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Dr Muriel Newman

Spotlight on Covid-19 Response

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This week’s latest Colmar Brunton poll has Labour on 47 percent, National on 33 percent, New Zealand First on 1 percent, the Greens on 7 percent, and ACT on 8 percent.

If this translates into election votes, New Zealand will have a Labour Green Government for the next three years.

Labour’s high poll rating can be largely attributed to the Covid-19 crisis.

The final Colmar Brunton poll to be published before the emergence of the virus was in November of last year. It showed National on 46 percent, Labour on 39 percent, New Zealand First on 4 percent, the Greens on 7 percent, and ACT on 2 percent. On that polling, with New Zealand First failing to make it back into Parliament, National, with the support of ACT could have formed a government.

Labour’s over-regulation of farmers, firearm owners, rental property investors, and the wider business community had contributed to their poor showing in the polls. Their failure to deliver on their election promises was also a significant factor – but more on that later.

Without a doubt the way the Prime Minister fronted the pandemic response looks likely to have saved Labour. In the May Colmar Brunton poll, taken just after the lockdown ended, they had surged 20 points to a stratospheric 59 percent, National had slumped 17 points to 29 percent, New Zealand First was on 3 percent, the Greens just under 5 percent, and ACT was steady on 2 percent.

It is a well-known phenomenon that when confronted with a national crisis, voters tend to “rally around the flag” in support of the incumbent government. Their leaders benefit from undivided and usually beneficial media attention.

But our Prime Minister exaggerated the scale of the threat we faced using claims that “tens of thousands of New Zealanders will die” if we didn’t follow her prescribed pathway.

Anyone questioning her lockdown strategy or challenging the lies that were being told to cover up such things as the chronic shortage of facemasks for front line health workers, or even the availability of the flu vaccine, were regarded as traitors to the ‘team of 5 million’ and vilified. 

As a result, the Government’s response to the pandemic was never subjected to the critical scrutiny it deserved given the widespread economic and social disruption it created – including the loss of life.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Dr John Gibson, a Professor of Economics at Waikato University, has bucked the trend by putting the Government’s management of the pandemic under the spotlight – including through research into the effectiveness of lockdowns in New Zealand and other OECD nations.

Contrary to the popular view, Professor Gibson’s findings indicate serious incompetence in the Government’s pandemic response.

He firstly points out that the deadly impact of Covid-19 was plain for all to see well before it reached our shores in late February. While other countries were proactively introducing border controls, establishing testing and tracking protocols, and setting up isolation facilities, in those early days our Government did little.

According to Professor Gibson, they “botched” the preparation for the arrival of the virus:

“I say ‘botched’ advisedly and would ask readers to consider the following four facts:

  • Taiwan recorded their first case of Covid-19 on 21 January, a full month before New Zealand’s first case
  • Taiwan usually has about three million visitors a year from China, while New Zealand gets about 400,000. The gap is even bigger in terms of visitors to China (who posed a risk of spreading the disease upon their return)
  • Taiwan has not had a lock-down
  • Yet despite earlier exposure and much greater risk due to more travel to and from China, Taiwan has just 22 cases per million of Covid-19 while the rate in New Zealand is currently 17 times higher

“Similar comparisons could be made with respect to Hong Kong or South Korea, who also provided lessons on management of this new risk. The complacency by politicians and bureaucrats in New Zealand, who had the advantage of an extra month for preparation and much greater distance from China, is staggering. Obviously that chance to respond to the risk in a low-cost manner was missed and so a very costly lockdown has resulted.”

The Prime Minister didn’t close our borders until March 19. She issued her doomsday predictions of widespread deaths four days later on March 23.

Professor Gibson explains that the exaggerated Covid fatality predictions used by the Prime Minister came from an “off-the-shelf European model” that had “no empirical data from New Zealand on key parameters”. Questioning the use of a model designed for high density, public transport-reliant Northern Hemisphere populations that are older and have poorer respiratory health, on New Zealand’s low-density, younger population, he concludes, “Prime Ministerial claims that ‘tens of thousands will die’ are vague at best and alarmist at worst.”

The Prime Minister used her alarmist claims to justify a lockdown that Professor Gibson describes as “the most stringent in the world”.

At the time the lockdown was imposed, it was difficult to understand why butchers and greengrocers were not allowed to open in the same way as supermarkets. Why greenkeepers, wildlife officers, and others who operate in isolation, were not permitted to work. Or why builders, manufacturers, and others working in jobs where social distancing was possible were not able to carry on. And we questioned why hospitals did not re-open for elective surgery once it was clear the anticipated deluge of Covid-19 cases was not going to arrive.

In analysing the effectiveness of policies to manage the spread of the virus within OECD countries – ranging from the harsh lockdown imposed in New Zealand to relatively minor restrictions in Sweden – Professor Gibson and other economists have found, from using seroprevalence studies of population samples, that Covid-19 deaths data provides a more accurate measure of infection rates than official case number tallies.

This is because with limited community testing – and virtually no testing at all of asymptomatic cases even though they are thought to comprise the majority of Covid-19 infections – the official case tallies significantly undercount the virus infection rate.

Newsroom’s political reporter Marc Daalder highlighted this accuracy problem in a report in which he compared the officially announced case tally to the case data collected by the Ministry of Health: “On March 25, the day New Zealand moved into Level 4 lockdown, the official Covid-19 case tally was 189 confirmed cases and 16 probable cases. There were actually 552 cases that would be confirmed and 60 cases that would be considered probable in New Zealand that day.”

