Peter Dunne says the Government will be worried that soon public concern about the social and economic impact of Covid19 - already sharply on the rise - will overtake support for the approach the Government has taken so far

Peter Dunne says the Government will be worried that soon public concern about the social and economic impact of Covid19 - already sharply on the rise - will overtake support for the approach the Government has taken so far

By Peter Dunne*

Recent public opinion polls are revealing some very interesting, if somewhat contradictory, insights into New Zealanders’ current thinking about the Covid19 crisis and the national response.

The most recent 1News Colmar Brunton poll reported that 92% of those surveyed considered that the government “had responded appropriately to the coronavirus outbreak” – up from 62% when the same question had been asked in February. To a second question, 86% rated the “government’s response to the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak” as good or better.

Yet, at virtually the same time, the Commission for Financial Capability was reporting its own survey data showing that already one in ten households had missed a mortgage or rent payment because of the Covid19 emergency, and that 34% of households had already experienced some financial difficulty, and a further nearly 40% felt on the brink of doing so.

A similar recent survey by Research New Zealand reported that 75% of respondents were concerned about the impact the crisis was having on their children. That survey also reported that there have been significant increases in the level of concern about losing one’s job (67%), being able to pay the mortgage (59%) and being able to pay the rent (61%).

So, while at a more global level, New Zealanders are happy with the way the government has responded to date, they are becoming increasingly concerned about the longer terms impacts on their families, the future of their jobs, and their capacity to meet their weekly outgoings.

And evidence is mounting every day of the serious impact on employment and business – this week alone has seen Air New Zealand confirm 1,300 job losses, the Millennium and Copthorne Hotels chain say over 900 of its jobs are at risk, and the long-established southern department store H&J Smith foreshadow around 175 potential job losses as it looks to downsize to survive. Taxi company Green Cabs has gone into liquidation, costing 160 jobs.

As more small to medium sized businesses resume after the lockdowns, the more likely it is that these numbers will escalate considerably as the stark reality of how difficult business and trading conditions are going to become hits home. Moreover, for the first time since probably the 1930s Depression the job losses and business failures will start to hit those who have never previously had reason to even consider such a possibility would affect them.

Treasury estimates that unemployment will peak at 9.8% by September this year, and start to fall back after that have been dismissed as “wildly optimistic” by analysts such as Infometrics, with most other commentators predicting unemployment to rise to well above 10% by September and fall only slowly after that.

Already, the numbers on the Jobseeker benefit have risen around 27% to just over 184,000 in just five weeks between the move to Alert Level 4 from late March and the beginning of May. The government’s announcement this week of a new temporary tax-free payment to help those who have lost their jobs because of Covid19 confirms its recognition of the severity of the situation we are now facing.

The worry for the government now must be that at some point not too far away the two apparently contradictory strands of public opinion will crossover. Public concern about the social and economic impact of Covid19, already sharply on the rise, will overtake support for the approach the government has taken so far.

Throw in a general election in just over three months and it becomes especially challenging. Already the Greens and New Zealand First – the government’s support partners, both polling below the 5% threshold in the most recent Colmar Brunton poll – are starting to actively distance themselves from the Labour Party, just in case.

The Greens have been critical of this week’s emergency relief package as introducing a two tier welfare system, too narrowly focused on what they describe as the middle classes, while New Zealand First has taken more direct aim at the Prime Minister claiming somewhat incongruously that she agrees with them that the country is taking too long to move to Alert Level 1. Neither of these reactions is about policy – both are much more about struggling smaller parties sensing that public disgruntlement will rise and stellar support for the government fall as more and more households and businesses are directly impacted. Quite understandably, they want to be on the right side of public opinion when the crossover occurs. 

Labour’s response has to be built around the ever-increasing stature of the Prime Minister, as it hopes to be able to keep enough wind in its sails to hold an increasingly fracturing government on course in the lead-up to the election and maintain the momentum it has established so far. It cannot afford to be sidetracked by crew members scrapping openly on the foredeck about which sails to hoist for the run home, while the previously wallowing National Party has started to look for more favourable airs.

The uncertainty of this and the contradictions in public opinion, and where they might all head, have added even more to the fascination of what is already shaping up as New Zealand’s most dramatic and unusual election ever.    

*Peter Dunne is the former leader of UnitedFuture, an ex-Labour Party MP, and a former cabinet minister. This article first ran here and is used with permission.

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No problem for Labour at all.
Ardern/Robertson have the perfect plan. Put everybody on a government benefit. Who needs to work. It is so unkind.


We can all get jobs laying the light rail lines or as hammerhands on Kiwibuild developments.


NZ Rail has a long history of employment success.

I've just invested in a new framing gun - perhaps I'll come out of semi-retirement and clonk a few frames together....

We can all buy rentals and get landlord subsidies and central bank sponsorship.

Yes. Let's all be like MP's!

At least till after the election.


We can all get jobs in the benefits office.


for me the polls indicate that we know we are in for a rough ride and want a stable and humane govt run by jacinda,we have seen her doing the heavy lifting day after day while WP has been loafing at his bach or tilting at windmills in the law courts.


Ah yes, all that stuff they were delivering pre-Covid19. Of course.

VOTE SOLD! For the price of a cuddly blanket and a hot water water bottle.


Maybe we could ask Muller for his plan? Jake Tame and JC have already, that's right.

Handling the Health Crisis is the key to the economic recovery. Job done JA.


You realise it's an election year? Ardern didn't have fully costed plans and policies after she took the leadership from Little. Policies tend to get announced closer to the election.

Already there has been more scrutiny of Muller than this government's total inability to deliver any of its flagship policies over the last two years, and he's only been in the job for a week.


I can recall the Labour party in opposition getting roasted by the media while John Key cruised around smiling and waving and grabbing little girls pony tails.

But agree - media often appear to slam the opposition for some reason in NZ then praise the current leadership. Strange.


I remember the media roasting the absolute hell out of Little and Cunliffe for being bloody awful, and to be fair Muller isn't off to a great start.

But expecting him to have fully costed election policies hours after becoming leader (Lisa Owen on RNZ) when the government has just announced a budget with a "$20B - TBA" line is pathetically partisan.

The 20B is smart by most economists. The economic crisis is a rolling maul. Contingency money. Excellent signal to public, business, Banks, ...


It would be a more convincing signal if the government had the ability to convert policy around things like infrastructure into something that went beyond and endless cycle of case studies bouncing between desks in Wellington.

From here it just looks like cynical election year cheque-writing.

Actually most of the beat up on Cunliffe was media creation. The Donghua Liu scandal was ridiculous when Cunliffe did what any electorate MP would do - provide a pro-forma letter for a constituent. It appears no direct donations were ever made to the Labour party, but several donations were made to National by him.

As for saying "sorry for being a man", the actual FULL quote with context that the media never ran was:

“Can I begin by saying I’m sorry.

I don’t often say it. I’m sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.

“So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bullshit!”

This was a speech to a women's refuge. What he's said is a little clumsy but in context, and for the audience he was saying it to, there was nothing wrong with it. Instead the media decided to quote just 6 words out of context.

Cunliffe was a dead loss, however you dress it up. Andrew Little deserves a lot more credit than he gets.

He was undermined by the caucus and the media, I think undeservedly by both.

So when Todd Muller said he was the right person for the job because he had a plan, it's unreasonable to expect him to actually have a plan?

Totally reasonable to expect that he just wanted a job and he's going to ask Amy Adams to come up with a plan in the next weeks / months? Would you suggest some working groups?

Sorry, but if he had no idea what he was going to offer, he should not have gone for the leadership.


Winston Churchill won the war, saved the free world. He stared down Hitler and roused the nation with some of the greatest political speeches ever made. The Poms partied like never before on VE Day. Then a few weeks later they kicked him out of office in a resounding vote for Clem Attlee. Apparently, voters remembered Churchill’s lacklustre performance before the war, and feared high unemployment now the war had been won. It’s always about the economy, stupid.


Except in this case the opposition has no plans and the myth of their economic genius is quickly fading away.


Yeah, their brilliant growth plan hasn't changed since the 90s - more mass immigration, pawning local assets to foreign investors, helping unproductive industries grow with deregulation (slap on the wrist for export education hoax, worker exploitation and tax fraud), reducing income tax on the rich while increasing consumption taxes, fake a budget surplus by under-investing in the social system (because the rich shouldn't be paying for looking after the poor) - did I miss anything?

Right on the money.

The worst part by running the economy like a ponzi scheme, if a government attempts to actually stop the unsustainable practices, the economy will tank, and then everyone will demand national gets back in. Unfortunately Labor aren't brave enough to call out the phoney growth we have had under National's leadership. Every government just wants to ensure the ponzi doesn't come unstuck during their term.

Unemployment and poverty will take their toll once the lolly scramble finishes.

Youth unemployment is already 14%. Gangs numbers were already up 50% before this unemployment wave hit.

Youth unemployment due to masses student visa's flooding the lower,entry level jobs.
Gang growth due to Australia exporting criminals under section 501.

I suspect those are speculations on your behalf, unless you have any some poof?

And in any event, we need solutions rather than speculative explanations at this point. Once the lollies are all gone the problems will remain.

And you have a solution?
As the corporates would like to say..."if you aren't part of the solution,you are part of the problem"
And don't call me a 'poof' lol

Why are you looking to me to solve the governments problems?

Is there some problem with this government?

Are we no longer allowed as ask our elected officials to account?

P.S. I hope this new principle of zero accountability does not extend to local government.

@ Ralph ,I'm pretty sure this government are spending every waking moment looking to solve this problem.
This jaundiced view that they are sitting around reading a communist hand book from the 1930's and rejoicing in having the economy wavering is just ridiculous.They are, I'm sure listening to all sides & opinions and at this stage are just trying to shore up the economy to get ready for the next phase.

Putting aside your hand book straw man, that nobody here has argued except you, the figures rolling in show they are currently doing a very poor job for people who need good jobs. Aside from handouts. Which I agree with.

If you dig a hole this big, you should be responsible for the hole you dug.

The good news then,is going on the polls and Mr Mullers performance so far,I think they will happily carry on after September and be responsible for the 'hole they dug'
It seems in here that the Nats shouldn't have to have a costed recovery plan,but the Government should,which is it to be?

Well it won't be 'good news' if they only have skills for destruction.

To state the obvious, Governments run countries and are accountable as such. Oppositions do not and are not.

Dis u Mike Hosking?

I am sorry to see you reduced to cheap jibes and character assassination.

