You can see the immediate issue in the title, the Kea "Future Aspirations" survey.
It’s a survey of offshore and recently returned New Zealanders and they looked into the prospect of rounding a few up to use their skills here post-Covid to fire up the economy.
They found many had the aspiration to come home and skills starved New Zealand needs to do more to encourage home the large number of Kiwis overseas.
The trouble is in the title of the survey and the word "aspiration."
Kea members may have it and thank God they do, but the people with the key to the country don't.
I have never seen in my time, and I go back to Muldoon, a more lacklustre, aspiration-less, myopic, and isolationist government.
Not only is their border policy absurd in terms of being risk averse, it simply doesn't function.
What the survey highlights is the concern that the skills sitting offshore that might want to return can't and even if they try, they might well give up.
There is a global race on for talent.
The labour shortage that we are suffering so badly from is all over the planet, except the planet is vaccinated and out and about getting on with life.
You can land in Britain this morning with no isolation and go apply for your job.
You might wear a mask.
But you don’t have to.
You make your own choices, and they’ll welcome you.
You can do the same in America.
These places compete for our people.
To get here, you have to isolate, jabbed or not.
And even if you want to, you can't get a spot.
Don't get me started if you're not born here but you have skills we need.
The government's view of immigration is now little short of frightening given their ideologically warped idea you simply pay locals more has been appallingly exposed.
And so, we have a standoff of sorts as represented by this survey from Kea.
On one side those of us that long for the days of aspiration, drive, dedication, efficiency, graft, and success.
On the other, a government that looks happier in the third world where your day begins at 10, if in fact you haven't phoned in ill.
Like all great historic events the bad comes with the opportunities.
Covid has tossed up a massive chance for offshore talent to reset. The race is on.
The survey picks the mood, but the government seem determined that sinking into a quagmire of averageness is just fine.