As could be expected, in their analyses of government responses to the pandemic, economists have found that restrictions imposed before Covid infections had peaked were effective in reducing the spread of the virus, while those imposed after the peak, had no statistically significant impact on death rates.

Professor Gibson’s analysis of government responses in all 34 OECD countries found, “New Zealand is amongst 17 countries whose peak policy stringency occurred after the likely turning point in infections. For New Zealand, new infections peaked on March 16, over a week before the strictest restrictions began on 26 March.”

This result is a bombshell.

Essentially it means the huge sacrifices New Zealanders made during the lockdown had little impact on the virus because it was imposed after our infections had peaked. In other words, Labour’s response was too late!

As Professor Gibson explains, “A popular narrative that New Zealand’s policy response to Coronavirus was ‘go hard, go early’ is misleading. While restrictions were the most stringent in the world during the Level 4 lockdown in March and April, these were imposed after the likely peak in new infections. So based on comparing policy timing with likely progress of the virus, the ‘go early’ claim seems untrue.”

To make matters worse, Professor Gibson further explains that the economic decline caused by Labour’s lockdown, will result in a reduction of the life expectancy of New Zealanders. His research finds that for every 10 percent fall in a country’s GDP, life expectancy across the whole population is reduced by 1.4 years.

In other words, economic damage has a material social cost. More people will now die as a result of a lack of affordable health care.

With the latest economic data from Stats NZ showing a 12.2 percent fall in GDP over the lockdown period – the largest quarterly fall since records began – the full extent of the economic and social cost Labour has caused is only just starting to be revealed.

Professor Gibson concludes his analyses by reinforcing this point: “New Zealand went hard but not early in responding to Covid-19… Any review of New Zealand’s decision-making about Covid-19 should especially focus on what was (not) being done in February and early March. The repetition of the ‘go hard, go early’ phrase should not distract from this task.” 

Rather than admitting they had responded too late in closing down our border or introducing lockdown restrictions, Labour ploughed $16 million into the taxpayer-funded public relations campaign that gave rise to the “go early” slogan despite it being false.

This is not the first time Labour has created false narratives in the minds of voters by repeating a lie. Former Labour Party Cabinet Minister Richard Prebble tells one such story:

“It was in 1981. We did a party poll and found the electorate thought that Labour had no practical positive solutions. The Labour party’s policy machinery takes months and the election was only six months away. So what to do.”

Richard explains that every MP was instructed to include in every speech and radio and television appearance the statement “Labour has practical positive solutions”. 

“There were prizes for MPs who managed to get the line on to the TV news. Heaven help an MP who gave a speech in parliament, no matter what the topic who did not include the line.

“We changed not one policy.

“We polled three months later and asked ‘What is a good thing about Labour’.  Even a majority of National voters said that Labour had some practical, positive solutions.” 

As Richard notes, “Jacinda as a graduate in PR no doubt knows the value of repeating a slogan like the false statement that we went early.  We went nearly too late and way too hard.”

It’s not just the Covid response, of course, that will determine voters’ election choices. The Government’s track record of delivery of their 2017 election promises will no doubt play a part.

It does not make for happy reading.

After three years of pursuing their flagship KiwiBuild pledge to build tens of thousands of homes, Labour completed just 548! That is failure on a monumental scale.

In spite of their commitment to end homelessness, the State house waiting list has blown out from just over 4,000 in 2017 to over 17,000 in 2019.

Their plan to build light rail in Auckland was abandoned – but the increases in petrol tax that were introduced to fund it have remained in place.

Not only did the Prime Minister fail in her promise to reduce child poverty, with the number of children living in material hardship increasing from 12.7 percent in 2017 to 13.4 percent in 2019, but under her watch, between December 2017 and 2019, a record 12,000 more children have been born into benefit dependent households, significantly increasing their risk of poor life outcomes.

In spite of widespread policy failures, Labour is claiming that their track record of managing the Covid-19 health response should entitle them to win the election and lead the country’s economic recovery.

But as we now know, the truth is very different from the spin. Labour’s track record in government is littered with incompetence. But whether enough voters will be awakened to that reality – before they cast their vote – remains to be seen. 

Please note – you can register for our free weekly newsletter by clicking HERE.


*Do you agree or disagree with Labour’s claim that they ‘went early’ with their Covid-19 response?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


