Auckland to remain at L3, the rest of the country to remain at L2 until August 26; Decision to be reviewed on August 21; Wage subsidy extended nationwide while L3 restrictions remain in place

Auckland to remain at L3, the rest of the country to remain at L2 until August 26; Decision to be reviewed on August 21; Wage subsidy extended nationwide while L3 restrictions remain in place

Auckland will remain at Covid-19 Alert Level 3, and the rest of the country Level 2, until August 26.

The alert levels will be reviewed on August 21.

Small wage subsidy extension

The wage subsidy will be extended nationwide while Level 3 restrictions remain in place. 

This means a business anywhere in the country, not already on the wage subsidy while Auckland is at Level 3, could be eligible. 

Details around the scheme will be unveiled on Monday. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the criteria and eligibility requirements would be similar to the previous scheme.

He expected it to cost less than $1 billion. $13 billion in wage subsidies have been paid to date.

Businesses that took up the "extended" eight-week wage subsidy as soon as it became available in June, are starting to come off it now. However businesses still have until September 1 to apply for this subsidy.

Cabinet also decided to modify the Covid-19 Sick Leave Scheme to make it more accessible. Details around this are yet to come too.

"We are very aware that those who are required to self-isolate may be concerned if they do not have any sick leave entitlements left or the business they work for is not eligible for the scheme under current settings," Robertson said.

Cabinet didn't consider providing Auckland Council with financial support, despite lobbying from Mayor Phil Goff. 

No sign at this stage of outbreak being linked to dormant cases

Cabinet's decision to keep current lockdown restrictions in place is consistent with the Ministry of Health's advice. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a Level 4 lockdown at this stage as we do not have a number of clusters or unrelated cases.

"There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a Level 4 lockdown."

29 confirmed cases and one probable case of Covid-19 have been found in the community in recent days. 

Of these 30 cases, 29 are linked to the Auckland cluster. One is still under investigation but is expected to be linked to the Auckland cluster. Two of the confirmed cases are in Tokoroa. 

Genome testing suggests the strain of Covid-19 found in this cluster isn’t linked to cases caught at the border or cases in New Zealand during the first outbreak.

"This suggests this is not a case of the virus being dormant or of a burning ember in our community. It appears to be new to New Zealand," Ardern said.

More than 30,000 tests have been done in past 48 hours. Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield couldn't say exactly what portion was done in Auckland, but said at least half. 

Ardern said at this stage it appears the current outbreak has been found “relatively early”.

She expected to see further cases related to the cluster and said these may continue to be linked to schools, churches and social gatherings.

"Elimination" remains the Government's strategy. 

Election date unchanged at this stage

Ardern said Cabinet didn’t today discuss the election date. 

She on Wednesday deferred the dissolution of Parliament until at least Monday.

The election is still set down for September 19. 

The Electoral Commission has said it could run an election at Level 2.

For more information, see the Government's official Covid-19 website.

Here's a press release from Finance Minister Grant Robertson:

- In-principle decision to extend wage subsidy to support businesses and protect jobs

- Support will be nationwide in recognition of Auckland’s position in NZ economy and the impact of Level 2

- Mortgage deferral scheme to be extended to support households

The Government is taking action to support businesses and protect jobs following today’s decision to extend the existing public health measures across the country to stamp out COVID-19.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said Cabinet has made an in-principle decision to extend the wage subsidy, and modify the COVID-19 Sick Leave Scheme to make it more accessible. Details will be finalised over the weekend and announced on Monday.

An extension to the mortgage deferral scheme has also been agreed in-principle as part of the plan to support households after the existing scheme expires on 27 September. Details, including the length of the extension, are being finalised and will be announced next week.

“The latest COVID-19 outbreak is obviously disappointing, especially for businesses that have just got up and running again. But we have a plan in place to deal with it. We have always said that the best economic response is a strong health response. We have moved quickly to identify cases and contact-trace as part of the resurgence plan announced by the Prime Minister in July,” Grant Robertson said.

“An important part of our plan is our decision in July to ring-fence the remaining $14 billion in the COVID Fund in case there were further outbreaks. This was so we could ramp up the health response quickly, and support affected businesses and protect jobs as we undertook the necessary public health measures to stamp out the virus. There is also money remaining in the existing wage subsidy allocation that will help meet the costs of this further extension.”

Grant Robertson said the Government has decided that the extended wage subsidy will apply nationwide, particularly given the significance of Auckland’s economy to the wider country, and due to the impact Alert Level 2 would have on sectors like hospitality and retail.

“These public health measures are affecting businesses around the country. This includes tourism operators who are expecting visitors from Auckland, companies that supply Auckland businesses, and the hospitality and retail sectors in other parts of the country now operating under Level 2.”

The criteria and eligibility requirements for the extension to the wage subsidy will be similar to previous criteria. Given the different nature of the latest outbreak, the Government is taking the weekend to finalise the details. The extension will be available to businesses that have already finished receiving the subsidy, as long as they meet the criteria, and it will cover the period that the current Level 3 restrictions stay in place.

Advice from MSD is that the extension to the scheme will be able to be operational within five days of the decision.

“This is also a reminder that the existing extension to the wage subsidy remains open to applications until September 1. Businesses that haven’t yet accessed that scheme should reassess if they now meet the criteria, following the recent increase in Alert Levels,” Grant Robertson said.

“Cabinet also agreed in-principle to look at modifying the COVID Sick Leave Scheme. We are very aware that those who are required to self-isolate may be concerned if they do not have any sick leave entitlements left or the business they work for is not eligible for the scheme under current settings.

“We want everyone to feel confident that if they return a positive test that they will be looked after. Final details of these modifications will also be decided on Monday,” Grant Robertson said.

Here's a copy of Ardern's address at today's 5.30pm briefing:

It has been 53 hours since we moved Auckland into Covid Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to Level 2.

This afternoon Cabinet met to receive the latest information and advice from the Ministry of Health, and to discuss next steps in our resurgence response plan – a plan with the primary purpose of restoring our Level 1 freedoms as quickly as possible.

We have made a good start on that plan.

This is what we know about the new infection in New Zealand.

We have identified 29 cases. At this stage all remain linked to one cluster centred in Auckland. 1 other case that is likely linked to the cluster is still being investigated.

We have undertaken more than 30,000 tests in the last 48 hours.

38 people linked to the cluster are now in Government-managed quarantine as a precautionary measure.

There are signs we have found this outbreak relatively early in its life.

While the first case we identified tested positive this Tuesday, extensive testing and contact tracing has since determined that the earliest case we have found to date, was a worker at the Americold cool store in Mt Wellington who became sick on approximately the 31st of July.

This may not yet be the origin of the outbreak, but on the information we have to date, it’s the earliest sign of the re-emergence of the virus.

In terms of the ongoing investigation to identify where the virus originated from, there is still no clear connection at this point.

Contact tracing and genomic testing has not found a link to the border or managed isolation and quarantine facilities at this stage.

The sequence of the virus from the current outbreak is not the same as the sequences from community cases in our original outbreak in NZ. This suggests this is not a case of the virus being dormant or of a burning ember in our community. It appears to be new to New Zealand.

In terms of wider surveillance, since I made the announcement to move alert levels on Tuesday, we have tested more people than at any other time we have had Covid in New Zealand,

We have stock for a further 303,000 tests currently in New Zealand.

The Level 3 restrictions, and the speed in which they were implemented, will have made a material difference in containing the spread of this outbreak. So will everyone’s compliance with those restrictions.

Auckland travel data yesterday – the first full day of Level 3 – shows a 60 per cent reduction in travel compared with the last three Thursdays – which is even less travel than at Level 3 last time. Which demonstrates the incredible job Aucklanders are currently doing.