What makes you think he wasn't talking you up?

The 'job is a job' mentality is what brought us here. In case you didn't notice, much of our youth currently unemployed were driving cabs, serve coffees or clean offices for the gig economy due to lack of decent employment opportunities. During all this, we also gave free reign to our businesses for bringing pre-trained workers from overseas for filling the few stable, skilled jobs.
The job losses have largely happened in the gig economy plus tourism, hospo and retail while the likes of consulting, tech, financial services and construction are still doing alright.

I think you read way too much into simple statements of fact.

I agree good jobs are the goal, but almost any job is better than sitting at home eating anti depressants.

At this point I don't care what industry the jobs come from, what concerns me is the government is continuing to destroy jobs of every type.


I don't see why people would suddenly turn against the government now. The vast majority of people agree that the lockdown was handled well, and everyone with more than 2 brain cells understands that the economic fallout is a global crisis, not a local one.
Lockdown level 2 is almost as good as no lockdown. Tourists won't just suddenly flood Queenstown the moment we open the borders. But of course some people will talk sh** about the government because that's all they ever do.


What business are you in Courtjester? Do you own a business?


What does that have to do with the points I raised?


"EMPLOYMENT" is the topic of this article, so me asking you if you're employed or own a business with employees has everything to do wit it. Strange you can't see that. You have asked me what I do in the past and I have openly answered you. So again, do you work? Do you have employees?


You sound confused. I never asked you about your background. I work full time as an EMPLOYEE. Now that we got this out of the way, can you please answer why this is relevant to my arguments? Or even better, give me your counter-arguments.

You said "Lockdown level 2 is almost as good as no lockdown." that depends what business you work in, bars and restaurants are still very much suffering under level 2 due to the distancing rules, any tourism businesses are still very much suffering under level 2, so is accommodation and are staff are being laid off. That is why I asked what work you do (which you have still not answered). I suspect you are in a line of work that is not affected under level 2 and therefore you don't understand the many that are losing jobs and businesses under level 2

Thank you for finally stating your point. You know, you could've started with this comment.
When I say "almost as good as no lockdown", that little word *almost* indicates precisely what you're saying: it's not the same for *everyone*. Level 2 is like level 1 for *almost* every business. I'm aware that some businesses still can't reopen.
As for the exceptions, they can apply for the subsidies. If they had stocks that spoil in a few days (food), it's already long gone. Many restaurants have reopened under level 3, serving customers via phone orders.


Because only business owners are allowed an opinion?

The quote was "I don't see why people would suddenly turn against the government now.", perhaps the original poster has a limited perspective?


Perhaps everyone has a limited perspective. Or perhaps the original poster knows some business owners who think the lockdown was handled very well, and necessary. Perhaps the original poster thinks most people (even business owners!) are aware that this is a global crisis. Perhaps the original poster thinks that people know tourism won't come back anytime soon, regardless of lockdown rules.


Tourism isn't the only gig in town bud. Why don't you explain to the families of the butchers and grocers who lost their livelihoods while supermarkets were busier than Christmas that this was handled well?


Why didn't those butchers and grocers apply for the subsidies? It was available for everyone if they had legit losses. Also, money isn't the only gig in town bud. Why don't you explain to the families of the people who died in the US or Italy or Spain or France that the lockdown in their countries was handled well?


They did, and still got liquidated. No prizes for guessing what happens to meat, fruit and vegetables when it sits there for four weeks. Wages aren't the only bill they had, and their entire inventories got wiped out. I'm not arguing lockdown shouldn't have happened, I am arguing that the rules were applied unevenly across the economy and the government picked winners and losers.


Makes sense, and thanks for actually giving a counter argument. I absolutely hate it when people just make implications that I'm clueless but never explain their point.
I said "The vast majority of people agree that the lockdown was handled well". I didn't say it was perfect or that it couldn't have been done better. I agree, the rules should have been clearer regarding businesses that deal with food. All I said was that the sentiment is clearly in favour of Labour's handling of the pandemic.


No university ever handed out diplomas in "Covid-19 economic management", so we could forgive our government for choosing unemployment over death by overplaying the lockdown.
What critics of the government don't realise is it's easy to comment on the government's actions in hindsight but a couple of months ago we were flying blind on how this health crisis was going to pan out, how dangerous and virulent the disease was, etc. So I don't blame anyone for going with the worst case scenario to save lives.

Can you explain to me the clear and present risk of why we are still in L2?

The butchers and grocers are still alive aren't they?

Or is it better to keep the business going but be dead. That sounds like your argument?

This one isn't. And that doesn't sound at all like my argument, that's your strawman.


It is terribly sad about that butcher,but it is incorrect and emotive to blame it on the governments covid response.
The Mad Butcher franchise has had ongoing issues for years because of the master franchisee.They have been going under for years.
Refer this artcile from 2019
Another Mad Butcher goes under: Glen Innes store placed into liquidation

Some credit in this needs to go to Jacinda and govt.
They flipped and changed what they told butchers at the last minute after they had purchased $M of product.
What I would like to know is why forcing everyone to shop at a supermarket is safer than splitting to other smaller stores like Butchers ?

Yes that was terrible to see - agree with you ShoreThing.

Our mental health stats/suicide stats were already grim before this, probably this individual included.

Textbook example of ad hominem fallacy. When you have no real arguments, just talk about the other person's background.

Why are you so defensive, it's not that crazy asking someone if they are employed or have employees on an article about "employment". So how about answering the question instead of dodging it?

I answered your question above. Happy? Now explain to me what your actual argument is. You are like one of those pushy salesmen who ignore everything you say but insist on asking you trivial sh** like "Do you like good food?"
I hope you aren't trying to sell me frying pans.


He's got $980K to spend from his house sale the other day...the lockdown was tough on him CJ so take it easy!

I don't think you reply has anything to do with employment at all but since you brought up that I could donate more with my windfall, I'll let you know that my wife is currently at the Grey Lynn City Mission, correction Centre Vineyard Church, not City Mission preparing meals for the needy with food we purchased

Nice work Yvil (honestly that is very kind)

mic drop moment!

That's good.

Perhaps if you guys add your voices to the case for affordable housing for more Kiwis there will be fewer of NZ's current and future people who need those meals. Might cost you a larger amount of that windfall, but it will benefit far more Kiwis.

I think we have a very different view of how the world works.

Because only Business Owners and Gubmints can 'create jobs'. Employees can't......

From what I've seen lately,business ain't creating jobs,just taking their welfare payments and still laying people off.

But remember, Jacinda has no interest in business confidence, she said.


I think you look overseas though, take the US for example, its hard to say that Trump has handled the COVID side of things well, yet they have 25% unemployment. So COVID bad and unemployment bad.

Sure we could have 25% unemployment in a few months...I wouldn't be surprised. But at least our parents are still here for the most part with only a minimal number of deaths.

The opposing view would have been to do nothing, see significant death and we will still be in a recession regardless, probably with high unemployment had the government not paid peoples wages.

So I'm failing to see what else could have been done? Other than human nature is flimsy and we don't really know what or what we're voting for, for the most part.

"we don't really know what or what we're voting for" -
Tribalism is the name of the game. But National managed to lose half of their tribe by being a total disaster for the last year or so.


Or, opposing view, if the Government had actually moved as decisively as they want you to think they did, we might not have needed such a massive lockdown at all.

Non-existent entry screening from late Feb > Early March (A sign saying "have you been to Italy or Iran and are you sick?" doesn't cut it). Pasifika/March 15th memorials still going ahead until the 11th hour. Moving the deadline so more people could get into the country without having to quarantine. Not following up on those who were meant to be quarantining like they said they would. Labs rejecting COVID19 tests sent by GPs.

That's 'going hard and early' apparently? Why, because JA said we went hard and early, and it remains totally unchallenged.


I'll just leave you with Mike Hosking debating himself on the issue of the timing of lockdown. Damned if you do, damned if you don't eh. I personally wouldn't have done much differently timing wise if I were in the governments position but hey - I don't have all the expert opinion like everyone else appears to have!


Agreed IO,this didn't come with a blueprint on how to handle it and every countries response has been different,with different outcomes...I think our outcome is pretty amazing so far.Argue for the rest of our lives about the past,whether we could have closed a week earlier,opened a week earlier...just be thankful we are around to debate the issue.


The economy was starting to tank regardless of COVID - yet people are associating all of their financial pain with the lockdown thinking that if we just get out of lockdown everything will go back to normal. My business will be up and running, banks will be lending, house prices will be rising.

Rushing out of lockdown isn't going to change much at all - it may only make things worse in the longer term if we are forced back into level for this year because somebody spreads the COVID around (be it an international arrival or not)...then we're f#@ked.

I tend to agree. Everyone that I have spoken to seems to think it's the Governments fault that we are in recession, and heading for a bad one at that. In their eyes, it's been caused by locking us down which is nonsense. As you quite rightly point out, you only need to look at the US and the UK. They're in a great financial position aren't they. This whole economic mess that the WORLD is in is a perfect storm not created by any one country or leader in particular, but a stupid bloody virus, who would of thunk it huh. Basically, the world has been living beyond it's means fuelled by massive debt, now hello, the genie has been let out of the bottle so to speak, and governments world wide are scrambling like mad to shove the bloody thing back in to the bottle.

And yet to place every response made by every nation into one bucket and call it 'identical' is a fraud.

Two points.

1. The virus has not disappeared yet and there is no vaccine. So declarations of victory might be somewhat premature.

2. My measure won't be the unemployment peak, it will be the speed at which it then subsequently drops.

I would have thought the question of what else could be done is evidenced across the many different responses countries made. To imply there was only one response is to deny the fact of those different responses.

If I was a betting man, I'd bet you're a Labour voter?

You could say that about anyone and have a 59% chance of being correct right now...


I see people fighting to try to get people on work permits back into NZ going to the media, I think they need to read the room, with so many kiwis losing the jobs that is the last thing they want to hear


Kiwis aren't going to vote for National -austerity is all they have in the tool box. Politics has changed with Ardern. National has imploded and will need to be recast by a leader who still at their first job.

IMO National's best bet at the moment is either to become 'the sensible centrists', or to do a U-turn and start pushing the anti-immigration agenda. In essence, trying to appeal to Labour's voter base instead of their quickly shrinking (wannabe)rich white business owner base.

Yes. So National have missed a trick by election of Muller as leader. Kaye is the natural choice. But no. Now National will flounder around as per Labour post-Clarke, and everyone knows that's exactly what is happening.

