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Mike's Minute: Govt continuing to spin over Covid vaccine

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jan 2021, 10:28am

Mike's Minute: Govt continuing to spin over Covid vaccine

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jan 2021, 10:28am

What an embarrassing business for the Prime Minister yesterday.

First, the old trick of making an announcement that says nothing. Medsafe "may" clear the Pfizer vaccine next week for use here. May? What's that mean?

That was the announcement, someone might do something. The media asleep yet again, announces "vaccine roll out details have been revealed" when no such thing has happened.  

"May" is not a thing. And even if they do clear it, it was then reported the vaccine would be rolled out after that. After what? When? You'll not there was no date.

Why was there no date? Because they don't know.

The whole non-announcement was a result of Australia and their authority clearing the vaccine on Monday. And having said we are in lockstep with Australia that made us look foolish, if not plain dishonest.

The same sort of dishonesty when Chris Hipkins told us we were first in line for the vaccine, when clearly, as Judith Collins quite rightly pointed out yesterday, we can't even see the line.

Speaking of Hipkins, he told us last week that the travel bubble with Australia by March was looking ropey, and yet the Prime Minister said yesterday that it's still being pursued. So, which is it? And why is it so hard to get a story straight?

But then, the ultimate humiliation as Ardern, as she so often does, tries desperately to regain the narrative by giving Scott Morrison a bit of a serve over the border.

We can't, she proclaimed, have borders shut on a whim. In that she's right, but she failed to mention, for it is far too embarrassing to do so, why Australia did what they did.

Because for the past half dozen months we have refused to come to the party over the bubble. There has been no sensible reason for this other than fear, based on their own ineptitude. They've blamed various states, the same way they currently still blame the Cook Islands for preventing us travelling to the island quarantine free.

The truth has been laid bare this week with Northland. MIQ isn't up to it, we run a slack system full of holes, and we refuse to address it.

Morrison was merely reminding us that the slip ups are as much ours as theirs and being driven by fear is no way to run a country.

Morrison's point, two can play this dumb game.

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