Mike Hosking: We have to push ahead with our re-opening plans

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Sep 2021, 9:26AM
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Mike Hosking: We have to push ahead with our re-opening plans

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Sep 2021, 9:26AM

If you missed what Chris Hipkins told Parliament yesterday, the re-opening plan is on ice. 

The Sir David Skegg plan, the trial of people who go offshore, come back and self-isolate is on hold. 

When this Government says things are hold, you’ve got to sink into your chair with some real despair because no one delivers less and takes more time to deliver less than this lot. 

Hipkins says Delta has changed the game; heard that one before? 

So, what was already a pretty conservative view of the world, a world in which a trial gets an outing before Christmas with the possibility of some sort of border easing next year, is now worse. We are allegedly back at square one. 

Here is why it is so dangerous. By the end of November, the vaccine programme should be done, and we will at last have joined most of the rest of the world in doing basically all we can to keep Covid at bay. At that point the deal was, and should be, that we live with it. 

Yes, we are in lockdown right now because they couldn’t roll out the vaccine properly. But once that is over are they seriously now telling us that reopening is an issue? Are they seriously now telling us that the vaccine actually, isn't it? The Sir David Skegg guidance was vague enough as it was. 

By the way, small red flag. While NSW is targeting 70 percent vaccination rate, Australia nationally is at 80 percent and the bulk of the rest of the world has opened up on 80 percent or less. Don't be surprised if this lot suddenly nominate 90 percent as some sort of target for freedom to stall for time. 

The so-called freedom, now, given what Hipkins is saying, is in real question, given even the vaguest of outlines is now “on ice.” 

If this drags into next year, and the likes of Australia and Singapore are travelling and doing business, and the world has worked out that living with it is the only realistic way to go, and we are still banging on about elimination, then watch the exodus begin. 

The nurses have already gone, the work visa holders stuck here are bailing, the applicants to come and work here are giving up. The bright, the prosperous, and the ambitious will be off for better days, better options, and better countries. 

The only thing the Government appears to have successfully delivered in 18 months of Covid is the policy of procrastination.