I think they're better off losing this election with Muller, then ditching him for Kaye a few months before the 2023 elections.

The problem of the current National party is that their economic ethos is unusable. Now we all know that the Government and RBNZ have a "balance sheet" too.
Only the Government balance sheet can help address our transition to a sustainable development model.


Agreed, also it's only fair that Labour gets another turn and sorts out the gargantuan debt they are creating.

Isn't going to happen in 3 years...they might be still expanding government debt over the next term so perhaps the opposite of what you're saying. Will be governments for decades into the future.

That's probably true

Labour will blame someone else.

That might cause a problem if they start pointing at banks, landlords or foreigners. Although the least risky group is foreigners, at least they are largely overseas.

It was the Labour led governments handling of the economy in the early 2000’s (running surplus after surplus and lowering debt) that has allowed this government to be in a position to inject capital into our recovery.

You mean the surpluses the Cullen forgot where they went ?

The figures I dug up state govt debt was 28.6% of GDP, compare that to the USA at 79.2% , Aus was at 34.7 % - these are 2019 figures. The basic premise is, we have room to move. The nats wanking on about debt is just electioneering.
The major change in gdp I think will come about due to our ponzi immigration scheme taking a dive along with economic activity, taking gdp with it. The solution is dont pay the debt back, bring in more people (sarcasm intended) - just need to find the jobs for them.

"The solution is dont pay the debt back"

We can only aspire to join that esteemed club of nations who led their citizens into the shining uplands of prosperity through default, nations like Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Venezuela and Russia.

I was in Buenos Aires over Xmas 2019, it was a lot less poor than I expected or put in a different poverty is well hidden in the city. The difference between the haves and the have-not is far, far greater than in NZ

You may be right on National having no ideas how to get us out of this massive problem. But what is Labour plan plan? big government deficits in perpetuity? Is it really that simple? I really want to know. Are we wasting our time working when government can make everything free for everyone by increasing the size of the deficit further and further?

Labour (by the big spend) is just trying to keep the economic and social fabric in place.
That's smart, going on what the mother of all budgets did to families and small businesses.

The debt gets paid as economy heats up again.

I agree that we needed to support people now. No question there. My question is how long this can continue as this is obviously a very temporary solution. It is politically super easy to do as well as it benefits everyone now with costs deferred for the time being. So doing it is easy and you and I would have been able to do it. This is not true leadership though. We need true visionaries and leaders to take us out of this hole. The way Labour is doing it is not that. It is what any average person in their position would have done. I am sure National would have done the same.
What is the plan? I am sure it cannot be something like anyone but National, or anyone but Labour! I am already disappointed that NZ politicians are not working together, sharing and pooling their resources to come up with the best way forward. This is like a war, we need to be united.

As Orr said yesterday, its probably going to get worse before it gets better (the economy). So I'd be bracing myself for unemployment or reduced wages the next 12 months.

But National have come out and said they would just give cash direct to businesses rather than to keep employees., The difference is subtle but has different outcomes

Economic stagnation is a common outcome in historical terms.

The vague idea 'heat up' plan fails if there is no heat.


As a previous national who left them last election, I will not return for fear of a continuation of a number of their previous policies. In particular foreign ownership and immigration. National need to get out of their Auckland drinkies circuit and listen to the people.


Same here rastus - voted National for the first two terms, couldn't do it at the last election. Will take some significant changes in policy and personality for me to go back.

"Peter Dunne says the Government will be worried that soon public concern about the social and economic impact of Covid19 - already sharply on the rise - will overtake support for the approach the Government has taken so far"

They should but I don't think they have any idea, if they did they would move us to level one today


I wonder how much difference would level 1 make. The only significant step I can see would be reopening the borders, and I bet most people don't want that yet.

if they open the borders without 14 days isolation they have to leave us in level two. so do you go to level one with borders still with isolation or level 2 with open borders, that is the tough question.
and if we open with australia all the kiwi money that was going to be spent on internal tourism now will go to the gold coast.
we would be better opening ( no isolation) with the islands and new Caledonia, they are all covid free, then we could go to level 1 here

1,000 a people a DAY losing their job.

I bet it would have made a difference to everyone who would have kept their job.

vs 1,000 a people dying. Like in a number of other countries.

The obvious difference being; one of those numbers is a reality and the other is not.

You are literally placing a speculation next to a fact and calling them the same. Seven weeks times seven days equals 49,000 dead. Even the government in its wildest speculations never forecast 49,000 dead in NZ.

What tribe are you from Ralph?

Is the maths wrong?

Do you have any old government modelling that suggested 49,000 dead?

Did 1,000 a day actually lose their job in NZ?

Did 1,000 a people actually die in NZ?

My mistake Ralph your numbers look perfect.

The Otago University projections paint a bleak picture, but are more optimistic than other modelling by the University of Auckland's Te Pūnaha Matatini.

That report concluded that, left unchecked, the virus would infect 89 percent of the population and kill up to 80,000 people.

Thanks Lanthanide.

Although the obvious point now is the article shows a discrepancy between research 'models' of 14,000 to 80,000. Which doesn't lend much credibility to the upper model does it.

And I think we now know for sure that models predicting 50-80,000 deaths had very little credibility.

Yes, 'now' we know that, but at the time it was far from clear how it would progress through developed western countries (and data from China was suspect).

I doubt the government themselves made (m)any models, probably relied on universities as well as overseas modelling. But just pointing out that your claim "Even the government in its wildest speculations never forecast 49,000 dead in NZ." is rather shot - some people WERE predicting that. With hindsight we can say those models were far too negative, but at the time they were still potential outcomes.

Yes fair enough, I clearly did not know how wildly inaccurate Otago University models were.

Although, to place the weight of tens of thousands of peoples livelihood on what transpired to be a spectacularly inaccurate model is an exercise is incompetence isn't it.

James Shaw said they were choosing between an economic meltdown with thousands of deaths, or an economic meltdown without thousands of deaths.

Time will tell how self serving that quote was then.

I do have a particular focus on the actual suffering that is being created rather than the theoretical thousands who did not in fact die.

I do have a particular focus on the actual suffering that is being created rather than the theoretical thousands who did not in fact die.

They didn't die because of the intervention. Duh.

That not true for between 967-99% of them.

Or to state that in reverse, it is only a correct statement 1-3% of the time.

You're assuming that the approach to the unemployed over the next few months will be the National party one - punish and make them suffer.

No, I am demanding to know what our elected government is doing about it now.

And I'm DEMANDING to know what the National Party propose to do about

Fair enough. Although quite obviously an elected government has a level of accountability that an unelected party does not.

Any number anyone wanted to pick was a potential outcome. The only mistake Ralph made is saying 'never' but 100% correct that it is the wildest speculation.

And we didn't need hindsight to know this.

Now tell me how moving to level 1 (or no lockdown) from level 2 would suddenly stop all job losses in tourism.

because once nz companies reprice for locals they will flourish again, as the money from nz tourisms will stay here not head offshore
Before Covid-19, Wildwire Wanaka was heavily reliant on overseas tourists. However, the company has offered deals to local travellers, and been so overwhelmed by bookings, it's even had to hire new guides.

So that business is already operating in level 2, thus showing that moving to level 1 would make no difference, which is what CourtJester said initially.

Exactly sharetrader,NZ tourism is open for business,prices are good,check out THL's campervan deals.Enjoy the country whilst its empty.Forget argueing about the past,get on out there,spend some money...or do some of you want to see the country go down the gurgler,becoming a self fulfilling prophecy,just so you can say,told you so,it's all your tribes fault.

You really are deluded if you think this pricing and deals can continue - this is just a post death blip. Air fares and associated costs are about to sky rocket, we will be in survival mode, not let’s all go on holiday mode.

But I get the narrative - leaders must try and keep positive.

Agree Rastus,what I mean is I hope kiwis get out and support locals in the interim and if & when we have a trans Tasman bubble,we will have a market of 25 million Ozzies to spend a little over here,especially if they can't travel anywhere else.

The 49,000 who have lost their jobs won't be getting out and spending.

CourtJester, you say "The only significant step I can see would be reopening the borders" (between level 2 and 1). Where do you get the info that borders will be re-opened under level 1? That's a big assumption to make if you don't know this for a fact.

Read my comment again. I said "The only significant step I can see would be reopening the borders" - I didn't say it was gonna happen under level 1. Maybe I didn't say it clearly enough, but I was trying to say that only reopening the borders would make a big difference, not moving from level 2 to level 1.

The results are of no surprise. A few weeks of zero new cases in New Zealand and as long as the boarders are kept closed then people are going to be assessing their own personal financial circumstances and for many people its going to be really bad. The election is going to be very interesting and I expect the poll numbers to begin to close from this point onward. Britain won WWII but strangely they then voted out Winston Churchill so go figure.

Churchill was not universally liked in Britain, even during the war.


From what I can see,every country is having economic issues,whatever level of lockdown they followed.
The difference with us is, we have come out of it with minimal loss of life,minimal infections,which looking globally,the ongoing medical costs of a lot of those who survive is going to be a burden in many other countries.
We at least appear to have"knocked the bastard off",so we are effectively ready to get on with business.
As it is election year,unfortunately,Muller has given oxygen to Winston Peters who is now trying to distance himself from the coalition to try and be a 'king maker' again.
His harping on about we should have a 'trans Tasman bubble' now is pathetic.There is obviously a willingness from both countries to achieve this and there is already a group with people from both countries working through the detail.The reality is,if Australia had locked down like we did,didn't have interstate rivalries,we probably would have an open border with them now.


One of the biggest risks to our economy is 'big business' seeing this as a crisis too big to waste.
I read in this mornings Herald that the ANZ bank have asked all contractors & suppliers to take a 20% cut.
Their profit was down 15% to $789m for the half year to March31. It seems the big guys are just pushing it down the food chain to the little guys,hurting their own customers and the so called life blood of the economy,'small business'. How about they just sucked up the downturn given their obscene profits they have banked over the past years.

companies have already done the same with many staff, many taking between 10-20% pay cuts, will those pay rates recover or become the new normal.
if they become the new normal then we are headed for devaluation as everything else adjusts to what people can afford to pay

Exactly,which is why the big guys should soak it up...but as we know,the banks 'must' retain their profit margin and then in a year or so,give the CEO's a massive 'make up' bonus for making the tough the mean time,a 'new normal' of reduced income for everyone else.

Everytime you see something really dumb and short-sighted happening within business you can trace it back to someone trying to get their bonus. Bugger everyone else, and bugger the long term impact on the business.

