Mike's Minute: We have to get on with running the country

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Oct 2020, 9:46AM

Mike's Minute: We have to get on with running the country

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Oct 2020, 9:46AM

I hope you’ve noticed this week the government literally missing in action.

I know they're somewhat limited as we wait for votes, tallies, and confirmations. But the overarching sense I get is that they are in no more of a hurry to do anything now than they were before we voted. Part of that is because a decent chunk of us are asleep at the wheel and expect little, if anything, from them.

They have discovered the elixir of happiness for a lot of the population. Borders closed, do nothing, supply the welfare, and heaps of us are happy as.

The Ports of Auckland has taken over border testing such has been the government's failure. Epidemiologists are now suggesting a quarantine at home programme. Vets are screaming for help on bringing in skills from offshore. Tourism continues to cry out for any sort of plan around the border. Air New Zealand laid off another 900 cabin crew yesterday. Banks are suggesting grants for SMEs such is the misery at their workplace. SMEs are crying out for a pandemic plan. Sir Ray Avery joined the growing chorus of those wanting an inquiry into the response.

And the government says what? Hello? Heeeelllllooooo? Anyone one there, at all?

Add to that the stark and chilling revelations this week around vaccines. There isn't one, the chances of one by years end now is close to zero, even if we get one there isn't enough for Europe far less us, and the head of the British body says the early ones most likely won't work, if in fact any of them ever work.

So the big question to add to the myriad of questions, what's the plan? Given the only plan that we seem to have to this point is to wait for a vaccine. If one doesn't turn up, or if it does and this is merely a flu like scenario, what then?

When does the border open? And to who and how? How long does the government welfare tap continue to flow? How long before the cold stark realisation that an asset driven support programme isn't a long-term strategy? Once the Reserve Bank has launched its FLP programme and gone negative on rates, then what?

These are real and present questions, based on real and present facts. All of which have been part of the news landscape this week.

This stuff happened this week. And the government? Where have they been? What are their answers? What's the road map? When does anything actually get attended to?