This is also what we know.

We know the incubation period for Covid-19, and our experience of previous clusters, some of which reached more than 80 cases, means we can expect to see more cases as part of this cluster. It will grow before it slows. And it may continue to be linked to schools, churches and social gatherings as it has done to date. 

We also know, based on overseas experience and our own, that it is possible to contain a cluster or outbreak without ever being able to identify its origin. What is important, is making sure that we establish the perimeter of the cluster, and stop it from growing. To do this, we do need to take into account that all-important incubation period.

And so, in keeping with our precautionary approach and NZ’s philosophy of going hard and going early, today Cabinet has agreed:

To maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days – bringing us to a full two weeks in total.

Our current expectation is that by this time, the perimeter of the cluster will be identified, will be isolated, and we can move to Level 2 in Auckland with confidence.

That means Auckland will remain at Level 3 and New Zealand will remain at Level 2, until 11.59pm on Wednesday the 26th of August.

We will, however, review these settings on the 21st of August, we want to give about a week’s time to assess how we are travelling before reviewing again.

I would characterise our approach as a ‘short but precautionary hold’ in an ongoing investigation that will stamp out the virus.

There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a Level 4 lockdown at this stage as we do not have a number of clusters or unrelated cases.

There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a Level 4 lockdown.

Cabinet also does not want Auckland to be in Level 3 any longer than is needed to ensure the outbreak is managed.

Our intention is that Auckland and New Zealand will quickly move back down through alert levels if we continue on this track, but it is wise to take a bit of extra time. That extra bit of time is our best way of getting out quickly.

As always, the best economic response is a strong health response, and short and sharp is best. Lifting restrictions now and seeing a potential explosion in cases is the worst thing we could do for Auckland and New Zealand economy.

At the same time, Level 3 does allow us to continue with more activity than a full level 4 lockdown. And I do think that’s important to remember.

Estimates are that the economy operates at roughly about 80 per cent at Level 3 – compared to 60 per cent at Level 4.

I’m mindful of the extraordinary disruption to business and the anxiety that this outbreak will be causing. As before, we will use what tools we have to protect jobs, incomes, and businesses – as well as people’s health.

To provide certainty to businesses and workers, I can confirm today that Cabinet has made an in-principle decision to extend the wage subsidy scheme to support businesses and protect jobs as we undertake the public health measures required to fight this virus.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson will be working through the final details with officials and Minister Sepuloni over the weekend, but I can say that the extension to the wage subsidy will be nation-wide and will be cover for the period of time that the current Level 3 restrictions remain in place.

Minister Robertson is here and will give a more detailed explanation shortly.

I want to touch on the activity that continues in Auckland under Level 3 – with the appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

Auckland Transport has 44 construction sites operating under Alert Level 3.

Construction continues across five sites on our largest infrastructure project – the City Rail Link – with around 1,200 workers.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association has said many food service businesses that closed during Level 3 last time are this time adapting and trading on a click and collect basis or delivery.

And houses continue to be built in Auckland. Kāinga Ora alone has over 150 projects with over 3000 units under construction.

All of this is happening because of the protocols on operating safely at level three, which includes social distancing at work sites.

If you have questions over whether your business can operate, please visit the Covid-19 website or contact MBIE directly.

As we have said from the start, our overall Covid-19 strategy remains elimination. That requires the ongoing stamping out of the virus any time it comes back.

Together, we have got rid of Covid before.

We have kept it out for 102 days, longer than any other country.

We have been world leading in our Covid response – with the result that many lives were saved and our economy was getting going faster than almost anywhere else again.

And we can do all of that again.

1.5 million New Zealanders in our biggest city are carrying a heavy load for our team of 5 million right now.

But together, we will overcome an obstacle that we knew had the potential to come our way.

Which is why we have a plan, why we are rolling out that plan, and why we, once again, can pull together to eliminate Covid.

So here’s what I ask today

In you’re in Auckland, please stay at home in your bubble.

Wear a face covering whenever you leave your home.

And for the rest of New Zealand, use a face covering in places where you’re close to others like on public transport.

Download and use the app and make sure you can quickly access all your movements for the last 14 days in case you are contacted by the contact tracers.

Businesses please put up your Covid tracer QR code posters.

And everyone, wash your hands and if you’re sick – stay home and get a test.

We’ll be checking in again soon, but till then stay safe, kind, and well everyone.


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Seems reasonable.


Yup. A little longer than I was expecting but I note they've given themselves the bail-out option of the review on the 21st.

Yep seems reasonable to destroy the economy. Maybe we could float a barge out to the Mariana Trench and dump six hundred thousand kilograms of gold into the deep. That would be equally as productive.


As reasonable as your comment Pat.

NZ has zero gold reserves to boot.


Fat pat can you tell me what they can do that won’t destroy the economy? If we have 2 weeks lockdown followed by another one hundred days of freedom do you honesty think that will be worse for the economy than 114 days of “social distancing” and gathering limits etc? Covid will have a big economic impact no matter what the government do, this has been proven right around the world.

Sure - First we could firewall retirement villages and protect vulnerable people. In Germany for instance you visit elderly loved ones behind glass. It's precaution level ultra for them. Perhaps invest in a few more ICU units. We could have a public campaign to beef up hygiene and social distance measures.

Once that's done then open the boarders and adopt a business as usual strategy. The government could offer incentives to boost tourism and foreign student numbers. Three will be an initial spike in deaths, but after that Kiwis will realise that COVID19 is about as scary as heart disease. The benefit of this approach is that it's anti-fragile. The economy wont go into a tailspin every time there're new cases reported, but rather people harden their resolve to get on with it.

Far too much common sense Pat. Don't you know common sense is dead?

Have you seen the comments from old people in Sweden fat pat? They say they would rather be dead now then carry on with the restrictions to visitors and "lock down" measures. Seeing their grand kids behind glass is torture to them.

And forbid, NZ may have to work through the summer this year ratger than everyone switching off for 5 weeks.

The pause isnt great, but better than the alternative. Am just hoping the links between new cases remains strong.

80% of Aucklands economy can keep going, and for two weeks only. Look at Victoria, when you don't eliminate the virus, and then delay a lockdown. Mass death, and lockdown for potentially months.


Very reasonable...
But they just need to stop the commonsense on the ground screwups. That is basically all it comes down to.


I am struggling with the screwups on the border. It must take multiple levels of incompetence to let people go through quarantine with no testing, or to not test border and quarantine staff at the level required to maintain the country covid free.

In every workplace I have been in, multiple people would have raised something that obvious as an issue. Everyone on this forum can see it.

So ALL the frontline staff, line managers, doctors, nurses, MoH, Defence Force, media and politicians all were too thick, ignorant, or scared to say something?? It just doesn't ring true.

Have you ever worked for a Govt. department, and one that has had been rapidly put together?

This is what they look like and how they work.

They don't have to all be thick, just a few upper managers, the rest are too scared to say anything based on what they see happen to those that speak up.

No never worked for a govt dept. I thought I would never fit in, and by your description I was right. But surely, SURELY, those upper managers could see the consequences of turning a blind eye. Are they really that selfish?? Because if that's the system we get for paying our tax, we are screwed.

But surely, SURELY, those upper managers could see the consequences of turning a blind eye. Are they really that selfish?

No, they're just really busy setting lots of stuff up. Things get overlooked, or aren't properly understood for their severity when initial brought up.

I always rate your posts Lanthanide, always on topic and never a rant like you often get from the screaming skulls on the right.
But are you saying if you were one of those in the system you might overlook or not understand the importance of people going through quarantine without a single test for over 3 months? Possibly a source of a burning ember that took a couple of months before someone went to get a test.

