Kate Hawkesby: 'We've gone from be kind to be a nark'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 Mar 2020, 10:09AM
Photo / NZ Herald

Kate Hawkesby: 'We've gone from be kind to be a nark'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 Mar 2020, 10:09AM

COMMENT

So first we got the dob in line for isolation breakers or social distance flouters.. and now we have the price gouging hotline.

It's not a line actually it's another email address.

Exactly who is available to read all these emails and respond to them is beyond me, but I am worried we have shifted messages here. We seem to have gone from "be kind" to "be a nark".

Dobbing people in seems to be the latest exercise we're being encouraged to participate in this lockdown.

We can't swim or go to the beach, but we sure can survey the neighbours and hit the internet to report on them. That's got to be some serious cardio right there.

See someone socialising with others? Dob them in.

Think a supermarket has hiked its prices on an item? Dob them in.

Think someone's driving outside their area? Dob them in.

Didn't see your weekly favourites on special in the baking aisle? Dob them in.

We will all be so busy dobbing people in, this lockdown could fly by.

We don't seem to need much encouragement to be narks.

The dob in website on lockdown breaches was no sooner set up than it crashed with the heavy traffic jumping online to report people. That website was set up in the first place purely because police were being overwhelmed with so many phone calls.

And now, another website.

Whoever is manning all these narkers' reports and having to follow them up is doing God's work.

It must be mind-numbingly tedious to have to wade through Sharon's account of what she saw her neighbour Wayne do, or what price Susan got bread for last week and how many cents it's up this week.

I get that we need to keep track of all this, we need to keep things fair and on the level – of course, but my immediate fear yesterday was that, with absolutely no evidence of price gouging, we are now hurling another grenade into the arsenal of supermarket abusers.

Supermarket workers are already being berated by tense and anxious shoppers, I hope this doesn't inflame people further.

If you are shopping and think there's price gouging, please don't abuse the workers over it.

So just to recap our messages; stay at home, shop normally, keep your distance, be kind, and now, also... be a nark.

 Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website