Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Govt takes 'cautious' approach, leaving Auckland at Level 2.5 and the rest of NZ at Level 2 until at least September 16

Govt takes 'cautious' approach, leaving Auckland at Level 2.5 and the rest of NZ at Level 2 until at least September 16

Auckland will stay at Level 2.5 and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 until at least September 16.

Cabinet will review the current settings on September 14. If it decides to make changes, these will take effect at 11.59pm on September 16.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was too early to know the impact of Auckland's shift out of Level 3, so was taking a “cautious” approach.

She was open to having different alert levels in different parts of the country, come September 16. But for now, Ardern wanted to everyone outside of Auckland at Level 2, to prevent further fallout should Covid-19 spread to other parts of the country, like it did to Tokoroa.

Ardern said since Auckland moved to Level 2.5, there have been 30 cases of Covid-19 found in the community. All of these cases have been linked. 

However she noted that just before Auckland's move out of Level 3, there was an east Auckland case found that was only genomically linked, not epidemiologically linked, so care was still needed. 

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said his focus wasn't just on numbers of cases, but on whether they could be anticipated. 

On Friday, there were five new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand - three in the community and two caught at the border in managed isolation.

The new community cases are linked to the Auckland cluster.

There are 112 active cases in the country - 75 in the community. 

There are six people in hospital, including two in ICU.

Nearly 10,000 tests were processed on Thursday. 

Since August 11, the Ministry of Health has identified 3,191 close contacts of cases, of which 3,136 have been contacted and are self-isolating.

Aucklanders visiting other parts of the country continue to be asked to take Level 2.5 conditions with them - IE by not going to gatherings of more than 10. 

Ardern said lockdowns must always remain a "last resort".

She also continued to maintain a strong health response was the best economic response. 

Here's a breakdown of the current cases from the Ministry of Health. Click on the link for more data from the Ministry.

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

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

33 Comments

No great surprise on the decision. Numbers still looking promising.

Big inroads in the close-contacts not contacted side of things, that was a much bigger gap yesterday than it is today.

Thanks, hadn't spotted that. Good news.

Cautious is a bit unfair I’d say. Level 2 is basically the best case scenario in most countries, even Sweden. They need to be 100% certain it’s ok before level 1.

i think the reporters have got covid fatigue the lack of asking the questions to drill into the numbers to find out why we are still at level two
these community cases were they identified before testing positive by contract tracing? were they self isolating already? are we making sure those that are supposed to be self isolating are actually staying put,
from what i understand its just a daily/weekly phone call no actual visits to double check, and we know from last time they did not
the lack of detailed information does make you wonder if they do have it fully contained

Will we have to shift to mail in ballots, if this continues beyond Sept 16th ?

nope, just maintain the 2 metre distance

60% of votes in 2017 were cast before election day. It is likely to be even higher this year, and that would've been the case without COVID too.

Labour may have won before Election Day then!

Its becoming increasingly obvious that Jacinda has no idea what she is doing.

A month ago was the "go hard, go early" rhetoric accompanied by the all too regular frowny face and kindergarten tone.

Now she says "lockdowns must always be a last resort".

Hard to reconcile... it was your first resort a month ago... now its the last resort.

Is that an acknowledgment the Auckland lockdown was over done? or just simply realising the electorate is growing extremely weary of the 'on again, off again' lockdown strategy and we are abandoning the "go hard, go early" approach.

Team of 5 milllion... just trying to understand this 'captain's call'.

exactly why L2 is being treated like L1 iby a lot of people/businesses, if you use something when you should'nt, then when you need it, it would of lost it's effectiveness.

I'm guessing the massive upswing in app usage and mask use gives them more comfort that L2.5 is more functional than L3 was previously.

I suggest you go and read the NZ pandemic response plan regarding this. Governments are advised to go hard and early (to play it on the safe side) until more is known on the disease, after some time govts can then make more informed and balanced decisions on quarantines and lockdowns. You can't fault the govt on this. They have even bowed to public pressure in many instances and imposed harsher quarantine rules from early on than is recommended in the document.

Well, WHO wasn't advising governments to go hard and early, aren't they the 'experts'?

There's nothing contradictory about it at all.

Go hard and go early does not exclusively mean "go into lockdown".

They banned travellers from China from entering the country on Feb 3rd, when National, tertiary providers and the WHO were all saying it was unnecessary. That is an example of "going hard and going early" without using a lockdown.

Lockdown was her first resort last month. Yes/No?

The point I am making is Jacinda's 'captain's call' for the country to focus on elimination is waivering somewhat.... perhaps realising that the electorate doesnt want to dive back into lockdown at every flare up.. which is exactly what she did last month.

What's with the spelling from the naysayers - the word is "wavering". You don't have a point - only internet reckons, which are worthless!

Where did i say 'internet reckons'?.... are we denying Jacinda has changed her tone with regards lockdowns? Are we talking about opening up the economy with a sustainable level of cases as opposed to elimination?

I am pointing out what is obvious to all.... her stance is changing and I managed to come to that conclusion without 'what the internet says'.

That is the point. Try playing the ball, not the man.

(and thanks for the spelling correction).

I too have read some angry Facebook posts and feel my knowledge of proper pandemic management technique embiggened.

Looks like the Crusher come babykisser does not understand the concept of bubble. Very poor show.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122667452/judith-collins-defen...

According to Jessica Mutch McKay there was basically no observing of social distancing protocols by any party leaders yesterday at all.

The quotes from Judith Collins were pretty revealing IMO.
“I don’t have Covid-19, I’m pretty certain of that one.’’
“I think we just need to be a little bit realistic and actually understand there are different rules and guidelines around schools and younger people, who obviously very seldom get Covid-19.’’

Hypocrites

The national party have leaders that are either Ponytail pullers or baby kissers

I have to wonder if the election were to be held on 19th September as originally planned, if they would have been trying to get Auckland out of level 2/2.5 sooner than what they've shown this time.

But now they've got an extra month's breathing room, they might be more relaxed at keeping Auckland at that level.

I guess we'll never know.

I don’t think so, most people I talk to seem to appreciate the need for lockdown. Even at the barbers today the owner said it’s annoying but much better than Victoria etc. Obviously some people think we should do a half arsed effort like the fails being seen all round the world but I think the majority are mostly happy with the government.

See if people are so happy once the job losses mount.

It's a global virus. We need to forget this level x, y nonsense and simply make wearing masks mandatory and the same with the tracking app. As for businesses they should be providing hand sanitizer for all customers and doing the one server per table service model etc we had a few months back.

This thing ain't going away any time soon, we are just having a break from the next outbreak. Most logical thing to do is have measures in place to minimize transfer before it arrives and then continue as normal.

We cant afford more of these somewhat arbitrary lockdowns.

Agree. Treatment options are getting better too.

good point. it is a global crisis. and imported cases can become community case any time.
Asymtomatic people can spread the covid as seen from many countries.
Govt. should make Mask wearing mandatory for all parts of the nation.
It is a lot economical protection than a lock down.

Agree - that'll also mean people stopping ranting about masks and social distancing, comparing recommendations to wear masks to tattooing of Jews in Nazi death camps etc.

The pandemic will likely be with us at least another year, going by previous global pandemics. People will need to get a little more sensible about masks, isolation and other measures. Perhaps we need red maga masks for those who've been protesting in NZ recently, that may help.

I checked out at "Govt"

Hard to know how much govt decisions are heath motivated or political. Of course the PM has not been spending much time considering the election, as she is focused so much on the flu.

Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.