I can't defend it or say what I would do in that situation, because I don't have any grasp of the extent of the workload or decisions they're working through and it's not an area in which I have any expertise in at all.

It's easy to throw stones from the outside.

I fairness, it's a systematic issue rather than a people issue, but if you work in these types of dysfunctional organizations long enough you either go crazy, or you become institutionalized and you get a few people that become autonomes of the system and perpetuate it.

And middle managers are the point in a system usually at most stress as they get pressure from the top and the bottom, and therefore they are the ones who crack first or go full institutional.

Whistle blowers are got rid of quickly as they could destroy how the system works

Which is why you desperately need effective leadership who haven't been enculturated to the Civil service mindset of ineffectual byzantine beauracracy. Business and industry backgrounds are a must. Sadly in this era where labour MPs never come from business backgrounds that means not Labour.

Labour party MPs aren't actually staffing these new organisations.


There goes the economy!
No questions on that yet from the journos.

And some shameless politiking from the PM eg. work on the thousands of Kainga Ora homes the government is delivering

'Team of 5 million' - puke


Probably because they're waiting to interview the finance minister after. Plus the current interview isn't even over.

What would you propose? National level one?

Disagree. The PM got asked many questions, at least one should have been on the economy. She's the chief.
Focus the economic questions on the finance Minister, but at least touch on it with the PM.
Yes I would keep it at level 1. Otherwise, are we going to keep locking down every time this happens? It's going to be economic and social carnage. We need to live with this virus and minimise risk as much as we can.

The guidance that was previously put out is that contained resurgence could result in everywhere staying at level 1, or just particular suburbs going to level 2.

I take that to mean that those were scenarios where the index case is found to be a border worker or their immediate family.

The reason Auckland went to level 3 is because there was no link between the index case and overseas travel or a border worker etc.

I honestly though that stuff article was a joke, sadly not. Some hypochondriac girl who, despite being tested negative twice, wants to tell everyone how bad her imaginary illness is. Is this "evidence" that we should be locking down the economy? Why is stuff publishing that garbage. It's just whipping up irrational fear in the public.

Stuff and their 'amateur articles' are a joke.

Plenty of evidence, including medical research, supports the fact of persistent symptoms;

Most are young. Most were previously fit and healthy. “It is mild relative to dying in a hospital, but this virus has ruined my life,” LeClerc said. “Even reading a book is challenging and exhausting. What small joys other people are experiencing in lockdown—yoga, bread baking—are beyond the realms of possibility for me.”

You need to stop ignoring evidence.

Nope doesn't look that bad to me. My girlfriend had COVID toes, but that wasn't bad either. You talk about ignoring evidence. The government and the majority on this site are either ignoring, or misrepresenting the evidence from Sweden.


Seriously shameless politicking.
Told us the date of when the first infection became symptomatic, then stated that NZ went 102 days without CV. That was false and politicking as well.

then stated that NZ went 102 days without CV

Yes, I found that very jarring. She could have said "without new cases being detected" so it wasn't a lie.


Just own the responsibility. Cracks appearing day by day and all we get is excuses and a PR spin that pushes it to the side as a non issue.

But it will sound good in a CNN headline , so totally worth it .

Agree. It was shameless.


We could open up, see thousands die and end up like Sweden with 11% unemployment and GDP shrinking 8% each quarter.

But they are now in a good position to move forward.
See thousands die? Highly unlikely.


They're in a self imposed lock down and will be for years. Imagine if they had full stadiums that NZ has enjoyed to date, thousands would be dying.

Sweden's death rate is 571 per million. So 2,800 kiwis if we go no lockdown and still with a broken economy and a lot more dying to come.


Death is a part of life. It's just bizarre how paranoid and fearful of it we have become. This is nothing like the 1918 influenza pandemic.
It's interesting isn't it that some of the most communal-minded nations like Sweden and Japan, have kept things largely open. Both countries, especially Japan, strongly respects the aged. But their people , including the elderly, accept that life just can't shut down. Much more holistic view of society as a whole.
We have to live with risk and the possibility of death. Otherwise, why not relocate all of Wellington?

As a wise man once said "It is what it is".

It isn't like that the Western world. But look at third world countries, with the mass deaths occurring.
The west now has better health overall than 1918, better health systems, and better living conditions. Also we know a lot more now about how viruses spread and as a result countries are socially distancing and wearing masks etc. PLus better hospitals and better treatments. Far more people would die of this in 1918.

See Hootons article. We’re only beginning on our journey while Sweden’s infection rates are dropping daily.

If they can stop all social distancing etc and not have a “second wave” then yes they have won the war. Seems unlikely IMO, but maybe you do only need 16% infection to achieve herd. If so it’s a bit of a fluke as that is well below the normal level.

We will know a hell of a lot more when they experience winter and their normal flue season. Until then it is still just a guess.

You mean when we will experience winter and a normal flu season.

There is no surprise, that if we were going to catch something, it is at this time of year.

No it's a 'they' talking about Sweden.

The point I was trying to make was obviously too subtle. The Northern Hemisphere already has had its winter, it's us that have not experienced our first winter.

If the virus (any virus) is in a community, then from now to mid-spring is it's most infectivity, and our lowest immunity, ie this is when you are most likely to catch something.

Hooton? You're citing Hootin in a discussion about Covid19 management?'s blog abut this has become seriously railroaded by some people who live in a very small world!

Ah yes Matthew Hooton, the public health expert. And silly old me just thought he worked in PR.

Treatment protocols have greatly improved. Far fewer die than 3 months back


HeavyG your economic data for Sweden is unsound. Sweden's GDP grew in the first quarter, indeed it fell unsurprisingly by 8 percent, a record like almost every nation in the second quarter, but considerably less than many others. Its unemployment rate has moved up only 3 percent higher than a year ago with a participation rate of over 75 percent


Sweden had one of the most relaxed COVID-19 lockdowns in the world. There's growing evidence that it helped it weather 2020's economic storm better than anywhere else.

Interestingly the media is obsessed with casting Sweden in a bad light. It's plainly obvious from their death rate that they did the right thing. The Swedish people live their lives as normal knowing that they're safe from the virus. In contrast New Zealanders live their lives in fear, with closed down boarders restricted freedoms, sword of Damocles hanging over them, and a rapidly deteriorating economy.


It’s hard to know what is happening in Sweden as every article I have read seems to be biased one way or the other. But I’m 100% certain that they have never enjoyed the kind of freedom and security that we have enjoyed for the last 100 days.

See my comment below. They are thriving now

Fritz, you've lost it. Selective reading does not make a compelling case whether you're left or right, laid back or apoplectic.

The fact that my brother has just been in Sweden for three weeks and says it is thriving is of no relevance?
Hmmm interesting.
So I walk down Queen Street everyday and report that it's a dead zone. That has no relevance? Even though it does because it correlates with economic activity.

By the way I do believe there are only 2 strategies worth considering; the Swedish and the NZ. The Swedish may yet prove better (particularly if there is no vaccine for a fair while). The rest of the world are idiots.

Exactly. Sweden nailed their strategy. Up until last week, so did we.

571 dead per million and growing. That's not hard to achieve. USA and Brazil will be there soon.

Did the dead Sweden's (5783) have a chance to comment on their "strategy" ?

Most of them would have died despite lockdown so they probably wouldn't have cared either way. Their strategy was to learn to live with Covid and they got it perfect.

Sweden is not an island at the end of the world . They never had elimination as an option to shoot for ; we do. Horses for courses .

Yeah, only little islands with small populations can go for elimination, like NZ, China and Vietnam.

Rubbish. Look at what happened after the last lockdown. The economy bounced back and is doing better than other countries who have to live with Covid. Where in NZ are all the house prices crashes occurring?

