PM: A move to Level 2 could be phased in; Gatherings limited to 100 people; Domestic travel allowed; Retail, hospitality and beauty businesses can open under restrictions

PM: A move to Level 2 could be phased in; Gatherings limited to 100 people; Domestic travel allowed; Retail, hospitality and beauty businesses can open under restrictions
Jacinda Ardern. Press Gallery pool image Photo from Getty Images.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released guidance on what Level 2 will look like, saying the country might have to make the move step-by-step rather than with a single leap. 

She said a move to Level 2, which is quite different to Level 3, might be phased in if the Ministry of Health makes this suggestion. 

Cabinet will make a decision on Monday, May 11.

At Level 2 domestic tourism can resume. Retail, beauty and hospitality businesses can open, if they can follow health rules and keep track of those they have contact with.

A rule for groups of bar/restaurant-goers to have to be separated, seated and served by the same person will make things tough for the owners of bars, nightclubs and music venues.

Ardern said the principle at Level 2 is "play it safe".

New Zealand will move to Level 2 if "household transmission could be occurring" and there are "single or isolated cluster outbreaks".

It will stay at Level 3 if "community transmission might be happening" and "new clusters may emerge but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing".

This is what Level 2 will look like:


Socialising beyond household bubbles allowed. Large parties discouraged. More details to come.

2-metre distancing from strangers, 1-metre from workmates and people that can be contract-traced.

Mass gatherings

Restricted to fewer than 100 people indoors and outdoors.


Border remains closed. New Zealanders arriving from overseas still required to self-isolate for two weeks in government-managed facilities.

Domestic travel allowed. People urged to be mindful of the activities they do when travelling, rather than the travelling as such. 

People encouraged to support tourism industry safely.


Businesses can restart for staff and customers. Must have contract tracing systems in place to record everyone who enters their premises and maintain 1m distancing between groups of customers. 

People can return to their offices with good hygiene practices. Alternative ways of working encouraged (eg remote working, shiftbased working, physical distancing, staggering meal breaks, flexible leave).

Malls and larger retailers required to follow measures similar to supermarkets. Number of people allowed in-store restricted.

Hairdressers and beauticians must wear appropriate protective equipment.

Hospitality businesses can open but customers must be seated, separated and be served by one waiter/waitress. People can’t order from counters.


Playgrounds, gyms, public courts, pools can re-open. Some can open more quickly than others.

Sport involving close contact allowed if contact tracing is maintained for training and games.

Professional sport can resume domestically. Gatherings still limited to fewer than 100 people.

Public venues can open within the safety rules. 


Schools, early childhood centres and tertiary education facilities will open the Monday after a move to Level 2 is confirmed.

Distance learning available to school students who can't attend.

Output expected to be 85% to 91% that of normal levels

Treasury and the Reserve Bank expect direct output to be between 85% and 91% that of normal levels at Level 2. 

Percentage of normal time GDP produced at each alert level
  RBNZ Treasury
L1 96.2 90-95
L2 91.2 85-90
L3 81 75
L4 63 60

'A much higher level of individual responsibly'

Ardern said: “Every alert level to fight COVID-19 is its own battle. When you win one, it doesn’t mean the war is over.

“In a nutshell, Level 2 is a safer normal designed to get as many people back to work as possible and the economy back up and running in a safe way, made possible only by our collective actions at Levels 4 and 3 to beat the virus and break the chain of transmission.

“Strong public health measures such as physical distancing, good hygiene and contact tracing will be essential to making Level 2 work.

“There is a much higher level of individual responsibly required at Level 2 to prevent the spread of the virus. Even though the economy will be significantly opened up we still need everyone to remain vigilant and continue to act like you and those around you have the virus.

“On Monday, May 11, we will make a decision on whether to move, taking into consideration the best data and advice we can, recognising the impact of restrictions, and ensuring we don’t put at risk all of the gains we have made.

“We need to balance the risk of the virus bouncing back against the strong desire to get the economy moving again.

“We will continue to act with caution and not move before it is safe to do, so entry into Level 2 could be phased, with higher risk activity occurring when there is stronger evidence it is safe to do so."

More detailed information is available here and here.

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Percentage of normal time GDP produced at each alert level
There is a lot of confusion and misinterpretation around what this means. These percentages are calculated on pre-Covid data; that is, the contribution of those sectors that are being reopened as assessed on pre-Covid basis.
Only time will tell what the during and post-Covid contributions of those sectors to our national economy shrink/swell to.

Thanks for clarifying that Advisor.

Why did they announce what level 2 is like so early,. Just means many people will relax before this occurs. Cna see lots of parties this weekend. If they plan a level 2.5 , why release level 2 detail details now instead. So many mixed messages and confusion. Level 2 looks almost like normal life IMO for many people

I also wondered about floating level 2.5 at this stage. I reckon it's pretty likely that's what we'll get next week. If you're going to go to L2, and you know it, why go on about 2.5?

But the low numbers of cases meant that keeping L3 wasn't an option, so they needed 2.5.

The current low case numbers represent level 4 success, and not level 3 yet, because people who have been infected during level 3 may not get tested until next week. But it appears a few rouge cases are now appearing from peoples bubbles. Many have been shown to wait a week after showing symptoms, before bothering to get tested, as was discussed on Q&A a few nights ago, by one of the governments experts medical advisors, who also said that NZ contact tracing isn't yet up to what it needs to be yet. It appears a large reason why we went into level 4 and it got extended appears to have been because our contact tracing was overwhelmed . This all potentially could be a major problem. Will be interesting to see how the numbers work out in a few weeks time. Hope we don't end up getting cases back in double digits in 1-3 weeks. Resthomes, Schools, Bars, events and any other social areas like that can be breeding ground for this virus, creating big clusters for 100 people from just a single case.

And so it bloody well should be. Less than 150 active cases in the whole country.

Plus the ones not showing symptoms, all of who are capable of spreading it silently. Unless our contact tracing is Platinum level, if cases rise like they were, we could have trouble tracing all contacts quickly, espcailly with a manual system.


hopefully tourism in NZ will reshape itself to treat kiwis as bread and butter and foreign tourist as the cream and not as has been in the past where local tourism was overlooked as lower paying and not worth the effort.
i have always thought how locals of Queensland got discounted entry to the theme parks and everyone else paid full price is the right structure

Needing to remember that every dollar that a tourist spends is an export dollar and a positive dollar in our balance of trade measures. Sadly though domestic tourist may be good for the business they do not carry the same clout in a macroeconomic sense


New Zealanders take over 3 million overseas trips per year. Times have obviously changed along with peoples financial resources. But some of that money previously spent in overseas destinations will be spent locally at least in the short term.

