Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Jacinda Ardern, queue-jumper

I see the PM is going to have her first Covid-19 jab by the end of this month. By my reckoning that makes her, technically at least, a queue-jumper.

To tell the truth, it doesn’t bother me that Jacinda Ardern will get her jab before me, although being over 65 I’m in Group 3 and therefore theoretically take priority over someone who’s aged 40 and in good health.

I’m in no rush, though that may change if there’s an outbreak of the virus. But the announcement that Ardern is in line to get her jab does highlight the shambolic nature of the vaccination programme and the glaring inconsistencies and discrepancies in the way the government has handled the pandemic.

From Day One, we have been fed porkies. I now refuse to believe a thing Ashley Bloomfield says, simply because of the number of times his glib assurances from the stage of the Beehive Theatrette have been contradicted by evidence of what’s actually happening on the front line. In our house he’s known as Fibber Bloomfield.

But in his defence, he could say he’s simply taking his cue from his political masters. Example: Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was telling us as long as long ago as November that New Zealand would be "at the front of the queue" for vaccine. But here we are, seven months down the track, and our vaccination performance looks feeble compared with, say, Britain (68.4 million first doses given, 42 per cent of the population fully vaccinated) and the United States (303 million first doses given, 42.6 percent fully vaccinated).

Only two days ago, we learned that 21 per cent of Air New Zealand’s frontline employees still hadn’t received their jabs – a situation epidemiologist Michael Baker, a man not given to wild overstatement, described as “hugely concerning”.

Now Ardern herself is expressing relief that an extra 1 million vaccination doses are being delivered to New Zealand and admits that she was feeling “a little bit of anxiety” (or as she calls it, “anxiedy”). The obvious inference is that the supply is precarious. How does this square with Hipkins’ smug declaration in November? Perhaps he had his fingers crossed behind his back at the time.

The truth is that the vaccination programme has been almost comically inept. As the retired journalist David Barber wrote in a recent letter to the Dominion Post, those of us in Group 3 keep being told “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”. But in the meantime he keeps hearing stories about people jumping the gun and gaming the system.

I can confirm that. Twice on the same day last week, I was contacted by friends offering me a phone number that I could ring to make an appointment. Both have now had their first jab.

One of my informants was given the number in a cafĂ© by someone he didn’t even know. Nudge nudge, pssst – it sounded like something out of Allo! Allo!.

The government keeps spending our money on full-page ads assuring us that someone will contact us when it’s our turn, but I don’t know anyone who’s had a call or an email from their medical centre or DHB.

This morning I heard general practitioners’ spokesman Bryan Betty complaining that people are still confused about when and where the vaccine will be available, so the medical professionals seem to be as much in the dark as the rest of us. Meanwhile the underground network is obviously buzzing.

I’m reminded of the old Soviet Union, where word would spread like wildfire when a fresh delivery of bread or potatoes arrived at the supermarket and people would run to join the queue. Perhaps the government has chosen the same the mode of delivery for the Pfizer rollout.




Russell Parkinson said...

The real concern is the lack of a plan for the future, or if there is one its being hidden. What will happen when most of us have been vaccinated? Will the borders open? If they do then most certainly their will be outbreaks as the vaccine does not stop transmission. Will those who haven't yet been vaccinated (for whatever reason) be at huge risk? Will half the country come down with a mild flu or what seems a bad cold?

If the borders aren't opened then what's the point of getting vaccinated? Might as well wait for the next version as its clear a yearly booster will be required. And what happens to our economy, tourism industry etc?

The lack of information and a firm clear plan is very concerning and is nothing less than inept.

Max Ritchie said...

Ardern is criticised by her (woefully few) opponents as “the princess”, for the way she speaks and for claiming things which are not true (hard and fast my foot!) but the evidence shows that she’s actually a charlatan. The vaccine rollout is exactly the same as everything else, with one exception, that this government does - totally inept. The exception is spending other people’s money which that are very good at. Oh, and giving concessions and money to Maori - vote buying, they’re good at that too.

Doug Longmire said...

I recall that the frontline workers were all vaccinated in Feb, and at that time Fibber announced that New Zealand had "purchased" from memory 6 million doses - enough for the rest of us.

