Kate Hawkesby: Auckland stuck in lockdown... is it actually working?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Sep 2021, 9:21AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kate Hawkesby: Auckland stuck in lockdown... is it actually working?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Sep 2021, 9:21AM

So, although we were delivered the worst kept secret that Auckland’s staying in Level 4 another week, I'm not convinced that'll be it. 

The PM said cabinet had made an ‘in principle’ decision that Auckland would move to Level 3 next Tuesday midnight, but an in-principle decision is not a final decision.  

As always, they’ll make the actual decision based on the latest available data, and who knows what this week brings, and what that data might be. 

We are of course in a bit of a game here of PR spin: 'pretend and extend' is their current mantra. 

Pretend lockdown's working, and extend it. The idea being, that way you'll get more buy in. 

How much are we buying in though? 

If it was working, we wouldn't still be getting cases and we'd be out of this by now. 

As of last weekend, there'd already been more than 7 thousand lockdown breaches reported: 141 people formally warned, 71 people charged with a total of 75 offences. 

We've also had the MIQ escapee, the drunk driver turning up at the border trying to get through, the two essential workers with two kilos of cannabis in their car trying to get through the border, the man running along train tracks with meth to avoid a Northland checkpoint, the two sisters who abused Police as they tried to break through the Northland border, the alleged sex in the hospital by visitors, the couple who fled to Hamilton and flew on to Wānaka. 

I mean we're a compliant bunch, but not all of us are following the rules here. 

And I haven't even included the PM's mate Siouxsie Wiles, who likes long bike rides to the beach. 

In reality, this is less about lockdown working (and therefore us having to stay in it), and more about the fact that not enough of us are vaccinated yet, our health system couldn't cope with a large outbreak, and the Government's hell bent on an elimination strategy. 

So, the reason we keep hearing them repeat "lockdown is working" is to keep us under the delusion that the path they've chosen is the right one. And when the PM was challenged on why she told us at the start of all this that lockdown would be 'short and sharp'.. she obfuscated and got tetchy.  

She tried to redefine what short and sharp means. She said she meant 'lockdown would come hard and early'. Was anyone buying that?  

When the reporter quoted the PM back to herself “We want lockdown to be short and sharp not light and long”, which were her exact words, she was visibly annoyed. He asked what sort of mental gymnastics she was expecting us all to perform. She got flushed out on saying one thing and doing another. 

Which is why I don’t take too much notice of them saying Auckland 'in principle' will be into Level 3 by next Wednesday. 

Will it though?