On the one hand nothing is the governments fault, it is COVID that is to blame for everything.

On the other hand the banks are to blame for everything and COVID is no excuse.

Did the government relax any directors liability laws, no. Did the government relax any banking regulations, no.

Did the government shut down business country wide at 48 hours notice for an unknown period of time then blame small businesses for their own failure, yes.


Jacinda Ardern has to pray that the election comes before the majority of the population realises what a disastrous over reaction the lockdown was. Of course that would require our absurdly uncritical media to pull there heads out of the sand and actually do some research and reporting. So I don't have much hope of that.
The most recent estimate from the CDC is a IFR of 0.26%. With average flu US IFR at 0.1% Bolsanaros "little flu" comment (for which he is roundly mocked in the mainstream press) is far closer to the truth than Jacindas "tens of thousands will die" little fib. Yet somehow Jacinda is held up as a global paragon of sense and reason. And everyone still wants models, although they have been shown to be disastrously wrong again and again and again.
And it wasn't like people weren't saying this. In March, John Ioannidis (at Stanford so not some backwards second tier University) put the IFR at 0.025% to 0.625%. Of course it was hard to hear anything reasonable over the deafening noise of people running around in circles screaming that the sky was falling on their heads.
If we were in a real black plague type pandemic we would know. There would be empty houses. People starving to death as crops rotted in the fields. Stock walking aimlessly through backyards. Their would be piles of bodies in the street. We would ALL have watched someone die, in person, not just heard about it in the news.
Not a pleasant little four week holiday where the middle class got to spend some quality time with the kids.....while the working class lost both parents' jobs and got food packages from the city mission. And the super rich managed to get a little bit super richer.
The lockdown was a pointless over reaction. And people have been saying it all along, it's just the media whipped the world into such a panic they were ignored or outright ostracised as "unkind" or "only interested in money". As if the caring decision is to force people into poverty, destroy thousands of jobs, print debt for our children to pay off and make us afraid of one another. And not even save any lives....many will die as a result of the lockdown. And rather than showing real leadership ie making tough decisions in the face of massive pressure, our weak government just went along with it.
The most galling part of it all is many New Zealanders taking actual pride in the fact that we cowered in our homes over nothing. We are world champion lockdowners. Hurrah. And this thing that should be a source of painful embarrassment has lead us to arrogance and hubris that I am ashamed of. Spending 10 million and believing we have any sort of hope of developing a vaccine before anyone else?! What a joke. Bayer spent nearly 6 billion on research last year. That is one single pharmaceutical company. The 37 million wasted on the vacdream would go a hell of a long way at Pharmac, investing in proven drugs to help thousands of New Zealanders deal with actual dangerous diseases like cancer and heart disease. Instead we waste it, gambling on a vaccine we may never make, for a disease that kills relatively few people.
I have no party affiliations. I do not know that anyone else would have done a better job. But this whole thing has been a monumental cock up whether done for the right or wrong reasons. The sort of cock up only a government could manage. And the person at the top should be held accountable.


Wow might want to go and have a lie sound very stressed.


Obviously didn't see what happened in Italy or any other country with overloaded ICU wards and thousands of people dying each day. But hey..

USA ticked over 100k today and Sweden now in heading for a bigger downturn than its neighbours whom locked down as the citizens are now taking it on themselves to lock away

That can't be...they all said,look at Sweden,why are we doing this....and here we are,ready to go,open for business,if only everyone else was.

@ independent observer Ok so which countries had over loaded ICU wards?
In the New York times they found that hospitals never reached more than 80% capacity in ICU. In the UK hospitals are currently 40% less full at this time of the year than normal.
You seem to see a report on the news or online and think man it's bad there it must be like that everywhere. Anything has a range from good to bad. Focusing only on the bad gives a completely distorted view of a situation. It's why we have averages and why we make decisions on those rather than on outliers. Italy was an outlier. And even that is not true. Lombardy was an the South of Italy there was virtually no death from covid.
What did the media not report on? Did the media show any of the thousands of empty hospitals across Europe and the US? Or here?
Of course not, that's not news.
And why is that? It's because humans have negativity bias. We feel bad events / loss about 4 times more strongly than good events / gain. That does far more to explain the reaction to this measurably mild pandemic than "dude did you see Italy".

Speaking of negativity bias, did you see your original post or was that the other you who wrote that?

@ independent observer.
I don't understand your comment?
Of course I suffer from bias and am certainly not above your average human. I just acknowledge it and try and take it into account when critiquing something presented to me.
But I don't think I displayed negativity bias, my whole point is that the world has been much more afraid of this then they should be, perhaps because of our negativity bias. Given I am arguing against the negatively biased view and am actively arguing that we should not worry about coronavirus......I struggle to see where I am displaying it there.

I read your post and thought the world was about to end and it was the governments fault.

But yes, no negativity bias on your behalf.

Its fine to say what you're saying now - but at the time the decisions were being made - we didn't know many of the details around the coronavirus. So its almost like you're taking the moral high ground now with all the information - which of course the government didn't know at the time. Would the virus mutate? Would it become deadlier? It could have and it could have killed you...would you be blaming the government at you own funeral?

@ independent observer.
You do realize that you can open another tab and search what terms mean before you comment on them?
Negativity bias is not a propensity to be negative. It is the observable fact that humans put about 4 times more significance on negative things than positive things. For the same loss, whatever it may be, your average human feels that loss four times more than they feel a similar sized gain. Make 50 bucks fell pretty good. But lose 50 bucks and feel terrible is about the sum of it.
When everyone says "why is there never anything positive on the news" that's why. No one clicks on it.
So all these reports about how bad it was in a few hospitals in a couple of regions in Italy are not balanced by reports of empty hospitals in other parts of Italy. Rapidly the perception becomes that Italy is collapsing into chaos. This caused a panic.
If it was such a big problem for the world why is always the same refrain. What about Italy? Surely we would have hundreds more examples throughout the world by know?
But hey lets not let logic get in the way of our caveman brain responses.
I am not separate from biases but I try to see them when I am suffering from them. Human bias and Scientific hubris does a far better job of explaining the response to this pandemic than any of the data did, at any time.
And I occupy no moral high ground. I simply state what the data has said to me from the start of this.
I was arguing on this site, the same stuff when we went into lockdown. I am not just saying it now, I was saying it then. Go back and find some of Keith Woodwards "yay for lockdown lets get in it quick" articles on this site and you will see me arguing the same thing, like the one on the 23rd of March. Or just search denature.
The data does not support it and it never has. And I am on the record saying that before we went into lockdown. And I was saying this was not serious long before that,
It is unlikely it would have killed me. Virging on impossible at least statistically as I am not in the right age group and am lucky to have good health and I don't live in an old persons home. But if it did, then what does that mean? Another death to go towards the average. I would not expect sympathy and I would not expect billions of dollars to be printed and thrown around just because something affects me and almost no one else.
We have finite resource and we need to distribute it carefully to help the most people. No part of that simple statement was observed in the lockdown decision.

the synonym I have is 'loss aversion'....
great post by the way... totally agree with you.

Thanks MLSmith, I have heard it called loss aversion as ell and that is actually a better term. Thanks for the reminder.

Italy had overloaded ICU wards.

Italy again. So that's your case? One country in the whole world, and not even the whole country one region Lombardy had a bad covid outbreak and that's a justification for the hysteria we keep seeing.
First of all which hospitals had overloaded ICU wards? And what % of the hospitals in Italy did that represent? Because I can never find that data. It's just God it's awful there.
Secondly Italy is all anyone ever says. One exception does not prove the rule. What other countries showed it.
The argument was hundreds of thousands dead of and overloaded ICU's everywhere in the world. That was the argument. That did not eventuate and may people smarter than me, but me as well, said it didn't look that way at the time.

No, that's not "my case". You asked which country had overloaded ICU wards. I replied to that question.

I actually said which countries. My point was that everyone holds up Italy as the case of how bad the virus is, because some places had overloaded ICU capacity . But they do not point out the hundreds of empty hospitals that were in the South of Italy.
There is no equivalence, which creates an air of fear that does not reflect what is happening on the ground.

That's because NY added 50% more ICU beds than pre-COVID levels but then that fact doesn't fit your narrative now does it.


It's clear he's just decided the whole thing was overblown and not needed and so has stopped looking for factual information that contradicts his position.

It's a pity so many people are upvoting him.

Yes they added capacity but it was barely used and was not neccessary.
What's your narrative that this is a genuine pandemic where million will die?
So South Africa a relatively poor country, pretty corrupt 30 million people and 524 deaths. How do you fit whatever your narrative is around that.

I'm gonna say that given its corrupt as you highlight and poor as you highlight that testing is non-existent and thus their cases and deaths are greatly unreported.

You'd be just as stressed after listening to Hosking on repeat for hours


Nice. Make assumptions about someone you know nothing about rather than trying to engage in rational debate.
I never listen to Hosking I couldn't tell you anything about the man. I don't even have a picture of him in my mind. All I know is the name.
But hey think whatever you want about me it doesn't change the facts and the data.


Brilliant assessment but beyond most I fear.


I don't agree Denature, but good on you for standing up and giving your opinion. Makes this forum a better place.

Thank you Beanie that is very kind.

The claim that the lockdown didn't save lives is where this falls down. Yes, the lockdown has costs, and will cost lives. But the evidence suggests that it's nowhere near as many as covid would have taken, even at <1% IFR. So in the end you do have to say that livelihoods are more valuable in order to make this add up. Not to mention that many places have lost both the lives and their economies. Where, exactly, has the economic carnage been avoided?

@realterms I apologise I should have been more clear. Lockdown may very have saved some Corona deaths.
But a society / economy is an extremely complex system which is why it is impossible to model. The future always remains uncertain.
If you just look at something like breast cancer. There are many women who were not able to get mammograms because of lockdown. Breast cancer is extremely agressive and a few weeks delay in treatment can be the difference between life and death. The Cancer society is already predicting surges in breast and bowel cancer because of the screening programs being stopped or delayed due to the lockdown.
My point is that in net, lockdown will not save lives. Other deaths will replace it.
The carnage could have been avoided everywhere if we (the world) had not panicked. But in any case it would have been considerably less worse if we had not locked down. It does not have to be all or nothing. I never said if we hadn't locked down there would have been no economic loss. There was no saving of the tourism industry. But we would certainly have been better off than we are now as a society. I fail to see how mass employment and potentially a depression is good for society. The last depression lead to world war two and the attempted extermination of an entire race. There are many dark paths if you put your economy into a depression.
The data clearly shows that it is very unlikely there would have been many deaths and I would argue it has shown that from the start.

