotton on and let MOH know not to promote concerts mid-March. As for the China-NZ travel ban that was an alternative fact. I attended meetings with people FOB China after the travel ban - they told me customs was only interested in students. NZ instituted a travel ban because Australia forced their hand - Jacinda was too worried about being a racist to do it any sooner.

You're probably lucky Ximon Bridges was not in charge, given how much more beholden he seems to be to the CCP. We may not have gotten the travel ban on China until way later in the piece.

If you're interested in being realistic.

NZ's timeline:

"Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora
@minhealthnz
·
Mar 13
With lots of public events coming up this weekend, it’s important to stay home if you feel unwell and not spread your symptoms to healthy people. If you feel well and plan to attend an event, make sure you practise good hand hygiene as often as possible. "

I wonder if JA ever tells the truth, even accidentally. She lies as a principle. A worthy replacement for Sir John Key. I will never forget that when she was asked why testing was so limited, she said because doctors refused to test! the day before that I called to ask for a test as I had some mild cold-flu symptoms, I talked to three difference nurses (one after hour at my medical service, one normal hour nurse and one on the dedicated health line). all three told me the exact same thing as all three were simply reading instruciton from MOH, yet JA not testing was doctors' decision.

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Seriously, thank God for Reddell.
He is one of the very few people questioning the govt's narrative in any informed and intelligent manner.

Waymad, that's the heart of it. Regards the Reddell article. Models for fatalities from Covid in error. More to the point, no debate allowed with these absolutely key issues. The consequences of this will be catastrophic economically and would not stand up to a transparent inquiry. Don't hold your breath.

Yet no consequences for the government of the day because the debate is suppressed. Its called being an oxymoron government - Transparently Opaque.

Transparent enquiry?... move along please.

Nice that you dislike the current govt so much yet bring out one of the most memorable lines John Key used while in charge of the previous four way coalition there Theoracle

You know, the one about the Panama Papers - Nothing to see here, move along please.

You do remember that don't you?

Good, interesting post. I would raise a couple of questions / issues:

First, why are they trying to talk up a lack of preparation for a global pandemic in the last two years? We have been underfunding health per capita across the entire sector for many years now, and now the argument here is "They should have been investing massively in this particular area of pandemic handling over the last two years - why weren't they!?!" When has that ever been a priority investment in NZ's health sector, that it would be called out in particular with hindsight now?

Second, they compare Korea and Taiwan, two countries that regularly have to deal with outbreaks from China and have prepared in advanced. Same as the above, when has investment in handling the possibility of a rare global pandemic been a priority for an NZ government? And if we attribute this blame, how can we not then also attribute the blame to businesses and investors for not also planning appropriately for such an event?

I do agree entirely that media coverage should have been better. Reporting only one extreme of the range seems bizarre...perhaps symptomatic of the clickbait driven model that much of mainstream media is forced to operate under.

Third, the model is criticised for not including effective tracing and isolation in scenarios in worst cases. Although they do model the reduction effect on R for different control levels, so at that point they're obviously assuming effective control mechanisms including such measures as tracing and isolation?

However, if the argument is that no lockdown should have occurred because we could have done tracing and isolation, didn't we actually need time for the under prepared health sector to ramp up those capabilities with which they were not already equipped due to ongoing under investment? According to the Granny Herald we're now trumpeting the fact we've spun up capacity that is still short of what was estimated to be required for effective contact tracing and testing.

Or is the problem that the didn't model scenarios under which we started without effective controls then worked hard to develop those controls within certain time frames?

In retrospect, yes, ongoing deferral of investment is bad and people should stop yelling "tax cuts!" at every election instead of funding health properly. And perhaps preparation for pandemics is part of that.

I think you need to read Ian Harrison's contribution in full. He is in the process of building a model which avoids some of the most egregious holes in the EU model which the Otago group used. Specifically:

  • Time-variant parameters which can therefore allow policy guidance at a more granular level.
  • Show all contributions to contact-reductions (which drive effective reproduction rate) rather than aggregating them inside the model and showing just their sum.
  • Introducing economic figures of costs and benefits, so that policy trade-offs can be assessed (as they must be...life is all about trade-offs).
  • Distinguish between population risk bands, and use life-remaining parameters which better model the actual costs or benefits involved.