You got it. The commentators always omit to mention that tourism is a net amount, not just the imported foreign $ amount.
Of course we can’t just net off and pretend this is the actual effect, as internal air travel will skyrocket and the dollar in pocket smashed.


I don't necessarily see the international tourism sector shrinking to a smaller proportion of our economy as a bad thing. We could do it better this time around by keeping it specialised and high-value instead of the low-productive contributor it had been for a while (produced 6% of national GDP in 2019 while engaging 9% of our workforce).
Sure the industry losses are unfortunate but the sheer majority of the rapidly-growing jobs it created weren't well-paying, 'first world' by any metric.

And many of the jobs were filled by overseas workers.

This would be offset somewhat by all the money NZ tourist spend overseas, which could be spent in NZ instead. Although can be more NZ to travel in and to do things for NZers, than overseas.

They tried that in Queenstown donkey ages ago, and guess what happens?!
Yep. Resourceful locals lent out their Locals Pass to longer-term tourists, for a fee, of course!
The end result of that? Locals were charged at exactly the same exorbitant rate as Tourists on the basis that, because it was a 100% tourist town, what one local exorbitantly paid in one local shop, they got back by charging exorbitantly in their shop!


If only we drop Levels like we drop the OCR.


[ ] They say they understand business. They don't.

What do you think businesses would need that wasn't in there, out of interest?

National, of course!


Pretty obvious I would have thought.
Putting it out there that we might move to a 2.5 rather than 2 just creates more uncertainty.
Uncertainty is the enemy for most businesses.
This has just become farcically over cautious.

You're aware that the data the decision will be based on is still not available, right? People who catch the virus this week might not show symptoms and get tested before the end of next week. The goal now is to avoid a second wave of infections, and the likelihood of that (and thus the safety measures needed) depends on the number of people who are either currently infected, or will get infected in the coming days.


That's about whether we move or don't move. People can't order supplies if they're a level 2 business and we move to level 2.5. Opening the doors isn't just a case of turning up and unlocking the doors. Whether we move or not is fine. That's something we should do with maximum clarity and up to date data. But to add vagueness in around who can open and who can't is the killer.


And knowing contract tracing and testing capability has our back.

4 month lead time for most of my key ingredients. 2 day notice of a Level change isn't much help with forecasting.
Luckily we're already open, but lets say I was buying coffee beans from overseas suppliers, or buying goods from a factory in Asia who take a month to make and a month to ship products and had been closed in lockdown. I might have something left over from pre-lockdown, but would not be reordering until I have certainty.

no please some, unless the message comes from a PM wearing a blue hat instead of a red one...

Precisely Fritz. Conservative and Labour are not words you'd expect to hear together.

Exactly.. walk around open eyes now even level3 is bit hit and Miss. How do you keep social distance with kids at pools etc..some of this is just nonsense.

A lot of the uncertainty in unavoidable though and I worry we are falling into the trap of projecting our fears and anxieties about the pandemic outward at easy targets (in this case Ardern). Isn't it the pandemic causing the majority of uncertainty everywhere in the world ultimately?

I agree, I was also disappointed to hear about this wishy washy staged progression down to level 2. And if they are going to do that, then I would have preferred the specifics upfront. And some kind of metric for the levels. For instance, Germany has a metric of restrictions that will come back into force if the infection rate goes above 50 per 1000 people. So yes, uncertainty is bad for business, more clarity on the specific metrics that government are using would be better. But ultimately, its the pandemic that is causing the mess and NZ is handling that better than many. Not perfectly by any means, but managing a pandemic is inherently difficult, especially now that it has become highly politicised and is coming at the end of the business and debt cycles.

Our infection rate is less than 1 per 1000.


A full and unlimited re-open.
There is zero science behind lockdown and social distancing. Lets stop kidding ourselves.
We have been enslaved to modelling (guesswork) for months now. It doesn't seem to matter how often the modelling is wrong we keep following it. Are you a bouncing dot in a computer model with 20 odd variables affecting you? Or are a complex organism in a complex world?
One cannot predict the future, it is impossible. That is Chaos Theory. Which is actual science. You know observations, measurements, testing hypotheses. All that old fashioned stuff.
Not Imperial college grabbing a flu pandemic model off the shelf, made from 13 year old code, feeding in some dodgy Chinese data and our friends at Otago university using that to tell us that tens of thousands of people will die in New Zealand. It's absurd.
And it's not like it's just epidemiology which has crap models that are always wrong. Do you trust the weather report that says it will rain in 5 days? Or even three? A lot more money and data has been fed into those models than epidemiological ones. If Goldman Sachs tells you the Xero share price will definitely be 25% higher in a month how seriously do you take their modelling? So when an epidemiologist tells you millions would be dead by June, why do you take that seriously?
This whole thing is perverse. We have shot ourselves in the foot over nothing. Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people every year. No vaccine for adults. There is no panic lockdown over that. Possibly because it doesn't affect old, rich, white people in the West.
And we don't need to make this political. Right or Left they are all lining up to over react the most. Aside from Sweden. Because there the decision is not political.
And this is not about profits and greed either. The words economy and society are very interchangeable. People are going hungry. People are getting abused by their partners. People are not getting the tests or treatments they need. And not knowing where your next meal or paycheck is coming from? Call me old fashioned but I don't think that's good for mental health.

Absolute rubbish and you are cherry picking numbers. Yes there is evidence that social distancing works. How did we do from nearly a hundred infections a do, to just a few?. Even in 1918, social distancing was known to slow down the spread of the flu. If we can't learn from history, we have no hope.

Yep no Hope sorry...

