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Dr Muriel Newman

The Key Election Issue

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As we look ahead to the upcoming election, a major question on the mind of most voters is which government will be best able to manage New Zealand out of the current crisis – one led by Labour or one led by National.

When Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March, many health experts warned it would be impossible to eliminate such a highly contagious influenza virus.

The WHO now agrees, saying that Covid-19 “may never go away”. Since it cannot be permanently eradicated, it will become a long-term fact of life that will need to be appropriately managed.

They warn that while a number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials, “there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.”

They are also urging countries like New Zealand to re-open our borders: “Again it comes back to this idea that it is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future. Economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume.”

Reintegrating New Zealand back into the world is undoubtedly the major Covid-19 challenge facing the new government.

At the beginning of the outbreak it became clear, that for the vast majority of infected people, symptoms – if they had any at all – were relatively minor. For those with pre-existing health conditions and the elderly, however, the virus posed a very serious threat.

The country’s options were therefore to manage the disease and learn to live with it by protecting the vulnerable and controlling the spread through social distancing, mask-wearing, good hygiene, testing and tracing, isolation, sensible border controls, and other such measures, or closing the country down and waiting for a vaccine – even though one might never eventuate.

Jacinda Ardern and her Government decided on the second option, to eliminate the virus.

According to Radio NZ, “The government contracted 28 individuals or businesses to aid the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the bulk of which were for advertising, marketing and communications needs. As at 31 May, the government had budgeted or paid out $16,393,391 to contractors.

“The majority was to go to two firms who are listed as communications directors by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Clemenger BBDO Limited was to be paid $3m for its role with the response, which involved the clear and concise messaging such as ‘stay home, save lives’. But the biggest earner OMD, a multinational advertising firm that works in more than 100 countries, and touts itself as the world’s biggest media network… was to be paid $12m for its role in the response.”

So it turns out that everything from “the team of 5 million” to the “be kind to each other” messaging was carefully planned, tested and executed.

Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking is scathing that so much money was spent on ‘spin’: “Extraordinary, isn’t it? It shows just how much we got played by a government that was as desperate to score points on this as it was to actually address a health crisis.

“Is communication important? Of course. But do you need to pay $16 million for it? No. This wasn’t simple instruction that any government or group or person can come up with, this was clearly a highly planned, seriously worked over piece of strategy designed for maximum political impact.

“And the irony is, from the advertising agencies point of view, it worked. We got sucked in, followed orders and came out hailing the Prime Minister with a 59 percent share in a poll. Value for money then? Or a master piece of fantastically expensive spin? Again, we were played like a fiddle.”

As a result of these high poll ratings, it has become increasingly clear that Labour’s re-election strategy involves riding its Covid success – and saying as little as possible about anything else.

That would certainly explain the high-profile taxpayer-funded Covid-19 advertising campaign that is currently underway. The implied messaging is: Covid-19 remains a threat, and Jacinda Ardern remains the solution. 

Some commentators have now suggested that the power of those communications messages over a fearful and vulnerable population created a form of Stockholm syndrome – a psychological response that develops over the course of captivity when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors.

As the Herald’s Head of Business Fran O’Sullivan writes, “It’s as if half the population has a giant case of Stockholm syndrome. So enamoured are they with Jacinda Ardern’s political leadership, that they are prepared to overlook the fact that New Zealand is to all intents and purposes moving into ‘a giant open air prison with a 1200-mile moat around it’… For many businesses it is starting to feel as if New Zealand is fast becoming a Kiwi-style hermit kingdom.”

To mitigate the economic damage caused by their lockdown, the Government has spent billions of dollars subsidising wages, propping up businesses, and attempting to create jobs. At its peak, the Government’s wage subsidy covered 1.7 million employees, and over 71 percent of all businesses received some form of government assistance.

In Australia, a survey run by the Bureau of Statistics revealed that one in ten companies receiving their wage subsidy, expects to close down once it runs out. It underlines fears that the subsidies are propping up hundreds of “zombie” businesses that can no longer survive in the post-Covid economy.

Whether it is the same here remains to be seen.

At present 120,000 workers are still covered by the original wage subsidy, with an additional 440,000 on the extended scheme, which runs for eight weeks for businesses with a revenue drop of 40 percent or more. Since applications for that scheme do not close until September 1, the true state of businesses will not become clear until it runs out in November – well after the election.

The big question on everyone’s mind is how will the massive debt that the Labour-led Government has run up be paid back. The numbers are eye-watering – net core crown debt which was just $58 billion barely a year ago, is expected to increase to $200 billion by 2024.

There are two schools of thought.

Socialists see the solution in raising taxes on the ‘wealthy’.

That is what the Green Party is proposing. It would not only increase the top rates of tax up to 42 percent, but it would also introduce a comprehensive wealth tax that encompasses the family home and family trusts.

Labour has so far refused to say how they plan to repay their extraordinary level of debt, but since the PM has not ruled out tax increases, they will probably be a key part of their agenda.

Parties planning tax increases should remember the advice of Winston Churchill – any nation that tries to tax itself into prosperity “is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.” 

Indeed, they should remind themselves how West Germany and Great Britain recovered from the ravages of the Second World War.

West Germany’s Economics Minister Ludwig Erhardt introduced sweeping reforms that focussed on cutting bureaucracy and taxes. As a result, innovation exploded, productivity soared, exports skyrocketed, and the country prospered.