Thanks, will do. May shed more light. I have no doubt of the overall point that more analysis of cost-benefit is a good thing.

The contact reduction stuff will be interesting, to see what exact options we may have had at the time to enable us to have alternatives to lock down.

Building on your second point; we live on two of the worlds most remote islands with a very low people density and the virus didn't arrive here until well after it was known to be highly infectious. Given these facts the government and MSM boasting that our (hopefully) contained C19 penetration rate is because of their early and hard actions is demonstrable nonsense. And the saintly adulation of Ardern as though she has personally saved us from the apocalypse is nauseating.

Was what I was calling for media to inquire about weeks ago. It’s important to hold them to account and for transparency as there decision affects us all and generations to come.

Things needed to be sorted out:
1. a clear definition of recovery from COVID19. Currently, NZ's definition is that there are no more syndromes. However, there needs to be a DNA test to confirm.

2. Asymptomatic testing and tracking, and recurrence. Some people recovered from COVID19 can be reinfected and infect others.

3. Compulsory face mask in any enclosed areas.

4. School needs very strict mitigation strategy before it opens up.

5. Learn what China has done and adapt China's methods in NZ where applicable!

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#5 isn't an option for us - NZ can't twist the WHO arm like China can. Maybe we could reinstate one of Mugabe's children as the goodwill ambassador?

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Unusually I agree with you. Of course #5 is difficult since nobody trusts China especially if in any way it is a matter that might reflect badly on them. Clearly Taiwan (a place with a higher density of Han chinese than China) is the gold standard for dealing with this epidemic and I suspect they have achieved their remarkable success by following the first four of your points. I would appreciate our govt bringing a Taiwanese health expert to head the royal commission that must be held after this epidemic comes under control (after our next election).

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Haven't you heard? Taiwan is just a region of China, according to the WHO.

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5. - What, you mean distort and obfuscate any data that might make the party look bad, open up wildlife market butcheries that were clearly a contributing factor to a global pandemic as well as being a moral abomination, blame foreigners (especially black ones) for infecting the Chinese that infected them, and then have our spies post propoganda on foreign websites? I think we can do without those kind of learnings, thank you.

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6. Stop eating Exotic animals

I did not realise dogs were exotic?

Dog's are pets, not food.

Just as a point of fact, animals that were domesticated long ago in history are less risk for transmitting pathogens. Dogs were the first animal domesticated, 17,000 years ago and there have been 71 shared parasites and pathogens between us and them. In the 11,000 year association between humans and cattle, 34 have accumulated. So over the millennia we have built up immunity to the diseases of our domesticated animals. Rare and wild animals are more risky because there have been less crossovers and no immunity.

Animals cruelly stuffed into cages, terrified, stressed, perfect conditions for any viruses to go haywire, but then likely according to the Xingster animals don't feel pain or emotional stress.

With the cages stacked on top of each other so there is inter-species infection and mutation. Apparently bats carry more virus' than any other animal and are specifically able to live with them. Humans should leave them well alone, they are not safe food.

All true

I have a dog and treat it with kindness and respect. I don't understand why, based on the facts GingerNinja provided why any race would want to consume them by killing them, skin and butcher them on a table in a market. They are a domesticated animal with very few wild dogs left. We know how they contribute to society (guiding and drug dogs). Maybe its just because I am so culturally different. Something to ponder.

It is also consuming the meat of a carnivore, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk

Many people believe dogs are carnivores. In fact, (like pigs) both dogs and wolves are omnivores and need plant nutrients in their diet. There is no distinction between dogs and pigs that make it ethical to eat one over the other.

Xing, can you explain to me why the wet markets weren't shut down after H1N1 or MERS?