Please show me. Where are your references of social distancing working? Where is the data?
It doesn't even appear you know what a number is Rob. What numbers did I cherry pick? I just used logic.
Social distancing can only work if you can actually maintain 2 metres from other people at ALL times. That is the assumption of the model. While that might be possible for a data point in a computer model, for real people in the real just didn't happen. Did you go to a supermarket during lockdown? See everyone maintaining a perfectly strict 2 metres from one another?
If social distancing was never really observed all the time (which the modelling assumes it is) than how can you say it worked?
You are right about history we have panicked many times before about all sorts of things. This has all the characteristics of a global panic. Very few of a serious global pandemic.
I can give you plenty of numbers though mate.
In 2005, Neil Ferguson (you know him the one who headed the guessing paper from Imperial college that said millions would die in the US and who just had to resign.....because he broke lockdown, probably because he realized how full of crap his own work was) said that up to 200 million people could be killed from bird flu. He told the Guardian that ‘around 40 million people died in 1918 Spanish flu outbreak… There are six times more people on the planet now so you could scale it up to around 200 million people probably.’ In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.
You can read a lot more about his crap guesses here
Going from many infections to a few does not prove that lockdown or social distancing works. That would have happened anyway. Granted closing the borders probably helped stop seeding the virus. But there is no evidence that social distancing and lockdown have any affect. In fact Sweden shows the opposite. Spain had among the harshest lockdown conditions of anyone. Children weren't even allowed outside for weeks on end. Not at all. They were social distancing and locked down like crazy. Yet Portugal, which is poorer than Spain and right next door had far fewer deaths with far less stringent lockdown measures.
It's more likely that the virus faded out because it's not very serious unless you are old and already sick. The virus is so benign to your average person that maybe as many as a quarter....don't even realize they have it.
If lockdown and social distancing work than how come Sweden didn't get overwhelmed? How come there is little to no correlation between intensity of of lockdown and ferocity of outbreak.
In New York which was supposedly some sort of horror show....they never ran out of intensive care beds....despite what a bunch of crap models predicted.
But don't let that logic or data get in the way of your fear mate. Panic away. You are in good company.
Before you rubbish something you might want to do a little thinking and research yourself. Rather than swallowing the line Jacinda and her pack of merry health professionals have fed you. You know what they know about society, how it functions, how it works, what the dangers are of closing it down? Nothing, that's what. They know about Epidemiology and public health, two small branches of society. So why are they the only ones in the room in a decision like that?
I set you a challenge Rob. Find me three charts of cases or deaths. Just three charts. Any country or region you like, that went into lockdown. Show me on the chart where the drop in the numbers is from where they started social distancing or lockdown. Where are these flattened curves? I don't see them anywhere.
All I see is panic. If you want cherry picking pick up the newspaper. All they talk about is the worse cases, the worst outbreaks. It's ridiculous.

Here is one:

In fact, it is saying that no lockdown of the nonvulnerable was required, just do what we were asked to do voluntarily before the lockdown, which was social distancing, washing hands and surfaces, although they also said to wear masks which is a proxy for distance.

But while I agree with a lot of what you say, you are missing some of the nuances eg two meters might be an average in real life of one meter, which might slow down the risk of transmission enough to ensure a controlled infectibility through the population so our hospitals can cope and we can get some herd immunity before our virus season starts.

And here is another European state where no lock down has not gone so well...
Sweden,no lockdown..pop 10.23 million, 3,000 dead !!
Sweden nears 'horrifying' death toll of 3,000 from coronavirus with 87 new fatalities, including a child under ten

You need to research up more, Sweden does not have any no lock down policy, it is just less lockdown on what other nations have done.

They, like many other nations, admit they should have locked down the vulnerable sooner, ie rest homes, retirement villages etc. Sweden was particularly vulnerable in this regard because they have large state-run rest homes, so it is easier for the virus to spread once it gets in.

And you seem to be taking a counterpoint to what Denature is saying because 'they' are wanting a full and un-limited reopen. I'm saying social distancing or a proxy for that works.

True,I guess I am trying to counter the whole "we didn't need any lock down.." & "why weren't we into level one last week" brigade out there.
Going on the behaviour by many alst week at the fast food outlets and tradies on tv sharing a cigarette,I am not sure we have a compliant society that would strictly follow social distancing rules,which agreed,along with stringent hygiene standards would probably keep things at bay.
I've seen too many people out there who see it as an imposition on their rights,taking the approach that if everyone else is behaving,i don't have to worry....the old 80/20 rule probably applies again....with 20% covidiots out there.

Agreed, and that is the issue with democracy, it's like herding cats. So like I said the 2-meter rule is really just an average, just like the 80/20 is saying on average 80% of people will do the right thing, and at those percentages can the target be met?

I think we needed a more nuanced lockdown, ie lockdown and support the vulnerable, not lockdown all the healthy as well. And I still think that there are risks that have not been factored in like the coming virus season and that we have no 'recovered people in the general community other than those that presented with symptoms and tested positive. That pattern does not seem to be following international patterns of transmission. And means we have no partial herd immunity in the population going into winter.

Very much agree with you Dale. We portray our tactic as some sort of success, when really we have just boxed ourselves in a corner.
It is like the "trans Tasman bubble". How would that work. The Aussies have it widespread in the population. We don't. How can we let anyone in here from anywhere without two week isolation or some sort of immunity passport to show they have already had it.
And who wants to go through that just to come here on holiday?
The whole thing is preposterous.

A mate of mine in NZ got Covid 19... twice. Once in Dec and again in Feb. I also had it in Feb after travelling overseas. We both felt like death, main symptoms were violently painful aches, insane fever, relentless cough, inability to breathe. Unlike any other flu
Worst flu ever in fact and lasted for ages. She ended up in hospital, I was off work for a month.

Point is, and it's been shown elsewhere, it's possible to get it twice. Getting it once doesn't confer immunity as my mate showed. Therefore I'm dubious how opening borders to Aus can be safely managed, despite also being pro business, pro economy and pro getting people working. It's the hospo industry I really feel for.

Are you and 2x's mate counted in NZ MoH covid numbers?

vman if you want to counter something then get some facts together and make an argument. Do some research.
3000 deaths is nothing in a nation of 10 million people. Mostly old, mostly with pre-existing conditions. Just like everywhere else.
We have closed society down at huge cost, simply to give some sick old people 6 more months of poor quality life.
And given the bill to our children by printing money it will take us decades to pay back.
That is not ethical or fair or just. It is stupid.
The covidiots are the ones that believe this is a big deal.

"...just to give some sick old people..." wow,you heartless b*stard...
I think if you do the research,plenty of healthy younger people have been dying overseas in countries where it is rampant...

