Jacinda Ardern with a few COVID question marks ???
Jacinda Ardern with a few COVID question marks ???

Lloyd Burr: Come on Ardern, we do not need more Covid uncertainty

Opinion 12/11/2021

OPINION: I saw a headline this morning on one of the news sites which read: Judith Collins accuses Govt of 'blind panic' in Delta planning. 

I initially brushed it off as a bit of desperate Friday political headline-hunting.

But after reading an exclusive interview that Jacinda Ardern gave to Newsroom about possibly moving the whole country to the new traffic light system on Nov 28, I think Collins might be right. 

I think this government really is just making stuff up, or at the very least, just ruminating and soft-launching ideas publicly to see what the reaction is. 

Because vaccination rates have waned, Ardern is considering moving the whole country to the traffic-light system at the same time, in a bid to boost those rates. 

Why? Because life in the traffic light system is much harder for unvaccinated people. They won’t be able to go to the pub, won’t be able to go shopping, won’t be able to fly easily, won’t be able to do a lot of things. 

And while Ardern’s plan has merit, the way she’s announced it is bizarre. 

She told it to a journalist who wrote it in an article behind a paywall. 

She hasn’t consulted with her Cabinet. 

She hasn’t repeated the possible policy since. 

Was she just thinking out loud? 

Did she mis-speak? 

Or is it just a beat-up? 

Or maybe she is just making it up as she goes. 

Either way, it’s a bad idea in an environment in which there are so many policies and levels and stages-within-levels and individual DHBs with different vaccination rates and so on. 

You get my point. 

It’s already a convoluted enough space regarding rules and regulations and exemptions, that the PM speculating about MORE changes is just not helpful. 

If you’re going to change your roadmap or framework or whatever you call it, announce it publicly instead of adding more uncertainty to the mix for a country that’s had enough.

Catch Lloyd Burr Live every weekday from 4pm on Magic Talk.