Britain, meanwhile, had taken the path to greater state control after the war, and the country had stagnated. When Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister she slashed bureaucracy and restored a culture of entrepreneurship. Her reforms, which embraced the virtues of freedom, lower taxes, and less regulation, transformed the economy, and the country flourished.

When National was elected to Government in 2008, New Zealand was already in the grip of the global financial crisis. Their strategy to get us onto the path to recovery consisted of growing the economy, eliminating wasteful government spending, and halting payments to the Super Fund, which is an income smoothing mechanism designed to force today’s taxpayers to subside the cost of superannuation from 2036 when the fund’s drawdown begins.

National’s strategy worked. New Zealand was one of the first countries in the OECD to recover from the GFC.

Now, faced with a new economic crisis and skyrocketing debt, National is promising a similar strategy: they would reduce debt to below 30 percent of GDP in a decade, through higher economic growth, by increasing government spending at a slightly slower rate than currently projected, and by halting contributions to the Super Fund.

What this means is that at the election, New Zealand voters will have a choice between higher taxes under a Labour-led government, or higher growth under a National-led government.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, New Zealander Dr Barend Vlaardingerbroek, a Professor at the American University of Beirut, believes that as a result of Covid-19, life is unlikely to ever be the same again:  

“We have been hearing the expression ‘the new norm’ for some time but it is only starting to sink in that this ‘norm’ may be – as the term implies – long-term. People adapt to challenging situations and adopt new routines that may persist after the need for them has abated. This is all the more so when a crisis facilitates the adoption of a new way of going about things that has already been hovering in the wings but was not taken on board before because of social or institutional inertia.

“A good example of this is the shift towards so-called ‘e-learning’. The most recent email on the matter asked departments to indicate which graduate courses could not be delivered on-line. By this time next year, e-learning will have become a ‘new norm’ for many departments at my university. Even if a magic bullet against the virus is doing its stuff by then, I do not believe that we would return to conventional face-to-face classes; e-learning is, after all, more cost-effective.”

Professor Vlaardingerbroek is right – many of the old ways are likely to be gone for good. For Kiwis who have lost their jobs in industries that are no longer viable as a result of the pandemic, that means they will need to be prepared to take on work that they may not have done before. It also means that businesses that in the past were able to rely on foreign workers, will need to depend on New Zealanders instead.

The American journalist H.L. Mencken once said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”.

He might have been talking about Labour.

The Prime Minister is working hard to keep concerns about Covid-19 in front of voters, so she can keep reminding them that if elected for another three-year term, she will keep them safe. That may explain why there is now talk about wearing facemasks and needing ‘to be prepared’.

The Director General of Health appears to be assisting the cause as well. Until now, he has opposed the wearing of facemasks by the public, but over recent days has changed his tune – even going so far as to warn the public about potential community outbreaks.

Perhaps the next step in the Covid election campaign will be to issue each member of the ‘team of five million’ a face mask and an appropriate health warning message.

When asked about the roll-out of election policy last month, the Prime Minister said, “I absolutely accept that there is an election this year, and there is no avoiding that. But at the moment, really it’s taking a bare minimum of my thinking because we are still in the middle of a global pandemic.”

I would respectfully suggest, Covid-19 is Labour’s 2020 election campaign.  

With advance voting starting in four weeks’ time, surely voters have a right to know what policies Labour is planning to introduce to address the economic crisis, before they vote.

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*Do you think it’s possible for New Zealand to fully eliminate Covid-19 in the long-term?


*Poll comments are posted below.