Yeah that's the easy cop out vman call me heartless. Right the data off.
A 90 year old person with dementia, dying is not a tragedy. Its the end of a long life hopefully well lived.
The 35 year old women who develops terminal breast cancer because she didn't get a breast screen in time, because the hospitals are all empty waiting for a pandemic that never arrived. That is a tragedy.
A women forced to stay at home with an abusive partner who has been put under a lot of stress...making him even more abusive, all for a pandemic that never arrived. That is a tragedy.
The city mission handing our more food parcels than ever, to people they have never seen before, because both parents have lost their jobs and now can't feed their kids, all for a pandemic that never arrived. That is a tragedy.
Mass joblessness what does that do to mental health....all for a pandemic that never arrived.
I could go on but your limited concentration is probably already waning. The fact remains that lockdown has done severe damage to millions of peoples lives. The Philippines has 108 million people, 65 million in lockdown, 130 thousand arrests for curfew breach all for 10 thousand cases and 685 deaths. The United Nations reports that soldiers have shot people in the street for breaching lockdown. Those people were literally starving to death.
Plenty of young people aren't dying and if you did any research yourself you would know that. Seeing as you like to bring up the Swedish deaths:
87.6% of covid 19 deaths in Sweden were in people over the age of 70, the largest age group for deaths is 80-89 (40%) and 24.6% were over the age of 90.
As for the "plenty of young people dying". I don't know what you classify as a young person, but I will be generous and include people up to the age of 39. In Sweden that represents 0.62% of all covid 19 deaths. I do not regard 0.62% as plenty.
It is estimated in Italy 99% of deaths had pre-exisiting conditions in the US it is more like 74%. Either way it is high. The statement "old already sick people are the ones most at risk of covid 19 death" is considerably more correct than "plenty of healthy younger people have been dieing overseas in countries where it is rampant"
Thanks I did the research.
Why don't you do some instead of talking out your ass and hiding behind your pretend caring. You are not more caring than me just less informed.
We live in a world of finite resource where we must make decisions that benefit the most people we can with what we have. Lockdown clearly does not represent one of those decisions.
Calling someone you know nothing about, a heartless bastard, does not add anything to that debate.

And the reason the pandemic didn't arrive is because we did a good job of keeping it out via the governments policies...the numbers don't lie,I'd rather be here than in New York.
Our numbers are facts,your's are supposition,of which you can never prove,as we didn't go in that direction,so rather than coulda,woulda,should've...just be thankful there will be someone here to buy your bread,so you can make lots of dough...

Maybe you could put your name forward as the person to decide who lives,who dies...what age would be the cutoff,why stop at covid,why not anyone with a terminal illness to be refused any treatment,I mean they are gonna go anyways...should we put a dollar amount,I mean,how much is too much.
Perhaps you could make up an excel spreadsheet,input age,illness,estimated time remaining + dollars required to keep them going.Hit the go button,see if your numbers stack up.
" sorry Mrs Jones,on the denature scale,you have just come under the allowable number to receive treatment..."

Number of deaths per 100,000 people New York City:
18-44yrs - 16.53
45-64yrs - 151.7
65-74yrs - 494.64
75& over- 1,242.65
City wide total =165.95 per 100,000
Extrapolate those numbers to a population of 5 million .
Who knows what our numbers may have been,imagine in some of the lower socio economic areas of South Auckland,lots of underlying conditions in all age groups living in close quarters.Look how the measles epidemic affected them last year.
Samoa had 83 deaths in a population of 200,000.

At last, someone is finally calling it as it is. Thankyou.

An unmitigated, unjustified, unprecedented, unnecessary economic disaster. For what... to save a few old people. Sorry, it's not worth it.

And what about all the deaths amongst healthcare workers in hospitals dealing with this across the is never just a few old people...
I'd love to know what your job is,I'm guessing you aren't a nurse trying to incubate a sick patient daily..
Are you upset you haven't been able to get to your beach house in Pauanui during lockdown?

It's intubate mate but whatever.
And which nurses in New Zealand are intubating anyone at the moment? They may as well not bother anyway. 90% of people who go on ventilators don't live. And the ones that do don't have good survival rates.
Ventilators. Another waste of our precious health dollars, when we could be, I dunno, screening people for cancer maybe? Something that actually kills a lot of people. All the time.
What have a few health care workers deaths got to do with the big picture? You keep focusing on the outliers. The vaaaaast majority of people who die are elderly people with pre-existing conditions. What is important is how we help everyone not how we futilely try to protect every single group.
I'm a baker. I don't have a second house anywhere. I have two kids and rent an average house. I would be classed as lower middle income. I don't resent someone having a second house in Pauanui. It's not where I would chose but hey it's unlikely I will ever have that choice anyway. And that's fine.
I also have a Masters Degree in biology. Even did half a phd. So I have actually done science.
But hey make up whatever you like about me. It's not unusual for people who realise they don't know what they are talking about to get angry and lash out and make stuff up.
I'm upset that people are not critiquing a serious decision that has done a lot of damage to the society my children are growing up in. I don't believe it was necessary and have provided plenty of reasonable analysis to support my assertion. You are welcome to critique anything I have said. Or provide data that supports what you are saying. You have done neither.
Instead you have just called me names.
But like I said, whatever.

Once again,they are not "intubating" cos we did a good job of keeping the virus under control.
Plenty of people would be complaining if their family member who was in hospital for cancer screening caught the virus and passed away due to their compromised health and "underlying condition..."

I've found it to be a waste of time. Once an armchair epidemiologist is this far gone they seem to have developed immunity to any facts presented that do not conform with their adopted worldview. The telltale sign is absolute surety.

“One signature a lot of these armchair epidemiologists have is a grand solution to everything,” Bergstrom says. “Usually we only see that coming from enormous research teams from the best schools, or someone’s basement.”

Sweden's normal society is quite socially isolated. They have a high number of people that live alone and it is spread out. Italy is the opposite and look at what happened when they didn't have a lockdown. Likewise the UK initially tried what Sweden did and it failed. NZ also doesn't have the high number of ICU beds they have over there. we have slightly more than 500 beds

You don't understand the data. Italy is not a single homogenous outbreak. It was bad in the North and even then only in some states. In the South there was nothing.
And in any case what are you talking about Italy had a very strict lockdown one of the strictest in Europe.
And to bring the English up is ridiculous. They have been in lockdown for weeks and it has done nothing, it gets worse and worse there. In the paper Dale quoted above they said 10 days is the lag. Show me the point on the English deaths or case plots where you say, "thats where they started lockdown". You can't because the point does not exist 10 day lag or no.
In Iceland they think maybe 50% are asymptomatic. In Sweden they have found data showing that their first infection may have been in November. These are very important findings as they confirm what is seen in the massive under reporting of cases. If the virus was already in Sweden in November and no one noticed until February AND they are finding high amounts of asymptomatic individuals AND there is data showing that it is far more prevalent in the population than is shown by the reported cases this all points to a highly contagious, but not especially dangerous disease.
At some point we need to stop ignoring all the data that point to this not being much of an event. In the region of a bad flu season that we might have once every 15 years or so.
Certainly far less dangerous than TB, Aids, Malaria, Cancer, Heart Disease and a whole long list of other things that kill far more people year after year after year.
This is a panic.

Total bollocks. This is the latest Imperial College London modelling:

Their analysis has found that lockdown is the most effective thing to reduce the reproduction rate of the virus, followed by banning public events. It doesn't take into account closing the borders though because it's Europe-focused, which would also undoubtedly reduce it. Locking down has massively decreased the number of new infections across all countries in the analysis, and the sooner it was implemented the better.

