Bit of a double-edged sword today, and I’m not sure what we should be worried about more. The hundreds of thousands of extra Aucklanders back at work today all mingling in kitchens, cafes and businesses, or the absconders who continue to flee the border.
We’ve had the Hamilton Maccas run cowboys, the gang with the boot load of KFC, the Northland sisters skipping the border, the drug taker running along train tracks to avoid a border, the driver who tore through paddocks to avoid the border, the infamous Wānaka couple, the high-profile Aucklander who went to Queenstown, the man to Whakatane, the Uni students, another school student yesterday who tuned up magically in class in Dunedin after weeks locked down in Auckland Level 4.
The other one yesterday, a man who left Auckland for Wellington to pick up a caravan and drive it back to Auckland, we had a man hiding in a car boot, and that’s before we get to the Black Power remand prisoner who breached his bail conditions by making several stops between Mt Eden prison and his home in the Waikato.
So what’s the bigger worry for community transmission when we’re looking to stamp it out? Absconders? Or workplaces?
Or will it be neighbours and their driveway drinks? Bubble breakers fed up with five weeks of isolation and taking a few calculated risks now?
Because that’s the thing about this level change; it’s a risk, and it’s one we have to be vigilant about, but there’s the rub.
It’s the Government’s famous high-trust model all over again, and we know from history how those high trust models go.
For every compliant, rule abiding responsible citizen, there are always the few who risk ruining it for all of us.
So although we are delighted to be in Level 3, purely because we can step out of our kitchens for a minute and grab some takeaways, we’re also slightly trepidatious.
Maybe we are war weary from five weeks of Level 4, maybe the Government’s fear-mongering has taken hold and we just can’t shake it, either way, it’s hard to feel completely confident that it’s all plain sailing from here.
It will, hopefully, be a good move for the economy. Although economists say we won’t know that for sure for a few weeks.
But more than 200,000 Aucklanders back to work today will surely be a boost.
And for those of us at home desperate for a night off the cooking, we’ll be trying to do the old ‘support local’ and order up those takeaways. Again, in the hope everyone does their bit in terms of social distancing and playing by the rules.
Because the last thing we want right now is to ping back into a Level 4.
We’ve come this far; let’s not stuff it up.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
Sounds like you're almost sorry to be leaving Level 4, Kate. We've done it before you know...and with this government it will probably happen again, especially if they start dropping in the polls. They've already set a deliberately high vaccination bar of 90% which gives them a ready excuse.
It seems there are lots of other people out there that love a good lockdown and can't wait to switch their vote back to Labour every time it happens. Perhaps NZ has turned into a nation of couch potatoes happy to be paid to stay at home, only venturing out to buy snacks to eat while watching Netflix all day. How bloody depressing!!
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