Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Mike Hosking: Hermit Kingdom attitude is now haunting us

It's coming home to roost a bit, isn't it?

What we have learned this week, whether it be the construction company now in Britain looking to fill the jobs here that pay over $100,000, the university students that haven't come back despite the door being open, the manufacturers who told us the job queue is non-existent because reputation is an issue, or the apple orchards that have left over $100 million worth of fruit on the trees, there is a theme.

The theme is we stayed closed too long.

The line that the best economic response was our health response is now being shown to be the utterly dishonest nonsense it always was.

We had this weird belief that when we were full and ready, we could simply turn the switch and the whole world would deal with us the way they used to, almost as though no one else out there was getting on with it, and even if they were, they were inferior to us anyway. So, all those who longed and loved New Zealand would simply line up and be grateful to return to life the way it used to be.

Tourism, I think, we always accepted was going to be a slow burn. It may be even slower than we thought given the figures out this week show travel in many parts of the world is at pre-Covid levels, if not higher.

We can't say anywhere near the same thing. At least part of that is on us. We never hustled and never even wanted to hustle. We became the Hermit Kingdom. Whatever reputation we had built up over the years, at least in part, has been wrecked.

There is still a bit of time to put it right. Students, hopefully, will come back later this year looking for a new start. So, fingers crossed.

But the labour issue is a crisis. Our tax rates are too high, our pay rates are too low and Australia has been open for months and is beating us to the skills.

You notice we still don’t have a maritime border open yet?

All we seemed capable of doing was panicking, locking down, and bumbling around for two years while a lot of the world moved on.

We could be stuck in orange forever.

Our reputation, if not ruined, in need of some serious attention.

As an exercise in totality, it's a C-minus at best. Yes, we saved lives, let's toss that line in one more time, shall we?

But my word, what a stunning price it looks like we are paying.

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


Glenn Webster said...

And the majority of the deaths in the older population were people like myself with other medical pre-conditions who died not Covid 19 but because it pushed them past the survivable limit.

Anonymous said...

sweden had (mostly) an individual responsibility based model. this resulted in 25% population getting infected and a death rate of 0.75% of the infected.

NZ has its 22% population infected and a death rate of 0.09% of the infected. if we assumed the swedish model, we would have had 1.27 million infected & 9525 dead. net lives saved is around 8500. with a govt valuation of life at 5M$, that's 42.5B$ net. was it worth it? time only will tell...

Anonymous said...

Most of the students won't be back Mike. I have many students in China who will go to high school and university in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and even Italy. They won't come here because the treaty crap, Te Reo and the stone age cultural cringe forced on them isn't what they were paying for. Internationally our education system is considered to be of a low standard, only academically lacking rich students or students who's parents want resident visas bother to come here. Kiwialan

Anonymous said...

Students won't be coming back here Mike. I have many students in China and they will go to high school or university in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and even Italy. They won't come here to have Te Reo, treaty crap and stone age cultural cringe forced on them. Kiwialan.

Anonymous said...

You are a breath of fresh air Mike. I love reading your posts. So forthright. Thank you. Raewyn Smith leader of the Justice party

Anonymous said...

i totally agree about 'students not coming'. in 2020, i had a huge surge in interest from friends keen on sending their kids to NZ universities. in 2021, it started to taper as they realised that intent could not be converted to action. come 2022, most of them have already decided (some even moved) upon places in europe or usa. by the time our visa processing starts, it would be too little, too late...