In addition, there is simple proof that it is more dangerous than the flu for example - 0.13% of New York State's population has been confirmed to have died from coronavirus already. The death rate of the seasonal flu is about 0.1% and it doesn't infect everybody, and the coronavirus certainly hasn't infected everybody in New York.

How about instead of saying that the data is being ignored, you start listening to the professionals actually analysing the data?

Christ modelling again. That's your answer.
Their analysis? Seriously? You mean their thirteen year old flu pandemic model, full of assumptions and incomplete data?
Imperial colleges modelling numbers have been wrong all the way through. THEIR MODELLING SUCKS.
And they are plainly wrong in the link you shared. The cases say 400k daily. The cases never went anything like that. And when you do the "intervention" you should get an immediate drop in cases by 75%, according to their model. Where the hell is that represented in any of the UK data? LOOK AT WHAT HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED IT IS NOTHING LIKE THOSE MODELS. Yeah their crap model says a lot of stuff but none of it has been confirmed in the real world.
I don't even know what you are talking about with New York. Let me explain how averages work. 0.1% flu death rate is a US average (it is estimated to it is not actually measured in the US). That means that typically some parts of the US would have higher flu death than 0.1% and some would have lower than 0.1%. It is also a yearly average. That means that some years it will be higher than 0.1% and some years it will be lower. There is no average for this Coronavirus because this is the first time we have really measured it. So 0.13% does not represent much of a deviation from the average. In a typical flu season one part of the country might show 0.4% or 0.8% mortality rate and a bunch of others might show 0. So 0.13% in New York might be utterly typical.
And further still you are conflating to separate data points. The mortality rate is not conducted as a % of the entire population it is a % of the people who actually got the disease. The mortality rate in New York is currently around 6%. About 60 times worse than the flu on average. Don't worry mate I will do your arguing for you. But that is only because they aren't measuring all cases. Italian estimates are 10 times under reporting. The Santa Clara study estimates a lower threshold of 50 times under reporting.
Scientists are people like you and I. They are not perfect computons. They make mistakes, they have biases, they have crap days.
Think about the incentives for a minute. What incentive is there for an epidemiologist to blow this up? Well he or she will get more air time, get on more news shows and quite likely get a shedload more funding. Suddenly epidemiology is the hip new they will get better students as well.
And disincentives. What are they? Neil Ferguson (head of the Imperial college papers) just lost his government side job because he had his girlfriend break lockdown for a little poontang visit. That's how much value he puts in strictly following the lockdown. He didn't even recommend lockdown in the original paper. But he is on tenure. He won't lose his job for being wildly wrong. It won't affect him at all he has been wildly wrong many times in his career.
Why don't you run along and read the original paper it says we can't relax any of this stuff until there is a vaccine. 18 months it says. This is the paper we adapted to justify quarantine. It's crap but you seem to like his stuff.
Or you can just stick to your crap models mate. And the next time the models say its raining today you go out and argue with the sun that it shouldn't be shining.

Hi Dale.
That is what the Imperial London paper said as well, lockdown was not necessary in their model, just social distancing and hand washing. Closing schools and unis in the most extreme case, but even that seems pointless given how little it affects the young.
I would accept hand washing is useful, that is pretty unequivocal. It is simple to do and most people wash their hands anyway. It doesn't require much behavioural change. But even social distancing to a metre on average is not how humans act. It's not what I observed at the supermarket, or even walking down the street.
And that Swiss study is a bit weird. In the Swiss chart they miss half the data. The show the point at which hygiene measures begin....but there is no plot there so you can't see what it does to the trend? I don't get it. He says its hygiene introduction that turns it but he is missing a lot of data points there and you can't see the trend.
And the Koch institute plot he simply says that lockdown was unnecessary the infection was already on the wane.
Both show that lockdown is a waste of time. Or at least that it was already under control before anyone locked down.
The main problem though is they are using R0 as a measure. You can't calculate R0 accurately unless you know how many people are affected. Given that there are numerous studies showing that under reporting can be anything from 10 to 50 times, the R0 is going to be way off until we can test the population accurately and figure out how many people actually got it.
I don't know about masks. Flip a coin as far as the data says.
Thanks for the article.

There are dozens of variables with different combinations and permutations that are possible and the frustrating issue I see in much of this research is they only consider a couple of variables at a time and don't do a multi-variant study.

And they cannot seem to join the dots between the different disciplines. Even the study I linked to humidity is only considering outdoor absolute humidity when in reality you need to view its relationship to the indoor temperature and relative humidity, as its the indoors where people spend most of their time, especially in winter, and then link that to air quality ie ventilation rate and type.

We know temperature and humidity (seasonality) matter especially as in low relative humidity (RH) virus can become more airborne, ie travel further which means RH is also proxy for a distance which brings us to ventilation as a variable as well.

Research traced a restaurant infection in Wuhan that people at certain tables only caught the virus and found that all infected were in the ventilation flow path that the HVAC created with its recirculated airflow.

Other research has shown the highest CV19 virus numbers in a healthcare facility is the room where the health care workers get changed in and out of their PPE gear.

Lack of Sunlight is also lack of Vitamin D which can be absorbed naturally or injected. (what? Sunlight injected?)

And of course people's individual age, health, etc.

I think there are other things we could be doing as well, if not instead of a total lockdown, and I think we are not covering all our bases going out of lockdown into the main virus season.

For example, I bet you could ask almost any Hospital, doctors clinic, rest home/retirement village, office building, restaurant in the country what their indoor temperature, relative humidity and ventilation air change rate and whether their air type was fresh or recirculated or not, and they might be able to guess what the temperature was because we can feel that. The other variables, they wouldn't have a clue.

Covering of the above points for CV19 would also reduce asthma rates and other respiratory diseases as well, making our houses warmer, drier and healthier.

Good points Dale.
Regarding airflow, it is another issue I had with social distancing. I'm sure we all saw people having street catch ups or driveway drinks. They were all diligently sitting 2 metres apart. But if there is a gentle breeze blowing (and there is almost always wind somewhere in NZ) and a person upwind has the covid than that breeze could gently be blowing covid spray all over a persons face downstream. Two metres becomes a target and people miss the goal. It's why it's pointless and the modelling that says it will work is pointless because human behaviour is more complex than model representations of people and how they act. It's chaos theory.
We are way to focused on the expertise of epidemiologists and public health officials. There is not enough input from other experts and the discussion has been hijacked by them.
New Zealands shitty housing is an ongoing problem. It costs us billions in lost productivity and human misery.
Maybe something to spend a shedload of stimulus money on?