My point is that in net, lockdown will not save lives. Other deaths will replace it.

Right, but as you yourself just said, economies are extremely complex systems which are impossible to model.

You don't KNOW there will be as many, or more, deaths caused by the lockdown as would have been suffered from COVID-19 (one university estimated 80,000 deaths from COVID-19 if we had done nothing). But you're claiming that to be true anyway.

"one university estimated 80,000 deaths from COVID-19"

Oh yes, but in the light of what is known today, how accurate would we say that prediction was (the 'other' university model said 14,000)?

Choosing the most hysterical model, that has since proven to be bollocks, doesn't really support the argument.

I am not suggesting other deaths would have been at 14,000. Although the long terms costs of poverty are just as real as a flu death.

"Oh yes, but in the light of what is known today, how accurate would we say that prediction was (the 'other' university model said 14,000)?" - the reason we did not come close to approaching these estimates is that we went into lockdown (i.e. we intervened!!! these models were based on no intervention.) Why is that so hard for people to understand? You're like a shark attack victim who complains he doesn't need the leg tourniquet anymore cause I've only lost a pint of blood.

The point is, the 80,000 model was bollocks. Never going to happen. An exercise in incompetence.

If proportionality does not matter then you can end up chopping off limbs because of mosquito bites.

Never going to happen.

Yes, we now know that in hindsight. We didn't at the time.

Do you know what hindsight means?

Yeah I know what it means. But there were plenty saying those models were bollicks at the time.
That Imperial London model that we used is rubbish. Go read it.
It's full of assumptions, it uses Chinese data and the Chinese are not trustworthy.
And it's a model and models suck. They should not be used to make decisions this all emcompassing. They suck when economists use them and they suck when meteorologists use them. Sure you can use a model to predict tomorrow or two days in the future. But 5 days or 10 days, toss a coin.
I said this at the time. On this site. It's nothing to do with hindsight.

@ denature...the word is 'bollocks'...and before you accuse me of being petty,you picked me up previously on using the term 'incubate' instead of 'intubate' LOL.

@vman I did indeed so fair cop!

All good mate :-)

All models are wrong, but some models are useful.

Plans are nothing but planning is everything.

That's not quite good enough.

Using that argument ("we didn't know at the time") I could justify ANY 'model', however ridiculous.

But you were the government. You have a duty of care to check the ridiculous. There is a fair expectation for competence on you. There were huge discrepancies between models that were known at the time.

It's like those who said 'nobody could have predicted the GFC', when in fact there were people who did exactly that. Afterward they threw their arms in the air and claimed the defence of hindsight. Who could have know we wouldn't get 80,000 deaths? Well, at least one group of more competent people at Auckland University did. They modelled a much moire realistic 14,000.

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day...predicting the GFC was easy...predicting when is the tricky part.

And yet there were people who did it, and that is the important fact.

Like I said,a broken clock...

Empty flippery.

This is like a never ending tennis game lol...

There is no evidence that lockdown reduced the virus outbreak. You may be confusing correlation with causation. Although it seems you are not even doing that as there seems to be not much correlation between lockdowns and a lowing of the outbreak.
Show me 3 covid outbreak charts from any country where you can show an inflection point and say look that is where lockdown kicked in and the cases / deaths dropped. Or maybe we start with just one.
I have looked and I couldn't find any.
What is more they were trotted out by someone who has been wildly wrong many times in the past. But hey just trust anyone who has some letters after their name, how could they possibly be wrong with all those letters, right?
Of course we all know the same man breached lockdown himself. Probably realised how rubbish his own science was.


Account for the incubation period (anywhere from 5-21 days) and you have your answer...

The NZ plot and the Aus plot look exactly the same to me. The Aussie one is just shifted to the right.
Yes the overall rate is a bit higher but so what? They are two different countries. Australia has two large cities, much larger than Auckland and with actual proper public transport systems in them. Maybe that's why Australia has slightly elevated cases. I don't really know.
But it is not important for this argument. If lockdown has an effect to should be clearly observable on the chart plot of us compared to Australia.
It plainly is not. There is no clear inflection point. And there aren't on any charts that I have seen. I hoped you might be able to dig one up from somewhere and prove me wrong and add to the debate.
Moreover what about deaths per capita? I see he didn't plot that anywhere. Or mention it. Neither did the Herald reporter. Because the big news is we beat Australia in something.
In Australia you have a 1 in 242718 chance of dying of covid. In New Zealand you have a 1 in 227272 chance of dying of covid. Call me old fashioned but I think dying from the disease is more relevant than catching it.
Try. And. Be. A. Little. More. Critical.

I understand that you meant net. But everything I have read estimating those balances suggests that the lives saved net are strongly in favour of the lockdown, even adjusting for age.

the odds on major war breaking out getting higher as economic fallout hits harder.

the majority here are chicken-little characters who love cindy and co... anything that paints them in bad light is to be shut down... kind of like the Brown Shirts of 3rd Reich

You’re extremely premature with your conclusions. How about waiting a few months until the second wave engulfs the USA (in particular), South America and Europe as they relax restrictions whilst still having no control over the virus.

What second wave?
Coronavirus is part of the cohort of viruses that causes the common cold. In all widespread, randomized studies of the population they have found infection rates to be anything from 10 to 50 times higher than reported. It is highly infectious and so mild that in maybe as many as 50% of cases the person who has it does not even realize. In very old and very weak people it can be severe, and lead to death. But even if you are 80 and have a pre-existing condition it is not a death sentence. Most people in that situation survive as well.
In places like London and New York.....most people who will get it have had it. If it flares up again it will not have anywhere near the same effect the second time around. Because of the features of the virus listed above (highly infectious, highly asymptomatic) It was already widespread before they locked down.
Maybe it mutates but it seems very stable. But staying in lockdown longer won't stop that anyway.
The "second wave" is just a guess. There is nothing to suggest that there will be one. And if there is one it will affect places that did the best job of stopping the spread more than the ones who did a poor job.
And "control a virus". What does that mean? A virus isn't a car. You don't control it. We don't even really know what they are. This hubristic, reductionist view that we can control everything is why humanity is in so much trouble. We try and control nature without having any real understanding of how it works. And it just causes more and more problems that we try and solve with more and more control. The more you try and order a system the more unstable it becomes. That is what we see now all around us, particularly with the environment, but also in our crony capitalistic fake market that our friends at the Fed "manage".
We do not "control the virus". We live side by side with it like we have for hundreds of millions of years.

I'd like a reference for "most people who will get it have had it". What studies showed this?

None, he made it up.

There you go:
And here is a little history on coronavirus.
About 15% of people get a cold caused by Coronavirus every year. If it's infected 20% in New York than it is already well over what happens in an average common cold season. Who else will get it in a second wave? And what did New Yorks lockdown do to stop it exceeding what a coronavirus does on average every year?

Right, so you made it up.

Are you one of these "contrarians" one reads about?

Right, so a lot of what you're saying is just flat out wrong, misinterpreted or made up. No wonder you think the lockdown was an overreaction when you don't have an actual grasp of the facts.

Best estimates right now are that perhaps 15-25% of people in New York and Stockholm have had COVID-19. That is FAR from "most people who will get it have had it".

The "second wave" is just a guess. There is nothing to suggest that there will be one.

Yes, there is. It's called epidemiology, the study of germs and how they affect society.

Read Keith's column:

Maybe you should read a bit further than interest mate, you might find data that is not "made up"
If 20% have already had it than they are not able to vector the virus if it comes back. If you have the same population but 20% of people can't get it than how will the second wave be worse? I don't need an epidemiologist or a model that has no predictive value to figure that out. I can use logic and figure it out on my own.
Great so when Keith says the global media have got it all wrong that's fine. When I say it it's different somehow.
Keith makes a big song and dance about modernas technology. Maybe it can make a vaccine maybe it can't. Maybe they are just front running the market in their own shares:
Admittedly Zerohedge can be conspiratorial but there market analysis is usually bang on, the data they show in this article is real and points to front running.
Try and think a little outside the box. Try and do your own thinking. You may well not come to my conclusion I am wrong plenty. But I never make anything up.
And maybe read a little bit wider than interest and Keith Woodford.

If you have the same population but 20% of people can't get it than how will the second wave be worse?

Because something changes in how the virus spreads. That's "how". I don't need to be an epidemiologist or make a model to figure that out. I can use logic and figure it out on my own.

What are just some things that could change? Lets see:
1. Mutation of the virus
2. Change in season / weather
3. Change in social mobility

#3 is the most likely one in this case. You only need a few super-spreading events to put things mightily out of control, as seen in South Korea and in NZ's own clusters - which we managed to stamp out, mostly through good luck than good management.

In 2-3 months from now, people are going to be even more 'over' social distancing than they are now.

You haven't really given an answer there.
Nothing changes in how the virus spreads. It spreads the same way. Coughing, sneezing, breathing particles of moisture with virus in them everywhere. Or wiping your nose with your hand and handling stuff.
Weather might change how efficient it is at surviving but won't change how it spreads.
If 20% of a population has the virus then you have decreased your pool of potential spreaders by 20%. You also have 20% of the population that act as blockers. When an infectious person comes up to them they are not infected and stop the spread at that interaction rather than catching it and spreading it further.
Super spreader events really? So you think that somehow, a rock concert with a thousand people where 200 are resistant to the virus will somehow have a worse (second wave) effect than the concert before we knew the virus was there, with a thousand people and no one resistant.
And all this on top of the fact that Coronavirus is estimated to affect about 15% of the population every season anyway. It's already exceeded what it does on average for a full seasonal strain and yet you some how expect it will bounce back and infect another 20%?
Talk about guessing. You make no sense.

I did answer. Sorry you didn't understand it.

And all this on top of the fact that Coronavirus is estimated to affect about 15% of the population every season anyway.

Complete and utter garbage. You know why this is called the "novel coronavirus"? Because it's BRAND NEW, first having emerged last year in China.

Beyond belonging to the same virus family that some strains of common cold belong to, it is unlike those viruses in the ways that matter. Those viruses have existed amongst humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. Pretending that some figure of 15% annual infection rate for the common cold is relevant to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 shows you're either woefully uninformed or deliberately lying. Given your form to date on other comments, I'm picking the former with a dash of the latter.