The biggest risk to the human race isn't climate change, nuclear war or an asteroid - it's Asian wet markets where some of the most disease ridden animals on the planet are skinned alive and eaten. We have had a number of shots across the bow and if these markets aren't shut down, it wouldn't be a stretch to interpret that as a declaration of war.

And let's not forget this doozy "China’s National Health Commission published a list of recommended treatments, including injections that contain bear bile powder".
And not to suggest that other countries don't support non-scientific treatments, homeopathy is supported by many global governments but the encouragement of wild animal folklore medicines is inherently dangerous because of the spread of pathogens.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/03/chinese-government-pr...

I don't want to judge the Chinese are the Wests high density farming of poultry etc is far from pleasant, but times up for the wet markets.

Yea sure but how many deadly virus outbreaks has the West produced from their farming techniques?

Stuff China, they started this whole thing, then proceeded to try and cover it up. There is NOTHING to learn from China, not anymore

Doesn't sound good. 'Safe' physical interaction with customers is still not allowed. Unless you are a big supermarket chain. Plenty of small business owners will be heartbroken by this.

edit: can open for phone purchases and click-and-collect... I guess that means pickup is possible if you call ahead most places?

I'm guessing an extra two weeks as she said working in 2 week increments. Then a shorter level 3 period.
Not many small businesses will e able to handle it.

Level 4 is only going to be extended if they get clear signals of community transmission occurring. You can see it on their website:

Level 4 Lockdown
Likely that disease is not contained.

Risk assessment
Community transmission is occurring.
Widespread outbreaks and new clusters.

Level 3 Restrict
High risk the disease is not contained.

Risk assessment
Community transmission might be happening.
New clusters may emerge but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing.

Note the difference between "is" and "might".

It's also clear that they're not going to wait for 0 transmissions to go from level 4 to 3, as you have been saying they would.

It's unfortunate that they ever named level 4 "eliminate" because without random community testing, especially of the asymptomatic, how can they lay claim to an elimination? I'm not even sure that elimination is possible without a vaccine.

The initial aim of every government was to "flatten the curve" and keep the infection numbers below their own capacity to treat. Lockdowns were essentially an attempt to buy time. Time for science to understand the virus better, time to see how viable treatments and vaccines might be, time to build up testing capacity, equipment and protocols.

They probably won't be able to get to zero, because there are still people coming into the country so even if they get zero for a couple of days, it is likely the new arrivals that are going into quarantine at some stage will get it, so we will keep on getting cases even if the local clusters stop spreading

Yes, but those cases will be known to be in quarantine so won't really matter. I also wouldn't be surprised if they inch up the border restrictions just a little, to 16 days rather than 14 (Jacinda has previously said people will stay in hotels for a minimum of 14 days), once we get down to 0 cases domestically.

No you can't pickup because you're supposed to only undertake essential travel still. /s

Click and collect is acceptable if not face to face.

No, you're allowed to "travel within your region". The recreation part specifically says you should go to your local beach or park, not your favourite one:

You can do activities that are local, which you can do safely, and which do not involve interacting with other people, or equipment touched by other people. You should go to your nearest beach or park, not your favourite one. Staying overnight at a bach or holiday home is not permitted.

If you are an experienced surfer, you can go to your local break. If you’re not experienced, don’t surf. If you want to go fishing you can do so from a wharf or the shore, but don’t cast off the rocks or fish from a boat (boating is not allowed). Tramping is ok for day walks on easy trails, same for mountain biking if you are experienced and know the trail. Please be aware of maintaining two metres distance from other people.

Driver to officer: Well, officer, I'm going to pick up Drench for my animals. OK?
Officer: Sure, essential service, proceed. Carefully.
Driver to pax, a block down the pike: Now where's that liquor store, again?

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Nice lecture from Comrade Ardern today.

Regional travels banned, - AIR stock must revisit lows

Sorry, I made a mistake in the headline. Regional travel is "highly limited (e.g. for essential workers, with limited exemptions for others)". 

no worries , thanks for that , that does not change perspective for AIR hugely though

Sounds like level 3 is coming to me. Cannot afford to totally cripple the economy which is what is going to happen if they continue level 4. Even level 3 not sustainable so expect level 2 after a couple of weeks after that.

