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The notion that New Zealand is running ahead of the curve no longer stands up to scrutiny. The policy is essentially reactive rather than proactive

The notion that New Zealand is running ahead of the curve no longer stands up to scrutiny. The policy is essentially reactive rather than proactive

Saturday 21 March is the day when community transmission of COVID-19 first became evident. It is apparent that there is now at least one COVID-19 case from unknown community transmission, with this being in the Wairarapa. There also appears to be a case in Auckland involving a two-step infection back to a traveller.

Assuming the Wairarapa infection occurred three to seven days ago, then the likelihood is that there are now multiple more cases ‘out there’ waiting to be found.

Until now, the cases predominantly link to air arrivals up to about 15 March and most are from several days prior to that. But in this last week, the risk profile of new returnees has increased considerably.

Given that identified infections have risen approximately six-fold in the last week, currently standing at 53 and up from 28 just two days ago, it is reasonable to expect a similar rate of increase in the next week. An increase of anything less than three-times over the coming week would be a good outcome, but that would still take us to over 150 cases.

For arrivals from most countries, the apparent risk factor associated with each person has increased by a factor of about four in this last week, but for those from the United States it appears to have increased at a considerably faster rate.  The flow of returnees in this last week has been remarkable.

In designing the appropriate policy for this coming week, the key issues relate to the people who arrived last week, together with all of the people who are still to come in this week.

There are two key weak points with the current control system. The first relates to the lax quarantining of people, including but not only New Zealanders, arriving from overseas. The second relates to internal transmission within the country through the contacts of these people. I have previously described these as fatal flaws.

The time has now come for all new returnees to be placed upon arrival in Government quarantine for fourteen days at army facilities. Returnees could be transported to facilities such as at Whangaparoa, Linton and Burnham, including using chartered planes from Auckland. 

There must be thousands of camper vans that rental companies would love to rent to the authorities to house the returnees at the army bases. The army could feed them. If necessary, hotels could be contracted to provide additional meals.  The system has essentially already been trialled for the 150 Wuhan returnees back in early February.

As for internal transmission, it is remarkable that pubs, restaurants, libraries, museums and gyms still remain open. Where they have closed, then it is based on decisions by local authorities and individual businesses, not by central government.

I have been hearing our Prime Minister referring multiple times to the examples of Taiwan, Singapore and even South Korea as the models we are following. This is make-believe from her health advisers who clearly do not understand how those societies work. I have discussed that previously. 

 In any case, numbers are now ramping up again in all three of these countries, largely driven by their own citizens returning home but also from internal transmission.

The following quote is taken from a comment in the New York Times, dated there as 20 March. It was written for an American audience, and of course with American spelling, but it is just as relevant for us.  The key point is that we may think that we are patterning ourselves on these countries, but we aren’t.

“I was in Taiwan for several months when the Wuhan outbreak first happened. People on the street were concerned, fearful, but staunch - went about their daily routines. The government was really fast - boarding airplanes from China, taking temperatures of passengers and also arriving passengers from different places. If you went to a restaurant or museum, your temperature was first taken, your hands sanitized, and you had to wear a face mask if you wanted in. The custom in Taiwan is opposite Italy’s, people keep a polite distance. Public touching, not much. Public and mass transportation - wear face masks. Healthcare is universal and data of sick people went right to the epidemiology command center in real time. People were quarantined and tracked by their cell-phone to ensure compliance. Violators were fined substantially.”

I have yet to see any evidence of thermometers being used as a screening tool in New Zealand.

I also note our Prime Minister says in defence of our testing rate that the New Zealand rate is similar to South Korea on a per capita basis.  There are two issues there.

First, I think her advisers have got their maths wrong. But even more important, they have not factored in that the South Korean outbreak was focused in the city of Daegu, and also that most of the infected people belonged to a particular religious sect, with these people largely socialising among themselves.  Every member of that sect who could be identified, some 200,000, was tested. Despite all of those advantages, infections are increasing rather rapidly again in South Korea, with over 380 new cases in the last three days.

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Here in New Zealand, a key voice that authorities do not seem to be listening to is Professor Michael Baker from the Wellington Campus of Otago Medical School.  His speciality is public health. He has spoken publicly on multiple occasions in recent weeks about COVID-19 and these statements are easily found by googling his name.

In recent days, Professor Baker has talked about schools being great places for viruses to spread within and hence the need to now close schools until we get things under control. Today, he has also described the current situation and lack of testing in New Zealand as “emblematic of the need for a pulse of lockdown”. He says that “it sounds melodramatic to say now or never, but I think it's the case."

As for asking over-70s to stay at home, I am cautious about that.  As a measure of self-protection, it will become increasingly necessary as the infection rates rise. But right now, the key issue is getting ahead of the curve, and it won’t help very much at all in that regard.

Given that the Government’s policy is increasingly looking like flattening the curve, and hence consistent with a long-term goal of herd immunity rather than focusing on stamping it out, the over-70s are at risk of being shut up for a very long time. The issue of social isolation of this group becomes of great importance.

The longer that our leaders and their advisers focus on the rear vision mirror and use incorrect analogies from overseas, then the more we will stay behind the curve.

Let’s get pro-active and stamp it out.  The harder we stamp then the shorter time it will take.  And that means that we all have to do our part in the next month to six weeks.

If we stamp hard enough then we still have an excellent chance of eliminating the disease from our shores, although we will now have to stamp considerably harder than if we had moved more proactively a week ago. It is in that context that I said several days ago that the Government had lost the plot.

Government quarantine of all new returnees, plus closing of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms, and also unfortunately the closing of schools until the end of Easter, is what we now need.  The alternative is a long and brutal winter.

*Keith Woodford was Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University for 15 years through to 2015. He is now Principal Consultant at AgriFood Systems Ltd, and has had a longstanding interest in epidemiology. He can be contacted at 

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Today we went from Alert level 1 to Alert Level 2.
Criteria for Level 3 is "Community Transmissions Occurring"; Level 3 tomorrow then?


Quite likely. Expat Kiwis returning home seem to be bringing the virus and spreading it all over the place. Of course with rationed testing capacity we don't really know and can pretend that isn't happening. Sweet.

Only the USA gets level 5 thats when they go for their guns. Fortunately Jacinda saved us from a level 5 event some months ago so that's probably the only forward planning so far.

There is going to be blood shed in the States, lots of it. All posted on social media.

Nonsense! But keep on listening to your echo-chamber.

Two weeks ago I said close the boarders and I got the same response.

It's already happening in North Korea, the total cases keeps falling as they are 'treated' with an anti aircraft canon.

The States.
The army full of low IQ generation kill video game trigger pullers V a heap of Hill Billies, Preppers, Gangsters and all the other nutters that the States has in abundance.
Throw them together we get lead flying. Once that happens once the army gets tense after a few deaths those triggers get pulled even faster the next time.

Calm down! Breathe... this too shall pass. Probably without zombies, nor a civil war in the US. And definitely not with mayhem in NZ.

No it won't happen here correct.
I did not say civil war at all. Have another read Mayer you are barking up the wrong tree. The States is volatile at the best of times with their shoot first and ask questions later mentality.
I am very calm as I am ready and don't really give a toss because I will come out of this smiling however it plays out.
Add one bunch of gun toting Yanks, telling another bunch of gun toting Yanks what to do and the result is blood shed. Or do they just have a yarn and walk away in your book?

If you are calm, then stop posting your ridiculous comments.
I have lived in the US, I know some American military people. They are anything but, the people you describe. Most Americans are level headed and not the spectrum of loonies both on the left and right you see in the media.
I wish you good luck as we head into the unknown. Remember, breathe, keep your wits and stop panicking and spreading panic.

Two weeks ago I got called all sorts saying that the airports should be closed. I replied that we'll talk about this in a month. I didn't have to wait that month.
You and I can chat about this in two months and see who called it correctly.
I met a lot of the stock standard US troops in Germany. The are far from the sharpest knives around.
A few gun toting groups are about to meet and there is a very high chance, blood will be spilt very publically. Not freaking, it's just logic!

We have a level 5 but they will only tell us on the day so not to scare everyone now.
It will be when schools shut and army takes over controlling the major cities same as Italy etc.
Also keep stocking up soon the supermarkets will only have core items no more pasta rice or anything that is not made here and even those items made here will run out as very few products made here are 100 percent kiwi ingredients just look at packets and you will see many ingredients on NZ made products are imported and added to NZ ingredients to finish the product.
We will soon be in war like lockdown the enemy is worldwide and it is shutting down everything for about 40 days and then supplys will ramp back over 6-12months period.


Scare mongering at its worst...
Do not hord. Do not panic. Do not listen to silly people like this saying silly things.