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


Click to view x 120


It’s counterproductive to even try. Darag
Pigs will fly b 4 eliminating covid Bev
How can we? We have had flu vaccines for decades and it is still with us ‘in force’. Pieter
It’s a virus , like any other virus it’s not going to go away, maybe they will come up with a vaccine, that will probably kill more people than covid-19 Graeme
It is unlikely to be eliminated. We need to learn how to live with the virus in our midst Naomi
There are too many people who don’t follow guidance or rules. Diana
I have the feeling another episode is on its way after all it was predicted way back in 1956 that the Virus would be here this year. Warren
Lockdown doesn’t work..Too many foreign kiwis not caring a dam LG&
Permanently eliminating Covid-19 is not possible. There will always be some infections, somewhere and at some level Richard
Yes, but only once it has effectively been eliminated globally, rather like smallpox. Barend
Thisis just a Labour pipe dream. Have we eliminated the common cold? Covid-19 is just another corona virus. Over 99% who have been infected have recovered and we have wrecked the economy for that. All on a Captains call that was completely against Ministry of Health protocols that were put in place after SARS in 2003 and now 70% of the population think JA is a genius. What rubbish. Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, a German infectious disease expert sums it up beautifully…..”All these measures are leading to self destruction and collective suicide based on nothing more than a spook.” Orthomolecular Medicine has recently published a paper compiled by Dr Thomas Levy which details a whole series of simple treatments that will deal with any virus or bacteria including the rumoured new swine flu that is supposed to be reving up. These methods will also deal with any other infections that Gates and the WHO dream up to keep we the people in a constant state of fear. Retirement Villages etc need to get familiar with the Levy Protocols to keep their people safe. I will make the contact details available to Muriel for those who might want to get more details. Ronmac
Comrade Ardern likes to design Utopia for us, that’s what turns her on except there is no such place. An article in the Press newspaper stated the boyfriend hasn’t lived with her since March – obviously he doesn’t believe in Utopia either. Monica
If we want to be come part of a global economy we will have to open our boarders with tight controls .If we keep our boarders closed then we will be so isolated that our free trade will deminish and that we cannot afford. so wake up Kiwwis and dont be fooled by this current Governments propaganda. ken
too many outside variables, internationally Francis
Influenza has not been eliminated so why Covid David
Not unless we disconnect with the outside world. Best hope is for a vaccine – together with annual updates. Meanwhile all arrivals/departures must be tested and anyone breaking isolation rules should be publicly shamed. Graham
like the Flu it will be 90% eliminated but still around for those would don’t develop of immunity or vaccinate when it becomes available Mike
At some point a border fail will happen and /or the community tracing will fail. Also, we cannot stay shut to the world forever. Steve
stupid if they vote yes,orrr selfish nevkath
Never eradicated the Common Cold and will never eradicate this Chinese Flu. Jim
Of course not. Its a strain of a FLU Virus. That of SARS (CoV)-2. COVID-19 is the disease from the Virus. Much of the testing is capturing Influenza A in our winter period!!! Ask your self “Where has the FLU gone?” Last year the FLU infected 48,000 people in NZ and it did not overwhelm the Health System. 10.5 million people have recovered from COVID-19, What does that tell you?” It tells us that 98% is the recovery rate. Chinese General must be laughing all the way to Beijing – they don’t need Nuclear Bombs only a Vile of an UNREMARKABLE VIRUS – dump it at the nearest international airport and yell, “VIRUS.” Then watch the western world implode within a few weeks!!! This is a political Virus! Frederick
Not a shit show . It will always be there in waiting,but hopefully there will be a vaccine to control it. O boy o boy is Cindy milking this virus. The old saying,never waste a god crisis. Peter
Depends on the integrity and wisdom of our leaders. maurice
We have been unable to eliminate the Flu even though we have a vaccine (650,000 deaths each year). And life goes on. Per head of population Covid 19 is not as deadly as the Flu. We will eventually adapt and life will go on albeit with added caution. Robert
We have to integrate with the rest of the world which would expose us to the virus. How we control the number of cases is what is important to avoid excessive demand on our medical resources. Martin
We can’t get rid of the flu so what chance Covid. Mike
I’m optimistic that a vaccine will be found that gives protection, just like the ‘flu vaccine Terry
We will learn to live with it, protecting the vulnerable and immunising Keith
Even if they could eliminate it they wouldn’t Bill
Make the border secure and keep it that way until there is a vaccine. Anr test everyone coming in forever Roger
Only if the rest of the world is able to eliminate it. If the virus is still infecting people in any part of the world, the potential is still there for it to spread again. Jacky
Based on previous Covid flu over a very long period this virus will weaken over a short time. This has been proven in NZ and other countries Kathy
I don’t think it’s possible because we will always have idiots who think their own agenda is more important than the collective well-being of the country. We do need a seperate prison built where we can throw all these escapee’s and “now break in’s” in the same block and infect each other and let them infect each other and experience the effect that other people have to endure because of their stupidity and selfishness. No mercy asked for, no mercy given. Never mind ‘pursuing kindness.’ Ray
If we come the equivalent of a religious cult and in becoming so wind the economic clock back 40 years. Tariffs massively expensive cars electronics half agricultural sales as others would tariff us. No if we want to remain a viable country. Tony
No way, an impossible dream David
NO. Because our various border controls are so potentially porous. Stuart
Sweden got it right after all. Check it out. Michael
Jacinda can suckalala Anonymous
We did not have a vaccine for swine flu, sars, bird flu , open the boarders before more businesses go to the wall !!!! Ross
It’s a disease. Learn to live with it and get over it. Gary
Feeling stranded here in Comrade Jacinda’s bubble! Tony