Great question from one journo.
How many of the tests were Alk tests?
50% from Bloomfield, Jacinda didnt know.
15,000 test done in Alk in 48 hours is poor at best.


Yeah, I bet you'd've done better.

I would have done a shit load better.
1, I would have better capabilities from the start.
2, I would have had army staff trained up ready to roll.
3, everyone would have known exactally what personal info they needed to have before turning up.
4, I won't accept 15,000 in 48 hours and there better be sooner serious constraints that were impossible to overcome or heads would be rolling.
Is that enough for a start?

Sounds great, let us know when you've got to (2).

They have had two months to get ready. Still not doing enough testing!

You should call Trump Kezza, people are asking him how he does it (testing) - never been any testing like it it the world - they are the best tests and they are winning at testing.

Kezza if I ruled the world I would'a done better too.


300 per hour. 5 per minute, if you assume around the clock testing *Shrug* doesn't seem that poor.

Not nearly enough for a city of 1.63 million. Not acceptable.
Your shrug is sacked die to non delivery of your job.
I will find someone that will deliver.

Another fact that stings the eyes in a room full of thick smoke of opinion

Aucklanders might begin to feel put upon...that could fuel the seeds of discontent.


Nah, we all good. As long as you can order a flat white and smashed avo to go no big deal.


Coffee delivered!... Heathen. You click and collect while walking the Cavoodle.

My labarpoodle is doing backflips!

I'd have preferred going to level 4 in Auckland at least. Unfortunately I have a feeling this thing is going to blow up.

We'll see by this time next week, won't we?

We will! It's entirely possible I'll be wrong, which would be a fine outcome.

Can I ask which one of the following applies to you:
1. You are wealthy
2. You have a redundancy-proof government job


Neither, but i'm not in the cult of denial either..
Level 4 is overkill, staying at level 3 for another wek and half seems entirely reasonable, if it starts spiralling out of control then expect level 4.

What does denial have to do with it?
Advocating for living with the virus from now on is not denial. It accepts the virus's existence, and tries hard to mitigate and minimise its impacts.

I'll ask the question for you, and others - it is sustainable if we need to keep doing this every couple of months, for the next 1-2 years?

Because that is a very real possibility if we keep going with this approach?

And a further question - how about those who are most vulnerable to losing their jobs? Do we just accept they are casualties?
Or do we say we need to markedly increase the dole for them ,and all take a hit (higher income taxes etc)

100 days is more than a couple of months. And potentially only Auckland will be in lockdown for 2 weeks which is the equivalent of the whole country for 4.6 days. Level 2 is what most other countries (even Sweden) are pretty much doing all the time.

denial of the fact that "living" with the virus does even more economic damage.. One look at trumpistan, or the UK, notice how those economies are trucking along just fine like nothing has happened? Oh, no they aren't, they are shitting the bed at an amazing rate, and being held up by massive govt intervention. (As we are, although to a lesser extent.)

The point is that if it starts spiralling out of count we're going to wish we went to L4 today. It's very hard to get this thing under control once it gets a head of steam up.
I fully admit that this perspective reflects my tendency to be risk averse, and to greatly prefer an ounce of prevention to a pound of cure. It would be interesting to see the numbers, i.e. probability of various outcomes, and associated costs.

I'm not going to answer that sorry Fritz.

It's not clear to me that going to L4 was the worse economic decision though. If a week or two at L4 would give us a significantly better chance of another 100+ days without community transmission then there's a lot to be said for that option.

Sure, fair enough.
It's just I notice that a lot of the people who strongly advocate for lockdowns are well off or are in very protected jobs / professions.
I just think those people are pretty privileged to be able to advocate for lockdowns, when they face little if any impact from it.

Check out the unemployment rate in trumps anti lockdown pro economy regime.

How about we stick to NZ and not waste anytime making excuses using a nutter as an example.
If Labour hadn't screwed up their boarder control it wouldn't an issue and we would be community transmition CV free. That is were the buck starts and stops.

You always have the option to lock yourself inside for the rest of the year - just don't impose it in us.

Key new information from this update, to help put some of the conspiratorial and catastrophising thoughts around these parts to bed:
1. Genomic testing has not shown a link from this new case to any recent returnees as yet. However the genomic testing shows this is highly unlikely to be an ember or dormant infection from June, as the strain is new to NZ based on the information available at present.

2. So far the earliest date of symptoms amongst anyone is the index case who developed symptoms on 31st July. This gives increased certainty that the infection has not been present for many many weeks or months, and that we appear to have intercepted this cluster of cases fairly early in the phase of transmission.

My question is why haven't we gene sequenced all the quarantine covid samples so as to rule out a quarantine breach. Surely if this is a case of transmission through importation of virus with goods we may need to ban frozen food imports? May be a boon for exports as well by assuring world our exports are covid free.

My understanding is that they have been sequencing all the ones that they can sequence. Some tests don't result in enough usable RNA to be sequenced.

Clearly given the government's apparent inability to put in routine testing for isolation hotel workers, you couldn't expect them to organise that if someone provided a sample that couldn't be sequenced, to take a follow up sample purely for that purpose :)

Thanks for that, makes sense.

The chances of this coming through goods imports are about the same as finding a 1oz gold nugget in the middle of Queen St.. ZIP!! This came in through the MIQFs. CoL doesn't want to admit it but that's how it came in. They are sh!tscared that sooner or later they'll have no choice but to admit it, but are trying to obfuscate and misdirect until Sept 17.


Everyone acknowledges that that is the mostly likely source. They're just testing the fomites at the cool store to be thorough.

Just like how after the traveller who tested positive in Korea they followed up with lots of testing in NZ and found nothing.

Seems they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't - either they're said to be "shit scared" and trying to distract everyone, or they're said to be too lax and not serious enough.

BS. In that case they state that the most likely cause is their own screw up but it is a possibility that it came through imports. That was not the case.

It maybe as good a chance of winning $25 million on power ball, but at some stage someone is going to win it.

Yep, interesting was the lack of interest PM shows in ever finding the patient zero. (Given mpi are ripping through Americold aws.)

Would we think that in the cabinet room Winston would have chatted even to the Minister of Health
"It wasn't an official, I found out from somewhere else, but I think there's been a breach inside our quarantine system, and I think, when that comes out very shortly, in a matter of maybe less than a day, we'll find out that was the case.

Why does patient zero need be found?
1. Explain what the failure was.
2. Explain why it won't happen again.


I don't think she's disinterested, she's just making it clear that that is NOT gating information that would prevent us from moving down alert levels, or prevent us from squashing this cluster.

And I think she was right to repeat it - I recall on there were many people saying we would never move out of level 4 until there were 0 new daily cases. Yet we did. And we moved from level 3 to level 2 while there were still new cases occurring as well - because the daily cases were occurring in family units, or were directly related to existing known clusters and therefore sufficiently well tracked to not prevent us moving lower in levels and ultimately eliminating the virus, as we have done once before.

Yes and then that revolved around what “eliminate” meant exactly. That is, that word was proclaimed initially, in the context of most people’s usual interpretation of it and then it was sort of modified and ended up as being something like it actually means eradicate. Whatever the meaning, most NZr’s would have believed the progressive relaxation from level four to one, meant having arrived at the latter, ordinary life in NZ was completely CV19 free and while returnees may arrive with it on board, stringent and effective border measures put in place meant ordinary life would continue as such. Why else all the hardship and sacrifice then. And that is the way it happily stayed for eighty odd days, until some two weeks ago suddenly, get on alert and get yourself a face mask.

Did the PM give you any indication she was interested.
What were the signs of her interest that you saw.

