By Dave Kelly
The pointless and holiday-spoiling red, orange and green traffic light ‘system’ rushed out by Jacinda Ardern just before Christmas was nothing more than another way to encourage people to get vaccinated. Another bullying threat. Another black mark against Ardern and all her supporters.
We know this because a supporter of the government’s continuous fear-mongering propaganda has said so in plain English.
A report published in The Guardian, a once fine newspaper, quotes Michael Baker as saying: “The traffic light system won’t help us very much because it was never designed to dampen down transmission, it was only designed to nudge people towards vaccination.”
Otago University’s Dr Nick Wilson chips in: “The priority is to have a tighter border so that we don’t have to vaccinate kids and conduct a booster program during an outbreak.”
(Has anyone tried to book a flight out of New Zealand recently? Give it a go).
But honestly, in my view, what better time to let Omicron in than during high summer? Rather that than cold, damp, winter when the flu will enter the mix.
However, The Guardian rightly points to advocacy groups such as Grounded Kiwis which is putting legal pressure on the government (and about time too). Martin Newell, spokesperson for Grounded Kiwis wants rapid antigen testing for travellers and says “you can’t deny the right of New Zealanders to be able to return to their country”.
New Zealand’s borders have been basically shut to tourists from most parts of the world since March 2020, but that hasn’t stopped private aircraft arriving.
Talking of which, there are strong signs of a pretty large exodus of migrants leaving New Zealand with some paying $15,000 for a flight to Sydney to catch a commercial flight to wherever – perhaps back to their country of birth.
it’s hard to tell looking at Stats NZ data as departure cards are no longer required. These would have told us their final destination and the job or profession they are in (nursing for example).
One way or another the people are voting with their feet by leaving the country in droves – causing employers recruitment headaches. Others are staying and avoiding any unnecessary shops and ever-so-nicely sticking it to the government in any way they can (all in the best possible taste of course).
Unfortunately, commerce suffers, and one can only guess how many more companies will cease trading in 2022. I fear thousands. And it’s not because of covid. It’s because of Jacinda Ardern.
As I write this a friend who fled New Zealand on Friday messages to say he has arrived back home in London after 16 years in Auckland. He was a member of The Buzz team and not the first to leave these shores as a direct result of Ardern’s management of the country.
“It’s fine here,” he writes within hours of landing at 6am on a winter’s morning. “No masks, no one’s asking to see a vax passport, it’s just like normal life. Thank God I’m back, my family won’t believe the stories I have of life in NZ.”
I doubt they will. But their children will read the history books documenting New Zealand’s darkest days. When basic freedoms and rights were limited by government over-stretch that was endorsed by MPs of all parties and a compliant media.