If you think we have enough police on the street to control this, you are sadly mistaken.
Yes we live in a country that has food but then again we live in a country that has plenty of timber and Kiwi Build was a flop.

and we have enough in the army, navy and airforce?

Kiwi's will basically do what they are told but the police won't be enough they will be dealing with a massive family violence and theft / looting increases.


What movie are you watching, Kezza? This isn’t World War Z! This is a global pandemic that can be managed, like any other natural disaster, but only if people stay calm. So, take a deep breath and calm down.
What do you expect is going to happen that the police will be unable to manage? Again I say, this is not a movie, it’s New Zealand and there will be no marauding masses. Most people will use their common sense and crack on with life.
NZ has a highly competent Defence Force with excellent leaders and personnel trained and proficient in humanitarian aid and disaster relief. They are ready to step up to the plate in the event supply lines are broken and to support warehouses, supermarkets and the po po if necessary!

Have another read and chill out mate.
Kiwi's will do what they are told. No issues there, were a fairly law abuiding bunch.
The police will be busy dealing with family violence and nutters out there looting, which happened in Christchurch. I happen to know for a fact that police are already factoring in a different work load.
So what's your issue?

I have no issue other than to remind you to calm down. Stop with this end of civilisation as we know it, hysteria. The difference between now and ChCh.... where I might remind you, there was very little looting and what there was mostly opportunistic, is if you break into someone’s house to steal stuff, you could contract COVID19 and die...

Seriously, can you read mate?

Kezza has a point -- if the all blacks lose domestic violence cases increase significantly for that weekend as do alcohol and other violent crimes - hard to see large scale unemployment, large scale reductions in hours and incomes, bankruptcy, repossessions , and access to services restricted having less effect --

I don't think people are inviting the boys around to get drunk and watch the coronavirus daily pres conference, then getting agro when coronavirus numbers mean they lost their bet at the TAB. Bit of a daft comparison.


sounds like a fun drinking game.

Family violence. Kids and the wife taking a beating, suicides. Come on, it's common knowledge that NZ has issues with these.

yes, but the link to the ABs/Warriors/(other team) loosing and the spike in violence has some pretty well known causes..

Yes, general depression/unemployment etc will likely cause these to spike, but guess what, that happens either way, if we shut down the country, you can be sure the losers that beat their wives will be confined to home, and drinking to pass the time and yep, up goes family violence rate. Same thing we don't close the country down and then coronavirus forces us to lockdown everything reactively. But yours and Becnz's scaremongering is hilarious.. Army locking down the whole country and police patrolling the streets fighting raoming gangs of drunken yoofs at hidden level 5 status. Lmao.

It is people like you Prag with your abusive behaviour and higher than than the rest that create issues as well. Sexiest comments, name calling, idiot was another comment you spat at me on this section.

I didn't say anything about what you are on about. You seriously need to read what the hell you comment on before tapping away.

NZ has some serious abuse problems. Throw being stuck in a house together, money issues and cabin fever, maybe a few withdrawls from substances and there is only one out come. The kids that had school to get away for a bit of normality and to get away for a bit are the ones I feel sorry for.
It isn't a guess that the NZ Police are already talking about this and how to deal with it.
Hardly a laughing matter Prag.

I concur with this.

Defence force trained and ready. A close family member served in war zones in the NZ Army. His advice is what the army do and that's because it's the only thing anyone can do, continue as normal. Adapt to changing situations but otherwise continue as normal.

There's something in the human psyche which loves baying for blood, loves catastrophizing and drama and armageddon disaster. We won't be getting that.

Kiwis are resourceful, generous and will get through this. We aren't buying into the mad panic which they are overseas. NZ also has a good record of managing public health campaigns. Everyone will be fine here.

If you think I am joking go and talk to people in the army if you know someone they are ready to go when needed just like after Christchurch quake shuting down city for a month.
Also just drove past the stockyards in Sockburn Christchurch and they seem to erecting marquees etc and have a number of refrigerated trucks parked up.
What do you think they are doing that for????.
Unfortunaly it will get bad here just like everywhere else and all we can do is prepare the best we can.

I won't be too surprised if we go straight to L4. Social distancing is not easy for some younger people. My wife's girlfriends still flew to Welly to enjoy a decent drinking party after Jacinda's speech yesterday. This is how shtf.

Murray Grimwood says it all in his article and reference to the Titanic analogy

""This passing renders the ‘don’t scare the passengers’ approach, obsolete. And we need to stick to facts – lifejacket-issuance is of no use given the water-temperature, temporarily reassuring though that transaction may be to both parties.""

One thing the govt could do now is plan for convalescent plasma therapy: The idea is that people who have had covid 19 and recovered have specific antibodies. Plasma transfusion from these convalescent patients can be used to treat seriously ill patients. It has already been done in China and annecdotally has shown good results; check out these links and
Once patients are tested positive they could be given an appointment for plasma transfusion at an optimum time; when viral infection cured and immunity is still high, say 3-4 weeks after onset of symptoms, moving forward antibody tests are being developed so convalescent patients could be tested for high levels of antibodies before transfusion.


I agree. The risks are known. We need to be preemptive in countering them, not wait on the risks becoming manifest as the cue to action. This is a failure of will, not insight. Right now, we have a political class that seeks to be liked more than respected; that condemns and avoids confrontation; that looks for, and most approves, peaceable outcomes. Our nation - like the world - faces a challenge indifferent to these values. The only way to counter and defeat this challenge is to be responsibly deliberate, to embrace measures that seem harsh ('tough love' in familial terms), and accept the necessity of much sacrifice for a greater good. These are war-time needs, and war-time values.

My fear - like yours, I think Keith - is that, unlike Singapore, South Korea, other admired states, we do not have this political will or capability at hand. And this now presents an immense, growing, and accelerating danger to us all. The government must rise to its responsibilities urgently, not follow in others' trodden paths of indecision and delay into overwhelming national failure: meaning the deaths of many dependent hundreds.

What are you more afraid of....someone in your family dying of the virus, or the value of your house/retirement plan falling by 50%?

Quote of the day I-O! Brilliant... lots of thumbs up...

For me, this is where the cognitive dissonance is at for most people (unsure if people have this in their conscious minds yet, or still just bubbling away in the subconscious)

You're spot on workingman.
In fact, this is the very occasion in which having an authoritarian government like China, Russia, Singapore, Peru, et al, would be better than the 'touchy feely' democratic government we have in this country today. In fact, it came across one of the news channels tonight that the military are in control of the streets in Peru; no pussyfooting around in Peru.
Its become obvious that many NZders wouldn't know or care about self-isolation. I think Ardern should declare a level 4 immediately and put our military on the streets, particularly in our major cities.
I would HOPE and EXPECT the authorities would have access to A CENTRAL REGISTER OF RECENT ARRIVALS TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE; anybody in the register found on the streets, by the military during random stops, when they should be self-isolating, would be arrested on the spot and face a prison term plus a $10,000 fine.


[ Cheap unnecessary comment removed. Plus all the dopey responses. Ed ]

She has to talk to us like four year olds, because some of y'all are behaving like four year olds. Look at the bloody stupid things people are saying and doing. Just look at some of the comments on this very thread. Some of the most panicked are the same folk that just a week ago were saying this was all a hoax and NZs response was way over the top.

Hub hub you and about one other are the only ones that don't get this.


Based on conversations I've had I do not believe the average Kiwi yet appreciates how serious this is or why they are being asked to undertake these actions. However I believe that as the body count adds up (which lags the virus spread) people will begin to appreciate how serious the situation is.

The MSM needs to show the raw reality in Italies wards. This is an evil virus. Kiwis need to stay indoors.

They also don't understand the money issues that are coming hard and fast. A lot of people that I talk to including property investors are saying it's a good time to buy houses.


Idiots buying now deserve no sympathy they are the ultimate in greed.
I predict a return to 2010 prices.
I bought a section in Albert Town Wanaka in 2010-11 cost was only 140k (now 350k) think about that and the build cost was only 1750sqm for a small house.
Now it has doubled and I think who are these idiots paying twice what I payed less than 10 years later.
We have no housing shortage and land prices are being jacked by developers.
Lets see how quickly house and land packages drop back to the price of an old house that need money spent on it and see how quickly old houses drop then.
It will be the developers who destroy our housing market when they start selling house and land at cost plus a few percent to survive the next 5 years.
Cash will rule in this market and anyone who has it is going to get some very good prices again.

It will be a lot more than developers selling at a loss.
Tourist towns taking a massive hit.
Those out of work and need money.
Those who owe a large % to the bank.
Investors who didn't see this coming.
People who dived out of stocks and into property.
All the sheep that decide to follow the sell offs.
People who are moving cities due to not having work.