I wish our daily papers would print articles like these in big bold letters. Jasmine
Passenger planes were arriving from china arriving Auckland, with passengers for Christchurch, Queenstown, as they disembarked were been sick before they went through customs. and this is before lockdown !!! Ross
Too hard, too late. Cindy needed another photo op! Chris
We need change big time! Look where a Labour and National lead Government has landed us after all these years! They are both as bad as each other. Do some more digging people or we are screwed! Krystal
Border closure and quarantine procedures could have been in place earlier for returning Kiwis seeking sanctuary. Ryan
Labour propaganda Denis
Cindy is the princess of the panic porn and because of her totalitarian tendencies she continues to press the fear lockdown button. Contrast that toxic control idea with US President Trump fresh out of hospital telling the world not to be afraid of the Chinese virus and their economy will recover quickly now unlike ours. A real leader here in NZ may have followed the Swedish model. Monica
Labour are hopeless. I struggle to think of any of their policies that they have succeeded in delivering. They have done well at wasting money and destroying the economy – fairly normal behaviour for left-leaning governments. Gary
If Labour/Greens get back in we are down the gurgles! Kaye
New Zealand will be decimated by this insane government. Jacinda will be responsible for civil war. Dave
Of course not. It was more important for the “Fairy Princess” to have a holiday in the Pacific and put a scarf on with the Muslims in Christchurch so she delayed the call until she had done what she wanted – to hell with the rest of NZ – but that is Communism for you. Garry
Trump went early. 2 months earlier than Ardern. Yet he is hated and blamed by leftist media thugs and nz cartoonists without any fundamental decency, fairness or common sense. Ardern is a Trump hater because she bought Steven Colbert to holiday here on nz taxpayers money. bruce
I disagree that the Government ‘went early’. They could have gone earlier, but were let down by civil servants not actually doing the job properly. Sylvia
In hind sight they could be accused of panicking. Not what good government should do, or were they advised wrongly. Owen
By the time the ACTUAL lock down occurred ….. some MONTHS had past…..what with escapees, people not being tested AT ALL, some only getting one test…Those dealing with the Quarantined not being tested…… Lionel
I knew many months ago that this was a bare faced lie by the Prime Minister.The media should have been investigating & questioning whether the lockdown was necessary or too late to be effective. Peter
Jacinda was focused on the Chch massacre memorial service than Covid 19 Graham
The borders were still in free flow three weeks into lock down – come on! Point two – we could see from the rest of world what was happening and this government sat on it’s hand until it arrived. Glenda
Typically Labour have been reactive and not proactive. Their Covid response was most definitely reactive and is to this day. David
They should have closed the boarders a lot earlier and placed a number that could return per week in a managed facility. The Government were totally slack in response. ken
They were late. They should have accepted this and allowed herd immunity to develop. If you’re late, spend the money on health care not economic support for a false paradigm. Neil
Way too late and they still cannot manage the border. Paloma
History will show clearly Labour did not go early. New Zealand voters have had their own tax money used against them in 16 Million dollars slogans. Thinking people need to stand up against indoctrination in schools and force language nonsense on our public radio and television, 85% are being excluded, but I guess that’s the point. Sam
This is false statement being repeated so people become to believe it. The fact was the Govt was slow to react and against all advice to hit it hard and early as advised by well respected business leaders richard
Ironically, that the lock-down was so hard was because it was so late. “Go hard, go early” typical leftist obfuscation. Tony
Our family had the experience of knowing one of the first caucasion Kiwi citizen travellers returning from Hanoi and the far east. We provided a lease for their self isolation. The threat of the virus was known months earlier than the govt moved, and the traveller’s request for testing could not be undertaken as none of the local medical agencies had any testing kit or equipment, the local PPE was facical. The potential was present to observe over a thousand new cases in the several weeks before the Govt acted. And even then the Airports remained open, no testing was done, all because one person was holding out to grandstand the Chch Memorial. Had the pandemic effect been recognized earlier with a close-down of inbound flights from affected locations, mandatory testing at the airport, Bail like contact conditions for 14 days upon entry, It may have been possible to prevent the wholesale closure upon our business’ and ensuing job loss. This administration is big on propaganda and small on truth and performance, weak on protecting innocent lives. At center is an adherence to UN/WHO policies in lockstep and little consideration of Citizen welfare. Richard
It is clear that they were too late and took no notice of the lessons that Taiwan taught the rest of the world. The message that there would be 10,000 deaths was alarmist and blatantly a lie. Adern has been a practicing spin doctor for her whole term and the fallible public have been sucked in. Kerry
Early as was possible David
Don’t understand the question. Yes I agree that they went early. I disagree that it was necessary phil
Too much – too late – and too long! Meanwhile under lockdown all the new laws were being pushed through without public awareness and no public consultation! Laws that take away our basic rights, freedom of speech and our freedom.  BOB
Just Lies! Alan
