One of the most frequently asked questions when you are on a road trip with the kids is: "How long until we get there.?"
These days you can look at your navigation map and give them a pretty good idea.
The Beehive's roadmap for grown-ups in Auckland is a bit like taking them on a road to nowhere, it has no finite end. The city could still be on the road at Christmas, providing the road doesn't leave the city.
And with the Covid numbers showing no sign of tailing off - even the Prime Minister's now calling it a tentacle that's hard to shake - they can't say how long we'll be on the road and where the map will take us.
And that's about as close as Jacinda Ardern got to admitting the lockdown's been a failure, which it most certainly has been, although they would have us believe without it thousands would have the virus with our hospitals resembling a medical outpost in a war zone.
That's a reflection on abysmal planning.
Ardern did say it's clear that long periods of restrictions haven't got us to zero cases, which of course is stating the bleedingly obvious.
"But that's okay, elimination was important because we didn't have vaccines, now we do we can begin to change the way we do things," she added.
At least elimination's off the table.
But the question is, when will that change come? Imagine if you are a hospitality business in Auckland, trying to plan for your future. This indeterminate announcement tells you you'll be able to open in a limited fashion once we have reached the third signpost.
When that will occur is anybody's guess.
That's the problem with this plan, there's no sign at the end of the road and there's no telling how long the road in an around Auckland will be. A vaccination target to raise the chequered flag would have helped.
In the meantime, if you do have nine of your mates around for a barbe, which you are now allowed to do in Auckland, keep an eye on the weather forecast. You won't be allowed to go inside.
But then what if you are caught short?
Ardern giggled her way through that one: "Keep it outside, nice and simple, if you haven't got a good bladder, don't stay for for long."
No-one in Auckland was laughing.
Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.
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