Think of all those people who own multiple properties...

And the rent isn't being paid and you are on reduced hours as well. Jacinda then pipes up and says 'let the landlords eat cake they can afford to take a hit.

Watching the people who have been taking part in the panic buying of toilet paper are probably the same people who took part in the panic buying of properties (own and rentals) the last 8-10 years. Irrational....and likely irrational on the way up and equally irrational on the way down.

Totally rational........ self interest. The underlying basis of humanity and reflected in our economic system.

Yet our society is based upon religious values, such as sacrifice for the benefit of others and giving....Do you not take time off for Easter and Xmas each year? Times of sacrifice and giving?

Society might say it's based on christian values yet reality would suggest we've walked the opposite path.

Embedded in our teachings is "economic" rational self interest. Better your own life economically and you supposedly improve others. Hoard/accumulate as much wealth as possible for yourself and you improve the lives of others. What you and I may agree as irrational is perfectly rational to those you describe above. On the whole "Christian" values end up playing second fiddle to economic rational self interest.

Our history would suggest an origin of enslavement, the enclosure and exclusion of the commons by a few to enrich a few. Emperors, monarchy, the church, all paid lip service to religious values, one law for them and rules for everyone else. This hasn't changed, it has merely conditioned everyone. Now we have corporations, govt., central banks and the same ethos pervading society. Only now it has been normalised as success and we call it capitalism. Yeah, we've created an abundance of things, material comforts and conveniences, luxury items etc all in the name of what, "wealth"? Have we evolved into any sense of humanity or even "civilisation"?

These sacrifices you mention, is that the corporations sacrificing profits to pay higher wages or employees sacrificing their "jobs" when the economics goes balls up? Is it the serfs sacrificing their time to serve their masters, is it the ordinary person sacrificing their future overloaded with debt to secure a home? Is it the leaders sacrificing their lives for "freedom" or is it the masses being ordered to sacrifice theirs? Is it one generation sacrificing their conditioned beliefs or imposing them on future generations?

Are people sacrificing by choice or by force? Are they serving or is it servitude?
Do we know any different?

When the virus is over do we go back to normal?

At that point you would hope that like many other New Zealanders they will use their saved emergency fund to tide things over during the rough times. Surely. Are they investors or gamblers?

Impossible to get 2010 prices unless we have a massive reset and interest rates increases.

This sarcasm or part of the thinking required on the path to the awakening?

Surely in the medium / long term there will be a big increase in interest rates - would you loan your spare cash to anyone having seen what is happening now without the promise of a big return? . Its basically why interest rates can't go up.

If they do que mass lawlessness and destruction of society. There will be a Vax for this virus by this time next year. Until then New Zealand can borrow what it needs to survive. Other countries arn't so lucky.

And we probably need a reset to 2000 prices of everything.

Nothing is impossible but maybe most people are blind or to scared to believe what may happen.
We are just starting the massive reset now.
Watch and see the sharemarkets collapse even with trillions trying to stop it.
This will dwarf 2008 and maybe even 1929.
Do you think 2 weeks ago they would shut down the country I know I did and it is just the beginning.
I believe this will take 10 plus years to recover from.
Just think about all the defaults starting soon.

Interest rates are 3 percent and most buy with a mortgage so yes I agree if get an undervalued or value add property. Depends if there is still competition.

Kezza these people you talk to - are they deranged?

That's the point mate, business owners, investors are among them. I shrug my shoulders because, some have to lose for others to make a win sometimes.

At the very least all school teachers >60, and non essential staff, should be sent home. Any parents who can care for their children, without exposing the >60 age bracket, should be allowed to witdraw their children from school.

Confirmed cases are a lowball snapshot of what was happening two weeks ago. I think this paper is pretty important, it says that 86% of cases were undocumented. That's both good and bad news. More people that we though will have mild disease, but it also means the virus is far more transmissible. All but the most draconian of shutdowns will be inadequate. I'm worried about the elderly because they'll all have to go to the supermarket at some stage.

Online shopping and socially-distanced delivery has been around for a decade. Problemo solvatio.

I hope you're right. A lot of elderly aren't proficient with computers.

Keith, I see that you must realize that today's media reportage that the two cases stated as not travel-linked are in fact travel linked, but just one or two or more intermediate contacts away. This would be the first instance of incompetent reporting by the 'big' media in this matter. It could create the erroneous impression, among the general populace, that this plague (let's call a spade a spade) is somehow spontaneously generated out of thin air. But there is obviously some link back to an arrival.
I would agree with your view, expressed in your articles, that Jacinda and her MPs have been too 'soft'. We would have been better off with a competent dictator, albeit a benevolent one. Jacinda has been trying to please too many people of different stripes.
I've been around in my 72 years and I know that there are categories of the population out there who just won't take the situation seriously: they are either young and think they are bullet-proof, or perversely selfish, or just plain dumb and cannot appreciate the implications.

Thank you for that information, can you point me to the statement or article you mention on the traceability of cases? Much appreciated.

Good work Kieth. Here's another good article on the matter. TLDR lockdown now is best choice to save lives, reduce economic cost and give time for us to get the tools we need to fight (expand ICU capacity, develop treatments)

Hi Keith , welcome back . Hope all is well on your return.
Latest graphic of tests per million, puts New Zealand somewhere close to the bottom

That graphic is interesting.
So, we have to have answers to the following questions:
Do we have many test-kits available? If not, are they on there way?
Do we have the people qualified to carry out the testing?
If not, then are we giving potential testers a crash course in testing?

But, hang on a minute, we must be one of the most geographically isolated countries in the world, along with the Falkland islands and Iceland.
We have no land borders with any other country and Australia is miles away.
Apart from cruise ships, we don't don't have any shipped arrivals.
So that leaves the airports that our all our arrivals must come through to enter the country. I may be wrong but I believe only Christchurch and Auckland Airports admit international arrivals.
So, with geographical isolation and only two bottle-neck airports to monitor and test, controlling and testing of arrivals should have been a piece of cake. So, what went wrong at the airports?

So, with geographical isolation and only two bottle-neck airports to monitor and test, controlling and testing of arrivals should have been a piece of cake.

We don't have capacity to test every single arrival, so we aren't. Simple as that.

Given that reality, we need to spend the scarce test resources that we do have in the best way that we can.

Are the MoH doing it perfectly? Probably not.

Are they testing every bozo who turns up thinking they might have a disease that is still pretty rare in NZ? No.

Is that the sensible thing to do given the scarce testing resource? Yes.


Queenstown as well.
At the beginning Jacinda fed us 'trust us, it's not that bad we are preparing and have it under control'.
Now we get knee jerk ass covering day after day.
Several people on here have stated that all they received apon entry into NZ was a piece of paper with instructions. This is all playing out like Kiwi Build and other Labour projects. All talk from above and on the ground level NOTHING. There is a major disconnect between this government and those who implement their instructions.

Considering Taiwan was boarding planes from China prior to disembarkation in December we look rather "she'll be right" in comparison by handing out a piece of paper in mid March. Taiwan clearly didn't believe the China BS from the start.

Agree. I came back from overseas last month had the worst flu of my life, asked for a test but no test given.

Over the flu now, no one around me got it but all the symptoms were the same as Corona. Guess it can't have been Corona virus then.

There is so much misinformation (and to be frank, stupidity) in this article and in these comments. Sigh.
That data is OBVIOUSLY outdated... given NZ completed 1,500 tests two days ago, and 1,000 tests three days ago. Would you rather we used all our tests upfront testing everyone unnecessarily and then ran out of supply once the pandemic headed towards its peak?

Why do you accept as Ok testing kits are limited and restricted, if we had more kits would you be happy to test more?

Who said anyone is accepting it as OK? Only you, as far as I can tell.

The rest of us are dealing with the reality of the current situation of the scarcity of test kits. It would be better if they weren't so scarce. But they are. Whinging about it on the internet isn't going to change the reality and it's not like the government is sitting on its hands and requires internet commentators to suggest that they get more test kits.

I have heard Bloomfield say we could test more if we needed to. The staff would have to work longer hours. He doesnt want that. Now are these staff the only people in NZ able to do this? Should we be testing more people? Should we be hiring more technicians? I dont know the answer to these very impt questions. Anyone?

He said on Thursday they were doing 1,000 tests and they could go up to 1,500 but that requires longer shifts in the lab.

On Friday they did 1,500 tests are so evidently are now using longer hours in the labs.

Now are these staff the only people in NZ able to do this? Should we be testing more people? Should we be hiring more technicians?

The MoH are ramping up testing capability.

National radio said on Friday they were doing just 20 tests per day.
Edit - checked my old posts and it was Monday 16th 20 tests per day stated on RNZ. My bad. Point is PM could not claim there was no community transmission when only 20 tests were being done. Why were more tests not being done jsut last week? Only 6000 to date.