Frederick’s Proverb for the New Zealand election! ‘If a Nation is unable to see the Wood for the Trees it will likely lose the Wood and the Trees!!!’ It would seem unlikely that the Voter is able to comprehend the extent of the deception pedalled by Comrade Adern – we shall see? Winston Churchill’s take on Socialism describes Labour’s transition to a Socialist Party brilliantly. ‘The Philosophy of Failure’; is correct, as described, by the fact that virtually none of the policies that the Labour Party won the last election on have been achieved. ‘The Creed of Ignorance’; they have no understanding of basic economics and its association with the Private Sector and the fact that the Private Sector develops the wealth of a nation. ‘The Gospel of Envy’; any chance to attack the (so-called) rich (that’s most of us who own a House!) with policies of prejudice to indicate that wealthy people are the problem! Winston would turn over in his grave! Perhaps it is the impact of the political policy decisions they have made in relation to an Unremarkable Virus that is the biggest Hoax perpetrated on us in recent History. With 98% of infected people having symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat or a cough. The numbers of deaths are so rubbery that one could put a new set of tires on the 17,000 aircraft parked in deserts!! (No doubt the ensuing public and professional reports to come will bring this to light in the future) A tally on the “real” deaths from a real pandemic should alert even the most “blinkered” Voter. # Aids – just under 1 million deaths in 2019 and in excess of 35 million so far and it continues. # Influenza A – about 650,000 to 1 Million deaths every year. But hang on it’s just disappeared when the SARS (CoV)-2 Flu virus came along this year! Where did it go? Well it’s likely that the inaccuracy of the testing regimes is responsible. Evidence has it that the antigens and anti-bodies are very similar to seasonal flu so many of the cases would be simply Seasonal Flu! The political machine in medicine would make sure that such evidence does not emerge! Unfortunately for New Zealand the economic situation as a result of this ‘Man’ made crisis is ‘Self-Sustaining and Perpetual’ unless the direction of the country changes. To repeat the words of John Key the nation has an economic crisis not a medical crisis. NZ is now Printing $1 Billion Dollars per week of Paper Money which is not based on the wealth of the country but its politics. In Venezuela the international markets devalued the currency and inflation busted economic models. The most conservative estimate of its inflation rate is 2,500%! It started printing money in 2013. This only took seven years to achieve – so be prepared for a Depression because the country is ‘Locked In’ and nothing can stop it without a change in direction. The way forward is to set up TENT CITIES near kitchens and dunnies. For example, sporting grounds, cricket grounds, stadiums, race courses etc. The Worst is Yet to Come! Frederick
Just another slogan, definitely not early. Greg
Not only too late but also too hard. Martin
the Comrade Jacinda Party has been disastrous for our country in all ways. GRANT
I can’t believe the Labour spin especially when the criticise President Trump who closed the border to China in late January to loud cries of being racist by the MSM and Democrats (but I repeat myself) I keep telling people that the problem is not Covid but the government response to Covid. Mike
This needs to be front page news Janet
They haven’t made a success of anything they’ve attempted to do, except to stuff the country. Peter
If it’s Labour, it must be wrong. Simple. Graeme
totally disagree, they didn’t close the borders soon enough, it was obvious that Covid was coming but they left them open. It was accident waiting to happen. Can’t understand why voters don’t see it, they have their eyes closed. Peter
While hindsight can show up what should be done foresight shows us what should be done. Colin
what ever cindy the red and her mob of half wits claim is utter BS as we still allow people in that have systems of the virus before they even arrive in nz and is costing this country a debt that will, if not already bankrupt us. Richard
They waited too long and failed dismally at boarder control for several weeks. The army is there to protect our boarder, furthermore we are already paying them to do the job. George
Yeah, the great Labour spin machine marches on, but most people go along with it and don’t want to think things our for themselves. Heaven help us with another three years of this incompetent Labour government. Fraser
They lied. Robbie
Under any reasonable analysis the comment is patently false. Graham
“Let them eat cake” (that’s the taxpayer) The whole inept crew of socialists fed the country with make believe, half truths and total lies. And… thats what we have got to look forward to for the next few years. Tragic Bryan
“Let them eat cake” Half truths and lies at every turn, What a farce Bryan
Jacinda is a globalist – her performance as such is spectacular. https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/corporate-communism-and-the-deep-state/ Robert
They didn’t go early enough. Should have closed the borders before it arrived. Lynette
JA is very good at blowing her own trumpet. Like all communist leaders. They must sent them to the same school. Every one of them is able to tell the biggest lie with a straight face Johan
Repeat a statement often enough and it will record in the subconscious, regardless of it’s integrity Pat
if you want to devastate a wonderful country do what the loony greens labor and nz first clowns and of course the WHO hoax have done. james
Patently obvious when you read the information available on these pages. June
Clearly at 63rd to respond she missed the bus. It is only because we are an island that saved us from worse damage. Now comes financial crisis. Peter
Lies Lies and it just goes on to more lies Eric
They have lied to us for their own political gain Jason
If their interpretation of going early was used when they arrange Neves wedding, they’ll arrive a week too late, oh that’s right, she won’t get married, her mother never bothered and her father kept shopping around! Ross
We have been fed too much false information – giving a different view of Labour’s performance.We need a new government – who will be honest and remember they are elected BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE GOOD OF ALL THE PEOPLE – regardless of race or ethnicity. CMM
They sat on the fence while hundreds of people returned from overseas including countries known to have high covid infection Peter
PR BS Trev
We were far to late in introducing border restrictions Merv
labour made a major mistake!!! tony
Media/PR driven hysteria Robert
Jaws is all BS. Why are so many people so Ignorant? Just dumb idiots ? Christina Christina
Incompetent idiologically driven clowns. Mark
It was way too late. I remember well how many of us on fb were virtually begging Jacinda to close the borders immediately, but she took a few more weeks to do so. Julie
Perhaps we don’t yet know, who this Labour Gov. is really working for–remember, Ardern is a socialist and has laid down minimal grounds for genuine, real Integrity and Trust! With respect to her capacity, she is a communicator, persuader and a figure-head. She does not I believe, possess the steel spine and collective ability to be a Leader and Prime Minister of this land. Alan