Even with annual flu injections people still get the flu so in my view the same will apply to covid. Numbers will lessen however like the flu it will always be possible to catch covid. Allan
how? you are dealing with people Erin
No – we are stuck with it! We have been right royally screwed over and taken for a ride in what will prove to be the biggest worldwide scam since the introduction of the banking system. The full effects of it are yet to be felt! Scott
There are a number of viruses that have never been eliminated, including the common cold why does she insist NZ must stop until a vaccination has been found? Simple – alarmisim before the election. Hydroxychloroquine is known to eliminate the effects in 99.8% of cases. Because Donald Trump suggested the treatment, the pro China World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed it didn’t, the Marxist NZ Labor party followed the communist line. Besides which, the PM couldn’t spell the remedy. Rex
BECAUSE if you keep TALKING about it, honouring it, watching it on TV. New Zealand are asking Covid-19 to stay. It’s all about control. Mark
they have found the perfect weapon to control us and instill fear tactics, and over reach, and its working so don’t see it going away any time soon…. wayne
Covid-19 will be like the ‘flu and re-ocur every year in a slightly different form Margaret
impossible, we have to live with it gerard
Covid-19 is a virus. We must open our borders to trade and tourism and in doing so we will undoubtedly be exposed to it again. It is ridiculous to think we can eliminate a virus from our country in a global world. Sheila
No because it’ll come through the Borders probably unfortunately . Catherine
I don’t like the above question. What I think is that we can let it be in our midst and beat it……albeit that there will be some who will bow to its infection……..as do many who have bowed to previous viral infections.. Heather
We cannot eliminate the common cold or the flu, we just have to live with it. Eventually, we will get a vaccine and it will have to keep changing as the virus evolves. We will also get some immunity as the virus spreads in the community. Don’t let us push older people out of action again. I feel that more damage was done to older people by frightening them into immobility. Some will never get active again. Paloma
We can and we must. I think it will take effective vaccines to finally achieve this though. K
We have to learn to live with it, isolate it and MOVE ON – get the borders open and the economy roaring. sheryl
If any nation ever eliminates Covid-19, a new star will appear in the sky, and 3 men will come in from the East on camels! This government is fully aware of that, and their “response” to covid was purely political. Sure, we can eliminate it from here, but we will have to become a hermit society with no contact with the rest of the world, and stay that way for ever. Does anyone see that as a desirable outcome? I don’t! I also fail to see how having the Socialist party as the beneficial owner of New Zealand’s economy – as they now are – is in any way desirable. TOBY
No corona virus has been eliminated to date Leanne
We do not think that the proposals of the government are adequate. Some could cause long term problems for the country. Brian
No show Bob
Simply put it is CV19, or 20, or 21….or some new bug, they keep coming, most are NEVER beaten, only the depth of suffering is alleviated by cocktails of drugs al la Aids. Lionel
Not when borders open. Bruce
The trickle down effect of the Government strategy is very apparent. The next message from the much “loved” PM will be to advise voters that no party has the answer to the economic situation but you will be safer from the crisis by letting them continue of the next three years. God help us. Barry
Common sense and logic tells us that we just have to live with it. New Zealand is a country where high personal and public health standards are the norm and that is why the millions of other viruses out there have not killed us. History will show how easily people can be frightened, that is more concerning.. Sam
the ONLY virus ever eliminated is smallpox alan
I heard a radio ‘host’ replying to a text saying that there is a new virus coming out of China called the ‘rabbit virus’ and that it jumps around from person to person. The radio ‘host’ was genuinely alarmed and commented that he was so. Our Nation, generally speaking, has been conned by this Government and are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Very sad, but very predictable from our Socialist Government. I have delivered 4 Aid projects to Zimbabwe over the years and have seen first-hand the control the Socialist Government of Zimbabwe has over its people. The Country ran out of money years ago and the people are dying. NZ is heading in that direction Rev. David
No of course it’s obviously impossible. To quote Judith Collins when asked to comment on something that Ardern spouted ” That’s just Pixie Dust!” Anyone who has even the slightest analytical ability can see past Ardern’s hollow words & actions. How the hell could you trust a leader who’s only election speak involves Covid-19. For goodness sake New Zealand! Wake Up! There are more serious issues that we face as a nation than a virus that statistics prove is no more dangerous than many other viruses. Rex
and we shouldn’t have tried to eliminate it in the first place Darag
NO, the virus will not be eradicated, neither will the gullible stupidity of the populace who exhibit fawning adulation of the prime minister and her servile coterie. Peter
“Fireproof” our rest Homes. “Controlled” open our businesses and borders Brian
Historically the fatal effects of these pandemics eventually diminish. Over a period of time they no longer become the major issue of concern. Tony
As a planet we cannot eliminate “Flu”, even with huge medical advances since the last pandemic. Covid-19 will be no different Tom
But hope that a good Vaccine will be developed to help eliminate the worst effects to the most vulnerable. Laurel
The socialists are using this as a smokescreen to extend and maintain state control. Wake up people! They must be stopped. David
not until it works its way through the world Steven
It will never be eliminated. With a bit of luck it could be managed with better border controls, and testing. John
At some stage we must open up our borders. That is when reality will happen. Open with caution; but let’s start opening up. Peter
NZ may eliminate Covid-19 in the long term but that would mean keeping the borders permanently shut and watch the country become totally isolated to the rest of the world with consenquent economic malais. Trevor
we need to learn to live with it just as we live with influenza. gale