Funny, because the MoH press conference they've been streaming on National Radio every day at 1pm said on Friday they had done ~1,000 tests on Thursday and on Saturday they had done ~1,500 tests on Friday.

Unless you have a citation / timestamp for when this was said on National Radio, I simply don't believe you.

Lanthanida, the graphic , dated Friday 20 March, which I posted was sourced from collated WHO data. On that date , compared to the other nations ,the data provided to the WHO by New Zealand , of which New Zealand is a member, shows that New Zealand had not gone "hard and early"

I don't know why there is a discrepancy in the data they have vs what the ministry of health is saying. I'd guess that it isn't a priority for the ministry to be informing the WHO of our data.

Secondly Jacinda never said we were going "hard and early" specifically with respect to testing, it was as a general response to the crisis and the actions taken were fundamentally around border control. We were amongst the first in the world to ban travel from China and then Iran.

They know that it is here and are already preparing to shut everything down for a few weeks.
The only way out is to let it spread and limit deaths as best they can.
No country could be shut down for more than 30 days otherwise everyone will starve and chaos will rise.
They are trying to be PC and say we tried to stop it knowing that it is impossible.
Best thing everyone can do is keep healthy and hope your immunity has not been destroyed by poor lifestyle choices.
Vitamin D will be one thing I am keeping up right now vitamins and sun before winter hits.
Remember in 1918-19 they just let it run and faced the consequences.
The hope of a vaccine is just that and is only being used to try and calm everyone.

Calm. The. F***. Down

But what if that is the truth. Perhaps the comment is rational and your response is the one of fear?

Observe independently and you'll figure it out

I am and telling people to calm down when they give their view in a forum like this isn't useful - it achieves nothing and adds zero to the quality of discussion. Perhaps head back to the stuff or FB comments sections?

How much debt do you have at the moment on rental properties?

Yep get lots of sun and vitamin d while you can.

They tried that at Bondi but that got canned.

They don't need to be scarce, that's a big point.

Another big point, and look at the comments, no body knows the situation about test kits, supply of reagents, and kit availability to front line medics.

As for how government operates, maybe check your assumptions.

If you get some time, take a look at root cause analysis. It's a thing, can be very helpfu, body of workl. Takes the emotion out of things.

Why did the government not report how many tests they were doing per day? Pretty basic information. Red radio - edit - on Monday the 16th - they were only doing 20 tests a day - yet govt proclaiming there was no community transmission. How could they claim that when there was no community testing - and examples of people with symptoms being refused tests because they weren't travellers. 20 tests a day as late as last week is a cruel joke.

The Ministry of Health press conference on Friday said they did ~1,000 tests on Thursday, and on Saturday said they did ~1,500 tests on Friday.

Are positive results being retested before the announcement? If so those results are pending today and tomorrow. BOOM!

Do you have any basis on which to suggest that is happening?

yep - people flying in on monday -- not tested to friday despite coming from infected country - germany and feeling flu like symtoms -- result be know today -- but no in stats till tomorrow = massive lag in data -- no process for checking in on her self isolating - just trust -- which we all know is not working so well! its one of many real stories from real people arriving home - not tested just isolating and no checks on that

That's not what was being said at all. He was suggesting that a result that is positive then gets re-tested to make sure it's "really" positive before being counted as a case.

No saying. Just asking. Hence the question mark. March 16th 524 tests done. 8 positive 2 probable. Let's just call that 10 positive.
10/524 = 0.019. Assuming the testing criteria has not changed. 0.019 x 6000 tests = 114 cases. But would expect the ratio of positives to be higher now. As more recent arrivals being tested were in the origin countries at a time when the level of virus transmission in the local population was higher. From the travel movements released so far from today's new cases. Some of them arrived after the self-isolation rules began

It doesn't work like that with small sample sizes. Whose to say that actually the current rate of 66 out of 6000 tests isn't correct, and the 10/524 was just an aberrant early blip?

No one. You don't know. No one does.

Question to PM
How may Chinese national have entered the country since January.

Nationals with residency were allowed in after the China travel "ban" - if they weren't students.

Who cares all our cases are linked to europe anyway.

It matters because it was falsely claimed the border was closed to China when it was not. Why the disinformation? To give a false sense of security?

Because Jacinda hugely underestimated the situation. Now she has been playing catch up but she is still too slow.

It's almost like the government wanted the virus to spread throughout the community, letting cruise ship passengers get off and walk about and allowing returnees on flights to just return to their homes.

If we want to save lives and our economy we need to truly hit hard and hit early. Quarantine all returnees into government controlled facilities. Shutdown almost everything for a month. Severe fines or incarceration for violations. Everyone doing their part and taking it all very seriously.

Just for a month. It may seem over the top for many but it is just a month. All in this together. After a month has passed we will see how the rest of the world is coping and have a better idea how to progress while having hopefully contained our own outbreak.

Those tourists and travellers who refuse to follow the isolation rules are a problem. Especially the ones who come here and then go about boasting which Fs everybody off.

There's an additional problem that was shown in Australia on Bondi Beach is that many younger people are ignoring social distancing. Someone posted a picture on twitter of Courtenay Place in Wellington with people queued up outside bars. We can't trust people to do the right thing.

It's not just young people. My aunt in law who lives with the mother in law is addicted to shopping. We told her a few days ago to stop. Yesterday - out checking the weekend specials.
The advice for over 70s is to stay at home. This needs to be stronger.

Part of the message that's not getting through is the 20% hospitalisation rate. Most might survive or have minor symptoms. However if you need to go to hospital statistically your chance of dying has dramatically increased.

Thanks keith your coverage to date. I disagree with the need to close restaurants and cafes though. That's an overreaction and I am still in the herd immunity camp. Keep oneself relatively healthy eat good food and practice safe techniques.

I like the idea of shutting pretty much everything down so that it gives everyone a feeling of being in the effort together. I don't see why workers should have to wait on tables as if nothing has changed during this stage. Mandatory wearing of masks and eye protection while outside as well if even to just give people a sense of the gravity of the situation. It stops you from touching your face inadvertantly.

As I stated above "just for a month". Truly go in hard and heavy, no half measures, for a quick resolution. Otherwise it could just drag on and on.

Immunity builds community... When is the medical solution being rolled out, with all of the medical personnel and 24 hours in a day it shouldn't take a year! Governments should be on this and offer a billion dollars to the first successful individual/company to provide effective vaccines.
QUESTION- if we have one month lockdown would you allow tourists back afterwards

No. As descibed below.

Offer a billion dollars to those who produce an effective vaccine. That's a very small cost in govt terms and nz would gain huge credibility from such a breakthrough.

House, how many, what % of the population needs contract the virus in order to achieve herd immunity?

I dont know probably 50 percent. The CV cant be that contagious anyway, the orangeman, in defiance, has been shaking hands everyone and with CV+ persons and has not caught CV yet. The infected tool concert goer did not infect anyone as far as I know. And the youngest Briton to have died was aged 59 with health problems so they cant say yet whether he died of CV. We have over 50 either currently infected or recovered from CV. Not one has died and I think no-one is in hospital right now which means they are not terribly sick. Locking down the population is an excuse for not providing enough health services in times.of need.

Are you shore, given the R0, immunity comes in at around 80%.

If it is 80%, would that change your thinking about herd immunity?

Wow. You should buy a tv and look whats happenning in other countries. Really. You really need to bri g yourself up to speed with the seriousness of the situation and some basic understanding of viral illnesses.

Some people are simply ignorant. This virus is EVIL! Herd immunisation sacrifices lives. The only answer if we dont want thousands to die is total lockdown until a vaccine.

So far in nz there is no justification to say that thousands will die. The facts thus far is that the virus is not that rampant in nz. I am in favour of sensible measures but not for shutting the economy. You should accept that there will be some deaths, maybe hundreds, medical professionals know that's very normal. Going to extra extreme measures for something normal is wrong.

You are not listening, are you? Haven't you managed to grasp that thus far, we are not up to our necks in it, IS because of measures taken? You are showing yourself to be very, very obstinate.

Total lockdown for 9-18months while we wait for a vaccine to be developed, tested, and mass produced? You are trading deaths from disease for deaths due to economic downturn and its related effects.. better than fair chance you'd kill more people than just letting the virus spread slowly.

Bloody hell Prag. Give up the fip flop.

Could you just "fip flop" off somewhere else?

Yes Sir Prag, three bags full Sir Prag, anything you say Sir Prag. Lol whatever.
What no abusive sexist comment?

Houseworks I think Boris liked your approach for a few days. Then he changed his mind.