" the strain is new to NZ based on the information available at present." - how does this show this in unlikely to have been "an ember or dormant infection from June" ?
Hundreds of people were released from isolation in June without having been tested; by definition there are no swabs or genetic information for the strain(s) one of them could have introduced.

Just your usual spin ...

Put bullet point 1 together with bullet point 2.

point 2 just says " the earliest case the know about .. is the first case we actually detected " . It is entirely devoid of further meaning.

The official quote is " genome sequencing "suggests it is not a case of the virus being dormant or of a burning ember in our community, it appears to be new to New Zealand"."

I don't see that was "spun" in any way above? If you're suggesting the government is spinning genome sequencing... make sure you've got your tin foil mask on.

Ah .. it is an official quote - from a government comms release ( not from any scientist mind you .. ) - it cannot possibly contain spin . After all Jacinda "is a person of highest integrity" ( according to Willie Jackson) . All settled then ...

What would it take to convince you the statement is accurate as read?

For it to have some logic ?

Here's how it works:

"Geoghegan, a senior lecturer in viral evolution at the University of Otago, says the testing would potentially identify which quarantine facility or border outpost the virus originated from in the Auckland family’s case.

“There is a hope that we will be able to do that. Our aim is to compare the genomes that we’re generating from the new cases and compare them to the ones from the managed-isolation facilities, as well as the genomes from around the world that have been generated and publicly shared.

“Then we will be able to see which ones these are related to and hopefully that will tell us where and when a leak potentially from a managed isolation case, or otherwise, came from.”

You do not seem to get it ..

They CAN compare the genome of the current strain with those present in swabs taken previously - and it is useful as it helps to rule in or out a strain related to one detected previously lingering in the community and seeding this outbreak. This is what the lecturer is saying.

They CANNOT compare with the swabs they should have taken but neglected to - this includes hundreds of people that were released from quarantine untested during the second week of June , dozens of them before their 14 days were up. Any strains they could have brought in could have lingered undetected until a few days ago ; genomic testing cannot confirm it ; it could only refute it if the present strains can be linked to other known cases predating the (non)-testing debacle. Pretty obvious really ..

this includes hundreds of people that were released from quarantine untested during the second week of June

You know, from memory, they actually went back and tested those people, and everyone they tested was negative.

There were a few groups of people they didn't test - some who had left the country, some who were too medically infirm to be tested, children under the age of 5, and then a handful of people who just refused.

So yeah, it's not actually "hundreds" of people from which we have no tests at all.

Whether or not they genome sequenced those swabs is a different question, but since they were all negative there'd be no point.

Indeed - those "catch up" swabs from the people they did manage to get hold of are no use .
By the time they were taken the virus may well have cleared - after having been passed on to someone else in the community.

We have been averaging about 5 cases/week in managed isolation through June/July.
At that rate about 5 people who would have tested positive in managed isolation would have been released without a test during the second week of June.
None of those who did submit for a test later tested positive - those tests were too late and not really of much value .

At that rate about 5 people who would have tested positive in managed isolation would have been released without a test during the second week of June.

We're lucky that rate doesn't apply then for several reasons, eh?
1. The number of people coming in to the country at that point in time was much less than it has been over subsequent weeks due to the lack of incoming flights.
2. The virus has had an obvious upsurge over the last 2 months world-wide, so more people are turning up positive here. The time period you're specifically referring to is when cases worldwide were in a bit of a lull, with many countries starting to relax their lockdowns.

None of those who did submit for a test later tested positive - those tests were too late and not really of much value .

For some of them, yes, for others, no, they could still have picked up positivity if they'd had it. I don't believe they did any antibody testing, that could have clarified the situation more.

You're also discounting the fact that again at that time there was still around 4,000 tests per day being carried out in the community, as well as surveillance testing being undertaken. And following the 2 women who drove from Auckland to Wellington that kicked the whole scare off in the first place, there was another surge of testing around that time.

During that time not a single positive case was picked up. In the 2 months since, not a single positive case was picked up.

While we can't 100% rule these infections as not having been since then, we can rule it out to about 99% confidence, when all available evidence to date is considered.

You're spending an awful lot of time harping on about something that has almost certainly not occurred in the universe we live in. Must be a difficult life constantly looking for the worst possible explanation and outcome of everything, instead of assessing what the most likely outcome is and going with that when there is sufficient evidence to support it.

"While we can't 100% rule these infections as not having been since then, we can rule it out to about 99% confidence" - either share your modeling or do not make sweeping statements.

" Must be a difficult life constantly looking for the worst possible explanation and outcome of everything"
- now that quote clearly shows your bias - and your purpose of being on this forum .
My suspicion is not a "worst possible" explanation at all - unless you define the worst as "worst PR for the government".
It is what it is ; we have to deal with this outbreak regardless of it's source ; in that sense to suspect that it might just have come from the cohort that went the quarantine untested is not the worst explanation at all ..

Always a red under every bed for you.

I don't get how they can say they are extending the wage subsidy. They are saying it will be extended to cover the period of the lock down yet the existing wage subsidy already goes beyond the lock down until 1 September. How is that an extension?

Maybe they mean they'll extend it for a further 14 days post 1st September.

There will be more details on Monday.


Auckland at stage 3 lock-down for 2 weeks for a single cluster means it's going to be very, very expensive to pursue this strategy to whatever the end game is. It could be years.

Also, does anyone else feel like they are being spoken to as if they are 8 years old? I get primary school flashbacks.


Yep I feel that way. Mind you, many adults in this country probably have a mindset / IQ of an 8 year old.

Yup - I see that here every day.

OB. Your comments confirm to me and I am sure others that the Labour leftist way is just looking after people that are just takers and will never be anything more than takers.

Were you just sort of on the fence before you read the comments?

Kohu - LOL!

BTW - I tried posting a comment just now and a computer told me there was a problem and could I please try again in 29 seconds.
I think we are running so hot tonight we have overwhelmed the web server.
Or the SARS-Cov-2 virus has found yet another vector.

Kezza, maybe you don't mean to imply this, but in a lot of cases the 'takers' deserve to be looked after. Take as an example a parent of a disabled child requiring everyday care. Both of those people will probably be 'takers' in terms of requiring government support for most of their adult lives. But in a case like that there is nothing wrong with being a taker. They're exactly the kind of people society should help look after.

My bad, yes you are correct.
There are people who deserve to be helped out, then there are the ones that think they are owed the world.

The irony.

Where the heck did that come from? You are sounding like Alf Garnett more and more, day by day, nothing but apoplectic bile. get over yourself or leave the debate to people with something to say .

Debate and OB are not one of the same. He has never posted a comment that is not derogatory to others, such a the one I replied to. In his view Labour can do no wrong and everyone who attempts debate is shot down in as little words as possible.
I had a guts full of his continuous putting down of others.


Mostly I quite like the PM's communication style. It's very clear. She seemed to speak slower than usual today though and I can see why someone might liken that to talking to a child. Possibly the PM is just a bit knackered though?

She was speaking slower today than usual, but it wasn't that different from her first announcement about level 4 being extended by 5 days or whatever it was.

I thought her prepared remarks today were actually very good, a bit less waffly than they had been in the past.


It's funny isn't it, JA gets awarded the world's most eloquent leader and yet some Kiwis just absolutely hate her style. I think she has good and bad days like everyone else but mostly does an excellent job communicating. Policies and delivery not so much.
It's a very weird day but I found myself agree with David Seymour today when he questioned Hipkins comment that compulsory border testing was a "big lever to pull" like Level 3 in Auckland and Level 2 nationwide wasn't A MASSIVE F&%KING LEVER TO PULL????

