HDPA: The idea of protective borders around low vaccine rate DHBs should be killed off immediately

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Nov 2021, 6:39PM
Auckland's northern Covid border. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Auckland's northern Covid border. (Photo / NZ Herald)

HDPA: The idea of protective borders around low vaccine rate DHBs should be killed off immediately

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Nov 2021, 6:39PM

Let’s deal first with this idea that’s popped up this morning of dropping the border around Auckland this summer and instead putting up protective borders around the DHBs with the lowest vaccination rates.

This is being reported by the Herald’s political editor as one of the ideas that Cabinet was considering today.

The fact it’s being reported by the Herald’s political editor means you should take it seriously.

The idea, however, should be killed off immediately because it is not going to work.

Think about this: the police are struggling to cope without the staff at the moment that they have who are manning the Auckland border.

It’s really putting a lot of stress on them.

They’ve got 300 officers manning the Auckland border alone.

It’s now putting so much strain on them that they've had to call in 75 officers from around the country just to help Auckland with its policing.

That is one border.

It’s one region and actually, it’s a relatively small land border when you think about it.

If that is unsustainable, how can they possibly spare the staff over summer to man five massive borders?

Because that’s what we’re talking about.

There are five DHBs with first jabs 85 per cent or under.

Northland, Lakes — which is essentially Taupo, Tairawhiti — which is Gisborne, Whanganui and West Coast.

Have you seen the size of those borders?

And the number of roads going in and out in each of those areas. It is not possible to do that properly.

One of those areas, as I mentioned, is Taupo.

Are we seriously considering stopping all the cars going north and south through Taupo over summer?

Come on. That is not feasible.

I’m not entirely sure why Cabinet is considering a ridiculous idea like this.

I’m not entirely sure why a ridiculous idea like this has made it into the public domain for us to talk about.

Maybe it’s possible that they're just putting it out there in order to get some chat around it so people who listen start to get it through their heads, get used to the idea that the Auckland border will come down before Christmas.

Maybe that’s the plan behind it.

But all that is doing is reinforcing that these guys in Cabinet have no blinking idea what to do right now and they're on the panic hop, aren’t they?

If I was them, I wouldn’t even admit that I’d wasted time considering an idea this dumb and this unworkable.