With the PM pitching for a second term on the basis of her track record of managing the virus crisis, let’s do a quick stocktake on how the two main parties have responded to pandemics - National the swine flu in 2009, and Labour Covid-19,
Is New Zealand’s Covid-19 track record really the envy of the world? And did Ms Ardern’s Captain’s Calls improve or worsen the outcome? With Parliament suspended during the crisis, the Prime Minister adroitly leveraged her celebrity status and thespian talent.
The border fiascos have confirmed the widely held view that while the Ardern Government is great at rhetoric, they are hopeless at delivery. It’s an accusation that has dogged them ever since they were elected.
Andrew Borrowdale, a former parliamentary draughtsman and author of respected law texts, alleges that the “special powers” delegated by section 70 of the Health Act 1956 cannot provide Parliamentary authority for the entire populace to be locked up at home.
In terms of the recent past, the ineffectiveness of lockdowns implies that New Zealand suffered large output losses, of ten billion dollars or more, for no likely benefit in terms of lives saved as a result of the decision to move almost immediately from Level 2 to Level 4... Any claim that lockdown was necessary to save lives can be treated with strong scepticism.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is now looking foolish after thousands of people took to the streets in protest on Monday, thumbing their nose at her lockdown rules, while the Police watched on doing nothing.
New Zealand is at a crossroads. This is the moment that will define the next generation. Will our future embrace freedom and liberty, or are we staring down the barrel of increasing Sate control. Will we go down the path towards socialism or free enterprise.