I like JA's communications style but I am livid that border testing and control is failing and cannot agree that mandatory border testing was a big lever now that we're all back in restrictions and everyone stressed and freaking out. I don't know whose fault that is, but JA's the figure head so right now i'm mad at her for that. Not the out break response, not the communication style but the border testing issue.

It's a very weird day but I found myself agree with David Seymour today when he questioned Hipkins comment that compulsory border testing was a "big lever to pull" like Level 3 in Auckland and Level 2 nationwide wasn't A MASSIVE F&%KING LEVER TO PULL????

Totally agree. I've also found their limp-wristed "we can't treat these people in isolation like criminals" to be very dubious, because the alternative is potentially putting entire communities or cities in level 4.

100%. What is the cost of Auckland at level 3 for 2 weeks. Jacinda said 20%, so back of the envelope 2 weeks will cost NZ $2.5b of lost GDP. There's your break-even for ensuring proper border testing, $2.5bn and that's only for one cluster in Auckland FFS.

You are assuming that it’s possible to prevent contagion. I think that’s highly unlikely without a dictator. Is it maybe time to acknowledge that the team of 5 million, the be kind, etc has actually worked fairly well? Would the big stick have worked better; I doubt it.

Not quite following Jimbo, who is your response to?

I'm actually not assuming that. What I am saying is the relative cost of policing the border to a much higher level is trivial in relation to the cost of Auckland in L3 for 2 weeks - so there is a case it is mismanagement not to do so. I'm not saying it's fail safe, just an obvious weak link to tighten

That 20% is BS. I suspect it's at least 35-40%.

Yep many professional businesses are going beyond alert level response. Eg. Level2s working from home.

Alternative ways of working are recommended under level 2.

For us, working from home had no impact on productivity.

With the huge number of families having to look after kids at home I don't think 20% is even close.

Aye aye gnj, match your sentiments exactly, and that is the rub, well and truly.Prof Gorman around 7pm on TV it has to be ‘human to human” and just earlier border control “very weak, quite casual.” So again the question, the fox is out there again, on the run and how did it get into the chicken house and how did it get out again?

dp - apologies

Yes, was good to hear the estimates of the relative economic impacts of L3 vs L4 (economy runs at about 80% at L3, 60% at L4).

Seems to be very expensive to pursue any Covid strategy. It’s not like Sweden’s economy is booming. Look at the UK, I have friends there that have been in some form of half arsed lockdown for what seems like forever, yet they have high deaths and a terrible economic effect.

My brother just returned to the UK after a few weeks in Sweden. He said it's close to normal there now, and the number of cases and fatalities are way down.

Only took 6 months... and remember all those people saying how great aus were doing?

Personal anecdotes aren't a great way to gauge national economies. .

Agree. Far too much politicking as well.

There is no alternative. If they did nothing, then we would become another Victoria, with mass death. Can our health system cope with cases. If we dedicate hospital resources for Covid, then other NZers may die, with delays to operations and treatments etc. We have already done that once during the first lockdown. Plus kiwis will fail to be diagnosied for new illnesses. I can't see anything wrong with what they are doing. But I think they have dropped the ball at the border somewhere, for eh virus to get back in. It should be able to if it is watertight.

Can someone tell me why there has been nothing mentioned about businesses claiming on their 'business interruption insurance policies'; from memory I don't recall a 'pandemic' being an exclusion on this policy class? I remember such events as war, rebellion, and earthquake being exclusions but not pandemics. In our current situation would not the pandemic be deemed a proximate cause of business interruption.
Like many houses in an earthquake not being insured, could it be that many /most small businesses didn't obtain business interruption insurance. But, like those uninsured in an earthquake, the government will step up.
Perhaps Mr Barnett of the Auckland Business Assoc. could could throw some light on this situation.

I can't directly answer your question but I can illustrate why perhaps it isn't being talked about and maybe why many businesses don't have it.

After the earthquakes in Christchurch there was a furniture store in central Christchurch, outside the CBD cordon, who had business continuation insurance. The owner said the insurance company was great - initially. They helped get his store up and running in 3 days and open for business. They paid his average daily takings for those 3 days and then stopped, since he was open for business again.

There were of course, 0 customers. Because no one is going to buy furniture immediately following an earthquake, or visit a store in the central city that is surrounded by destruction and roads covered in rubble etc. But according to the terms of the insurance, he was not entitled to any payments once his store was open. The fact he had no customers was not the insurer's fault.

The furniture store went out of business I believe about 6 months later and the owner blamed it squarely on the earthquake and said that the insurance was pretty much worthless in his opinion. Also following the quakes, I heard that insurers put their premiums way up, making this an even less attractive option for businesses to spend precious cashflow on.

So, there's that. I'm also not sure how a government mandated shutdown would factor in - it's probably like how travel and life insurance excludes act of god and wars etc.

Panemics are excluded from commercial landlord's insurance policies.

An Interesting calculation. Lotto PB is $50m this week and must be won.

Assume that the lucky winner donates it entirely to Da Gubmint to help fund the 14-day shutdown extension, costed at 1.2b

Q - how many hours will that $50m fund?
A - 14, almost exactly (1,200,000,000/336 = 3.571m/hour. 50,000,000/3,571,000 = 14 hours)

I suggest they don’t do that. But I wouldn’t mind a donation if they are feeling frivolous.

Yes, it would make far more sense to do what I would do, run out and buy $50m of lollies, and few beers.

I find it completely inconsistent with the government's self-proclaimed "hard and early" approach that they have not put the Waikato to Level 3. Auckland went to Level 3 with four cases, Tokoroa currently has two cases and remains at Level 2. The quarantine in place for the "20-30 close family contacts" has been described as - and I quote - "a bespoke quarantine facility". So while Aucklanders face roadblocks and are being told to stay home, people in Tokoroa are free to travel around the country and do whatever they like.

Can someone explain how the Tokoroa cases being linked to the Auckland cluster in anyway stops people in Tokoroa spreading it around? It only takes one person. This in mind-blowingly stupid and flies in the face of the "hard and early" rationale.

We may look back on today as the day the government lost control of their Covid response. Michael Morrah on Newshub is pushing that government officials lied about our testing regime at the border, Ashley Bloomfield for some reason read out the name of Pakuranga College as having a Covid-19 case (it doesn't), and epidemiological experts have rated the Government's response this week as a "two or three out of ten".

Perhaps they're taking advice from those with more knowledge of epidemiology and disease control than you possess. You do have a qualification in these subjects?

Epidemiological experts haven't done anything to prevent a second wave.

Have you? Apart from sharing opinions, of course.

OB. Can you make comments that is not putting people down?

Yes the entire medical field is superfluous and they've done nothing ... ?

Are those more knowledgable the same that said not to test anyone working at the border?

Lets face it, those in charge aren't smarter, they just took a different path in life.

They have been testing people working on the border, just not to the schedule that you expect.

I was a little surprised at that as well, but the difference is being able to link the cases and know where they came from.

There is no difference, its the same cluster.

The difference is that they know where the tokaroa cases came from (the auckland cases). The unknown source of the auckland cases is the big problem.

There's no difference.

I kind of agree. The effect on the economy of locking down Tokoroa is almost 0. Why risk it? There are only 3 or so roads to police.

too many chainsaws /sarc.

"hard and early" but ignore MOH advice from 06/03 about events and keep on with Pasifika and March 15th services.
"hard and early" but don't test the border staff until the media start calling you out on it.
"hard and early" but the current cluster extends over two regions but only one is at level 3.

I wish someone would actually challenge Ardern on this but instead the interviews she does front for are softball questions from the Grey Lynn Mum's Fanclub like on Seven Sharp.

"hard and early" by being the first OECD country to ban travel from people from China, despite complaints from the National party and the education sector that it was an unwarranted overreaction.