As with all of the flu variations, it will evolve and mutate over time and at best there may be another variation of the current flu vaccine, with emphasis on assisting the most vulnerable to avoid its most damaging effects. In the meantime the whole emphasis must be on identifying the best methods of treating this version of the flu and ensuring that a swift and effective regime is in place to mitigate its effects and speed patient recovery. Funny how we never hear anything about this, but we all know why !! It doesn’t suit the Marxist socialist agenda and the aura of the Miss Fairy Dust,!! James
Since the WHO made its first pronouncements there have been a n ever-growing number of prominent epidemiologists that to consider that the COVID-19 could be eliminated is simply opium-pipe induced fantasy (or perhaps “weed” induced imaginings -which is perhaps why the Greens are so hyped on its legalisation). Miss Ardern is clearly a major supporter of this fantasy, carrying an unbelievable proportion of the electorate with her (Oh the wonders of an unscrutinised advertising budget to tell a lie big enough, often enough to have a gullible proletariate continue to believe she is the second coming and salvation of our nation.) WTF! Surely this is right up ANTIFA’s alley but never a word. Is every other political party too afraid to tell it how it is for fear in antagonising this “captured” section of our nation? A plague on all their houses. Who is servant to whom? We obviously can take great comfort in being the world’s most isolated hermits. We know by following this path mushrooms will have a more exciting life than we should expect! Michael
It’s just another flu virus. It will be with us forever Evan
if the most wealthy countries in the world say it can’t be eliminated NZ has as much chance as a snow ball in hell but cindy the red and her bunch of half wiits think they can which shows how much dope they smoked. Richard
Not without border restrictions which HAVE to be lifted. June
fear bull shit fear bill
This is a long term event. There are some conspiracy theories and maybe some are true. Do not trust your Government !!!! Alan
I don’t think so but it will be reduced to just another flu which we can treat successfully. Eric
Get real; of course not. Rob
Like the common cold, the ‘flu, mumps, measles and chicken pox Covid 19 is here to stay. Get used to it. Colin
It would only be possible if NZ were to completely isolate itself from the rest of the world and allow NO inward border crossing including returning NZ citizens (which I imagine would be illegal). Whatever the case, NZ cannot completely isolate itself from the rest of the world and hence cannot fully eliminate Covid-19 long term (unless of course the rest of the world can do so also). Kevin
Covid will be around the same as the flue and cancer.keep washing hands and take care Bev
Must face reality this virus will never be fully eliminated.Priority needs to change to getting the economy back up to restore employment, to enable the country to pay back the large debt and running, with controlled border movements with continued better border quarantining, increased community testing etc. David
It’s a virus. Viruses mutate. Even the Black Death still exists in the world. Mark
Never. Virus mutations occur very rapidly. Bruce
Just live with it like we do with the regular flu every year. Graeme
We must learn to live WITH this disease and indeed we will ! But, not while we are hiding under the bed . Rosie
If one person, unknowingly, can spread the virus for a number of weeks, when are the borders ever going to be opened safely?? Owen
We only need to open borders to international students and it will probably spread like wildfire. muriel
Depends on definition of “long term” 1, 2, 3 or more decades? Robert
How the hell do you eliminate Flu Elaine
Its like a strain of flu once out here to stay. Labour are like a river have used up all the existing flow that was there and have NO idea on where to get more flow from an empty bucket. Time for Labour to GO….. Carl
Like any other known virus once here can never be eliminated only managed Alan
Covid -19 will not be eliminated unless a very effective vaccine is developed and made available world wide, at an affordable cost. Richard
It is just like the annual flu . It is nature , we are not going to win against nature , just slow down the enevitable . Nature will be here long after we have . Kevin
Probably not unless a viable vaccine is produced. Meantime we should strictly control our border allowing in people essential for our economy and returning NZers subject to Covid testing and the prescribed period of isolation at their expense, not at the taxpayers expense. Clinton
not without a vaccine.  
We are likely to have a few more cases pop up every so often, until a vaccine is rolled out. Frank
Viruses will mutate faster than man trying to find a vaccine Kay
eliminate, not eradicate. Francis
Nor the common cold… Peter
We are extremely unlikely to achieve it on our own while it remains active and present in the rest of the world, and without far more advanced or fresh medical science to deal with it. Jim
because we will have to eventually open our borders to survive financially John
Wasn’t it the venerated and exalted Ashleigh Bloomfield who made the bold statement because Wuhan was so distanced from us the chances of the new strain of Coronavirus was unlikely to affect us too much? Which is probably why Ardern actually took so long to act initially to lose the borders. Max
This virus yes but not the FLU, JUST another political ploy. something to play with for prior election. IAN
Im pretty sure that after the election a labour led govt plan to cave into border opening pressure, and implement further 2030 global agendas, putting NZers in a position of feeling compelled to comply with tacer included vaccination Lorna
No of course not, that is Labour’s pie in the sky and that Saint Jacinda will save us. Talk about pigs might fly. Labour and the Greens are just blind thinkers and most of the population are sucked in by them. Fraser
It’s but a international concocted flu ponzi scheme and only herd immunity will overcome it. Alan
the behavior of this govt has been shocking, but then again what can you expect from a PM who has been brain washed all her life to that of communism, and has only ever worked wrapping fish and chips, there isn’t a lot in the top story. JA is one of the most economically ignorant young woman in this country, always remember, hugs won’t feed a nation, what’s she going to do when there are thousands of destitute people crying out for food and shelter, while this greedy young woman takes home a $10,000 per week pay plus the perks. In my opinion she is one of the most disgusting people I can think of. Merryl
The borders should open safely but there is still a risk the virus will enter. Margaret
