Heather du Plessis-Allan: Sudden movement on travel bubble shows pressure works

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Mar 2021, 4:43PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Sudden movement on travel bubble shows pressure works

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Mar 2021, 4:43PM

The possibility of a trans-Tasman bubble is starting to look more promising.

Nothing's official yet, but a paper has gone to a cabinet committee, cabinet will discuss this on Monday, officials are being pulled into urgent meetings, the Prime Minister's language is now more positive.

It’s interesting cause we’re hearing and so is apparently every other media outlet that the there is a date now pencilled in for a travel bubble date and its mid-April 

So why do we suddenly have a date? When just a fortnight ago Stuart Nash reportedly warned west coast business that there would be no trans-Tasman bubble until we had herd immunity – and that’s consistent with what I’d privately heard from close to the PM – and we’ve had four loose deadlines missed, and Scott Morrison saying actually New Zealand is the problem. 

So what changed? 

One week of pressure. That’s what changed. 

Wednesday last week, National starting asking questions about this in parliament. That same day ScoMo got involved, so the media starting piling on the questions, the airlines piped up, tourism operators piped up, the Australia NZ leadership forum piped up, and Michael baker gave it his blessing.   

That’s all it took. One week of people applying pressure to force the government to do the thing we need them to do for the good of the country. 

So here’s a message to business: if you want this government to get on with the myriad things they’re dragging their heels on, you need to this too. You need to have the courage to put pressure on them.  

I know it’s hard to rock the boat.  These guys in government are super sensitive and they can be quite vengeful if they think you’ve crossed them. 

But you have got to be prepared to take risks.  Because we’ve seen the alternative: 10 months of nothing on the trans-Tasman bubble and then all of a sudden, they’re moving.

You know the game.  The Beehive is cautious and worried about political blowback if they do something and its goes wrong.  So give them blowback for the fact they’re doing nothing - because it clearly works.