They couldn’t go early as they were totally unprepared, no PPE that was usable, unable to take the Health service with them and could only make grandeous captains calls! John
“went early” was expressed by Jacinda some time after NZ already had the COVID-19 outbreak! Just more of he sweet talking – say nothing expressions. Stuart
Labour have done it again and put spin on their activities. It is a shame that National hadn’t picked up on it and used it against Labour during electioneering. Could of made all the difference. Dennis
The labour government were definitely too late in acting. Paul
Talk about transparency. Not! Robert
Like everything else that Labour say they do is just all talk. This is understandable as they have not got the brains. Tom
The evidence presented is clear the the peak of the “virus” occurred well before the lockdown. An orchestrated litany of lies and failures. Spending my money to promote lies shows the measures this government will go to. In my opinion, the actions of this government have been traitorous, and anti New Zealand. Neil
Obvious from January 2020. An Island nation that literally let Covid-19 in. Travel overseas in January and return through Auckland Airport to nothing more than an information booth. Kerry
Jacinda is determined to replace capitalism with socialism. She would have been advised the best way to implement this would be to make every business reliant on government for its survival. Then to pay people’s wages up to election day, she could buy the election. Remember that directors could not continue to trade unless they could rely on government assistance or they would have lost the benefit of limited liability status. Yet I was the only one who picked it. Fortunately for Jacinda, I was in North Shore hospital requiring life-saving emergency surgery at the time. I would bet good money that her “captain’s call” was made on advice from “Socialist central”.. John
Of course they didn’t go early. What utterly misleading garbage. They were advised in February to close the border but waited until mid March, just after a refugee planeload landed on 13 March and the mosque photo shoot on 15th March and an absolute insistence or I leave from Bloomfield. They couldn’t lie straight in bed Carolyn
Lies, lies and more dammed lies! Alastair
Totally dishonest. Robin
No, too late. It was already spreading. Len
Way, way, way too slow and too little. Then they simply let Ministry of Health fail again and again and again at simple, simple tasks. Ministry of Health has no plan until three weeks passed? How were people not fired for their incompetence? Mark
Not early enough to get the job done correctly Ted
They shouldn’t have gone hard at all. Darag
They went hard but a month late and did it through lies and fear Barrie
Facts prove that the government did not go early. The statement that the govt went early is a lie and they should be penalized at the polls for it. Regrettably, as has been shown over the years New Zealanders vote for personalities rather for policies. We should have closed the borders 2 months earlier, kept commerce going as usual and supported the tourist sector, likely the only sector to suffer a major downturn. Instead we have a govt being lauded for the lie mongerers that they are. What a gullible lot many New Zealanders are! Peter
pure lies from the woman who stole mr ed’s teeth igor
Labour doesn’t know how to tell the truth. If they want to “go early” on something … they should put their focus on Maori criminals instead of instructing the police to take a soft approach! Des
It’s a lie. Princes Jacinda was late to close our borders. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, Simon Bridges suggested closing the borders well before Princess Jacinda. Also closing everything was totally over the top and many industries and shops (butchers& greengrocers) could have remained open with simple social distancing requirements employed. NZ is just fortunate its farmers were still able to carry on and produce export earnings no thanks to any government encouragement. Keith
I live in Queenstown which had lots of tourists. I stopped going to restaurants and gatherings 3 weeks before NZ’s lockdown. Ray
Too hard, too late – all for her coveting the upcoming international fame for the Mosque anniversary. She should be put on trial for what she and her CO-conspirators have done to this country. Dee
Jacinda is a proud Communist. She stated when addressing the Bill Gates Congress, prior to Covid, that every bit of legislation that she passed would align with Agenda 21/30. Don’t believe me? then go to youtube, & search. Covid-19 gave Jacinda the perfect opportunity to experience TOTAL population control. A communists dream come true. She was given advise to close the boarders eight weeks before she did. A.G.R.
should have done what Taiwan did as soon as our first case was received (but not found to be Covid). This Govt has NEVER acknowledged the Taiwan system which has been so successful,….and only National has recently has said this. Too arrogant to even acknowledge that another country has done better than we, hopefully will speed Jacinda’s and Labour’s exit from the Government benches. alan
Spin David
Very much disagree Geoffrey
Their handling has been diabolical The PR handling was the only reason that they are so popular. Anyone who did any research would know that what they did was crap david
It should be clear to anyone with a brain that the government did NOT “go early” – their rather limp first response was at least 1-2 months after the arrival of the virus was a known fact. John
Even I recognised this Labour spin, because our problems didn’t arrive until a month after most of the rest of the world. We had a lot of warning not heeded. Denis
Labour is all talky and no dooie David
this govt are a lot of tossers allan
Jacinda is full of BS and spin, gullible New Zealanders believe her Laurie
Of course they did not go early. They weren’t even watching the ball and when they did spot it they had a kneejerk reaction. We kept being fed the bad news from the likes of Italy instead of learning from the examples of Taiwan and South Korea who despite being geographically and demographically at far greater risk than ourselves were handling their response in a far more effective and professional manner. Gary
Like most of her gabbling it is meaningless and incorrect. Louise
Noddies in charge of us. I’m over it, let’s get on with daily life and not tie the economy of a country up. Don
The results speak for themselves Graeme
We went late and level 4 was too harsh most work places could have remained open and Hospitals should have continued elective surgeries and Doctors doors should have been wide open sheryl