Where is the information about PPE, Testing & contact tracing and, managing the border.

The plan, who does what (moh v dhb) the resources (we got now, we need, where they come from).

The performance of this supports the economic activity.
Or, the definition of level3.

Nar, two more weeks of lvl 4 lock down. At least 4 of level 3 maybe 6 and then lvl 2. They will go hard to wipe it out and wipe it out for good is what I heard.

Thanks for the laugh! They'll wipe it out just as sure as they wipe out the common cold and yearly flu :) You can't even make this nonsense up...

Funny as hell Ludwig. Well that's what NZ's best health minds think is possible but somehow you are smarter. In the long run you maybe correct but what has been decided is that we are going to try and eliminate and that strategy will pay in less deaths and a better economy.
Yep, you can't even make that nonsense up but that is what is going to happen despite your doom and gloom.

The lack of international tourism takes out a big chunk of GDP no matter the level we're under for the next months.

Years, not months.

The rest of the world is evidently going for herd immunity. Until the RoW has zero new cases, there will be an incoming quarantine and restricted international travel. This is a clear and obvious conclusion in regards to our plan of elimination. It is likely that the current 14 days quarantine period will be lengthened due to the number of asymptomatic people that have CV, and you need to plan for the three sigma length instead of the one sigma infectious period.

Yeah I think they need to introduce as much freedom as they can while still keeping the steady drop in numbers - like taiwan and south korea have done. Realistically that means schools need to stay shut.

Rather than saying;
“Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our primary focus but we also need to position the economy for recovery."
In my opinion is should be more like;
Protecting the health of New Zealanders from the Virus is our immediate focus but we also need to focus on the long term health of all New Zealanders so, positioning the economy for recovery is equally important.

If someone can share how this government measures 'wellbeing' then it could be amended to read;
Protecting the health of New Zealanders from the Virus is our immediate focus but we also need to focus on the long term wellbeing of all New Zealanders so, positioning the economy for recovery is equally important.

I believe they measured it in the last budget?

NZ has handled this exceptionally well.
A clearly managed four level response seems unique; most countries seemed to simply have a two level response - lockdown or no lock down.

Agree.
Although I can stand her and think she should have gone earlier and harder, she is still doing a hell of a lot better than I ever thought she was capable of.

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Printer - have read of Waymad's cracker of link above and reassess "exceptionally well.'
" Taiwan recorded their first case of Covid-19 on 21 January, a full month before New Zealand’s first case
Taiwan has not had a lock-down
Yet despite earlier exposure and much greater risk due to more travel to and from China, Taiwan has just 373 cases (16 per million) of Covid-19 while the rate in New Zealand is currently 17 times higher (266 cases per million)
Taiwan usually has about three million visitors a year from China, while New Zealand gets about 400,000. The gap is even bigger in terms of visitors to China (who posed a risk of spreading the disease upon their return)"

It's all easy looking back - Reddell included - which is what he's stitched together in the above.

When someone who is totally unprepared for a situation, like this, that arrives (ALL politicians; everywhere were such), and HAS to do something; at the same time as being bombarded by a thousand 'experts' and an unknown problem with no set solutions, what was the PM supposed to do?
Regardless. It doesn't matter now. All that matters is 'what we do now; given much better information, and where we go to from here"
That's it!
Nothing complicated in that. Post Mortums can wait for later,quieter times.

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But don't try and spin the narrative it is being handled well - it makes you look like a fraud.

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If NZ isn't handling it well, then practically no country on earth is.

If you grade on a curve, as you should be, we're in the top 5.

Spot on.

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Except NZ hit the epidemic as one of the last countries on Earth - which should be a huge advantage - if it was not for the spectacular incompetence of this government.

Wrong!
No one knew that Covid19 - it didn't even have a name for ages - wasn't just 'another annual 'flu'. What if it had have been? Just another Swine Flu, and we'd locked down' on Day One. Then what?
No one knows what's going to happen - no one, and no one did.
Singapore - they thought they had this sucker licked; smart apps and all. Yet today, they are in panic mode as their controls fail.
Japan, ditto.
We did what we did, when we did - end of story.
All that matters is "what we do now" and even that is just a best guess.

