Kate Hawkesby: Proposed travel bubbles have already burst

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Jun 2020, 10:02AM
Photo / File

Kate Hawkesby: Proposed travel bubbles have already burst

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Jun 2020, 10:02AM

The bubbles we’ve been hearing about.

The trans-tasman one, even a Bula bubble as touted by the Fiji government.

I have a sinking feeling these 'bubbles’ have burst before they've even gotten off the ground.

And here’s why.

They were never going to happen. It was all a pipe dream.

Like the light rail, the youth channel at RNZ, Kiwibuild, the feebate scheme, any number of the policies thrown around like confetti by this government and then never delivered on.

The bubbles, that we momentarily got excited about, around the same time we were doing happy dances and high fiving our team of 5 million, now appear to be seen for what they are, pie in the sky.

Why?

The border. The border was never ready, it was never going to be ready, it was a shambles and it would appear still is.

Add to that our appetite for it - now that we've seen how this whole thing has unfolded.

In theory, great, in reality, a nightmare.

Any kind of travel relationship right now would be hard to stomach for many Kiwis aggrieved about the fiascos at the border.

We can kiss goodbye the Fiji one, wave tata to the trans-tasman one.

Fiji wanted to make a deal - to open what it called VIP lanes - Vacation In Paradise - to Australians and Kiwis .. essentially offering them their own island resorts to hang out - free from travellers from other countries.

But you can forget about that.

The border bungles have had a chilling effect on our enthusiasm for reopening the world back up.

The tone has changed, even at the very top.

The PM's happy dance and broad smiles have morphed into stern frowns and warnings that the pandemic is 'growing not slowing'.

That's the new catchphrase.

It's growing not slowing. We have to be vigilant. We have to be rigorous.

There are new rules in place.

The cruise ship ban's been extended.

People in isolation who previously just had to look like they weren't coughing before release, now have to submit a negative test, they may have to undergo multiple tests.

Things are tightening up.

It's a pity they weren't tight in the first place and that we weren't vigilant with the borders from the get go, but better late than never, I guess.

So it looks like we can put the bubble chat to one side for awhile, until we've calmed down over the border and the influx of people coming home, and until we've got that all under control.

Until then.. which who knows will take how long.. any dreams of shopping in Melbourne's Chapel Street or sipping a Fiji bitter poolside, are currently on ice.