What I said is not garbage. I simply stated that Conaviruses are reponsible for about 15% of what is referred to as the common cold, each year. That is a fact.
Covid is in that family. It is not a variable strain but it has jumped from bats (supposedly, there is still debate about that).
So it is not BRAND NEW. It's only new to humans.
The idea is that because it's from bats we have not been exposed to it so we have no immunity. That makes sense. But it is hardly alarming.
We have no resistance to the different influenza strain each year either. We either get the vaccine or we dodge it or we get sick. The idea that we do not have resistance to things is hardly revolutionary and it should hardly be used as an excuse to be massively afraid in the face of plenty of data that suggests otherwise.
So much is made of the fact that it is novel, yet everything that makes you sick is novel to your immune system otherwise you wouldn't get sick from it. There is a roughly 15% chance that you will get sick from a Coronavirus that your immune system has not seen before. Every single winter.
Using an estimation from a related virus hardly constitutes woefully uniformed or lying. It is as valid as any of the assumptions in any of the modelling.
The Imperial College model for instance is a flu pandemic model that they fed Early Covid data into, to scare the bejesus out of everyone. I assume you think that is ok?
However to take a value of 15% (the amount of "common cold" estimated to be cause by Coronavirus every year) as a proxy for some assumptions on what might be going on is "woefully uninformed and lying".

Do you and Trump use the same scriptwriter? What a load of misinformed garbage. It doesn't take a lot of intellect to conclude that you aren't a medical professional. The common cold (of which coronaviruses, but not COVID-19, are one component) does NOT cause pneumonia. Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome-2 (COVID-19) can result in pneumonia, which is why it is killing signficantly more people than the common cold ever could.

Misinformed garbage? Google "can a cold cause Pneumonia". Enough said I think.
Cold is a generic term referring to a mild respiratory disease. If it's bad it's a bad cold. Or it's assumed to be the flu. If you go to your GP and display cold like symptoms do they test you to find out if you have flu, coronavirus or any of the other viruses that cause the "common cold"? No they do not. If they are stupid they prescribe antibiotics. Otherwise it's asprin and lemon drink.
Flu incidence and death is estimated in most countries every year (including here and the US). It is not measured. So how does anyone know what was flu, what was coronavirus and what was something else causing a respiratory disease? It seems highly likely that common cold / influenza / coronavirus and whatever else causes cold in any given season are labelled both inaccurately and interchangeably. Because there is no testing.
What about this for a thought experiment? In 2018 a 83 year old who has heart disease is bought into hospital with what is found to be Pneumonia. When the doctors ask the care home that he came from about symptoms they say a runny nose, sore throat and a cough that got progressively worse. When that person dies they don't take a sample and see whether they had flu. They just assume it was flu. It could have been flu, or coronavirus, or a different virulent respiratory disease. No one bothers to check because this situation is utterly unremarkable in winter, every winter.
It seems likely that people have been dying from respiratory viruses other than the flu for millenia but no one has bothered testing it so we never noticed.
You should not confuse something being observed with something being significant.
I am not saying anything outlandish here like you should drink bleach or 5g causes covid-19. I am making simple logical arguments. I don't need to be a medical professional to think logically. Or an epidemiologist. While I trust the medical profession in general terms, I trust no person specifically as they are just as capable of making a silly oversight as me or you or anyone else.
For the record I studied biology. Got as far as half way through a phd. The reason I stopped the phd was that there are a lot of underwhelming intellects in science. Plenty of people who just turn up to their job and regurgitate what someone else says. There is plenty of politics and bowing and scraping and kissing ass to win the best students and to get grant money for research. It is the same as any profession. While I trust the scientific method I do not trust humans to overcome their biases, prejudices or just the fact that they are having a shitty day, so that they are able to be completely analytical machines and make the right call every time. That is absurd.
And in this, epidemiologists in particular, have been wildly wrong, many times. How badly wrong does someone have to be before you stop trusting them? For me epidemiologists crossed that point months ago.

Denature, you shouldn’t be telling the truth on here, as the doom and gloomers will never look at things with their eyes open.
You are wasting your time, the sheep will realise when the unemployment rate increases, but don’t expect this government to know how to get out of it!
The youngest person to die with the virus I think was 62!
An Auckland virologist stated that covid@19 was not a deadly disease, more a middle of the road one and there were going to be ones worse than this!
Are we going to be locked up when the Winter flu comes calling as it will kill more than this Covid19

Nicely argued.

What is most noticeable is the lack of rational counter arguments or factual corrections.

Agree. I’m sure these comments are being echoed more and more around the country, just won’t be quoted on our daily dose of fear porn least the great mass of the unwashed start to think it through. Well done that man !

To be fair, his high estimate of 0.625% would be 31k deaths if everyone got it. That may or may not be worth lockdown depending on your opinion.
I kind of agree with him that the world probably overreacted, but in terms of NZ's response I think lockdown will work out best for our economy compared to no lockdown and mass fear. It really looks like business as usual here now (unless you are in tourism etc).

But everyone doesn't get it. Look at Sweden only 20% of people got it (estimated). It just seems fizzle out before everyone gets it. Which is not surprising because that's what happens every cold season.

Sweden are still adding new cases every day. Who knows how many they will end up with...

Who knows how many we will get in the end.

But everyone doesn't get it. Look at Sweden only 20% of people got it (estimated). It just seems fizzle out before everyone gets it.

Once again showing you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Herd immunity is estimated as requiring 60-70% infected. Oh no, it's that dreaded "science" that you don't trust, might as well just throw that in the garbage and rely on what our eyes can tell us and our own reckons!

It's rather ridiculous to point to Sweden and say "look it's stopped spreading, it has reached its maximum extent of 20% of the population" when that is in fact not actually true.

You're also ignoring the fact that Sweden DO actually have social distancing going on, roughly equivalent to NZ level 2. They just never went harsher as most countries have.

They now have one of the highest death per capita rates in Europe, and since the deaths lag cases by about 3-4 weeks, it is likely only going to get worse.

You like to misquote me. I never said it's stopped in Sweden. Maybe we understand English differently but "fizzling out" to me means slowly coming to an end. Not stopping.
I have never put down science. I think science is great. But it's often wrong. That's the point. It's called a null hypothesis. You don't prove anything is right, you just prove it isn't anything else.
Here is some science based on a paper where they argue that heard immunity might be reached by somewhere as low as 25% based on the fact that not everyone has the same resistance to infection. Funny that would actually match observations of 20 - 25% in the US and Sweden. But an observation couldn't be right could it, we need a model to tell us what is really right.
It's hardly a revolutionary thought that people are not homogenous in our resistance to infection, we aren't homogenous in all sorts of things in population terms.
In the workplace someone gets a cold....but not everyone ends up getting it. I'm sure plenty of us have experienced a cold coming into our houses and for whatever reason one person doesn't get it.
Well that's not in the models and that's what they talk about here:

You used past tesnse: "got it" and then said "just seems to fizzle out".

Someone with a normal understanding of english takes this to be you saying that it has stopped spreading in Sweden.

There's no "misquoting" going on - just your poor use of language.

Wow Lathanide.
Nothing about the journal article I posted, no interesting retort or anything to add to the discussion. Just poor use of language. That's your best?
From the guy who talks about past tesnse? Maybe you should spell check your criticism of someones language before you accuse them of using the wrong tesnse.
I mean the little red underline thing? That's usually a good indicator.

This Professor has a similar take on what Judith Curry says, plus some other things.

Thanks Dale. I remember you posted a Swiss article that also seemed to show that lockdowns didn't do anything to flatten any curves.
It was a good article by an actual scientist to. That does not seem to interest the lockdown brigade much though.

Too right!
It's kind of like rabbits caught in the beam...not knowing where to run... lol

Best comment I've ready today.

denature, well said, I agree 100% with you and I have been lambaste countless times by the fear brigade for expressing this same opinion

Thanks Yvil.
Generally people have invested a lot into "this is a very bad thing" and "lockdown was great we have beaten it". So it's not surprising that if you offer an opposing view it is generally resisted.
Many people who disagree simply call me names. They don't offer counter data....or any sort of logical thinking. It's just clearly I am an idiot because everyone thinks something different. I am happy to be proven wrong or led there by logic. But I don't take well to being talked down to (like most people I suspect).
We may well be wrong but I try to discuss or offer my views without belittling other people or their opinions, even if I find them to be obviously incorrect.
I guess we can blame Trump to some extent for poisoning dialogue. Although he has merely taken to extremes an already poisonous and shouty debate between the left and the right, that has steadily been more woke on one side and more racist/sexist elitist or whatever on the other.
It's getting pretty hard to be able to pick the best stuff from both sides and argue that. Which is a shame.

Being first in NZ is important. And we don't care what it is in, whether its the All Blacks, or Asthma rates, or unaffordable housing, or Covid elimination, or economy wrecking.

We will take any first we can.


It's true. The NZ economy has been chucked off a very tall cliff. We haven't hit the bottom yet.

On a deeply human level, a very large number of Kiwis suffered under the experience of lengthy lockdown, We are pretty stoic lot, so most of this is unspoken. It will be carried for a long time by some. Emotional and economic hardship. Many will desire a fresh start, to put it all behind them. There is little doubt this will be expressed in Septembers voting habits. Jacinda and her Govt are closely associated with the Covid 19 events, in the NZ psyche. For Labour, it's a long way down. That is the only direction they can go now. Once the wheels fall off a sure thing, things move quickly. Still I hope the election doesn't become an ugly affair, as there is no taste for extra drama in NZ right now.


Its not like we were sent into no mans land on a repeat basis for years and had to sleep in the trenches there Dave!

Many appeared to be watching excessive amounts of netflix, doing youtube work outs, making tiktoks, or arguing/justifying about the price of their property portfolio.

You make it sound like we've just had a 5 year world war or something where people have PTSD, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Given the start the National have made with their new leader it could be the opposite - National could fall further.

Fully agree, The relevant local example is the reaction to the extended CBD lockdown after the Christchurch earthquakes. That was a decade ago, but there are still plenty of businesses that will never ever go back there (economics and sky-high ground rents aside) simply because they were so dreadfully treated: denied access to IT systems and business records, tools of trade, saw their inventories stolen by demolition crews or just left to moulder in the weather. Their animus will last a generation..... and the same very human reaction may throw up surprises on 20200919....

I believe Canterbury leads the country now in eating anti depressants.

Lots of people enjoyed lockdown. Mental illness providers had less cases than normal. I don't think there was that much suffering caused by having to stay home for 6 weeks.

