It’s hard not to feel disillusioned this week - struggling to understand this new traffic light system. It feels like we’re being asked to reach an unrealistic goal by an ambitious PM who wants to score some points.
And in achieving that goal, what do we get for it? A red light.
As we’ve been told many times by this government, Delta didn’t come with a roadmap.
That’s actually not true in our case. The roadmap was rolling out in front of us.
We had months to watch it unfold in other parts of the world. And in that time, we should’ve readied our healthcare system, our ICU, our nursing capacity, our testing and tracing abilities. But we didn’t. We bragged about Six 60 concerts and how we didn't need to rush the vaccine rollout instead.
We put millions into designing a now cancelled bike bridge, money for school lunches, University buildings; stuff that wasn’t as important as money to ready ourselves for the inevitable.
And then when Delta did arrive, instead of asking for roadside assistance or seeking help from the private sector - who by the way desperately wanted to help, the government only got more entrenched in its own Wellington based echo chamber. It still won’t acknowledge or admit it got anything wrong. It still won’t justify how, with its hell-bent elimination strategy, we got locked down at level 4, then 3, only to have now over a thousand cases in the community.
The collateral damage of being guinea pigs for an ideologically driven government wanting to pursue “world beating” outcomes, has been well canvassed. But aside from giving the PM some impetus in her eventual path to the UN or whatever international badges she’s pursuing, it’s leaving those of us they purport to represent, with a scarred, debt laden economy, broken businesses, a mental health epidemic far greater than the one they inherited and allegedly so badly wanted to fix.
The greatest irony of course is there is no equity here in this approach they’re labelling the ‘most equitable’. Equitable for who?
For the Aucklanders who did as they asked and got vaccinated, stayed home and abided the rules?
It's disingenuous to hide behind a cloak of equitability while holding underwater businesses, elderly, the alone, the dying, the desperate to return home, the teenagers, the young parents, and just the Joe-average Aucklander who's tuned in daily, paid attention, taken heed, complied with restrictions, made sacrifices, swallowed vaccine doubts and done what’s been asked?
This is not equitable.
It’s unjust to the majority. It’s handing the power to the few. The one percent who won’t, can’t, or don’t want to vaccinate.
It’s handing our freedoms to them. Putting it in their hands, to absolve the government of any blame.
So, the unvaxxed get to decide when we, the obedient majority, get our freedoms back.
How is that fair?
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
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