They never have or will...

Anyone want to hazard a guess about which bits of level 2.5 we get next week?

Personally I'm thinking cafes and restaurants might stay takeaway for a little while. And of course schools will be delayed another week to the 18th.


I love my kids but man oh man are we going to enjoy them being back at school. OOOOF!!!

+1. May the 18th pencilled in.

Tell me about it...

Then not long until the July holidays...

The term is 12 weeks now. It is currently week 4.
So they'll be at school for at least 6 weeks
They may push out the school holidays also.
Though teachers haven't had a break this entire lockdown. The one and a half weeks before distance learning started was spent setting up distance learning.

Did they get a drop in pay? Or did they just work 100% of the time for 100% of their wages? They are doing better than a lot of other people out there. This wasn't meant to be a holiday.

Your Parenting Social Credit Score just went down a lattes for You, GN. But Repent, and ye shall be Saved :-)

Bahahaa. No lattes for me anyway waymad, spending it all on box wine LOLOL


Why would we keep schools closed? No one under the age of 9 has died from the covid. Kids often don't even seem to get it.
We might want to keep home teachers who are old and have a dicky heart. That makes sense right protect the people who are actually vulnerable to it?
But sense went out the window when we went into this clusterduck. Weeks before that even.
Sick not sick, susceptible not susceptible, old, young, rich, poor, quarantine us all, seed fear, all the while telling us to be kind. Take our rights ways from us and get us to tell on each other.
And we just suck it all up with barely a whimper. A 50 million bail out to keep the media quiet....not that they have been offering anything in the way of critique anyway.
If I watched this in a movie I would not believe people could be so stupid.
We are living in a Southpark episode.

and this

We simply do not know enough about this virus to be taking stupid chances with it.
You might think you are in a South Park episode, if so, I see you as Cartman.

Thanks for your pointless links.
They change nothing about it's infectiousness or it's severity. The facts still show it's quite infectious and not particularly dangerous unless you are old and / or already sick. That is what affects decisions about something as massively disruptive to society as a lockdown. Not toe blemishes or whether you can catch it from semen. Who gives a crap if it's in semen it's plenty easy to catch from someone without having to have been showered in their semen. But whatever blows your hair back buddy.
Two more irrelevant facts what does that prove? That you like irrelevant facts? Congratulations you'll go far in trivial pursuit competitions with that.
Corona virus is one of the causes of the common cold. Most of us have had a Coronavirus, most likely many of them. Kids are crawling with them.
I am certain coronavirus has killed many people before and the deaths have just been attributed to flu. Or pneumonia. But hey that dead person was already pretty old and pretty sick so no one really bothered looking into it, it's just something that happens all the time.
Has anyone ever looked at the toes of a person with a bad cold before? You think doctors check peoples toes or their semen when they come in showing cold symptoms? Jesus Christ man.
Just because we haven't been looking for something doesn't make it new.
You confuse having something made known to you with something having significance.
I'm glad to be Cartman. He is far and away the funniest character.

Most cafes will be toast either way.

They must have only been to fancy restaurants where servers are waiting.

No certainty.

This the point where they will lose control if not very very careful. They would be crazy applying the changes nation wide as the regional states of infection are so widely different. (Compare the West coast which has 0 live cases and the last case was 28 days ago with Auckland which has 68 live cases and the last case presented 2 days ago) Applying changes in safe regions only, would be safer and also provide an opportunity to test run control measures.
By the stats, 6 regions are pretty much clear of the virus and 5 others are getting very close.

Why should your paranoia be my paranoia.

Thank you sir. Thank you.

check this map of days since last case throughout NZ :
There are many areas (southland, Wellington, Northland) that have been free of infection for many weeks and should be open for business already, while some (Auckland, Waitemata, Waikato) still need lockdown. Quarantine these regions at their borders and let disease free areas cautiously resume normal life. And get everyone wearing masks in public FFS

Auckland decides the election result. Just try opening up other regions while keeping Auckland restricted and see what happens.

Not saying you are wrong, but that is a terrible reason for wasting several hundred million dollars a day on unnecessary universal lockdowns. Use police to ensure lockdowns are maintained in the regions they need to be.

the popo have proven how useless they have been with not only the roadblocks, but they were supposed to keep track on the returning people early on and did not
hand it over to the army to run the road blocks

Yep - with live ammunition and orders to shoot

You must have a very sad life !

No - just a vivid imagination and fetish for shooting up law breaker :-)

The law is an ass.

Westie, should it be the DHBs that decide for each of their areas?

DHB's are politically infested organisations. Set up to provide a gateway for wannabe politicians to move through the ranks.
FFS DR Ayesha Verral was selected to the Capital and Coast DHB as a Labour Party candidate. Why do you think she was initially put into the public arena as the contact tracing doubting Thomas. They knew it was a cluster fail. Then they gave her the job of writing the report which had to be somewhat critical. But you could trust the report writer not to put the information into the public domain while they suppressed the findings and tried to fix the problems with the system that they knew where there right from the start. Still not clear that those problems are fixed and still no sign of a contract tracing app. But no way is the MOH controlling the flow of information like Simon had the temerity to suggest.

Just under a third of the total population. If the government is foolish enough to let that sway their decision and our situation relapses as a consequence, then the the other two thirds will crucify them as they would richly deserve.

How would be go about quarantining regions? Blockade the roads in and out? What about getting freight through?

Freight is occurring now. Professional drivers are generally very careful responsible types. So a few things that could be done: Don't allow them out of cab (seal them in with sticker and a large financial bond), swap trailers at boundaries of provinces, just accept the minimal risk they present, get them to wear gloves and masks. Take their wallets off them so they can't stop at shops. Get someone to ride along with them to ensure proper isolation. Sure there could be other effective measures too

My feeling is that the government has decided against this approach, for various reasons. It's also a little bit misleading to use only case numbers, and not case details. 1 case of unknown origin is much more worrying than 10 which can be clearly traced.

If we want to save as much of tourism and of the overall economy as possible, we have to open (cautiously and in due time, of course) the whole country, especially the likes of Auckland (like it or not, Auckland contributes almost 40% of the whole NZ GDP and pays at least as much tax, by the way).
When it comes to Queenstown and other touristic destinations across the whole of NZ, they would hardly survive without Auckland and Wellington domestic tourism money, now that international tourism is gone for the short term. Now is not the time to indulge in antiquated parochialism, and we need to do that for the sake of the regions as well as the whole country.
By the way, using only case numbers as an indicator is a ridiculously partial and potentially misleading indicator: it is the type of transmission, its source and its age that count at least as much: one single un-traced community transmission case is more dangerous than multiple controlled cases within a managed cluster. Bloomfield has made it quite clear in several instances.

