Ryan Bridge: When the polls say we're sick of it, lockdowns will end - and the Govt won't care if we're 5pct off some my

The AM Show 28/09/2021

OPINION: Last night's Colmar Brunton poll will have Labour worried - they're going backwards in a lockdown. 

COVID-19 has been the single issue Kiwis have trusted them with more than anything - but in the middle of Delta, rather than a big pat-on-the-back, boost-in-support they got last lockdown, they're less popular than before it.

Kiwis are no longer saying, 'shot bro',  they're saying, 'bro, where is your plan?'

The answer is there is no firm plan, like the Aussies have, with vaccine percentages guaranteeing stuff like freedom - an end to lockdowns.

Now I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I think the reason we don't have a plan is quite simple: Jacinda is waiting for us to tell her the plan.

I know, sounds weird, right?

Have a listen when Ardern was asked if we'll open up and end lockdowns when 90 percent of the eligible population is vaxxed:

"My intention would still be to try and not use restrictions that include stay-at-home orders because those are really tough on people," Ardern told The AM Show on Monday.

'My intention is to try', 'my intention is this', 'my strong preference is that'.

I intend to be a billionaire - that doesn't mean I will ever get there. 

What if we don't reach this mythical 90 percent vax rate by Christmas and another lockdown is needed - will she lock us down?

"And here, depending on circumstance, I hope would be to avoid lockdowns [sic]," she said.

So, there is no real answer to the question. 

The Government is scared of giving us a hard-and-fast plan in case it doesn't work out. 

They're crippled by the fear of a Kiwibuild-esque target failure - that's why this lot don't set targets you can pin them down on anymore.

So in the end, when we stop using lockdowns will, ironically, be up to us. 

Ardern's waiting for us to tell her the answer to the question we're asking, by way of very expensive political polling that they order.

When the polls say we're sick of it, lockdowns will be over - and they won't care if we're 5 percent off some mythical vaccine target nobody will confirm.

We know Jacinda watches polls like a hawk. Here she is justifying the fact we have no hard-and-fast plan on border reopening:

"As you will see from some of the opinion polls amongst New Zealanders, they don't want to see large changes to a number of people coming in without restrictions."

Ahhh... the old opinion polls, aye. So we'll aim for 90 percent and hope we get there, and then we might open up - but we also might not open up. And we also might not get to 90 percent - most countries haven't yet. And even if we do, it'll take a while.

But if Delta returns or this batch never leaves us, whether we go into lockdown will ultimately depend on whether we want to or not.

Ryan Bridge is the host of The AM Show.