The return of international mobility on a vast scale will ensue that NZ will never fully eliminate CV19 in any time interval that one may dream up. Victor
No not unless we continue to be a hermit nation. Willy
Too much world travel Maureen
yes but it will be either as a result of an effective vaccine being developed and 100% of the population being inoculated or the whole Country being turned into a quarantine station that is strictly policed. Neither option is likely to be realistic especially with the slow and slack enforcement regime that this government exhibits. Gary
to many have no idea of hygiene – or food intake Beth
Exid19 = long-term x time bob
I personally know a 92 year old and an 87 year old in South Africa who had the virus. Both are recovered – no worse than a bad flu. Why wreck economies for that? Mass hysteria. Geoff
Possibly – It really will depend on a successful vaccine. Don
The labour govt is making NZer’s dependant on the govt for existence and welfare. This is a form of control, make the nation dependant on the govt and they will be easier to control…a typical communist control move. ROD
We can’t stay isolated forever Louise
We can’t isolate ourselves from the rest of the world indefinitely, we need to learn to manage it and not be led up the garden path by socialist Cindy Laurie
Come September we can either vote for a Depression or vote for a Recovery. Geoff
Sure it’s possible. The real question is whether it’s practical or whether the pros outweigh the cons. Pavel
A gross over reaction to flu. Chris
You cannot eliminate viruses. They have a life span.Doctors cannot give you a pill that ‘kills’ a virus.Similar to climate ‘control’ we puny humans have very little effect on the climate. Dick
It’s going to come back and it will kill older folk and ones with health issues We need to keep our business going . We need to cut our population down .. too many non productive beneficiaries and layabouts not paying tax but absorbing it !!! Tom
Humanity has to always move on regardless of the risks…..there is always another “Mountain to Climb” Chris
No,b/c it is a virus that has been with us for 10000yrs and may be with us for 10000 more. Our own immune system will cope, less a few with weakened systems, they may succumb [die-off] .That is the way it [viruses] have been since the beginning of time….unless this ‘mutated version’ [novel cov-19-2] has emerged ‘un-naturally, ie, GM/GE by human interference, ccp engineers…We may have a problem. Ced
Social distancing etc as the gnomes who planned how to handle a flu epidemic made. This is the best that can be done. lee
No. Unreasonable silly question again.The world can’t eliminate the “common flu” but can control it. So to ask if it covid-19 be eliminated is ridiculous. Instead of knocking the governments actions on the control of covid-19 the National Party would be better to give praise where it is due… and it was due and get on with policy and their plans for the ongoing control of covid and the reopening of our borders. Hoskins and the National Party owned press was completely negative during the peak of the crisis. The National Party I supported for a lifetime is in disarray. Unless they do a lot better I for one, and there are many others, will make a change from that support and vote Labour. Any other alternative is unthinkable. Bruce
It’s far more likely to be ‘manage’ than ‘eliminate’ for quite some time yet. An effective and safe vaccine may be a long way off. Much of this government’s Covid plan has been based on fear and slick advertising rather than science and reality. In order for us to move forward we need to risk opening our borders for the sake of our economy, and, at the same time, continuing rigorous testing of incoming people. P.S.: The ‘team of five million’ is a pipe-dream. Laurence
No – but it can be manageable like other illnesses. Herd immunity, and better medical treatment will turn it into yet another health issue to be aware of. Maurice
We live with Pathogens and other organisms since time began. This pandemic is the greatest scam since religion Phil
It is scientifically impossible to eradicate a virus that does not seriously harm or kill most of its healthy hosts and it is not necessary or desirable either. Charlie
There is a better chance of eliminating Labour than eliminating covid Maurice
Unfortunately no. Darryl
Eliminating C19 was always as unlikely as eliminating influenza. Thankfully sensible doctors around the world have found effective treatments, the ones that we’re not supposed to know about, and C19 is no longer to be feared. Perhaps this government should spend less money on spin doctors (listen to Mike Hosking %uD83D%uDE09) and try educating the public on how to develop a healthy immune system. Peter
The flu and common cold are also caronavuruses and we have learned to manage them. We need to do the same with C-19 and get back to life as normal. Rachel
No of course not Elimination was not a viable option just like trying to control the weather We need to learn to live with the virus just like we need to learn to live with climate change (Sorry Global Warming) Protect the elderly and the vulnerable but let the rest of the economy get back to some form of normality We are being warned that there will be a second wave by our Princess just to keep us scared and willing to be directed by her. If the borders are controlled correctly there will not be a second wave. I saw recently that there is a quick blood test that can be used to find if you have the antibodies and therefore have been exposed to the virus Surely something along these lines can be implemented to control entry into NZ We must open up the borders or we will totally collapse the economy and the recovery will kill far more people than the virus ever would Robin
A virus so widespread around the world is only possible to contain and not eliminate. Margaret
No flu’ ‘virus’ ever goes away, we just become immune to each year’s strain. This proposed vaccine has an agenda – and it’s NOT to ‘keep us safe’ from covid-1984. Sherrin
Because there will be international border to and fro flow that will also allow the virus to free flow across international borders. Colin
Of course NOT-look at the 2nd. wave overseas from countries that got rid of virus19.It will stay around for years & even if a vaccine comes just look at the flue vaccine it helps but its not 100% so people should wear a mask where there are a lot of people wash their hands a lot keep a distance from strangers just look after yourself & don’t get complaciant just because a vaccine comes along remember it will not be 100% cindy
Elimination must be the prime goal and expenditure should be directed to that goal-research and execution Harvey
This virus is the same as any flue we will have to live with it . One day there might be a vaccine. wendy