"if it was not for the spectacular incompetence of this government."

Ok, so what would you have had them do differently, then, with the information they had available at that time?

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1. Close the borders early ( January or early February ) , putting everyone in mandatory 14-21 day quarantine ( giving away leaflets and telling us the border is under lock and key is plain ludicrous ).
2. Ensure adequate supply of test materials and PPE to clinicians ( not just say "it is all there .. " whereas plainly it is not ).

There was plenty of information available early that should have led to the above - but has not.

They would not have even done what they are doing now ( the lock down ) if they were not forced to by medical professionals.

Ok, so you were calling for the destruction of the tourism and foreign education industries in January, ahead of any other countries doing anything remotely like that.

I'm sure if we go look at your comments in January or early February we will find ones where you call for the above actions to take place, no?

Governance requires consent of the governed, as well as keep abreast of public opinion. The things you've suggested are far out of line with public opinion at the time and therefore wouldn't really be achievable in a democracy. Sorry.

They claim to "lead" .. according to you they should simply "follow" .. and it is the lack of popular consent that prevented them having test kits and PPE lined up ?

Sorry.

Talking about the dates January would indeed have been prescient . Late February would not have been given the events in Italy and elsewhere.

What is more - any time they announced anything there was 0 preparation behind it .
No arrangements for quarantining arrivals or control of self-isolation. No proper tracing - still. No test kits or PPE where they are needed.
Talk "hard and early" - act late and weak.

Where are those flu vaccines they were planning to massively increase with great fanfare ? Mine was scheduled way before Covid kicked in - cancelled / postponed indefinitely due to lack of stock.

You're talking a load of crap.

LOL..
you are full of it - and nothing else.

Public opinion? The problem with democracy is that the majority of people don't know anything. Sorry yourself.

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If the borders had been closed just 2 weeks earlier, which was exactly what many intelligent people were calling for in the 2 weeks prior even to that point, (including myself) ,then we would have exactly ZERO cases in NZ and no lockdown, that would seem in hindsight a preferable position.?

Yes, in HINDSIGHT, it would.

Now, go and consider the situation at the time instead. Intelligent people, and people such as yourself, aren't actually in charge of leading the country. You don't have any consequences to destroying tourism or other industries so far in advance of public opinion.

"Spectacular incompetence"??
9 dead, all over 70.
6 care homes infected out of 600.
In UK they have 700 dead a DAY in hospital and have 2000 out of 11000 care homes infected.
Sweden (no policies in place) has 170 dead today with a 10 million pop
Norway has 100 odd dead with same pop as ours.
Everyone is so clever aren't they?
Yes, some countries did better but they are all authoritarian in one way or another.

Yes, these criticisms are ludicrous.

Basically if the result isn't (unattainably) perfect, the government is incompetent.

I'm fairly sure if we'd had National in power they wouldn't have moved as fast and hard as Jacinda did. You only need to look to Soimon's comments in parliament where he told Jacinda her job was to keep NZers employed, and her response is that her job is to keep NZers healthy.

Come on Mike, put your blinkers on for a moment and let's focus on our Labour Government's incompetence. Had they shut the gates earlier and prevented those 9 deaths then they'd be deemed incompetent for destroying tourism for no reason. Had they left the gates open they'd be incompetent for further outbreaks and deaths.

I'm surprised people don't get beat up on the street for wearing Red or Blue hoodies, not by gang members but partisan "Wingnuts".

NZ is extremely lucky, With the level of testing and identifying that was going one before the luck down, it is exceptionally lucky that the disease did not run out of control before the lock down. Even people who had been in contact with confirmed cases were being refused until very recently.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/413980/covid-19-testing-i-was-angry-.... In most places the diseases took a foothold in February and by March whatever you did, was pointless. NZ was incredibly lucky. It just mind boggling how lucky we have been. SIck people travelling, going shopping etc before "self isolating" themselves yet so few cases.

