Thursday, March 11, 2021

Mike Hosking: Why don't we have a trans-Tasman bubble?


Was Stuart Nash misleading us yesterday when he said the reason we don’t have a two-way bubble with Australia is because of the Australian government?

Scott Morrison was asked about National's position raised on the show yesterday with Judith Collins who told us the bubble needed to be up and running now. 72-hour negative test, jump on a plane, land here, and get on with your holiday.

Morrison said the only reason Australians weren't on holiday right here, right now was on our government. As we suspected.

The early BS from the government about talks, talks, more talks and logistics had an element of sense about them. No, you don’t just throw open the borders.

But as the border, one way, did open, and we jumped on planes, and went to stay in Sydney or Melbourne, it became increasingly evident there was really only one side holding this whole thing up.

It was and is us.

How many New Zealanders using the bubble have gone to Australia and infected Australians with Covid? None.

This is just the latest in the slow but sure unravelling of this government's Covid handling. The single act one year ago, the act of closing the border, was their party piece. They've dined out on it ever since, got re-elected on it, and us bankrupt on it.

But now, as the world moves on, as the vaccinations get sorted, we are left bereft at the bottom of the world, with a vaccine programme that still isn't rolled out, and won't be until the latter part of this year. At best, starting for most of us in July, four long months away.

You can do a lot in four months. In that time, Britain has injected 22 million. Israel has jabbed five million. We are still making announcements. The government has said it's not when you start, it's when you finish. Correct, and we will be finishing way too late.

The bubble was a scam. With the mindset we have it was never opening.  

Last week Scott Morrison expanded a migrant worker programme to help their labour shortage, he expanded MIQ to get more Aussies home, he's producing a million doses a week of AstraZeneca vaccine.

They're a mile ahead of us, not remotely in lockstep. They opened their end of the bubble deal last October. They are putting us to shame, and the endless excuses rolled out by this government are each and every day being exposed for the duplicitous crap they always were.

Each owner, operator, worker, or former worker in our tourism industry is in a level of pain they don’t need to be, because Australians should be here. The only reason they're not, according to Morrison, is because our government can't get out of its own way.  

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.

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