Hullo !! Now we hear that we are still having to order the vaccine !!

Odysseus said...

The former Soviet Union, of whose immediate aftermath I had first hand experience, crashed under the weight of its own internal contradictions. Ardern appears to be trying to recreate it here in the South Pacific. Already people are openly laughing at her regime's promises such as the Auckland harbour cycle bridge. The vaccine "rollout" is also now the object of mocking contempt. If we have a COVID emergency in the next few months, it could all go pear-shaped very quickly.

Brendan McNeill said...


You have been prolific today, and I note your comments regarding Newshub, but then what more could you expect from our media. They can be trusted with reporting vehicle accidents and flooding, but the rest is either opinion, spin or propaganda. But then I repeat myself.

When it comes to COVID-19 / Sars-2 however, it would seem the entire planet has been subject to disinformation. Recently I received a pamphlet through my mailbox from the Government telling me that the ‘vaccines’ are “Free Safe and effective”. I doubt they are free, and if they are safe why has Pfizer sought and obtained public liability indemnity from the Government? Already in the USA there have been more than 4,000 deaths attributed to the vaccine, including from the Pfizer variant which our Government is promoting. These are recorded in the US Government adverse event database : for which it is a federal offence to enter incorrect data. Extracting the data is difficult for the average person, so I recommend the following interview with Dr Peter McCullough who has plenty to say on this subject, and who validates the death statistics.

Have we been systematically lied to regarding the source of the virus? Probably. Please watch the brief interview on Sky News Australia (turn sound on).

The Covid ‘vaccines’ are still considered to be on trial. The trials end in 2023. They have been released ‘under emergency’ by the CDC, NIH and the FDA, and of course by Medsafe here in NZ. We don’t know what the long term effects of these ‘vaccines’ will be. Neither do their manufacturers, so in taking the vaccine you are participating in a trial. None of this appears in the Government’s pamphlet. Do they have an obligation to tell you? I’d have thought so.

Ask your doctor what the Health Departments approved care plan is for those who contract Covid-19. Self-isolation, and wait until you cannot breathe properly and then admit yourself to hospital? Kiwi’s deserve better than this.

Unknown said...

Hello Karl,

I take issue with you that nobody has been contacted by email or text asking to make a COVID vaccine appointment.

Last night I received such a text and today an email to so do. I was admonished for not replying to their earlier advice. ( Not received on either Communication)

Only problem is that I have had my first shot already and tomorrow my second shot. I'm obviously in the system somewhere else! What messers!

I would like to put in a pitch for those people, mainly oldies who don't have mobiles and email, there must be tens of thousands. How will they be contacted? Or will they just be ignored like the banks with their refusal to accept cheques any more?

Regards, Keith Stead

Karl du Fresne said...

For the record, I didn't say no one had been contacted. I said no one I knew had been contacted - a very different thing. But thanks for confirming the overall thrust of my post, and I agree about the risk that a lot of theoretically at-risk people may slip through the net.

Chris Morris said...

My personal experience with Lakes DHB. For several reasons, I would be in Group 3. I rang their 0800 number several times Monday morning. Pre-recorded message saying they were busy. I then sent an email giving my details and my personal ID medical number - I know it off by heart after all the treatment I have had.
Since then, I have had no response. It is a black hole.
Anecdote isn't data but it is indicative of major issues.
Chris Morris

CXH said...

Living in the far north has been an advantage for once. Both my wife and I got our second jabs two weeks ago. But that was only because they were so far behind they just opened it up to anyone.

The roll out has been a disaster as far as the organisation, yet the media is giving an unquestioning free pass.

Chris Morris said...

To give an update, they emailed me back yesterday and agreed I was in Group 3. I have been given a date and time in a month's time. Now if each nurse does say 100 injections a day (not that hard in a production line, and I know they have 3 nurses doing it, it implies there are 3000 Group 3s with appointments ahead of me. Our town isn't that big. So either they are rationing or it isn't that important. Neither is that good a look for an image conscious government. And it also implies they won't be doing the general population in July - Maybe July 79th?