But off course government will try to claim credit for this luck, but put it the other way if they were acting very competently but were unlucky they would have been toasted. That is how it is.

So. It's not being handled well?
Put yourself in her shoes, and ( as I write below) "Make a call!".
If it works; you're a hero. If it doesn't 'you've handled it badly - you're a fraud.
Yes. That's what politicians are paid to do. And 'spin' is a part of that too?

Except I think this is a blue vs red thing. Had Simon Bridges reacted precisely the same as Jacinda he would have been applauded.

Except you have 0.0 evidence to say this.

0.0 evidence but 100% guaranteed

Not surprised because most of the comments on Interestconz have 0.00 Evidence but are 100% guaranteed.

But he wouldn't have. You only need to watch his question in parliament where he reminded Jacinda that her job was to keep NZers employed. She replied her job was to keep NZers healthy. Sums it all up very succinctly.

They only instituted proper border controls last week. 2 weeks into the lockdown, 4 weeks after it was obvious to all that it was essential, 6 weeks after other countries has started to do it, 8 weeks after many had started calling for it, 11 weeks after China was doing it internally. There are just no reasonable excuses for that inaction that has now cost NZ 10's of billions (and killed 20-30 people).

Yeah, you know how many people were coming into the country before then? Tens of thousands every day. Not sure what hotels you're going to be keeping them in, for 14 days each.

Don't spin the narrative that your concern is anything other than political.
Your prejudice is undeniable.

In Laws are Taiwanese and in usual times commute regularly back there but with NZ residency. They are completely untrusting of the official Government Covid stats. Coupled with observations from family living in Taiwan, the stats are way to good to be true. Take with a large dose of salt.
My comment is anecdotal I know, but do you really believe the above "Profile"?

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Life in prison. Flu season is months away. The virus is out there, just lying low, ready to do what it will do. Entire socio groups out there are not self isolating, they are doing what they always do..which is ignore authority regardless (take a drive past a winz motel and join in the party or head off to a tangi).

So the good folk isolate and the virus will still do its stuff this winter. Economy of NZ crushed. Wait and watch...hope I'm wrong but I fear not.

Head off to a tangi?
I live a stones throw from four Marae. It's quite weird to see no activity there day in day out. Definitely not bau.

I'll be campaigning for Mayor with the agenda of Car Free Sundays. With the insight from 4 weeks of lockdown the people will be behind me.

I'll vote for anyone other than Full Scoff however I like to drive my Prius on Sundays. Will these cars be allowed?

Helicopter money, or as it is known in polite socialist circles MMT (Magic Money Tree,)

I know some are passionate advocates of MMT ("That's what we already have today! So we need to do more for it to work property" etc) but I'm not one of them.
Simply. If it works, and we have it already, then why are we here? ( And no. It's not The Virus!)

So what is effectively being proposed in Level 3 is exactly what Australia have now and have had a very similar flattening of the curve to NZ's Level 4.

The question to Ardern should be "Should NZ have followed Australia's lead in defining its lockdown which allowed restaurants to maintain delivery and takeaway services?"

Whilst I appreciate NZ has benefitted from a clarity of message, but at what cost... Burger King and who knows how many Mum and Dad operations have gone. Like many, four weeks with no income is terminal.

What do you think we should do today?
And, now, let's "fast-forward" to tomorrow - And it looks like the Second Wave is far deadlier than the first. NZ has followed the Australian Model and now has 20,000 dead and it's looking grim.
Did you make the right call, today?
No one knows! That's the point. It's easy to say " We should have done, this or that" but at the time, just like the call I am asking to you to make now, no one knows what's going to happen. You can only make the calls that you think are right at the time and change them as required.

If they aren't competent to make the best decisions possible then they shouldn't have the job. NZ govt has had an enormous advantage in being a month behind the rest of the world in this, and being able to follow best practices already proven to work. Even so they are continuing to screw up on cheap measures like not mandating face masks, not implementing better tracking systems for contact tracing, and every day they waste in inaction on things like that is costing us 100's of millions more in economic damage.