Some of the cases in these regions, such as the Wairarapa, I don't believe they ever worked out how the people got the virus. IMO , as as shown in the modeling, it is better to actually eliminate the virus, than just get it down to low levels, where it risks spreading again. I wonder what China would do in NZs position, where we have low numbers. They seemed to take a lot longer to open things up than we have, and their restrictions were far more strict. NZ is supposed to be eliminating the virus, not just suppressing it.

What about entry restrictions into Malls ? They could become very over crowded quickly every day, jeapordising the social distancing rules. Soon Malls could become origins of new clusters of infection ?

Honestly I don't see people rushing to the crowded mall. Do you?




I think you’ll be surprised. If the opening of the fast food joints were anything to go by I think the herd mentality that drives many unthinking consumers to the soulless mega-shopping centres will be push them straight back like an addict looking for his next high.

People are bursting to spend money, mate.
And also people go to Malls to spend time and have a walk. Do you know that during winter and rains, more people are in the lovingly warm Malls. And the food courts in the Malls get super crowded during weekends.

Will be interesting to see. On the one hand, if the malls are full, at least it might keep retailers from going to the wall.

Using myself as my prime example, no.

Yes. the last thing we want is a Covid cluster in a mega shopping mall and the authority trying to track people who were there.

Shouldn't matter, the health response should be able to easily manage such. - Who knows if it can now?

At alert level 2, the health system needs to have the performance and resilience to care for the population, the community, us.

Take the time to listen to the observations of Prof Nick Wilson, & at 23 min mark, Prof Des Gorman.

There is a risk, that the whole health system response is deemed not up to the task yet. Economic pyshology and business activity is withering on the vine.

Here is Victorian Premier
Gives a contrasting style of response briefing.
Note, the the Premier does not leave until Every question from the press gallery is answered.
That's good communications too.

Talks about the cluster at the meat works.
Reports VIC did 106,000 tests last week and a half. No one says how many tests they would like to do?.
We need our health system to be able to blitz clusters/outbreak pockets same as or more.

Pretty close in terms of sheer number of tests (e.g. at least 7k a day here, and given how little pressure was on at the time I suspect they could do more).

Other aspects harder to quantify.


As a a parent to teenagers cindy it goes like tell them once they get it, you tell them twice they get it, you start to make it up as you go and ram it down their throat they will turn around and do exactly the opposite, call you out of touch, you don't understand and they loose all respect for what you are saying. Level 2 is level 2 don't start adding 2.5, or 2.25 in there as you losing the people slowly ,but surely.

I think the government has already reached that stage now.

I hope you are right.

"they will turn around and do exactly the opposite, call you out of touch, you don't understand and they loose all respect for what you are saying."

A fixed percentage of the population were going to do this no matter what.

She was addressing mainly grownups rather than teenagers.


Um, disagree, we have been talked down to like an unruly bunch of kindergarteners for two months now. Most of us tuned out on about Day 10.

I am obviously in the minority of people whose esteem for the PM has dropped significantly during lockdown, if we go by polls and general chatter.
I have some rather strong but latent libertarian tendencies.

That's commitment getting to day 10. I got to about day 5 and that was it for me.

Delaying the return of retail businesses to opening would likely delay redundancies when retailers run into the wall of diminished consumer spending.

I'm moving to level 'PG'.

at least in level two in Auckland many people will be self isolating as they crawl there way to work along the motorways and main streets,

The only thing outstanding no one can deal with now is going back to lockdown.
If Covid turns custard here, that's where we will go and the economy + confidence will drown.
If there are a few cases, then they are spread at school or the mall or parties.......
I doubt the powers that be will not want that.
Like a Right Left hook, we will be down.
I think the public are over it and there will be a lot of mixing.

Have I missed something? From what I have read, a group of family and friends can meet up again at home.
What happens if the same group or family wants to meet at a cafe?
Do they have to sit apart at a 2 meter distance from each other and communicate with hand signals or by shouting back and forth?

Also scary to think that an infected person who is unaware of his infection can meet several families as a friend and mingle and spread the virus.

I got the impression that a group of family or friends can sit at the same table (presumably to a limit), but that table has to be 2m from other tables

Also, will this start the trend of tipping in NZ ?

After paying for a meal in drink in NZ, you're bloody lucky if you've got enough to pay for a car park, let alone pay directly into a system that enables wage suppression in the first place.

And according to this German study, the full economic lockdown doesn't look like it was needed, just the correct social distancing and better hygiene worked.


Ahhh 20/20 hindsight...or maybe not ;

Sweden,no lockdown..pop 10.23 million, 3,000 dead !!
Sweden nears 'horrifying' death toll of 3,000 from coronavirus with 87 new fatalities, including a child under ten

It's a German report, not Swedish.

The real tally for us will be in 6 months at the end of our virus season (which the North Hemisphere is coming to a close soon before we can make a direct comparison to numbers both in people and economic damage.

I didn't say it was,just a comparison for people saying the "no lock down" approach of Germany necessarily has the same outcome....there are so many variations of what nations have done & just as many outcomes...I feel we should stop focussing on "what ifs", because no one really knows & there is probably even some plain luck at times...just be thankful we are on the right side of the ledger and stop argueing about what may or may not have happened...fantasy vs reality.

Germany didn't have any 'no lockdown' approach, but what the evidence is now saying the R was already at <1 before they went into lockdown. That is the reality.

And it is also the reality that the spread is seasonal so we haven't even entered those woods yet, but we are not even considering that in any of our plans.

It's Swiss isn't it?

Here is the link to the seasonailty report: see the PDF download for full report.

To quote:

"The strong relationship between local climate and Covid-19 growth rates suggests the possibility of seasonal variation in the spatial pattern of outbreaks, with temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere becoming at particular risk of severe outbreaks during the austral autumn-winter."

Recent data shows vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked to bad outcomes from wuflu. That's is easily remedied for a few cents a day. Also reports now that hydroxychloroquine is producing measurably better outcomes if taken early (ideally before even infected). And lastly: (new to me), when getting infected a smaller exposure will slow initial rate of growth in virus giving more time for your immune system to gear up. Passing contact is better than being in full time contact with a sick person in the same house or hospital. Ie isolate infected from co-inhabitants even if they are already infected.

Yes, correct re Vitamin D, which is a natural seasonal thing, in that you can become deficient with lack of sun exposure, ie wintertime.

