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Mike's Minute: The Govt's border 'plan' was totally underwhelming

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Aug 2021, 9:44AM

Mike's Minute: The Govt's border 'plan' was totally underwhelming

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Aug 2021, 9:44AM

There were two themes in yesterday's so-called pathway forward on Covid.

Both start with a "v", vagueness and vaccines.

Both are trouble. The vagueness apart from anything will lead to the vaccine problem, but more shortly.

But the vagueness, as pointed out by former Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe, what business wanted was a plan and clarity. He tried, given he's in Government to soften it by saying, we got intent.

Small point, if businesses could just grow a pair and be a bit honest it might help. Given what I am seeing these days is businesses behind the scenes pulling their hair out, but in public watering it down to an almost insipid apologist whine.

But intent, what's the point of intent? This Government intended to build 100,000 houses over 10 years. They intended to have light rail to the airport in Auckland by now. Intent isn't doing and doing is what we need.

So, a whole lot of "might dos," ”trials,” and “let's sees.” Everything for this Government seems hard. It seems arduous starting almost always with a stunning amount of vagueness.

Which brings us to the vaccine. Without a plan and without a target the rollout will run into the trouble it has run into everywhere, except worse.

It's simple, it's demand. Until now the issue has been supply. More people wanted it than could get it; hence the age group farce they’ve pretended is a plan. Once the supply gets to a certain point, and that presumably is soon given they have opened bookings to everyone as of September, that's where the next test is.

But we know from offshore what drives demand are mandates, passports, and incentives.

But what we have is no dates for borders, no mandates from business, and no passports from the Government. In other words, given there is no specific plan, a lot of people are going to ask why they're getting vaccinated.

Yes, to prevent dying and ending up on a ventilator. But we still have elimination, our borders are still closed, and we still have lockdowns. So, the urgency is where?

Whether you agree with that is irrelevant, for many it's real. And if too many think that way, the vaccination rate will become a real problem.

That’s the outworking of being vague. If you're aiming for nothing but thin air, there is no urgency. And asking, as they all did yesterday, will not ultimately lead to where we need to be.

This Government doesn’t lead. It ponders, it muses, it blue skies, it lacks focus, it lacks speed, and it trips itself up on non-delivery.

What we needed was a rallying call, a call to arms, but what we got was a thought bubble.

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