We have not fully eliminated influenza nor the common cold. Viruses are smarter than humans. Control, maybe. Eliminate, unlikely Philip
It is not NZ that might try to diminish Covid19 in the long term, or even diminish its current prevalence in environments of contagion, but rather that nowhere might diminish prevalence. Prudence of people to obey quarantine and social distancing is what matters most and until everywhere resistance develops and medicines are effective. Leo
If it keeps mutating no but if they let people get it and it will help build up an immunity They cant get rid of the common cold or flu, and are rushing thru a vaccination without proper testing Colin
Never – It, Like any cold virus will keep coming back, year after year, slightly altered. Like the cold flu it will arrive with the yearly migration of ducks (seriously, the flu arrives with ducks migrating). By continuing to accept this mass hysteria, we are setting ourselves up for being totally controlled by Socialist scare mongering. Bruce C
Mutating all the time. Typical virus! Kevin
Of course it isn’t possible to eliminate Covid19. We have been suffering from various respiratory viruses as far back as records go. As far as I know, none of said viruses have been eliminated. They persist endlessly and take the lives of many people every year. Covid 19 is just the latest model to infect world populations and one can guarantee when this one fades another more virulent variant will emerge and that will be the next pandemic. The big problem is that the World is overpopulated, with many unproductive humans making a negative contribution, therefore described as vulnerable and contributing to the human mass that promotes opportunities for the rapid spread of disease. Population densities make a massive difference. The higher density cities have a far greater infection rate than sparsely populated rural areas. In addition to that aspect, the very poor attitude of a large percentage of the population to the old fashioned notion of taking personal responsibility for themselves and their families, traps them in poor conditions. A left wing socialist/communist government is the last thing New Zealand needs. I note with interest that Local Body Rates having morphed into a Wealth Tax and creating Mini Dictatorships on a Regional Basis. They are no longer providers of service, but a tax regime unto themselves, brutally punishing the thrifty and responsible by imposing wealth taxes on peoples accumulated assets. No longer are your rates dictated by services provided, but by whatever the council decides it needs for the next years spend up on their pet projects. Another example of punishing the folks who live a life according to a philosophy of personal responsibility. The left hates people who independent. dianna
It will keep on recurring as does the common cold and the flue. We will learn to live with it. Sweden is showing the world the alternative approach and time will prove them right. Alan
It’s like a Flu – will mutate & continue forever. That’s why the immune system has kept us around for this long. Neville
No way unless we stop people coming in to N Z and be like North Korea. Lyn
No NOT until there is a reliable effective vaccine available to everyone. Andrew
no it is here to stay , so, just keep on receiving the updated flu jabs and hope for the best.never mind about masks and other rubbish, convitas is with us and thats that. Dr WHO doesn’t wear a mask??? James
Absolutely not. Like the flu it will be controlled by a vaccine. In the meantime we have to act sensibly and not be panicked into behaving badly Tom
Of course not – unless we become the largest prison in the world but you won’t get Jacinda to admit that. Roger
It’s here to stay in the long-term. We need to learn to live with it. Jenny
Control it Yes but not eliminate No . Rick
Sooner of later someone will get through the border control maybe infected by one of our people that work on the border.The key thing is contract tracing in alertness Barry
It’s a Scamdemic Greg
As long as we manage the borders Kevin
Unfortunately not, However I would like to see a robust plan put in place before the borders are opened again. Dennis
We need to control it, and learn to live with it. Put the deaths from Covid in context with daily average deaths! Govt needs to stop scaring people and start up the economy! Labour can re-roll out climate change if it wants to scare us! Haha! Marianne
Of course not! Hugh
This Covid – 19 flu is not a lot different to any other Flu. What is different this year is that Ardern and her Marxist colleagues saw it as the catalyst to impose Communism on NZ, and earn her a accolades in the Marxist ideology. The Marxist Plan has been in place for some time, waiting, Proven by the fact that Robertson borrowed an enormous archest of money to fund the Transition – New Marxist speak for Revolution- back in November 2019. Bob
It never has been. Like smallpox, cholera or any other fell disease, we have to learn to live with it. This involves vaccines, but only after herd immunity has blunted the edge. This doesn’t suit Red Cindy one bit, hence the alarmism. Mike
Manage it yes. Eliminate no. Greg
No to total elimination. Perhaps managed, yes. Sheila
No because it is so world wide and it will get here just like drugs do Morrin
It and other strains and mutations of viruses will continue. Life will go on and successful management of our health and the management of the economy within this world is the priority. I have no faith in Labour having the skills to move us forward. Carol
Herd immunity is the answer. Otherwise the population will progressively weaken their immune system. This is a flu where about 98% are asymptomatic. Isolate the ill, not the well. Let people get on with their lives. Kate
I believe that Covid 19 may be just type of flu. remember the hongkong flue killed around one million in 1957 and there was no air travel like there was prior Covid the hongkong flu could of killed around 5million if there had been.I don’t believe that we should stay locked away from the rest of the world, i think there should be a sort of managed control!!!! Les
C-19 cannot be fully eliminated from NZ without fully closing the borders Alan
Viruses are part of us since ever and for ever. Viruses are not killing. Real problem is low immune system and politicians. Hu
Look after the vulnerable, the elderly and the sick. Protect our borders, with more in-depth controls, and open our borders, we must trade to survive. Gerald
no they will never get rid of it Jacinda is playing her own little game for what she hopes will be to her advantage Russell
We will have to attain a herd immunity situation and live with Covid along with every other Corona virus, Flu, etc. But we do need to protect vulnerable sectors of the population like immune compromised and elderly. Sheila