And yes it looks like with most pathogens that exposure is needed of a certain amount within in a certain timeframe for it to take hold, or your defenses to kick fully in. But of course, there are many other variables that influence this.

Yep I have been harping on about sun and Vitamin D for months.
Got myself some tablets today, now the weather is starting to get cooler and a bit patchy.
Also got my trusted astragalus.

And guess who is tanking Vitamin D levels in the population by keeping us locked inside??

Are you in jail Brutus?...try opening your door and going for a walk instead of spending all your time on the computor :-)

Here's a study that found that if you are vitamin D deficient you have about 12-20x higher risk of death from wuflu. That's absolutely massive. If we made sure that everyone was well up on Vitamin D levels then perhaps danger would drop down to 'bad flu' levels.

It's not surprising it is the common cold after all.
Most of us have had a coronavirus before. So it's would be unsurprising if this one hung around season after season.
Makes the idea of lockdown even more stupid and short sighted.

Ahhh 20/20 hindsight...or maybe not ;

Sweden,no lockdown..pop 10.23 million, 3,000 dead !!
Sweden nears 'horrifying' death toll of 3,000 from coronavirus with 87 new fatalities, including a child under ten

it is 3000 deaths SO FAR. Their numbers are getting worse in the meanwhile , despite oft-professed assurances that the worst would be over by May , in Stochastic at least. No sign of that ..

In a war people die.
Media and politicians keep saying we’re at war... thus death is inevitable.
Question is, do we minimise destruction with the action/s to combat perceived threat or does the action generate more destruction vs another action? HOW DO WE KNOW the action our great esteemed leaders have put upon us was the best action.... they have not divulged any analysis or critical thinking.
What price does a nation pay to preserve what they think is worth preserving?
The other day the spokesman for Cancer Society said up to 400 people will likely die due to lack of diagnosis while in lockdown.
I’ve read elsewhere that for every 10% drop in GDP a multiple of 3 is applied to suicide. 685 people topped themselves last year... that’s another 1370 people just from suicide.
Other stats show lower life expectancy correlated to lower GDP.
Operations of 30,000 plus were put on hold. DHB capacity was already under before covid. What will be the effects from further delay of ops... not-critical to critical etc..

You lot love to trot out this line of thinking but won't apply same to uncontrolled spread of virus. Look at coming US meat shortage for a taster of that.

Stop acting like lockdowns are the only course of action that create second order effects.

I’m not.
Point I was trying to make is the lack of information released showing NZ the government has good decision making process’s in place. P.S. see Mathew Hootons article in Herald today re Power and lack of disclosure... it’s non-partisan!

Sweden's death rate has been falling for last two weeks. That said they are probably still only about 10% of way to herd immunity, doubt their political resolve will hold for another year of this.

This is a joke, got an update from our sports club last night. Level 2 sports full on including contact sport. So we can spit, sneeze, sweat on each other in contact sport, but can't go to a bar and order a drink. Then had a read of Covid website, "if you playing tennis please keep 2 meter distance"...Really? So on one field we have full contact sport, then on the tennis court you have to keep your distance...are they making it up as they go, this is crazy.

They know it's all a joke now, but they have to keep up the pretense of being in control. If Clark genuinely thought the rules made sense, he'd have been too scared to go biking. Ditto Winnie fishing. Same with the Imperial College guy.

The joke is on the public. Best policy is for the vulnerable to isolate themselves, everyone else take hygiene precautions, and make sure you stay healthy with sun, fresh air, and exercise. But they can't say that, because to admit that would invalidate their previous actions.

The messages are so contradicting it's just madness, and they expect people to follow the advice. It really is just a joke now, and you can see in each interview, they keep changing their minds and the goal posts..

Almost as many contradicting opinions as in here...who knew NZ had so many epidemiologists,political scientists & public healthcare experts with years of experience dealing with global pandemics...all signed up to

Is'nt it common sense can't order a drink at the bar because of social distancing..tables at cafes have to be 2 meters apart..but you can go play a game of don't think that's contradicting or mixed messages.

All I'm saying is the Government is representative of the people,lots of differing views,no doubt there was debate amonsgt ministers,health officials,coalition partners lobbying and as I was not privy to those discussions I don't know the minutiae of how these guidelines were agreed upon.

The more you read about the epidemiologists and their track records in assessing previous diseases, the more you realise that they don't have much of a clue and are fumbling around in the dark as much as the rest of us.

Nothing worse than governance by subject matter experts. They think they know more than they do, and tend to be myopic in their approach.

Exactly,which is why leading the country is a delicate balancing act,taking on board all the information and expert opinions and making a decision.If the economic purists were followed,we would have no lockdowns,everything open,b*gger the death rate,collateral damage in the pursuit of capitalism.And if the epidemiologists/public health purists,we would be in lockdown level 4 all winter,b*gger the economy...when you have to lead 5 million people through a crisis,you weigh providing full information,ie what level 2 COULD be,with the risk that the populis effectively slackens off immediately.

I for one am so grateful we can look forward to a new reality when we are governed by those who read something on the internet and watched some YouTube clips, rather than by people who research and test subject areas carefully over many years. Decision making will be vastly superior in this new reality, where decisions will be made by salt of the earth folk who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, who know the reality on the ground, and who know when to trust something they read on Facebook without the need to penetrate highfalutin technical language used by common-senseless occupants of ivory towers.

What Lord Sumption said when questioned about Joe Public being able to query Govt. mandates based on 'scientific evidence.'

Lord Sumption quote,_Lord_Sumption

“It is the right and duty of every citizen to look and see what the scientists have said and to analyze it for themselves and to draw common-sense conclusions. We are all perfectly capable of doing that. There’s no particular reason why the scientific nature of the problem should mean that we have to resign our liberty into the hands of scientists.”

Indeed, and that's a good thing if people are doing it legitimately and with a bit of knowledge...but too often "common sense" also seems to be just an excuse to disregard acquiring knowledge and doing sound analysis.

The constant undermining of experts as irrelevant or corrupt (direct quote from a Facebook friend "scientists are all corrupt and they all have an agenda here") is at another level entirely. The book I linked to highlights just the absurd levels this is being taken to in the world today.

That merely becomes a dumbing down of decision making.

Very true RS...or we could save a lot of money and time all around and just get Mike Hosking to run the world from his studio,no mucking around,he can quickly sum up any issue and dictate what we should do.

The big unknown impact is: how much reluctance, in dollar spend terms, will there be, to spend, due to lack of confidence in ones future earnings and security. It is this which will most impact economy of service sector especially, and housing market. That is on top of may be 10% loss of GDP from retail and tourism sector over next 6m. Eagle eye needed on RBNZ lending figures for net few months