New Zealand’s shutdown occurred after new infections peaked on March 16, over a week before the strictest restrictions began on 26 March. The huge sacrifices New Zealanders made during the lockdown had little impact on the virus because it was imposed after our infections had peaked. In other words, Labour%u2019s response was too late and the JacArd claim that New Zealand%u2019s policy response to Coronavirus was %u2018go hard, go early%u2019 is misleading and untrue. Stan
They failed to take protective measures regarding our borders but over-reacted concerning lockdown measures internally Harvey
Labour under show pony Ardern have stuffed everything up and we will suffer the consequences for a long time to come. All their state propaganda ( remember— they have literally bought the MSM for 57 Million) is aimed at massive brainwashing the gullible minds of ordinary NZ citizens and they are very successful at that. Instead of herd immunity we have got herd stupidity . I repeat : people will only start to wake up when their pants are on fire. Michael
I remember distinctly at the time many were calling for borders to be closed and the government took no notice. There is no way that we went early. Jacinda seems to think if she says it often enough we will forget the truth. Deborah
Way too late with incompetent and and slow responses. Bruce
I disagree. However, I’m not sure that National would have done any better given the fact that this “Plandemic” is a carefully orchestrated international scam, aided and abetted by our news media. Kris
Too many flowery comments, NO positive action. IAN
they failed to quarent covid cases and caused the virus to spread murray
There were many before us tony
One point appears to be missing in discussions :- China (including Hubei province) has a lower infection rate than NZ because they reacted as soon as the realised what was happening (or could not conceal any longer). john
They’ve been virtue signalling to the china health organisation prior to covid lockdown for months, while ignoring alarm bells that Taiwan was sounding. Shame everyone already forgot about it less than a year later. Pavel
Labour went late. I am involved in a sports team and other activities and most activities were closed earlier in March. The fact that New Zealanders were already taking precautions saved the country. I was somewhat surprised that Jacinda decided the credit is all hers. Phillip
Lies lies and more lies . Voters are easily conned. John
They hung about till it was going to be obvious there was going to be a problem if they did not act even then their border controls were ineffective Arthur
A week before shutdown we found we had been in relatively close contact with a positive tested person while visiting Hamilton. We went home and isolated our selves because we felt unsafe. Rob
Late as other countries were ahead as they did not have to wait for the Ch Ch anniversary drama session by the PM. Peter
Labour, the team of one? larry
Way too late in controlling borders Alan
All these claims of labour’s incompetence must be published in local newspapers, if the newspapers have the courage to do so,to inform ALL NZer’s the truth. We will be screwed if labour is re-elected. ROD
We are used to being lied to by politicians, particularly when seeking office. Anon
New Zealand did NOT go early in its response to the Wuhan Virus and there has been a catastrophic destruction of our economy because of the incompetence of the Labour led government. The only thing that they got right was the spin that put themselves in a great light. We are separated from the rest of the world by a vast moat and closing the borders if done properly and early would have kept the virus at bay and allowed all but the tourist sector to remain in business. Also we now know much more about the virus and should be able to reconnect with rest of the world with proper border controls and competent track and trace systems . By this I mean preflight tests and quarantine on arrival If a Kiwi then paid by the Government and if on business including sport and education then self funded privately provided if supervised properly. We cannot afford to lockdown any part of the country when there is a tiny outbreak. Can any one answer the question how many people have died because and only because of the virus and not just hastened by it and also how many have died as a result of the lockdown policies ( Suicide and non assessment of cancer etc) Robin
Jacinderella shows complete mastery of the art of spin. She is a consummate politician in the modern meaning of the word as a derogatory term. She has no concern for the interests of the citizens of NZ – unless they are called ‘Bro’. Her priority is to be re-elected and see what further failings she can spin into tales of success. Her response to Covid-19 was pathetically late because she wanted students and tourists to keep bringing in yuan, and will prove to be disastrous for the country. PLEASE, think before you vote! TOBY
Not only did they not go early, they kept letting people into the country from known trouble spots. Go figure! John
Our dear leader has told so many lies, it’s hard to find any redeeming features of this ragtag band of labor members.. I really don’t think they would know the truth if it bit them on the nose. The sooner that ardern and her cohort of misfits are thrown out the better it will be for the country. Hugs do not feed a nation, it just shows how shallow our PM really is. Merryl
It’s easy in hindsight to criticise decisions made 6 or 7 months ago when the world didn’t fully understand what they were dealing with. There would have been decisions made by many governments that they would not have made now being more educated on the virus. What a question. Chris
Absolutely disagree! – they were at least a month too late – saw that for myself right back in the beginning. Some feel that March 15th may have had something to do with it! Scott
Australia was ahead of NZ in it’s response to Covid-19. Kohn
I Came back into New Zealand at the time of the Lockdown and the border was loose as a goose Les
Another lie Bev
I do although I am not a Labour follower. David
They did not go early enough. They should have had put tighter controls at the border. Incoming people should have been tested negative before boarding an aircraft to go to NZ and should be in quarantine for 14 days in NZ. Frank