Not whilst it exists somewhere in the world. Richard
It is a virus . Very few people seem to understand what that means. Politicians need to read a bit of Medical information. This Time next year l would not care to be a prime minister over seeing an economy in ruins. Charles
As long as 19 is out there it will be here too bud
No, elimination is not realistic. If we can manage it effectively at the border we could even consider opening the borders again to tourists and other visitors, overseas workers etc (if they are willing to do two weeks isolation and pay for the quarantine). Could do a booking/quota system for the quarantine so that no NZers miss out.  Jan
Until we achieve “herd immunity” there is no chance. Lational or Nabour will not make any difference. Mark
Covid-19 is just the NewFlu, we need to learn to live with it. Chris
The way I see it, Covid 19 is just another strain of the flue, but a more aggressive. Its a way of culling out the world population with the nature taking care of itself, so we don’t get over populated. Reg
No and Jacinda is not either, or is Covid back already? Jacinda said Covid is eliminated, now it’s hoard face masks. They are sold out. Dictatorship? Richard
No !! One cannot eliminate a organized global conspiracy of that kind. We have been forced to succumb to something which is nothing more that a flue strain like all the others we had before. Did they shut down the country in the early 2000’s when we had the ‘bird flue’ or the ‘swine flue’???? No !! And everybody just kept going. Anyway– here we are — 17 years later and NZ is stood over by a Socialist / Marxist Govt. I say’ stood over’ because that lot was appointed , not properly voted for. In a few weeks time wage subsidies will end and then the proverbial crap will hit the fan. My only hope is that folks out there will wake up when they really start hurting and even the Govt owned fake news propaganda machine will not be able to wrap the mess we will be in into nice words like :’ team of 5 million’ or ‘we are in it all together’ or ‘Tax is Love’ ( quote M Davidson Green Party) But– that people are actually falling for cheap pony tricks like that is enough concern to me to almost despair. My hope still lies with a rather substantial ‘ silent part of society which will make themselves heard __ well — at least until this INJUSTICE Minister B English has forced through these so called hate speech laws to kill free speech. Michael
Mandate that a negative test be obtained by travellers via an approved tester before they are allowed to travel to NZ. Then test them again upon arrival and at end of their managed isolation in NZ. It provides a viable ADDITIONAL measure to potentially stop some of the cases we are seeing at our borders. Quentin
No. People are so wild that this government are still letting the so called Kiwis back. They do not respect the people of NZ. It is the only. Place the virus would get back in. They don’t seem to be too confident in their Quarantine procedure with Ashley saying it’s only a matter of time. She rules by fear Jan
We have a largely poorly educated population that is completely sucked in by the politics of scare mongering. Churches, emporers and politicians have always sought to manage the masses through fear – this labour government is the best at it. As for the Greens they are so dangerous it defies belief. Mike
Common cold is a virus and never been eliminated chris
Not the way we are being forced to follow this Governments strategy. We have no immunity build up to the virus. We are sitting ducks when the next wave comes. Robyn
Yes! But there will be something else. Life go. Adapt or die. Long-term common nous must prevail. Doug
Cannot stay isolated for ever jeff
Unfortunately no. But there will be improved specific medications. Elderly will always be at risk and that is sad. Mobility or lack of will be the precursor. Brian
It will be present worldwide forever. NZ is on the same planet. No escape from the facts. Frank
We have to open up the borders at some point and interact with the world. This is fear mongering. john
Control but not fully eliminate NEVILLE
This is like eliminating the flu Merv
Probably not as it’s just another flu like problem if it’s not this virus it will be another one Peter
That is not possible Liz
Of course not it’s a corona virus and like Saras we will need to learn to live with it Phil
Because there will never be an effective vaccine. Huria
we learn to live with it, the old fashioned way. Pete
Communism is the virus,covid 19 is the way it is spread. Stefan Moleneux Rob
Sorry I disagree with your first statement. Who is best able to lead this country out of its problems is not a major issue for the NZ electorate, but it should be the most important issue. Unless voters can be made to see this, the winner will be the leader with the kind words and most empathetic smile.Where is she when Beirut needs her? Geoff.
First you need to stop Gates Fauci and co from doing what they are doing. Bryan
It appears there will always be leak somewhere. Graeme
Lets hope Diane
Could we eliminate the common cold? I think we will have it around for a long time. Alan
Like the flu it will still be here in one form or another Chris
I think a lot of covid is politically driven rod
Ridiculous Thought wayne
Dreaming Michae
Not unless it is eliminated in every other country. Moyra
I truly hope that the Chinese virus is not eliminated! Gert
That assumption is and always was pie in the sky It’s BS Carolyn
Flus keep reappearing in a modified form. This one’s no different. Kris
After a lot of reading the likelihood of eliminating Covid long term appears to be slim.We must learn to live with it.The country needs to wake up from its fear induced coma. We must look to opening up and creating viable work, increase productivity and get back to a more normal life. The brainwashed need to take a good hard look at themselves and maybe start to think! Gail
It is not possible to keep Covid out. It was always a dumb idea. Everyone says Jacinda Ardern is a great leader, but I think she is full of her own importance. She should never have pursued elimination of the virus. We should have learned to manage it and now we need to manage our borders better so we can rejoin the world.   Jason
No, as many experts have said, it is not possible to keep a flu virus out. No-one has any immunity so Labour has left us vulnerable. Francis
Keeping it out is impossible. The politicians should get real. Chris
The government is not doing a very good job of managing the borders. Capacity needs to increase dramatically. It should be contracted out. Tony
It is only a matter of rime before the virus arrives again and Labour would have destroyed our economy for nothing.  Dennis