What? There are tens of thousands of small businesses in this country. You think the owners of a reasonable amount of them were not suffering? Look at the data on bankruptcy / money troubles on divorce. And the data on childrens outcomes if they come from single parent homes.
Maybe it was a nice little holiday for you. But not for them.
Or the massive amount of people the city mission said were coming to get food parcels.

It's like they refuse to see the biggest 'health impact' is not from Covid but it's from shutting down the economy...which is still not open.
They forget we allow govt to make life/health tradeoff all the time. We see this setting budgets for DHP, Pharmac, Road improvement, Police, Mental Health etc...
The 1968 H3N2 Flu estimated to have killed 1,000,000 people world wide with 100,000 deaths in US... most over 65 years of age... ahhh how we forget these are not new phenomena


You imply that the current economic environment is bad due to the governments actions. It is bad all around the world due to pandemic and greed. In fact we have one of the more open economies now because we are able to go about our business with no community transmission. Lock down enabled us to get going again faster, rather than being scared into it later and for a longer period, by overrun hospitals and death in our families. The choice was between a bad economy and thousands dead or a bad economy, there was no option for a good economy.


Exactly - I think a lot of it is tribalism...I've vote red and blue over the years. In this instance I think labour have actually done a pretty good job. People just want someone or something to blame for the hardship we are collectively facing and Jacinda Adern and Labour appear to be the the most public target they can find.

That's simply not true.
First you assume there would have been a lot of deaths. I do not argue that there would have been more deaths. But around 400 people die a year in New Zealand from the flu. Would there have been more than that? Perhaps. If we go off the CDC latest figures than there might have been 800 to 900 deaths.
Even blow that out to 4000 deaths like Sweden (highly unlikely but lets do it anyway), that's a 1 in 1250 chance of being associated with a covid death in NZ. Unless we all have families of 1250 people it is highly unlikely we would have experienced deaths in our families.
Hospitals were seldom over run even in the worst places. New York never ran out of ICU beds, it never got higher than 80%. That is another false narrative and that is from the NYT not some marginal right wing blogger.
It is difficult to say what it has cost us. But the government has spent at least ten billion. The cost will of course be more than that. But just using 10 billion to save 900 lives gives us a little over 11 million per life. I do not believe a person needs 11 million in wealth. Nor do I believe a person should expect that much to be spent to keep them alive at the expense of the other 99.9% or society. It is patently unfair.
We would always have struggled to save tourism. But the government has spent billions supporting a whole bunch of other businesses that could have kept going had there been no lockdown. So to say there was no option for a good economy is also not true. It may not have been good, but it did not have to be this bad.
You have basically repeated the narrative that the government has forced on all of us. It is not a narrative for sense or logic, it is a narrative of fear and panic, dressed as empathy.

denature,do you have forward data that could predict what an outbreak of covid19 would do if it got hold through the lower socio economic areas of South Auckland where we unfortunately lead world stats on conditions like diabetes,obesity,respiratory illnesses,remembering we are just heading into winter.There would have been many more deaths,but many,many more issues with ongoing health issues that would definately overwhelm the health system.
The covid stats for black,lower socio economic communities in the states are very poor.

@ vman What is forward data? If you mean do I have any models no I do not. And I think I have made my position on models quite clear. But I will say it again. It is impossible to predict the future. It's called chaos theory. If you believe models can predict the future than next time it rains, when the weather forecast was sunny, go and take it up with the clouds.
And do you actually search for data or just repeat something you heard once somewhere?
You are factually incorrect. New Zealand is not a world leader in many of those things. Tonga is the most obese nation (NZ is 27 well behind the US on 16). In diabetes we are 109, well behind the US on 43 or Germany and India on 46. India. About 4000 deaths. And if you believe they were really able to lockdown a place like India than you will believe anything.
As for respiratory illness....well that's what we are talking about anyway right. And what about the increase in Rheumatic Fever. Early days it might not be a real trend yet. But if it is that is a truly horrible disease that poor people in South Auckland deal with all the time. Why don't we spend that 70 million Winston found for the horse racing industry on that? Or the pointless 37 million for a vaccine?
This "what about the poor", "what about refuge camps", "what about Africa" stuff keeps getting trotted out although it does not reflect whats actually happening.
If the US is worse than us in diabetes and obesity than my numbers stack up. Because those things don't matter much unless you are also quite old.
Deaths are predominantly over 80 years old with pre-existing conditions. And in the US nearly 50% of deaths were in care homes. In Sweden which has done a great job generally had a shocker with their care homes, 75% of deaths were in care homes or in aged care. Do you think they don't have poor populations with the problems you have mentioned, in Sweden?
Ultimately no lockdowns anywhere and do everything you can to protect old peoples homes would have far more efficacy and cost far less. That's what the numbers say to me.
I can't comment on your numbers because you never give any.

@denature You can make statistics suit what ever narrative you want,the stats you quote for our diabetes rankings etc are for NZ as a whole...try breaking that down like I said to South Auckland only.And I agree with modelling,I was being facetious about 'forward data'...I guess I'm saying me,you and everyone else didn't really know what covid19 would do,so the governments of the day,took the precautions they thought necessary at the time to protect their citizens.
Even the epidemiologists and experts from all areas of the economy couldn't agree at the time and still can't.
In the words of John Key "in reality..."or "at the end of the day" we will never know for sure,so lets move on or as Ralph likes to put it,we will all be chewing anti depressants :-)

@vman You are right they are stats as a whole but that applies equally to the US or anywhere else. We are looking at Coronavirus totals in the US and diabetes totals in the US and then the same in NZ. In both places it will vary across group and loacation. So it is broad and crude, but we are at least comparing apples with apples. Sort of. I do take your point.
Absolutely we need solutions for where we find ourselves. And genuinely I commend your forward looking attitude.
But we also need to understand what works. It seems that hand washing definitely helps. Masks, the jury is out (but to me it seems like they would help just logically). Social distancing.....maybe.
We still have restrictions in place and they are hurting, for instance bar owners and bus companies. But are they helping? It matters what works and what does not.
Ultimately I do not believe we can control the virus. It is an arrogant idea, in a long history of arrogant human ideas. Viruses have been around for millions and millions of years. They have co-evolved with our immune systems and our culture. They are extremely good at what they do.
I firmly believe it will come here at some stage. Then do we lockdown again? To what end?
That is why looking back on this is important. At least I believe so.
Christ don't get me started on anti-depressants and big Pharma!!

What about SARS, MERS, etc? Ebola? We controlled them (well so far at least). Do you think we shouldn't have bothered?

How did we control them? Ebola breaks out all the time.
We did nothing to control them, they flared up, burned themselves out and then dissappeared. Then they came back again.
SARS and MERS, are both Coronavirus. I don't recall any global control of them. Were they stopped or were they mild enough, in most cases that no one noticed? And now we have Covid-19 which is also a Coronavirus.
On top of that we have Coronavirus every single year, much like the flu. We haven't been able to stop that. Unless there is a cold vaccine I am not aware of. How are we controlling Coronavirus it looks like it pretty much does what it likes to me.
There is a coronavirus. We have a lockdown. You might say the lockdown worked. I would say the lockdown did nothing and the virus died down on it's own like it does every year. Who is right? Me I think, but I am wrong plenty.

NZ has one of the lowest rates of ICU beds per capita in the developed world.

1. We have not getting going faster. We are stalled with little evidence of any plan to create any quality jobs.

2. It was not a simplistic black and white choice as you present. It was always balancing hardship between poverty and health.

3. The government is actually responsible for its actions and should be held accountable.

Air NZ is just starting a plan that they are calling,'Survive,revive,thrive'....I suggest this government is doing similar,we are still at survive.
I haven't heard anyone from any side with an actual 'plan''s all tribal.

@vman but my comments are not tribal at all. I do not belong to a National / Labour / Green / NZ First tribe. I do not have any leader who I would put forward who did a better or worse job than any other. They are all playing politics....which is the problem with democracy in the first place. Like Churchill said it's the least worst option. But it ain't great when tough decisions need to be made.
In any case it did not look democratic to me. All we did was listen to epidemiologists. Didn't matter how wrong their models were we just asked for more models. Completely bizzare.
Epidemiologists know nothing about how a society works. That is not their specialty. So why ask them about a decision to shut down society or not?
In the end I belong to the human tribe and believe we should always endeavor to take our limited resources and do the best we can to benefit the most people.

@denature,my 'tribal' comment,wasn't aimed at you,reply comments can get lost here,hard to know what they are connected.
I don't agree with you,I but respect your right to express your views,but I would say,maybe spend less time looking in the rear vision mirror and trying to be 'right'.Its time to move forward,we can't turn back.Its always easy to pull out stats after the fact,but the reality is,sometimes when you are leading,you have to act quickly and decisively,take on as much expert information as you can,then act.

@ vman hard to see your respect when you accuse me of being upset because I couldn't get to my house in Pauanui.
However I also respect your right to express your views and go to great pains not to insult you or anyone else.
It is not about being right. And of course you have to look backwards. History is not a guide to the future, but it's all we have.
If we don't learn from this it happens again.
We have crossed a line where lockdown seems to be an acceptable thing to do. We should not have crossed that line. And we should be much much more cautious about crossing it ever again.
And I was saying all this before the fact. When they announced lockdown and Keith Woodward was saying what a great idea it was on this very site, I challenged it all then, with very similar arguments. You can go back and see if you don't believe me.
The data has always supported the "panic" thesis over the "1918 all over again" thesis. Right from the start.
But groupthink and herd behaviour are difficult forces to resist.

According to some, "Lock down enabled us to get going again faster".

Nothing to see here and thank goodness for the lockdown that enabled that bounce back.


The government will fly in. As long as the chap in charge of Jacinda's office has his way. Don't communicate with the electorate about stuff there is no need to talk about. Make the electorate think the government has their best interests at heart. Be nice to the reporters. Fill press conferences with Patsy questions, a la every single Covid talk. Don't discuss long term government loans payback. Use that money to look after the poor people. Result will be at least 51% of the electorate will vote for the Jacinda government, regardless of the incompetence of literally everyone around her.


Yep the tide is turning with a massive rip in far all that's happened is the government throwing a few life jackets out, but we are still going out with the tide..the rip is getting stronger by the hour.

Winston has read the tide. Thats why he has broken ranks.

its election year so now he will start saying things people want to hear, but we know once he gets back in power very little of what he says he will do if anything

No,he read the polls,he is trying to turn the tide...and Muller threw him a life ring the other day.

