Andrew Dickens: Govt should be careful about disappointing the public

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 8 May 2020, 2:07PM
Photo / NZ Herald

Andrew Dickens: Govt should be careful about disappointing the public

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 8 May 2020, 2:07PM

At the end of yesterday’s programme I asked the question , “What are you looking forward to doing most under Level 2”

Of course many said “get a haircut”.  It’s sort of the standard answer the same way getting KFC and Maccas was the instant response when we went from 4 to 3. It’s not my go to.  I’m quite enjoying my fuzziness particularly the longest beard I’ve ever grown.

Other’s talked about sharing a bottle of Pinot Noir with their Dad, who they hadn’t seen since before lockdown.  One wanted to cross Cook Strait.  For no particular reason other than to enjoy a journey they took for granted before lockdown and Covid.

One of my favourite responses was the fella who simply said, “see my chiropractor”. I can relate.  3 years ago I stuffed my neck up skiing and I need it crunched back in place and a good session of acupuncture of the seized up muscles.  I’d quite like to look right without wincing.

There must be many people tolerating a low level hum of pain who can’t wait for a massage or a manipulation. 

I saw no protocols for masseurs yesterday and it will be an occupation that will have to think carefully on how to “play it safe” but I’m sure they’ll find a way.  I presume they’ve been thinking about how they can do their craft in the new normal for weeks now and they’ll be ready.  I hope they kept their fingers and thumbs in good shape.

When I got home I found my son and Helen in conversation about returning to Wellington so he can edit his film on India which has been sitting in the can for a couple of months now.  He was on the web looking to book a flight next week as they’re listed at $129, which seems a very reasonable price considering the situation.

So of course I had to say hold your horses young fella. We’re still at Level 3 and we will be at least until Thursday because the PM has said there will be a 48 hour transition.  Add all that to Ashley Bloomfield’s evidence to the Pandemic Response Committee where he said he’d prefer a 3 week Level 3 then we can safely say that not a lot will change in real terms next week.

The poor little poppet looked crushed.

And this is a thing.  Yesterday’s rule announcement was greeted by tourism people literally jumping for joy.  The expectation is now huge. Add to that the Prime Minister’s warning that some sectors are going to require very complex changes to ensure public health safety therefore we may see some sectors come back later than others then you have a recipe for huge disappointment on Monday.

And for a government that has seen it’s approval fraying this week as horror stories emerged of families being divided in sickness and death, large scale disappointment is not going to be a good thing politically.

I know they had to tell us the rules before the change, but you wonder whether it might have been prudent to have told us 2 weeks ago rather than inflaming passions so close to the D day that Monday has become.

Not for the first time this country and this government has found itself between a rock and a hard place and it feels like it’s all of our own making.