Boris is a wuss.. hahah. But if people want to stay home they can I'm not stopping them. The risk of catching covid and dying is almost less than winning lotto first division, I have bought lots of tickets but never won first division

Yes but its not about you. Its about your loved ones or do you not have any?
We are a bunch of islands. Last month we could have stopped this in NZ. Imagine that. You could be eating out freely now perhaps.

Belle you cant wipeout the virus it is virulent and we are an open economy and eventually have to reopen the borders. Best approach is immunity whether that is community inoculation or by vaccine. Do you want to wait for over one year for a vaccine and until there is one the govt will be worried that someone will die. Yes I have a lot of loved relatives I love and they love me and we take a more measured approach than a restrictive view. Question if we have one month lockdown would you allow tourists back afterwards

I'm kind of in the 'get herd immunity' camp but don't see why we cant do a one month lockdown first. Show some solidarity with our poor hospitality/tourism workers. We can wait and watch what happens in Europe while taking these temporary extreme measures.


This virus was an obvious pandemic. It was so obvious I prepped. I didnt prep for Sars Mers or Swinflu. I did for the bird flu. And learnt from that. I learnt it has to be person to person easily. (Bf wasnt) It has to make people awfully sick and/or kill them at a rate worse than influenza. I am not brighter than most. So if I could see it why couldnt our leaders. We had a chance to stop it. Now we are stuck in limbo.
Yes we shut down all tourists. We have to anyway now. The rest of the world is so bad or will be so bad we cannot have them coming here. Now we are risking medical mayhem.
And this virus is an RNA bug. It can mutate easily. This virus may suddenly become more deadly. It may decide children are a better target. Or become harmless.
The rest of the world is pretty buggered. Financially. If you think this is over in a couple of months you are deluded. This is a depression now. Millions upon millions have just been laid off. China isnt over it. As Keith says South Korean numbers are on the rise again. Italy, 600 dead yesterday. And apparently they arent counting rest home numbers as they arent getting any treatment let alone testing. Spain is on the same trajectory. Uk....USA....
I guess to put it simply the world is burning. Financially and medically. We are just at the start of it. The virus has potential to become worse. There is no benefit to us trying to burn this disease out by becoming immune by fire. Financially the world is rooted anyway. Trillions are being poured into stock markets to stem the rout. Its not stemming the rout. NZers as usual think this doesnt apply to them. We are a dimwitted bunch.

So we close down international tourism, for how long or do you want permanently. I think eventually we will get over this and learn to live with it but you want to change our way of life in nz. Should we have a police state Belle.

No Houseworks I really dont want to change. But life as we know it has been changed for us FOR NOW. Take a look at the US. They are in panic mode this very minute. Their stocks have crashed worse than 1929. Millions are hitting the unemployment queues. This is worse than the GFC. We are in for the fight of our lives financially. International tourism is over and out for at least 2 years anyway.

Aunty jacinda in cooperation with JA genter will be right behind you closing the tourist border for two years. At least the nz farmers selling to the world will survive eh you will get through no worries. Dollar is down and incomes are up

Whats more important, lives or profit? In NZ it used to be lives but greed has taken over this land and alot of the greedy people just want more and more money. They actually make me sick. They would open borders to the virus so they can still get the tourist dollar even though lots of vunerable lives will be lost! Lots of King Midases running round NZ nowadays. I really hope they get burned by this new economic reality.

Disease and death go hand in hand. Medical professionals know that we limit the number of mortalities by giving people the flu jab for free but it doesnt stop death and what do you think used to happen before the flu jab was rolled out. If you want to stay home then your choice.

Houseworks you won't convince them to change their minds. They calling this a war, yet won't accept that war is full of casualties. Society sent our 18 to 28 year olds into battle last war, knowing thousands be killed and those return affected them rest of their lives. This time it's invisible enemy but society is again asking them to scarfice there jobs, hopes, livelyhoods for enemy not targeting them. So yes we need some balance as I think it's unfair that yet again they be the ones making the biggest scarfice.

The comparisons with war are pathetic and frankly insulting.

Well then media need stop saying it's going be like ww1 or 2, there words not mine.

The 14th century just called, they want you to go back home now, there is a plague you might want to get in on

Sorry, but that's ridiculous.
As well as the greedy parasites (no sympathy, for sure), a lot of good, productive businesses that employ people are going to sink.
Have you ever thought for a moment about the thousands of people who will lose their jobs? Just ordinary people.
There's going to be massive social impacts, and a lot of mental health issues.

The 14 day self isolation was a mistake, a big one. What were they waiting for. Did they really expect things to then get better? If so then naive to say the least. The border needed to be closed then, if not earlier.

If the odds of dying from SARS-covid-19 were the same as winning Lotto, you'd expect countries like Italy to have 15 deaths in total (assuming 100% of the population got infected too). You're either underestimating the virus or you're greatly overestimate your odds of winning lotto, either way your math skill may need work.

From the website "Your odds of winning first division (1 in 383,838) with a $7 ticket" There are over 50 infected and 150 expected by this time next week but no deaths yet, that's good odds. Today there will be 60 people told they have cancer. Tomorrow another 60 and everyday this week. That is over 400 people per week. Nobody mentions it or thinks about it.


Cancer is not exponential, this virus with an RO of over 2 is. Did you fail mathematics Houseworks?


Save your breath, Belle. The good news is that Houseworks isn't one of the people with decision-making power.

Only a vested interest in the status quo and no sense of solidarity with his fellow NZers out there on the frontline right now.

Yes, this infection is clearly exponential. Thank goodness it is not too terrible but we really don't want to overwhelm our limited medical facilities or else there will be many unnecessary casualties among those that need hospitalisation.


Nasty subjective contributor that one Belle. Not worth engaging.

Hah. Internetty Social Distancing....

House you are too funny, but terrible at making comparisons.
Because the virus has nothing to do with lotto.

Hint, there is nothing exponential about lotto.

Thanks Henry. Are you one of those going out and causing general panic for virtually no reason.

Sounds like you don't have a plan.

No reason? You have your head in the sand Houseworks. Educate yourself. Look at Italian news. They are going through hell.

I think you have your head up your ... They also have 60 million people mate and a lot of old people. I would rather live to 50 and make a difference than live to 100 by hanging on. And yes "no reason". Can you point to the high infection rate in nz. Nope. Can you point to the high nz mortality rate. Nope

Figure out exponential.

*takes out dictionary...
3 : expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function
especially : characterized by or being an extremely rapid increase (as in size or extent)

In layman's terms - sh*t gets real faster than you think

Just answer the bloody questions deadhead. Yes you dont like my perspective and you cant stand anyone disagreeing with you. Pity your partners if you have any

I learned it from her :)

He's a troll mate, here to make himself feel more important. Don't feed the bears.

He's a troll. Don't feed the bear.

To put the current numbers of Covid19 in perspective we get 200,000 cases of flu infection in NZ each year and 400 -500 deaths either directly or indirectly related to getting the flu.

There is no "Herd immunity" camp for another 2 years as it takes 80% of the population to either get it and recover or die before it kicks in. Thats a massive number of deaths. Some of you people need to do more research.


Keiths article and the comments here are right on. From suggestions of immediate lockdown, to the sheer ignorance of so many, and the incompetence in letting the cruise industry carry on as per usual.
I was on a NZ cruise last year. Most of the passengers flew into Auckland from the UK, Asia and the USA. Border control would know the huge risk in allowing the continuation of this influx. This must have been detailed to our government. Short term thinking won.
Yesterday in another thread I implored the government for complete shutdown immediately. As Keith said short term pain now. Every day our chances of containment reduce dramatically.
They lost mbovis. I checked out the map of infected farms yesterday. Northland is riddled. This government lies. They say they are winning the battle with bovis. The map on their website says they are not. They were behind the play right from the start. Lied and obfuscated. Killed thousands of cattle and ruined lives and businesses to keep the lie going. Covid19 is a different beast to mbovis. We could have beaten this, it hasnt been here for years like bovis. But it requires an immediate shutdown and the harshest of measures. The government has been defeatest by not throwing everything at it in february. I think the battle has been lost now. We are the US, and Europe and Australia. We could have been Singapore.


I disagree Belle. If we shut down now and prevent all cases to zero... even for 6 months or a year or more... when we do eventually start to open up again the virus will run rampant. Jacinda's analogy is PERFECT. We need a series of small waves that our health and other systems can handle. Avoiding a tsunami is the only valid approach in this scenario.

That sounds fairly sensible. We want to stay just below the level that we can handle. All elderly people should stay as isolated as possible for now. Maybe reduce the age to 60 as I want to tell my boss I have to stay at home by government decree!