So what is effectively being proposed in Level 3 is exactly what Australia have now

Federally, yes.

Individual states and cities have gone much further and most schools and universities have closed voluntarily.

If you're just looking at the official policy then their lockdown is indeed weaker than ours. But if you look at what is actually happening on the ground, in some parts of the country it is roughly on par with what we're doing.

Burger King's suffered from pre-existing underlying health conditions. The owners were looking at options already, as far as I've seen.

Infact all the failures so far have been in the pipeline for a while. That bk one really riles.

Jacinda has already moved to the stage to defend her record. And this is not Australia's level 3. It's more like level 3.5. Significant more restrictions. Grant Robertson needs more time to transform the economy.

'Transforming the economy' such a dark euphemism for what they have wrought upon NZ

Hearing Robertson say that should make any upright citizen gasp in fear.

Upright Citizens?
From what I have seen on this site and others in the last few days Covid-19 is only one of our problems.
This country just crossed the Rubicon and all you oh so clever after the facters are so engrossed in your back slapping wankathon you can't see what's right in front of you.
I would have some sympathy,but hey it seems to be de rigueur to eschew that particular kindness.

Maybe we could export some of our expert posters, all seem to know what should have been done.

Exactly!

send them on a cruise?

I nominate solardb.

solardb, you don't think we should have some border control a bit earlier? I mean we pay these people to think isn't it? And it's said we pay people to run the covidsim model, and making that the input for our public policy.

I can only imagine the whinging at "overreaction" that would have been the norm on here had that been the case. It would have been Hosking level of self-contradiction followed by perfect hindsight either way.

Intially , I did , yes. But then I read , or heard their reasons for not doing so. Basically the scale of what was required , the numbers of New Zealanders that would need / want to return .
Overall we have done really well , and are extremely lucky , compared to other countries . Do I think they could have done better with some things , yes. Do I think they have made major mistakes , no .
Its like a major accident , armchair experts always know what the emergency services should have done , AFTERWARDS, with all the information they didn't have at the accident. , Or the pressure to do something.

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Evidence given to the Epidemic Response Committee as reported by David Seymour
Lockdown kills
“The lockdown, I’m sorry to say, will kill people. More farmers have committed suicide since the lockdown than people have died of coronavirus. That’s just an unfortunate fact we heard at the Epidemic response committee and there will be more, as people lose their jobs. A poorer country has higher morbidity.”

He said the government could not say the country had to be united and in the same breath say all the data would be kept by it and that it would make all the decisions.

That's right and the general public should see these models and scenarios., because the reality now is that these are the models that will more than likely reflect the reality of what is going to happen....not just the CV19 ones.

BigDaddy absolutely correct. Infact globally there has been no more deaths than usual despite covid 19. The families that suffer due to economic collapse will not be a priority unfortunately.

Can I get a reference for that. My recent reading shows death rates exceeding records. For example uk since 2010 see graph in here

https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/14/people-dying-england-point-since-records-...

The govt should release the suicide stats during the lockdown and those directly attributable to the lockdown.

Great idea. We could run the same death stats if we hadn't done anything as well. The economy would still be going to crap and we would have still had lock down eventually but it would have been harder one.
So basically everything the same but a worse economy and more virus deaths. Yeah let me know how that plays out.

Do we add in youth suicide and attribute it to central banking / government actions over the past decade too? I.e. pushing up asset prices out of reach to enrich current asset holders while impoverishing savers and reducing the chances of young urbanites and farmers alike.

Having unsustainable debt and record droughts could have been a catalyst even without the arrival of Covid.

Don't forget to add in the positives like the road toll.

If we are going to get nit-picky then should also subtract 5000 human lifetimes wasted sitting around in lockdown doing FA so far. (To be clear I am in favor of the lockdown, and have been since the start, and had wanted it a lot earlier when it would have been quicker and easier to eradicate). I think it is no longer clear that eradication is possible in any affordable length of lockdown - looks like maybe another 4-6 weeks required at current rate of fall which is just ruinous, so seems we are going to have to try to re-establish as much activity as possible, ideally on a regional basis, while trying to slowly manage numbers down like Taiwan and South Korea have.