Winstons warnings over the last two decades about the detrimental effect mass immigration would have on the average Kiwi have sadly been shown to be true. But he hasn't done anything about it in government, so I hope he disappears.

The melt down is increasing. Lucky we have JA, GR and Willie Jackson to steer us to prosperity /sarc Job numbers fall by record 37,500 in April

Wow,the biggest drop was in service industries in April...we were in lockdown,of course they were the worst stats.Hard to work from home when you are a waiter.

Friends and Family affected are in: media, construction, hotel fit out, contracting accountancy, tourism IT, project management etc. A mixture of redundancy, reduced hours and/or reduced pay rate. I think we are in for a torrid two months with a domino effect.

Only two months?

I think the torrid time will be over the next 2 months as wage subsidies finish and owners look at turnover stats and make longer term decisions but it’s not over for another two years, at least.


a high percentage of those jobs are on work permits, so we should see an outflow of people out of NZ with no work here and not needed now.
its harsh but that is the reality and I hope we don't go soft and allow them to stay and pay for them to be here with no work.
same with those offshore trying to come back in, I hope immigration tightens up to make sure they are really needed and there job is secure.
we will have plenty of willing and able people here to work so the excuse of I can not find a kiwi will be thin

Yep, it is harsh but it's the new reality I think. At least people on here have the guts to say what they think. I wished the powers that be would read all these comments. I don't agree with them all as I suspect that goes for everyone on here. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and respect all the varying opinions. I guess being in Government is hard trying to please all of the people all of the time. I sure wouldn't want to be the one making the big decisions.

Name any alternative policy response from National.

Who cares, they aren't the government.

Sooner or later you have expect a government to think for itself, stop destroying jobs and take some responsibility for its actions.

Since this is explicitly about the election coming up, it is very salient as to whether National has any policy response.

Fair enough. I guess I was hoping our current government would do something useful in the next three months.

Ralph...who cares?.. I think everyone cares,if they want to be the government,they have to articulate why they are the better choice.
So far,away from pre-prepared speechesThe top 3 Nats don't appear to have acted very well under pressure.

Dis u Mike Hosking?

Let them eat cake?

No, let them drink milk.


Where I think this argument gets it wrong is that the health issue trumps everything. As the government said at the time. Look at the countries overseas where they have tried to work a compromise between the two. USA, Sweden, UK, Brazil. They are still nowhere near on top of the virus, the deaths keep rolling on and for most their economies are still badly hit. And most importantly there is still no end in site. Their economies will still suffer badly from the ongoing effects of the still spreading virus.
In our case we pretty much over the health issue provided that we do not do something stupid again like opening the boarders again to the Australians and others, who despite the popular rhetoric are no where near as in control as us. Does anybody really thing that it would be smart to go to a level 4 situation or worse still just do nothing and watch our health system collapse under the onslaught. Note our health system is very close to collapse under non covid conditions. It is nowhere near as well resourced as the Italian health system and look what happened to them.
Going forward, provided that we can maintain virus free status, just about every thing in the economy can return to as close to normal as you can expect. Of course the events beyond our boarder are going to effect us. These are matters beyond our control and we can do little about that except try to adapt and find opportunities where we can. At least we will/are in a position to do this without having to fight our own virus battle. Of course tourism is decimated. Little we can sensibly do about that until we can open up to countries that are equally in control as us. (and that is not Australia as things are at the moment or indeed a significant time ahead) At 10 % unemployment we will have about 280,000 without work, (at our normal 4% we have 112,000). I note that we have approximately 150,000 back packers in the country; many if not most taking work in the black economy. (how many back packers pay tax in NZ) These people should be returned to their homes. We also have 200,000 people on temporary work permit visas. (note the OE definition of temporary is "of limited duration" It does not in any way imply permanence) As these visas expire these people should be returned home. The whole of the tourism industry employs 229,000 people so you can see by adjusting these parameter we can move the country back to near full employment while operating in a virus effected world.

"health issue trumps everything"

I don't agree that it is that simple. It is very well known that poverty creates a whole raft of bad health outcomes.

"we pretty much over the health issue"

Is it not true that we have simply brought time and the virus still exists out there?

The point is that it is not a choice between the two. If we do not beat the virus as quickly as possible, then the economic outcomes and the consequential results which you refer to are even worse.
It may still be out there, but we cannot do anything about that. As long as our boarders are closed it ain't coming here.

Ok, but we haven't really 'beat' any viruses, all we have done is isolate ourselves from the problem at great cost.

How many lots of $100B do we have left in the gun?

Then what?

And in the meantime we are destroying jobs and creating poverty. Which has its own health impacts, particularly on children.

It seems a large ppn of those on temp work visas are intent on staying here even under severely disadvantaged conditions, being aware they'd be worse off at home. Even Jacinda the kind appears to have sensed the public mood on this issue, resisting the urge to include them in her cash lolly scramble. It's going to take significant prodding to shift them. Shane Jones's proposal to subsidise return flights has merit.

Then we are making it too comfortable for them

Many employers will be humanely supporting their (soon to be former) employees but the crunch point will come when wage subsidies run out, as they must. Media will run selected heart string pulling stories of visa workers plight but the mood of the public will by then be hardened with numerous home grown examples. The pop is living in a state subsidy induced limbo just now with the col trying to stave off reality until after the election but sentiment towards temp visa workers will rapidly harden as reality comes personally visiting.

some come to make it comfortable for those back home,
others take jobs that are low pay and have no hope of ever getting enough points to apply, but keep getting their work permits renewed?
Samantha Korale Kankanange has invested seven years of his life in Queenstown working as a chef.
He lives frugally and sends most of his money home to Sri Lanka to support his wife Inoka and 10-year-old daughter Savini.
I don't want to go back to Sri Lanka. There's no jobs there. I don't know what we're going to do," he says.
Others have lived in Queenstown for many years, their children were born there, and they suddenly have no income.
"They regard themselves as Kiwis ...
and the problem with Queenstown in particular is the pay is low and the price to stay there too high, that is why kiwis can not afford to stay and work there even though there are many in NZ that would love to.

Kankanange's story was interesting. While his work history and attitude make him sound the sort of person who would make an excellent migrant under normal circumstances the world has changed as the country is hit with an existential crisis. Media imply that having a dispensable temporary migrant workforce is somehow morally wrong. It's not. Guest worker arrangements are common. Kiwi travellers will have observed them in many countries. If you go to another country as a worker in this category you know the deal which includes that when you are no longer needed you'll be kicked out.

Sri Lanka's citizens and economy are not our responsibility. Maybe they would have all been better off if they had not spent years fighting each other in the Tamil uprising. Again, not our problem, and if you think it is where does that stop? Do we take every refugee and under privileged person from round the world. Remember we have our own citizens without homes. Driving round in their cars with their children and all their possessions, looking for somewhere quiet to park for the night.

What about the argument that we were the ones that actively opened the door by listing bakers and chefs as 'special' immigration job types that local kiwi's did not want to do?

If the nation wants to cater to its desire for foreign cuisine there is no alternative to importing thousands of 'chefs' as NZrs couldn't possibly learn how to cook other than meat & 3 veg. From there environments can evolve that deter NZrs from applying for work in said establishments and thus a new category of worker 'shortage' arises.

What about "bakers'?

Bakers are a must have imported profession in NZ. And they are making bread in supermarket bakeries.

'Remember we have our own citizens without homes. Driving round in their cars with their children and all their possessions, looking for somewhere quiet to park for the night' ... are you sure about that ?. I know that when the nats were in power this was a major problem featuring daily in media stories. But immediately the col came into power these stories largely vanished showing that virtually overnight the problem was solved by the government. I have no doubt that if it were still occurring the media would have continued the regular stories of car living.

Oh yes. It is hard for us middle class liberals to accept the facts.
True story.
Three days ago my daughter saw a car pull up on the other side of the road. A women got out and was walking around the car. Her parter followed and was trying to comfort her. She was extremely distraught.
They had what looked like all their earthly possessions piled into the car.
Ask yourself.

Who are you going to choose?
The chef in Queenstown? Or the family in the car?
You can't have both.
We have neither The work or the houses to support both.

I think you will find the media stopped reporting it once National was no longer the government...Nothing to see here regarding their favoured party...

"subsidise return flights"

That would be sweetly ironic given the grand standing and accusations made against the Aussies for not treating kiwi non citizens (residents who pay tax) as citizens.

Yes. But it's different when NZrs do it as we are inherently morally superior to Aussies. Manus island is a moral outrage until waves of economic refugees begin landing on ones own shores.

Another split between labour and nz first
"My overarching feeling is that they should go home. And if it's possible for us to assist them to go home then that to me is a very Christian thing to do.
"Secondly, the difficulty that I have, on behalf of NZ First, with opening the border for visa-holding migrants to come back to New Zealand is I don't see why I should agree to that if we've got legions of Kiwis who have now been dislocated from the labour market and are themselves looking for jobs."

Govt been drunk with power bestowed from emergency... which is now falsely held out as extant risk. They've overshot the mark and will pay for it come election time

Margaret Thatcher got re-elected twice with unemployment over 3 million.
Because most people thought she was only person with character on offer.
About 10% of National voters seem to have switched since February.
If labour holds half those at election, Labour will win.

Do your projections factor in in both the greens and NZF being wiped out and a resurgent ACT ?

Greens arent going anywhere, NZF yes perhaps. As for the Epsom party, his character and policies do not resonate with NZ's

I admire your confidence Albert, even if misplaced. Try picturing by September runaway unemployment and the 80% of households with currently no financial buffer now facing even grimmer times. Then think about how these household will react to Shaw demanding a 50% cut to the dairy herd that is one of NZs critical lifelines and Genter banging on about widening footpaths being 'infrastructure' investment. Tree hugging idealists are a warm and fuzzy indulgence for the good times. Hunger sharpens the mind's focus on who is best able to deliver food.

Why would National indulge Seymour if they know they won't be likely to win the election? They might wish to secure all the MPs they can get, and dump ACT - who then have to try to get to 5%. Perversely, a wasted ACT vote of 4% means more National MPs.

If the Nats withdraw support for ACT then I might as well vote Labour and send a signal direct to Muller and Co. The Nats need to move to the Right to differentiate their offering. Mind you Cindy might just sort out the problem by moving even further left.

Maybe the Nats should let Act loose,then Paul Goldsmith can run in Ngati Epsom and capture the Maori vote.

Maori do vote ACT, well at least my wife does.