You might be right IO. I was for shutdown last month. Personally I think we are too late now. I dont think it would have been wrong to wipe it out and keep ourselves clear of it until either a vax or better drugs were available. But you cannot tell me that allowing the inbound traffic that they have, with little to no follow up, is a good idea. Our government is behind the play. And being behind the play with this bug is being lost.
I guess this week we will see if I am right

I guess I am saying use your analogy trying to ride and control that tsunami has been proven to be very difficult. They are playing a very dangerous game .

We probably have enough seeds to work with now. We should still quarantine returnees for at least 14 days in government controlled facilities in my opinion. Try to stay on the safe side.

A series of small waves.
The problem is that the analogy is more engaging than the reality. Small waves sound nice.

Come back to the virus reality. There are no small waves.
There is Italy, Iran Spain.
There is Sth Korea and Singapore.
And Sth Korea and Singapore have a lot of supporting resources and process/procedure activities.

Look at WHO, examine the activities they require behind the flatten the curve stop the curve message.
Examine exponential growth.

Agree at some point you need to face the can't hide from something you can't see, you just delaying the inevitable, unless vacine canes out soon

Good point re army..MIA again..or are they waiting to patrol the streets and arrest anyone steps outside.

They should be helping set up a quarantine zone in the Central North Island. Maybe in Waiouru or around the Chataeu. Easy to spot escapees who will have highly radiant thermal images glowing as they try to escape through the alpine desert landscape.

If you didn't leave Waioru by the main road, you would need some fairly good survival skills to make it anywhere especially if you were carrying the WuFlu in winter.

Army only has 8500~ listed members. I seriously doubt they have the manpower to lock down 5 million people. Its the psychological barrier that will keep the masses at bay

The defence force is currently working in a one day on one day off capacity, limiting the risk of everyone catching it at once, with non essential personal working from home. Ready to deploy when called upon. Any arresting will be done by the police who may work in tandem with the defence force.

Good to know cheers. Luckily we have some seriously good chilled people in the defences force in NZ.

Trying to pay via the red box link through to Patreon ( or the like) and after filling in all the details it asks you to 'Prove you are not a robot. Tick the box below"
There is no 'box below' that I can find, and any contribution gets refused.

Conclusion, you're a bit.

Try a different browser possibly?

Are you running an ad blocker extension in your browser? If yes, try disabling it while you complete the procedure (the 'I'm Not A Robot' box should then appear as normal)


On today's episode of Play School hosted by Jacinda Ardern. Hi Children and those with child-like minds. Remember yesterday when we looked through the round window. We saw level 2. Now today we will be looking through the square window. Wow look it's level 3. Do you know what level 3 means? Don't worry I will tell you again. But don't worry children. I will protect you. I have a special device with a screen that lets me see into the future. The future place is called Italy. I can't really tell how far in the future it is.No one can. But I am going to stop the bad future by reacting just a few days too slowly every time I need to make a critical decision.

Quite right.

-Close the stock exchange.
-Fix the NZ$ to the US$.
-Make mortgages 30% deposits, and 0% LVR on any secondary purchase ( you want 2 or more? Pay for them out of retained cash flow)
-Bring back Exchange Controls on imports and exports.

I could go on, but where do we stop in getting NZ ready for what the economy will look like after this is over.
All decisions are easy looking back.... What would you do today that the PM isn't and what will you say to 'us' if those suggestions are not needed, based on whatever you suggest will eventually cost? Are you ready for 80% PAYE tax rates to repay all the cost?

Can we have an annual Wickerman burning as well please bw?

Those aren't my preferred courses of action, of course. My point is" Where do we draw the line?". Those who criticise Ardern do so not having had to have made the calls themselves.
As I wrote, it's all easy looking back and it's not you deciding what to do today.

Stfu you mean. No. More than likely some of my loved ones lives depend on speaking out

But what if they don't ( those relatives lives depend on speaking out)? I am quarantined with just such a person, so "I get it". But any Government action is only made on the basis of "What if...?". Should we be at Level 5 now? You tell me, and then tell me how much it's going to cost and how we repay it when it's all over. Do we spend the next 10, 25 or 100 years of New Zealand future economic output fighting this unknown event today? That is what the Government has to decide, based on a whole heap of unknowns.

bw - this might get to the point where people want their house in Auckland to remain being valued at $1mil while we close the country down for a year so that none of their family members get sick from the virus....I think this is how irrational people in NZ may have become.

It was obvious where this was going and she pissed around. She could not make the critical calls when they were needed despite the massive amount of information from other countries that this was going to esulate fast. Her management history is running turn to her form of the last two and a half years.

Just imagine the alternative though....Simon and Paula (think I'd rather catch the virus!)

That's a funny comparison. A funny one but not a real one.

Maybe you could compare nz actions compared to virus advance. Number of cases, number of tests capacity to test.

True but not that's not the point.

So you'd like to keep Jacinda in office but preferred that she changed her behavior?

Was that was a conversation twist?
The here and now is Jacinda is in office.
What she needs to do is deliver, it's no secret that she has some seriously bad history in regards to this.
The time line so far.
Chill it's just the flu, I've got this, I'm still hugging people.
14 days isolation.
NZ'ers only.

We know the that the people flying in get a piece of paper, no temps, very little checks that they are self isolating.
She has created mistrust.

People need to remember that there are whole sectors of society that won't listen to authority, so if you need self isolate go do do, as this virus seems target certain age and health type, many will ignore anything labour say, that's reality I'm afraid.

"reacting just a few days too slowly every time" WHO had been telling the govt to get testing. They have hardly any kits available. Dont lock up the population because of failure to provide testing kits.

"Dont lock up the population because of failure to provide testing kits."

That's completely backwards. Government has done a bad thing and as a result the best response is to lock people down. It makes no sense to say "well the government screwed up once, so lets double-down on that screw up and make things worse".

Precisely because they didn't have enough test kits (and we're now testing more per capita than South Korea, btw) is why a lockdown would be necessary.

I'm completely against a general lockdown. The safe techniques including those safety measures in resthomes are more than adequate. If people choose to isolate for no reason that is their own choice. I have heard some people who arent sick and who haven't been overseas or in contact with anyone are doing isolation. That's the definition of stupid. No wonder that supermarket shelves got cleaned out.

I can understand why you'd be against it and that's fine. I personally don't think we need to go there just yet either (I'd keep schools open for the time being).

I'm just saying that your justification for why we shouldn't have a lockdown is backwards for the actual reason for why a lockdown would be necessary - a lockdown is a last resort to control spread of the virus and is necessary once other methods to control virus spread have failed (testing and contact tracing).


I think we need to get ahead of this, schools will close soon anyway, let's just get in front of this. I suspect in a few months whether we closed schools to soon will not be an issue. There will be angst against the poor leadership on this one.

One thing it's becoming apparent we will have an abundance of is internet experts who know better. If only we can then find a way to monetise this abundance.

It is serious plus to NZ that you are nothing to do with calling the shots House.

This article suggests that a lockdown of 3-7 weeks (NZ would surely be on the shorter end of this given our current cases) is what is necessary to get the situation under control:

Lockdown can always be re-implemented if necessary.

I'm not convinced we should be shutting schools (and we have school holidays imminent anyway), but cafes, restaurants etc should be, and a ban on all social gatherings, simply because it is now clear that people simply can't or won't do what is necessary otherwise.

Someone posted yesterday that it isn't the First Wave that does all the damage, or the Second, but the Third, as societies become complacent - "We beat the sucker!" - and relax their guard.

Yes as per the Spanish Flu. The first wave killed mostly the old and the second the younger generations.

That is likely to have been specific to the spanish flu, rather than some general pattern common to pandemics. That unusual mortality spike for people in their 20-30s has not been seen in other flu strains since.

I don't know if there's a consensus as to why this happened, but one thing I saw is that the deadly form of the flu was self-selected by soldiers in the trenches. Those who got a mild version of the flu stayed in the trenches where they were. Those who got a more severe one were sent back to field hospitals, and then eventually back home, helping to ensure the deadly version was spread in a way that would otherwise not be.

Spanish flu or not, that is apparently that is how viruses evolve according to an expert I was watching.

Summary of the article: Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.

You cannot argue with those two graphs in the article, cases one week apart. They are shocking.
800 24 hrs Italy. Counting only the tested.

Belle, you need to stay at home from now, the risk is rocketing, every day matters. My daughter trained and works in this field, she has told us not to leave the farm and to lock the gates, she will know more than most. I just sent lambs to Works, early start, driver was worried this would be his last week at work. We really lost this one and it's going to scare the daylights out of people once we get a few deaths. It's going to be a long slow winter.
Please do not take any risks.

