Mike's Minute: Government's Covid response a shambles

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 9:42AM

Mike's Minute: Government's Covid response a shambles

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 9:42AM

Turns out the Covid cluster we really need to be worried about is called the government cluster.

Yet again last week they overreacted, yet again they cost business millions, and yet again we find out that what they said was happening and what was actually happening are two completely different things.

Having closed downtown Auckland, it became fairly obvious at seven o'clock Friday morning when we talked to Chris Hipkins that the shutting down of the economic engine of the country was not required, and that the poor girl at the centre of this maelstrom was indeed connected to an established cluster.

By the end of the weekend, you had threats against the owner of the business, you had Auckland's Mayor laying into them for what they may or may not have done, you had lawyers claiming what the Ministry had said wasn’t entirely accurate, you had the Ministry defending themselves, and you had claim and counterclaim.

You had, in a nutshell, a shambles.

Meantime, back at the Vincent Apartments, the ones Hipkins told us were locked down with everyone in their room, it's turned into a comedy. The lobby looks decidedly like Waterloo Station at rush hour. No one is in their room.

In fact, the crime was we told Hipkins all this at seven o'clock Friday morning, at which point he clearly got on the phone only to find out none of what he said was happening, was.

The camera followed one resident walking out, through the lobby, walking down the street the wrong way to the wrong van, only to walk back up the street to the right van. If it was a comedy, no one would think it was real.

What haunts me about all this is clearly nothing has changed. All the border breaches, all the mistakes, all the misinformation, all the stuff they say is happening but isn't, is Deja Vu.

The index cases never tracked, the answers never found, the whole regime that’s never really quite up to scratch, and look at the price we are paying for this.

Events cancelled, millions of dollars lost, acrimony between lawyers, businesses and the Ministry, a Minister who clearly isn't joining dots, and all for what? One case.

This is the government nearly 50 percent of this country voted for. The government that failed on delivery for three years, and fresh out of the starting blocks of term two, hasn't changed a thing.

Is it too much to ask that, at some point, they might actually learn to do their job properly?