"hard and early" by being the quickest country to go from their first diagnosed case to lockdowns.

"hard and early" by refusing to relax the lockdowns when National and Mike Hosking were demanding they be relaxed, despite our contact tracing infrastructure not being ready to cope with relaxation that soon.

"hard and early" by locking down the city with the unknown community transmission cases practically immediately upon discovery, unlike Victoria which waited 2-3 weeks before bothering to take serious steps.

"hard and early" by following expert advice that says there's no need for a stricter lockdown in regions outside Auckland presently.

Also for the record they have been testing people working on the border, just not on the schedule that you think they should be.

I wish someone would actually challenge Ardern on this

Tova did, today, and yesterday. Maybe you need to pay attention, would certainly help with your factual understanding of the situation, instead of the slanted view you just gave.

There needs to be an investigation though, on how the virus go through the border or isolation hotels. There is a hole somewhere that needs to be plugged, otherwise it will happen again.
But also our testing in NZ was far too low. The government required 4000 tests to be done per day. The day prior to outbreak, only slightly more than 1800 tests were done. It appears many people with colds and flu have not been getting tested after the MOH changed their directive to doctors, causing confusion. 25% of people declined tests offered to them, but 75% didn't, so that doesn't account for the lack of testing being done. We may have found the 1st case 2 weeks ago, if they had been tested when they developed symptoms at the end of last month. But how many people how have had a cold , have gone to get a test? Because we were led to believe that there was no covid in the NZ community, so we were very unlikely to have it, and it would be a waste of time and resources. Plus it would be painful to get done, based on all the TV shots they had of a stick being shoved up peoples noses.
To get so many cases suddenly appearing is basically catchup, after everyone with symptoms starts to get tested again. If the initial cases were picked up earlier, we should only be getting a gradual increase in new cases. This is where it is different from last time, so we don't know how far it may have spread. .

Agreed. The MoH changing their case definition again to reduce testing scope was a stupid mistake.

Generally the government seems to have gotten it right with messaging - small details and changes in messaging can make huge differences to how certain people, and just the public overall, understand what is going on. I think that change is case definition probably had a much bigger impact on overall impressions of COVID in NZ than what the MoH thought it would. It was a dumb move at the time and I think hindsight has validated that.

If it was costly and they were trying to save money, which I think is the case, then it was a very bad place to try and save money. Instead they should be charging returnees for their 2 weeks isolation stays.

the health minister admitted this morning only 60% of jet park were tested, you know jet park where they hold all the positive cases, typical counties DHB not following instructions so he signed an order this morning making it compulsory.
same as front facing border staff and ports of auckland, whom i know personally have never been offered a test let alone taken one unless they went to their own GP.
finally it is coming out that a lot of people that are most at risk from contacting the virus (human to human)have been overlooked for testing at the borders

Sensible decision...had a tiler and painter around today, both said big decrease in work load, worst in 12 years tiler can said. So good decision for these guys


Hope one party is giving us the option to open up to world at a set date.

Nats won't. Act might.
Maybe I would consider them if they did. I am a social libertarian after all, so have a degree of sympathy for their views..

So best case scenario, we end up back where we started in a bubble vulnerable, exposed and costly.

Worst case, it's in the community and spreading, cluster cluster, boom. Could be expensive for the country to treat but hopefully will travel through population without doing too much harm. Life goes on as normal for %98 of us.

I suspect that the die is cast, we are going to have to accept that it's here to stay and get back to life, if not this outbreak then the next.

I don't think it's realistic to expect people to go through this every few months

But the government don't view it like that. And neither do perhaps 70-80% of the population...

Ha! More nonsense from Liam 'it's highly unlikely this will cause a recession' Dann. What a gormless cheer leader.

ICYMI: Man at high risk for COVID-19 says precautions at NZ isolation facilities are 'abysmal'.

"I just could not believe what I was seeing. [The staff] weren't two metres apart - some of them weren't even wearing masks!"

He says the guests are free to "wander" the halls, go out to smoke and exercise, and then come into contact with staff.

"I'm frightened to be here - I'm scared shitless because if I catch this I will die," he said.

So we either do it extremely seriously, in an almost authoritarian manner, or not bother.

Thought the Minister for Health gave us one thing.
His sauce of truth.
Being what he applies to his pies, not lies, pies.

He is the source of truth & font of knowledge.
Up Pakuranga College.
Up The Ramen Shop in Newtown.
Up the Fairlie Pie Shop - pulled pork for all.

My daughter tells me quarantine was well run, staff wore masks, gloves, nurse checked temps everyday well protected professional, however the staff cooking cleaning etc were lax, often she would come of lift and find people just hanging around too close to her and unprotected.


Andrew's daughter here: Most of the staff were very meticulous and hospitable. However, each day I witnessed staff who were not wearing masks, usually hanging around the lobby, since this is the only place I could go freely. Often I saw staff enter the premises wearing no mask, or gloves. There were daily walks that you could book a place on, the hotel guests would take a bus ride out to where they could walk with security guards. I witnessed staff/security guards riding the bus with the hotel guests and not wearing masks. It seemed really odd to me.

i walk past jet park every day to work and until two mondays ago the security guards that were stationed 50 metres over open ground from where the covid people do there walking and running ( i see them every morning as i walk past) did not wear masks until two mondays ago, and that is two weeks AFTER chris hipkins stood near them and held a press conference. just simple things, i know the risk was low but it is still a risk especially when they talk to every car driver (staff) in and out


I detest Judith Collins but she has a point about Ardern using these sessions for political benefits. There were a couple of shameless moments today. I don't expect the PM to stoop to those levels.

By her blatant pro Labour comments today and a couple of her actions lately, It is looking like she is freaking that she is going to loose thos election.
Instead of worrying about the small stuff she should just deliver and cut the screwups out.

Can you tell me what the "blatant pro Labour statements" were please?

Did she say "vote for Labour"? Must have missed that.

Yes Judith would never stoop that low...cough splutter

Have you seen Trump. Judith is a horrible individual who has no class, she is taking plays from Trumps book.

Im not big fan of labour or national, on immigration and housing. But Covid Jacinder is leading the world. She may make mistakes, but with something so complex anyone would. Prefer Jacinder over anyone else.

Read Andrews daughter above definitely need to tighten up around workers.


The thing with Sweden is that they are done. They took their medicine, made some mistakes. Their rest home deaths were high, because they didn't seal them off hard enough.

But now, they are looking good. New deaths are at a level equivalent to countries that have floundered and lock down. They have a good deal of herd immunity. They have adapted to the virus organically, as human societies have always done.

And importantly, they haven't had to crush civil liberties to achieve the above. Just a bit of common sense and handed down human knowledge on disease defense.

Meanwhile we are running scared, facing a "total war" approach every time the virus appears. At undefined and enormous cost. We can't sustain our approach, they can sustain theirs.

Yes don't think there ever be a vaccine, just different treatment options. There are lot's of covid viruses with no vaccines, think we see change of track after Xmas.

Russia claim to have a vaccine right now. There are 2 other vaccines that have had very successful phase 1 and 2 trials and are beginning phase 3 now. If they work, they'll be ready for mass rollout in Q1 of next year. ( the actual paper is at, "Four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Sweden’s prized herd immunity is nowhere in sight").


Exactly right. Cindy may totally destroy New Zealand trying to eliminate a cold virus...

Cindy is not following official advice. Treasury work on each year of human life being worth $33,000 for health budgeting decisions. This is known as a "QALY" or quality adjusted life year.

Covid-19 has a death rate of 0.28 according to the US CDC (just higher than the flu). The average age of death from C19 is about 80 - one year less than life expectancy (and a lot higher than the flu). This lockdown will cost about $800 million for the next 10 days, according to the Herald yesterday.