Thanks Aj, you just enforced a commitment I had made. I am nearly down to winter stock numbers. One load of cattle to the works this week. I will have to hang on to 60 lambs they just arent good enough yet. Might be slaughtering them and handing out the carcases at the gate way midwinter to the locals ;-) if they dont help themselves first.
We are getting a little rain today. The pasture is moving a little in some paddocks. Heavy dews and cooler days the last five days.

I had a convo with the local lamb buyer, he said orders are crashing. Soon they could have no where for the meat to go. Coolstores overloaded. And the expense of that alone is ass ripping.

Truck driver told me containers of meat piled up all over the place.

Cool store and warehouse space, hens teeth now.

Have we a 'let 'em Eat Lamb' moment approaching?

I think we do.

When I came to NZ, chicken was a special treat and lamb was a staple. Wow, I'd be in seventh heaven if that reversed.

Meat shelves in Countdown was empty so why ? Still greedy suppliers stockpiling because they don't want to drop the local price for lamb ? If exports have stopped we are going to be overrun with meat, how about slashing the prices for meat and dairy to help NZ get through this ?

Meat shelves empty because everybody is panic buying.. ditto with milk. Both are pretty daft, NZ is not going to run out of either, I'd be slightly more worried about meat, because skilled butchers are a bit harder to come by than milk tanker drivers (any old truck driver with a few brain cells can be trained up in not much time).

no rain here, I was up early this morning loading lambs and with the colours it's so beautiful. Probably too late to save us from a tough winter now.

Agrihq had a good breakdown of previous droughts. They said this one was following (i think) 2008 in which winter store pricing never recovered. In fact it got worse. So if we get a burst of good growth I shall sit tight anyway. A lot of folk I know are expecting meat schedules to dramatically rise and have held stock, fed winter rations to them for this. I fully believe they are on a hiding to nothing there. If the world is in depression why would our meat be expensive. I see the futures for milk powder dropped last week. A lot. But mebe the dollar made up for it.

I think we will all have to accept a new reality. For instance

'Grain Markets
Oil is cheap and many consumers aren’t driving anywhere at all. Ethanol demand has plummeted, and ethanol futures stand at all-time lows. It’s likely that a lot less corn will be routed to gas tanks, leaving more for other uses. Corn is likely to remain cheap, even as the price of dried distillers grains climbs. This week corn futures touched multi-year lows. May corn settled at $3.4375 per bushel, more than 20ȼ lower than last Friday.

The soy complex moved higher. May soybeans closed at $8.625, up 17.75ȼ from last Friday. May soybean meal climbed $25.70 to $325.20 per ton. Soybean values have fallen far enough to attract some Chinese purchases, and those may accelerate in the near term as China tries to stay ahead of snarls in international trade. Last night an Argentine mayor closed the nation’s key grain port. It’s unclear if the port will remain closed given a national outcry, but fears of such closures are surely rippling through the global supply chain.'

And yes milk prices got hammered last week.

'Sales in the export-dependent milk powder market have come to a halt. Mexican buyers are on the sidelines. Driers have slowed nonfat dry milk (NDM) output, but product is still piling up. Eventually, Mexican milk powder merchants will need to refill their warehouses, but it’s hard to predict when that will be amidst a global pandemic and rapidly closing borders. While U.S. NDM appears to be on sale, it is quite a bit more expensive when priced in foreign currencies. The Mexican peso dropped to an all-time low against the dollar this week. Mexico’s purchasing power has fallen more than 24% since mid-February.'

Im going to keep trading lambs short, killing a 100 every week or two if possible. If not then who's knows what the future holds.

Why have cattle futures plunged so much?

those cattle futures are traded in Chicago and I'm suspecting the packers have an eye on the potential for massive profit. My friends that farm cattle in States all sell to feed lots, I tried to talk them into grass fattening some but the idea that grass fed is better eludes them, so ingrained with grain fattened US beef being the best in the world, I say, oh, that's why cattle have beaks, to eat grain.

meat has flown off shelves in US, no reason for prices to fall, unless they know something we dont.

I guess the hydro, thermal and gas electricity generator plant operators need to do the same.

they will be down to skeleton staffing I suspect. In the States meat packers have been declared essential work. They will keep going as will many other industries. The meat works are full of product, they will be looking forward to a holiday.

These essential workers are certainly in need of a pay rise.

Monday 16th was the last day that MOH released any testing statistics. Since then they have just proclaimed how many tests they are doing each day. No results stats and especially no announcement of probable cases.
According to "bush telegraph" the Wairarapa case of community transmission that they desperately don't want to acknowledge as community transmission. First received a positive result on Tuesday. So that means they are either delaying the announcements. Or retesting to make sure and only announcing after the second test result is positive. Prudent I suppose. But it means that any positive results of the thousands of tests carried out for the rest of this week are yet to be announced. Remember the majority of the people being tested match the symptom profile and have a travel history. Boom.

Yesterday they said we had 52 confirmed cases and 4 probable cases. They used to only say 2 probable cases.

Most of your comment is hearsay and rumour.

Not really we have stats from overseas of where this is going.

I was specifically replying to the claim that they ministry of health is no longer reporting probable cases, when they are.

The rest of the comment was rumour, that the test result came back positive on Tuesday but wasn't reported by MoH until Saturday.

Neither of these *specific* points are relevant to statistics from overseas.

15 March 8 confirmed cases 2 probable cases 432 negative tests.
16 March 8 confirmed cases 2 probable cases 514 negative tests
21 March 6000 + tests? Mostly on recent arrivals or (their close contacts) from countries with community transmission. Showing symptoms of CV19.
But still only 2 probable cases. Relax everyone. They have this thing beaten.

Hope you are right. Dont like the odds but hope you are right.

They said in the Saturday 1pm press conference (although actually I think it was earlier due to Jacinda's announcement about the new alert system) that there were 53 cases and 4 probable, that they then reduced to 52 cases and 4 probable.

Based on when people in my community knew there was a confirmed case vs when it got announced there is a 2 to 3 day between test confirmation and announcement. offical data as lag. Lag to get tested. Lag waiting for test to be performed. Lag to results.
Announcement lag. There is at least a week in all that.

50 cases announced. Probably means double that in real time with the lag.

Spoke to a nurse recently who described their preparation in some detail. Short story is dont need ICU care for anything else because there is sweet FA capacity and the care levels will drop. If someone crashes in hospital for whatever reason (e.g. child birth) its 2 min for emergency team to get PPE on if you have the virus and instead of 5-10 people rushing in to help its 2-3. I imagine shortages of blood supply starting to develop too.

Then there is the days from infection till symptoms and reporting them. Plus only really testing people who have traveled. We're at least 5x's our stats.

quit fearmongering you idiot.

God forfend that the public should have an accurate picture of what's happening, the reality of the situation rather than the spin. True data should be reserved for our useless govt.

Exactly. Official data is behind.

We know that symptoms can take 4+ days to show. It then takes at least a day to test and return results.

So at best the official information is about 5 days behind what is actually happening.

Note that this thread in CENSORED and any posts exposing Lanthanide are removed by Ed without explanation.


Those are the facts:

You are the person behind Labor Chinese- sounding name count.
You are clearly here to push the party line .
Earlier today you have put yourself on record saying that most people are not smarter than a 4 year old and deserve to be talked to as such , by the way of explaining why Jacinda does exactly that.

I think the readers of your many posts deserve to have that perspective to be able to judge your impartiality and credibility for themselves.


I assure you I am definitely not Rob Salmond (thank you for the compliment though), nor have I been particularly defending the government over their response to COVID-19. Just because you aren't dumping on the government doesn't mean you whole-heartedly support everything they are doing. Also I do vote Labour and Greens I'm not a member of any party, and I'd vote TOP if they actually had a chance of getting into parliament (catch-22).

Earlier today you have put yourself on record saying that most people are not smarter than a 4 year old and deserve to be talked to as such , by the way of explaining why Jacinda does exactly that.

No, I didn't say that. You have poor reading comprehension.

This EXACTLY what you said. You are lying .

I kindly ask the Ed to re-instate your posts so that the readers can judge it by themselves.
I am sure you will join me in this request - just to demonstrate that I am wrong.

"This EXACTLY what you said. You are lying ."

No, you have poor reading comprehension.

What I said was:
1. The average person is not very smart.
2. Half of people are even less smart than that.

That is very different than what you have claimed I said:
1. Most people (ie, more than half) are less smart than a 4 year old
2. They deserve to be spoken to as if they're 4 year olds

Edit: hah, didn't even know that thread had been deleted. Anyway what I said is a George Carlin quote, you can google it.

Will you join me in asking Ed to re-instate your comments for everyone to see ?

Yes or No , no essays please.

Not lies at all, sorry.

Sure, why not. I don't really care either way. Don't know what you think you're going to achieve though.