Yes I agree. I am apolitical but am getting sick and tired of all the anti-government anti “Jacinda” rhetoric from all so called experts and “wanta bes” who know it all after the event. Of course it could have been handled better and earlier with hindsight but what was done and when it was done saved many lives. There is no on in any of the other political parties who could have done it better or fronted it so well. Give credit where it is due. I will exercise my democratic right on election day and it wont go where you are all thinking it will! Bruce
It is obvious with a quick look at the statistics in other countries that we were LATE to begin Ray
jacinda has fooled a lot of people unfortunately I doubt it will be in time for TRUE FACTS coming in time to prevent a labour-green govt. & it will be a DISARSTER for NZ.The greens will go OVER BOARD as usual,I urge people to look how “green” solar panels are & also electric car battries-they BOTH use FORCE CHILD LABOPUR to mine BOTH of these items.The greens have NOT done their homework & NZealanders will suffer because the greens will as I,v said “go overboard” Cindy
they were still asleep a covid19 spread overseas John
Total spin. I shudder to think of the total cost of the government’s (including local govt.) PR machine spreading mythological “good news” …not only about their covid responses but all manner of propaganda designed to promote ever expanding intervention of the state into our private lives. Orwellian stuff! Ross
Labour – a triumph of slick PR (publically funded of course !) over actual facts. Michale
The facts speak for themselves. If labour had “Gone early” then NZ would not have had the level 2,3 & 4 restrictions and we would likely not have had any cases of Covid 19 BRUCE
Normal socialist lies Michael
Coming from a position (as did most of the planet) of not really quite knowing what they were fighting, i think they did remarkably well, Few educated people in Labour’s team, doubt if the M of Health knew a virus from vacuum cleaner. OK? New man (his replacement) doing well, so thanks to him for that…. Jacinda knocked them into shape and got on with the job. What’s wrong with that.? That some of her underlings couldn’t correctly supervise quarantine centres did matter, but a lot learned a lot on the job and did their best. What more could we hope for, really???? Some of the people running the country couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery, but so what ?? IT WAS EVER THUS! Mabel
It’s widely accepted by those of us who aren’t besotted with Adern that her “early and hard” slogan was just that – a slogan. It was then, and remains, a deliberately misleading lie. Stuart Nash repeated it ad nauseum on Newstalk ZB in conversation with Mike Hosking. Speaking of Stuart Nash – not only has he failed to deliver strenght and common sense in his designated port folios of Police Minister and Small Business, but his mental love affair with Adern demeans his status as a rational human being…in my opinion. That’ll do from me – for now – 🙂 Heather
Bullshit Barras
For those who can see through the spin, this is clear, but how many people take the time for this or are prepared to do so? Pieter
One doesn’t need to be a professor to have known at the time of the lockdown that Ardern was well behind the eight-ball. She was far too late in closing the border and her imposed measures were beyond draconian. Ronnie
I have always believed they were too late. We are an island nation and the virus was coming from outside so we should have shut the borders earlier. We let the carriers in. Graeme
they went only as it became really necessary Peter
Patently obvious they did NOT Carl
At least a month too late. Alan
Labour’s whole approach has been political advertisement. Time for them to GO Carl
Despite the constant repetition of “we have a plan” Labour’s response was too often reactive and too slow, which showed they actually had no plan. They were too slow in closing our borders, despite NZ’s being isolated geographically from every other country. Laurence
Labour did too little too late they plenty of warning from China then Europe America England but dallied around self isolating instead of quarantine with the army involved. We are at war with Covid 19 and that is how it should of attacked it. Definitely inexperience and incompetence in attacking Covid 19. Roydon
Sanctimonious Cindy the master of con. Kevin
How do you know a Politician is lying ? Easy, their mouths a moving! Sweden went early, but they went with the tried and true response that has worked for millennia, isolate the sick, tell the healthy to be diligent and careful, didn’t destroy their economy, peoples livelihood, etc. with a true science based approach vs. our politicians how are making up the rules as they go to instill fear and control the populous ! John
They botched it. Like everything else they tried to do. Andrew
Came back from overseas 22nd March. No testing at all at Auckland Airport. Eileen
Obviously due to a severe lack of resources, which they lied about to gain some time. Graham
False claims not verified Bryan
it is just a slogan. Sharon
And the Labour Party spent spent how many Millions on total B S !! They must think we are all as stupid. Geoff
Too little too late would be more appropriate. At least 2 weeks prior to lockdown there was a mounting concern that we were doing nothing to close the borders. It appeared that Jacinda wanted her photo op with the Christchurch ceremony of remembrance before the borders were closed. Eventually she was denied that by Public concern for the numbers flooding into New Zealand… the borders were ‘closed’ but still leaked like a sieve, and still are. Why are thousands of immigrants flooding in from India? Certainly a high percentage of them have never lived in New Zealand and are coming in under the relaxed rules that allow family of those who hold work permits to enter. Robbie
We were telling them this on the only forum we had – talkback radio. Do you remember Universities and colleges wanted the border to remain open to allow Chinese students in! William
They went hard and they went late. And they have botched everything ever since. They are absolutely useless at running anything. I totally dread another term with this lot running things. Helen
It was obvious to me before November last year things were not right in China. The response was lat e and ineffective. Regrettably the electorate is too ignorant to see how they have been deceived. Charles
Too late, too hard, and it is time folk woke up to the facts. Cecilie
Ardern’s response showed us what Nazi-style fascism looks like. Her response was second only to Victoria Australia in its heavy-handed severity and the rest of the world was horrified. Sherrin
They went too late and too hard and have ignored the scientific evidence ever since. Mark
Do they use fortran at Otago uni too? Kevin