Even if this lockdown saved about 10 lives, for one year of live saved each, it is costing about $80 million for each year of life saved. This is 2,400 times as much as taxpayers usually spend.

In reality lockdowns don't save any lives, as shown by Sweden. Their death rate was lower than Belgium - which had a full lock down. The Lancet agrees. There is no correlation between lockdowns and death rates.

What catastrophic stupidity.


I think you're wrong.

... numerous studies — using a range of methods — estimate that in many countries some 5 to 10 people will die for every 1,000 people with COVID-19. “The studies I have any faith in are tending to converge around 0.5–1%,” says Russell.

But there have been breakthroughs in treatment with dexamethasone, and 5 or 10 other drugs and treatments that look to be having a significant impact, all told they will soon be reducing IFR a lot from the 0.5% ish figure. Note Singapore has a CFR of just 0.05% !!!

I 100% agree if they are done. If they “only” had 5000 deaths and that’s it I think that is a reasonable compromise. However I suspect with only 16% herd immunity they may be susceptible to another round (I hate the term wave as if it’s unavoidable).

We've become total wusses. Our ancestors would be laughing at us.

Our ancestors had to put up with much lower standards of living. We shouldn't have to.

Watch this space

Why? A lot of them would have died young from what are now easily preventable diseases. I'm sure they'd happily swap place with you.

Drive around on motorway with no seat belt, go fight a war in Afghanistan, repeal health and safety, become a deep sea diver for oil rigs, become a doctor in worn torn countries. Bet you have slippers on typing on a computer, drinking a bottle of red. Most dangerous thing you do is to stand on a chair two feet off the ground.

Its not about you its a about other people, if your happy dieing go and do something risky. Dont play Russian roulette with other peoples lives.

Sweden have 571 Covid deaths per million people.
New Zealand have 4 Covid deaths per million people.
I respect the Swedes for doing things their way, but I'm also quite happy we're doing things our way.

Its not over yet.

Imagine the health event here as quarantine is relaxed, NZ community, meets and mixes with International community.

but we get stuck in no mans land, going to get it one day.

my feeling is that we are still in a pretty steep part of the treatment improvement curve, and vaccines may be in the offing in 6-12 months. Probably worth persisting if it doesn't cost too much to do so. If useful vaccines haven't been developed happened in 6-12 months we need to open up.

That's the crux of it.

The anti everything Labour brigade that hijack every comment thread quickly switch from "I doubt many will die" to "well people die, get over it".

So long as it's happening to someone else, apparently.

As are the 500 extra people who didn't die.

And it sounds like Japan is way past the worst too. Cases still quite high, but fatalities way down.
So I don't quite buy the argument of Pragmatist (up above).
Yes Sweden and Japan have had economic pain but they seem to be well past the worst of it now.
Unless, there's another big which case Pragmatist might be right :) Maybe another nasty outbreak is around the corner in autumn?
Heck, it's a tricky bastard of a virus!

contact tracing basis the WHO sounds like our MoH are making slight adjustments to the usual definitions.
2 minutes long.

How very convenient that Robertson appeared before the media after they switched to OneNews - which made almost no mention of the economic stuff.
It's all very calculated and cynical, isn't it?
Ardern has become a master of the dark arts quickly!

Nothing to do with the fact the news starts at 6pm and the press conference was still going at 6pm? Where were you on Sept 11? Convenient that I didnt see you on television at around the same time. Just interested, thats all.

Jeez, are you really that unbelievably naive?
They could easily have had a press conference earlier than 5.30.
You really don't think governments time these things to suit their agendas? If not, you are really naive.
It's also a common tactic to announce things late on a Friday to avoid media scrutiny.

It's also a common tactic to announce things late on a Friday to avoid media scrutiny.

Yeah, holding the most hotly awaited press conference in the last 4 months at 5:30pm on Friday and inviting all the media to it is a great way to avoid media scrutiny.

Great, Seymour speaks out. Starting to be tempted in voting for Act:


He's just saying inflammatory crap with no basis in fact and hoping that useful idiots fall for it.

The 3 day initial lockdown served two purposes:
1. Prevent initial spread as much as possible because we didn't know how bad the problem was, and ramp up services to fight back
2. Gather information to find out how bad the problem was, to then make an informed evidence-based decision about what to do next

Seymour is pretending like it was only ever solely about #1, whereas #2 was there from the beginning and actually the primary reason it was set for 3 days in the first place - no point locking down for 14 days at level 3 if 3 days is all you needed and the known unknowns and unknown unknowns mean that committing to anything longer based on the scant initial information would be foolhardy.

In fact the government have given themselves an out so that next Friday they could move Auckland back to level 2 if the information gathered by then warrants it, which undermines his whole "the government should have told us it was 14 days from the start" shtick because there's a fair chance that it won't be 14 days.

It's hardly surprising that Seymour wants simple rules like "lets always have 14 days of lockdown" that don't actually take evidence or reality into account, fits with the policies his party puts forth.

Some of them on here are far more useful than others

ACT are racist. Don brash wannabies. Top maybe. But at moment Saint Jacinder labour all the way.

I think it's a good decision to stay at level 3 in AKL and level 2 everywhere else. It's worth giving this another shot, we are learning the lessons the hard way and unfortunately, that might just be part of our psyche. How many people have downloaded the app now? If we can nip it in the bud once more and then stay extra vigilant until the end of the year I believe we will be in a good position. It's too early to pull up stumps as some commentators are suggesting. Another go, lessons learned, take it the next level and win this world cup...

Yeah, I'd rather suck it up for 2-3 weeks every now and then if it means we get months of freedom. The alternative will be living with constant restrictions and public fear (which I'm sure will be wonderful for the economy!).

Sure, but you're probably not in the hospitality industry.

Level 2 is very inconvenient for them, but not terrible. Level 3 is pretty much a death knell.

We probably need to accept that the hospitably industry is no longer a thing.

May I count how many you guys commenting here actually wear masks in public? Or ever wore?

Based on my trip to a suburban supermarket in Christchurch last night that was reasonably busy, 0 customers including myself wore masks...

I wore a mask during the last lockdown while shopping and am doing so again.

I wore a mask all day yesterday and the day before. Not many people wearing masks Thursday, but a lot more wearing them Friday - seemed to increase as day progressed.

Me. Costs nothing, barely inconvenient, big benefits if everyone does it.

How about in NZ we spend the $200 Billion on being less fat and increasing fitness levels, would save a lot more lives.

Maybe we did? Couldn't buy macca's during L4 and people were getting more exercise too.

Death rate in Nz approximately 1.6 % and in the states 3% ( lot of fatties in the states?!). Note covid deaths are generally over reported in states and U.K. And this does not take into account those who had no or minor symptoms. The vast majority do well with covid!

COVID deaths are likely to be underreported everywhere, you just need to look at those graphs of excess deaths over the time period compared to other years. Now, some of those deaths, particularly in places that got overwhelmed like NYC, may be from other causes where people could not get treatment due to hospitals being full, but that just makes them collateral damage from COVID and still relevant to the overall conservation.

What to make of these graphs then? Many European graphs have a higher excess of deaths in 2017 than they did in 2020 and all appear to be normal right now:

My comment was simply saying looking only at official COVID death figures almost everywhere is going to be an undercount of true COVID deaths given the peaks on those graphs. That's all.

IFR for wuflu is about 0.5%, but dropping a lot further now due to better treatments. Huge numbers of asymptomatic infections are missed.

Great news,Rio Tinto have announced Tiwai Point to remain open due to massive increase in aluminium demand in NZ from the tin foil hat manufacturers.