At level 3 does this mean Phil Goofs parking patrol can comb the streets looking for parking infringements.

Can just imagine Goof saying that if you want to live in a world class city, You have to pay for them..

It will be classic home movie time in a couple of years for couples who were married under level 3.

Father can walk the bride down the isle, Couple can't hold hands or kiss, signing certificates would require two tables and the celebrant would need to paper plane (Dart) the certificates to the couples to sign. Married couple would then sanitize before signing. The venues were maned or womaned (equality #Metoo) by the parents. Separate cars to the reception. Certainly the brides parents would be pleased with only having to pay for a wedding of 10 persons including themselves. Its a bring a crate affair for booze or cask of wine. No first dance although they could use mirrors to trick themselves into being closer than they physically are. Then of to separate hotel rooms where they consummate the wedding over zoom. Then wait it out until level 2 is announced. Netflix documentary for sure.

Great - exactly as expected. Level 3.999999999

Daycare will be open and charging like a wounded bull, but we probably can't send children there anyway. So I guess we pull kids out, and hope we can re-enrol them in somewhere when we actually get out of lockdown.

There is a MAJOR element missing. All people over 70 years old must stay at home. They cannot have contact with anyone at all outside their bubble. Com'on folks, it's so obvious the over 70's are most at risk. Lets protect them!

There's a weeks old french trial with Hydroxychloroquine with 2500 treated so far and just 0.4% death rate when taken at an early stage. If those numbers are for real then I think we should consider the herd immunity route using lowest risk 60-70% of population. Would only kill a few 1000s, and would be possible to work through to herd immunity without overwhelming hospitals within a few months.

Those numbers just slide so easily off the tongue....

$1-200 billion drop in economic activity (govt estimate of cost of current course of action) will kill a whole lot more than that. Read https://croakingcassandra.com/2020/04/16/coronavirus-economics-and-polic...

I thought people had stopped the hail mary cries over Hydroxychloroquine...

When's she going to decriminalise Tinder again? Must be some sexually frustrated people out there.

No more Business with China-the truth is here:
https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/christchurch/canterbury-mornings-wit...
From Professor on China of University of Canterbury

JA claims that in level 3 all businesses need to be safe, non face to face and practice appropriate social distancing...all businesses except schools - where the sons & daughters of all those other business staff can mix'n'mingle whilst teachers try to do the impossible and keep 5 year olds 2m apart and risk their own health with absolutely no PPE...then those kids go back home to contaminate all the bubbles they come from - its an absolute farce. If school is open at level 3 then just forget social distancing.

1. Schools are going to become a shared bubble. The children at school will be segregated into small groups so the infection will not be able to spread through a whole school.
2. The point of workers in businesses staying 2m away from customers is because the customers are generally strangers. If COVID-19 gets into a school, the government knows exactly who the students are that are attending the school so they know who to test and put self-isolation orders on. A McDonald's that serves 100 customers at their tills in a lunch hour is not going to be able to contact all of the potentially affected customers.
3. The whole point of level 3 as opposed to level 4 is to balance the cost of health measures against the economy, to shift more in favour of the economy. We are taking extra health risks as a result, but given the case load at present, this seems like a reasonable risk to take. Thus sending children back to school so their parents can get back into their jobs is a sensible step to take - it's not like the children are being sent to school just for funsies.

I hope they can pull that off, but will be very tricky. Toilets, play areas would need carefully controlled, and classes would need to be separated at all times - including teachers who would have to avoid shared spaces.

And on RNZ this morning, an ECE head characterised the inclusion of her sector as a not-thought-through shambles....

double post

Loved that log pile export pic Jen, as it gave assurances that China soon convert them into toilet paper then send back to us, much needed here.. months to come.

Not only has China dodged blame for the pandemic, it is taking credit for dealing with it