Labour party lies and deception propogated by the biased mass media has, if one agrees with the polls, sucked in many. The reality is a cratered economy, massive new debt and little left in the kitty when the s@#t really hits the fan next year. Richard
As usual Jacinda and her government were very slow off the mark. Procrastination is her biggest problem. Bending the truth is another. Darryl
With a PM who only listened to advice that corresponded with her ideals it is obvious that the entire coalition Government not only obeyed her rules but were threatened if they opposed any actin. This now becoming very clear when one looks at the statements being made by both the Green Party, NZ 1st and even her own ministers. Please note, the PM’s new repeated slogan is now “IF I MAY” which I have noted has now being used by the Labour faithful . Barry
Good Article Neville
It’s just a mantra. For Auckland to still be in Level 2 is a disgrace. God defend New Zealand! Dick
They went far too late, and then far too hard Roy
I endured quarantine in April after returning from rioting-central Portland USA. Despite repeated pleas to be tested, we captives were denied testing and told to stop causing trouble. The ‘management ‘ of the facilities was nothing short of laughable. If there had been COVID amongst the internees it would have spread like wildfire. John
It was a lie from day 1. She cancelled the Mosque shooting commemoration only the day before. Tourists were arriving and being handed flyers about sanitization etc! She went Late and Way Too Hard! Allan
Very clearly disagree but they spun it the other other way Donald
Jacinda went far too late and crushed our economy in the process. Reports out of China in 2019 should have raised alarm bells. Absolute evidence in Jan 2020. She procrastinated and wrecked the lives of thousands of people. Lee
We live in a constant state of “spin” from the left. Geoff
The facts contradict that claim Ian
That is I disagree they went early Anne
Absolutely not – the PM was focusing on the anniversary of the Chc shootings and the supposed group of Muslim dignatories who were coming to NZ – to get her name in the world media. Gerry
Not early enough Phil
Cindy is full of it LGF
I think so — yes. Colin
Hard and late as proven every time my partner travelled I and out of the country seeing the reality. Lies, lies and more lies from the Head Kindy Teacher. Maddi
The article says it all a disaster from the start Peter
I saw reports on COVID in early January and advised a friend in the US to keep an eye on it. Late, late very late John
All a figment of Arderns imagination it was a balls up John
Very interesting information Geoff
Borders should have been closed, airport testing done, as soon as first influx of cases. Robyn
Labours claims are nonsense. Squealer is all sound bites and no substance. Chris
You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool ALL of the people ALL of the time. Brian
like your summary, totally agree with you. norman
I am very much disagree with government Covid-19response Marina
All the evidence suggests they sat on their hands because the didn’t, and still don’t know what to do Kevin
Disagree Ann
They waited too long Mike
I never did as I had watched overseas television and knew exactly what was going on. Chris
This Labour-led government is the most mendacious and incompetent in my lifetime – and I am coming up for m 17th general election. The thought of them continuing in government fills me with dread. We need to face the facts – irrespective of our previous political affiliations they have to go. Graeme
Ardern should have pulled up the draw bridge and stopped the flights of tourists coming in, so simple!!! Raewyn
It has been a total shambles from the start and they are trying to cover their incompetence and trying to convince people by saying they went early . They lied David
No way and their response was Inadequate and incompetent just like everything else this rabble try todo.THE WORST GOVERNMENT EVER AND GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY IF THEY GO BACK Don
Slow, late, bungled Bev
It seemed to me the response was being held off to enable a big publicity opportunity for the PM on March 15th. Alan
A stupidly worded question. Greg
Totally incompetent from top to bottom Jeff
Thats BS Graeme
Not late, but definitely not early Kevin
Disagree. This lot couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery they’re that incompetent! Terry
We always knew it was a lie. And so did she. Otherwise, why did she keep emphasis on her going early and hard. A contradiction of terms. As if we had closed borders early, then there would be no need to have gone hard; and tank the economy in the process. She is a naive, incompetent liar. Am voting today, am going hard and early to get rid of this amateur govt. LUKE
Of course not: We did not have the possible cataclysm predicted by the Government because of more good luck than good management – which by the way was abysmal. NZ is at the ends of the earth so is not a transit hub and our geographical isolation played a big part. Professor Gibson’s research should be made known within the populace – that Labour continues to lie. Brenton
More communist lies from Cinders. It%u2019s all colluding with the CCP Greg
To late to hard Kath
That spin line was part of a $16 million ad agency (overseas ) line amongst others that were spun to us Allan
I do NOT agree. Jim
The staggering incompetence of this govt and their mantra of hard and early combined with the adoration of many shows how effective their propaganda is true or not.Hopefully enough see through this in time Phil
Look at Taiwan not far from China mainland.They approached the threatening situation extremely well. gale
Labour went too late and too hard with catastrophic economic effect. Sue
They did NOT go early enough Terry
Too little too late as usual Kaye
Jacinda wanted to wait until after the Christchurch shooting commemoration. Max
Most people in NZ are too busy with their lives to realise that they are being conned by the repetitive untruths of politicians Neil
Labour’s responses were far too late. If the border had been closed early we could have kept the virus out. And now we find out that the lockdown was too late – all this devastation for nothing. It is horrendous. John
Too late, too useless – I just hope voters come to their senses before they vote. Brendon
What a shocking revelation by Professor Gibson. Labour has been keeping us in the dark. They do not deserve to govern this country. Karen
Far too late. Their claims that they went early are just a lie. Their incompetence has destroyed our economy and now they want us to trust them with the rebuild – what a joke! Gerry
Labour was hopeless from the start but has a brilliant PR strategy. It is time their incompetence was exposed. Peter