Great .
Ed : seeing everyone agrees the post should be re-instated please do so . Failure to reinstate would lead to an inescapable conclusion of editorial bias.
If the posts violate any of the editorial policies please advise which ( I asked the question earlier today and received not response ) .
Over to you Ed.
Thank you .

The fearmongering part is making up a figure and saying we're counting 5x less than true cases.

Yes, the reported cases will be less than true cases, but we really don't know how much less. It could be anywhere from 10% to 1000% less.

Except you guys are the ones applying the spin. I've heard so much BS in the last few weeks about how it was already here and spreading in the community.. Except there hasn't been a flood of people into the ICU, there aren't bodies piling up.
Now we might actually have our first cases of community spread, and you bloody doomers are making it sound like the end of the world. It's not.


Still within reach of control, assuming present positive cases are relatively indicative of what's going on.

There are always clusters of outbreaks with diseases, we saw it with measles and that's far more infectious than COVID-19 is. Clustered outbreaks will be stamped down hard when detected, the alert system very deliberately says it may be national, or restricted to a region or a city/town.

What we won't want is for cases to run away on us such that contact tracing becomes unmanageable, because that is our #1 line of defense right now.

Prags I can't quite work you out. In this and other posts you have made you accuse others of effectively being alarmist. The other day it was YOU who predicted 5000 deaths to occur in NZ as a result of Corona virus?

Yes, 5000 deaths is a drop in the bucket, ~0.1% of the population. That's not alarmist, that optimistic. Left unchecked 100,000 deaths would be realistic.

Ok, I think I understand the extreme contradiction between precautionary action you would like to see taken and the number of deaths you are expecting. Action you would like to see taken is reasonable and fair and would go a long way to limiting the spread, but to expect 5000 deaths is not rational. 5000 deaths is also not a drop in the bucket, it would be a National catastrophe completely out of line with what has resulted overseas, even Italy who have proven to be the least prepared for this. It will not be anywhere near the total population that gets infected with this virus, look to a country like Norway to see where we are more likely to be heading. Norway currently 2263 infections with 7 deaths. Our situation will not be unchecked as is obviously the case by actions already been taken so 100,000 deaths is pure speculation and very unhelpful to a rational discussion. Check some of your own replies posted to others and apply it to your 100,000 scenario

Two weeks ago I was a female dog, a female short and a whinger because I called for the airports to be closed. I replied that we'll talk in a month, guess we don't have to wait that month now. I was on the nail and you were well off the ball.
What the hell is it with your abuse?
FYI. I reported your comment. There is no place for bullies in NZ!

Probably cases are being spread in the community now.
Now fact according to TVNZ.

Probably(...) fact. Lol.

I reiterate my previous assessment.

How's sales going Prag? Badly by the aggression in your comments.

A swing and a miss.. i'm not in sales, you just don't have a clue.


Kudos to you Keith, you were right about Micro Bovis and you have been right about Corona.
The powers that be have really made a mess of this.

If this takes hold like Italy having a portfolio of houses won't buy you a ICU bed with trained staff. So lets stamp this out.
Next election vote for the party that funds health care.

i think we should ignore the carping criticism of keith and his new converts on here and suggest he gets in contact with fellow academics in countries with similar populations like denmark,norway,ireland and finland.they have many times more infections than NZ and a number of deaths recorded.maybe they would appreciate his input.

Here reality I work for one NZ biggest company, a lot workers are Frontline i.e not desk jockey. Executive put memo out, if you want self isolate you need take SL then your AL then 5 days SL in advance then AL in advance. Unions got involved Said no way you pay full with no entilments taken away. Company said no, so carry on if nothing happening. We wait to see if government going pay for this also.

It's not just big firms. The concept of "You're not sick. Isolation isn't a sickness (Where's your doctors note?), so it's unpaid personal time off if you're not here" must be common for those who, by structure, take their annual leave at Christmas?

Check out the RID and Min. Of Social Dev websites. I think what he is said may well be illegal unless agreed to

Totally agree. Regarding incoming international flights today, Sunday 22 March, counted 166 from 8.30am this morning. Mostly from Australia and the Pacific.
Depending on loads on each aircraft, that's still 20000 passengers or more.

got to get those pickers on the ground, apples don't pick themselves.

the pickers are not coming in, there are pleas from growers for anyone wanting work, the fruit still needs picking otherwise it will rot
maybe we can now see a flaw of importing cheap workers all the time

I hear the big corporates complaining, I would be surprised if pickers were not on one those planes.

They will re directing forestry and tourism staff for picking and sending off in bins without going through the pack houses. It's a time for bulk at cheap prices.

they might not like the idea getting half the wage or even less. Apple companies might have to lift their game.

Turners and Growers will be in there to manipulate the market. Pay more for labour because they know they can sell in Germany and force other growers out. Then buy up more NZ land.

I think your count is far too high. You may have counted some flights many times because of mutiple flight carriers listed for the same flight.

I'm calling BS on your numbers.
I just copied the Auckland airport international arrivals board into excel and filtered. Before midnight there are 35 passenger flights arriving, and 12 cancelled. Add on the 4 other internationals that already landed and you get 39 flights between 8:30am and midnight.

No way that Welly, Chch and Queenstown somehow have the same number of international flights as Auckland. Perhaps you counted codeshares as seperate flights?

That should be 20,000 ankle bracelets and 20,000 hotel bedrooms (we have plenty available) with armed guard on hotel entrance. A fortnight later test and release. Hotels will be grateful for the income but would need to restrict servicing - just employ laundry staff and cleaners for hotel public areas.

News out of Italy overnight, over 700 dead in a single day.

I think that the conversation here should shift to projected numbers and when this will peak in NZ because it has not even started yet.

People are going to need a light at the end of the tunnel and a goal or challenge set in motion to aim for to beat this thing.

The goal for it is to not start community transmission in NZ.


Missed that boat

Yes, should have said "sustained community transmission". It may still be at a level that can be stamped out, but probably requires luck. We had a very lucky run to start with, I guess it will run out eventually.

Reported numbers are most certainly a factor of 3-6 behind reality. Takes a week for infection to be detected.

They aren't "most certainly" that far behind at all. You don't know, you're just guessing and acting like you aren't.

Question to PM
Can you tells us THRUTHFULLY how many people have been tested to date for the virus? A number to date please.

Pretty sure the PM doesn't read, or at least I really hope she doesn't waste her time reading the comments section if she does.

Pretty sure the PM doesn't do much she off touring the world for almost half the year. Given the state of the economy. Failure in education, transport and health services. Tell me what's positive, extra $25 a week for benificaries, yeah more booze. Going to start a distillery can't loose there.

Interesting to watch how many peoples political views have shifted from 'what is going to maximise the short term value of my house' to 'what is going to keep me alive'.

Question then becomes - were you being rational then, are you being rational now, or both? (if possible?)

I see it irrational the way stock markets and houses inflated through the roof over the last decade , now returns to more rational pricing.

Imagine if we had capital gains tax for the last decade to now use to pay those who are struggling?


Level 3 please....

US was 2,500 last Sunday, today 25,000 that TEN TIMES in one week and they actually only started testing semi-seriously last Tuesday our time

They have uncontained community spread, we aren't quite there yet, and If the govt puts areas where community transmission is detected into lockdown for two or three weeks at a time we can limit transmission to small waves that are manageable.

That's exactly how Japan is managing it and it is working well.

You have called it wrong so far Prag.

The UK Government risks being left with no choice but to nationalise train networks as the financial pressure on the railways rises.....Infections jumped by almost 1,000 in a day to cross the 5,000 mark for the first time.....retired doctors and nurses sign up to help... millions of people could already be infected. Social-distancing measures may need to stay in place for most of the year...

(Variously from today's Telegraph)

Too many businesses in industries already with too many businesses ( How many Smiggles do we need in how many shopping malls?!) are going to fail and never get up off the canvass. They are going, and will be gone - permanently. What do all those displaced employees with no income and bugger all chance of re-employment do?

Answer is to ruthlessly prioritise what's actually important, and direct (with some forcefulness) people into the top priorities according to their capability/trainability/skills/location etc. Like we aren't gonna need tattooists, barista, RE, etc (it's a very, very long list) nearly as much as we need fruit pickers, animal hacker-uppers, truckies, mechanics who service trucks, security staff, etc. Food, shelter, transport, security. Plus medical. Them's the Priorities.

Who's going to be forced first, the unemployed beneficiary or the unemployed billionaire, coz that sounds like communism

One could also characterise it as a War footing - something that was mentioned by the PM.....helps to have read a good deal of history.....

Be Keith 2019 MBovis quarantines are a waste of time and money, just let it rip it can't be contained
Be Keith 2020 Lock down the world, close all the things, head for the hills.