Media start to question Government handling of Covid

The Government has been given fairly favourable by the media over their handling of the Covid pandemic (apart from sideshows like David Clark), but now seems to have changed to take on a more questioning role.

Gezza has noted:

1News at 6 tonite was interesting. They focussed most, I thought, for the first time on the various complaints & issues that are now coming to the fore, & in particular were critical of Jacinda’s response to a question at her briefing today when she told reporters that there are plenty of stocks of flu vaccinations, now widely available, & earlier this year than usual.

After being told that numerous GPs & patients are saying they cannot get enuf flu shots for their areas, 1News showed a 1-2 second clip of Jacinda dismissing those reports as untrue, saying simply that she “did not accept the premise of the question”.

In typical lamestream tv media fashion, we didn’t get to hear the reporter’s question or anything else but that one sentence, so we don’tbknow the full context. But they took a negative angle, the implication being that she was untruthful, spinning, or just wrong.”


They also reported on the government’s failure to cough up GP funding. And on the economic strife Sounds Air is (Phil Twyford said, however, that Cabinet is working on an assistance package for them).

This is the first time I’ve seen TV1 take a critical & negative slant to their reporting on Covid-19 & Jacinda. So it was quite noticeable I thought.

Stuff: Contact tracing system blamed for New Zealand remaining in Covid-19 lockdown

An under-resourced contact tracing system blamed for keeping New Zealand in lockdown has the capacity to investigate fewer than 200 coronavirus cases each day.

An audit of the system released on Monday showed that health officials tasked with interviewing and tracking the close contacts of people with Covid-19 had been swamped by fewer than 100 daily cases of the virus prior to New Zealand entering lockdown.

Stuff: Doctors say Government not coughing up ‘promised’ Covid-19 funding

The professional body for doctors has vowed to keep fighting the government for refusing to cough up “promised” Covid-19 funds.

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) insists it was told GPs would receive an extra $22m in government funding on top of $45m already allocated, to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared to rule out this payment – or that it even existed.

NZMA’s General Practitioner Council’s chairwoman Jan White told Stuff she wouldn’t accept that the funds were not coming and the association will keep trying to push its case for help.

Newsroom: Will pharmacies, GPs and dentists survive Covid-19?

Representatives of pharmacies, GPs, rest homes, dentists and disability support workers fronted the Epidemic Response Select Committee on Wednesday to warn they aren’t receiving the support they need from the Government. With decreased patronage and in increase in costs related to Covid-19 prevention, many healthcare businesses are worried they may go under.

Kate Baddock, chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, which represents all doctors, said that while medical students and hospital doctors had been affected by Covid-19, “very importantly, the greatest impact has been on general practice”.

Baddock said people had stopped going to the GP for fear of getting Covid-19 or because they didn’t want to burden their doctors. That has led to a serious gap in revenue for many practices, which supplement the capitation payments they receive from the Government with copayments from patients.

“For community pharmacies to continue performing their vital role for patients, it is critical to ensure that the sector has ongoing stability and financial sustainability during these extraordinary times and into the future,” Andrew Gaudin, CEO of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, told the select committee.

“Our community pharmacies have incurred significant costs to make their pharmacies safe for their staff and the public while also seeing their sales and prescriptions fall significantly,” Gaudin said.

“The disability sector entered the pandemic already in the midst of well-documented and longstanding funding shortfalls. In the current circumstances, the cost of ensuring that an essential service such as these continues to provide safe and quality support for disabled people is significant. Now we have a significant proportion of providers who are financially exposed,” New Zealand Disability Support Network chief executive Garth Bennie told the committee.

Dential practices are forbidden from engaging in non-essential work and must often secure their own PPE because they are generally not government-funded, New Zealand Dental Association president Katie Ayers told the select committee.

“The cost to purchase the PPE to treat just one patient is approximately $80. It’s not fair to expect patients to pay this surcharge on top of the fee for the emergency – ie, unplanned – treatment they require. Yet, dental practices cannot sustain this process either,” she said.

Some of these criticisms have come out of the Epidemic response Committee hearings (so the committee has been a worthwhile check on Government actions).

The Government and the Ministry of Health have been operating in a very challenging and rapidly evolving situation, but require scrutiny and where justified, criticism.

Tough times for many businesses and health care providers, and tough for the Government to deal with all of their problems, but they need to try to help as much as possible.

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70 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd April 2020

    First sentence is wrong. The govt has been given unfairly favourable and uncritical treatment by the media. But those chickens will come home to roost in the coming months.

    Reply
  2. David

     /  23rd April 2020

    Barry Soper is obviously looking at his mates in the press gallery and shaking his head. The medias job is not to rally around the government and jump on any criticism of it. Bridges points were well made and based in fact as the media are finally noticing that an extra 5 days is a long time.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12326832

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd April 2020

      ” Bridges points were well made ” …… everyone says he stuffed it , especially the fierce reaction from his OWN social media feeds which are populated by national supporters and those on their mailing lists.

      Reply
  3. Corky

     /  23rd April 2020

    The only reason MSM is changing tact is because talkback has been sucking up many new listeners who are real NZers; wanting real news and news dissection. MSM has discovered running with social media commentary is now not cutting the mustard.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd April 2020

      I suppose its possible they be changing tack because of that but there may be other reasons. Do you have any listener numbers data or media sources for that conclusion, Corks?

      And I don’t watch tv3 news. How is their coverage – changing too?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd April 2020

        One letter wasn’t worth the effort…so thankyou.

        I haven’t been watching either One or Three news for a few days, so I can’t comment. I’m sure talkback isn’t the only reason, but it’s a major one in my opinion. Talkback is monitored by both politicians and MSM media. It’s their dirty little secret. Great for laugh until they need to take the mood of the nation.

        Reply
    • Griff.

       /  23rd April 2020

      Ummm here are the numbers .
      https://www.trb.co.nz/radio-survey
      National: All 10+
      ZB is a hit with old people.

      National: 25-54
      The rest of NZ is not interested in listing to a bunch of whinging old farts.

      Reply
      • Griff, you have such a delicate way of putting things….thank you 😀

        Reply
        • I saw a bit of 3 News and it was mainly about the medical profession being as mad as wasps about the lack of support, lack of PPE and plummeting incomes. The Dear Leader was reduced to floundering and saying that she’d see what she could do.

          Also about the millions being lost to the RSA by the banning of poppy selling, which seems a petty-minded piece of control by the spoilers of the fun.

          Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd April 2020

        Ummm…when was this survey done? You won’t get the pulse of the Nation from people who listen to ”The Rock.” 😃

        That you don’t listen to TB means you don’t hear the many people who have discovered TB since the crisis began.

        But hey, Griff, keep on with Katie and Jack. I’m sure they will improve with age.

        BTW.. talkback interviewed the boss of the company who first introduced a 4 day working week. He has been besieged with phone calls from businesses who want to change.
        There’s some food for thought about the direction our country may take, compared with the direction socialists would like it to take… ie individualism collectivism.

        Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  23rd April 2020

    Omg…Pink David,David ,Al and co have been …right…all along!!!(lockdown)

    Reply
    • David

       /  23rd April 2020

      I didnt mind the lockdown and thought it the correct response, i thought it too severe and we should have been allowed back to work today. Level 3 is ridiculously tough and Ardern clearly wont trust us to behave like adults, level 3 should be lifted 2 weeks today as originally planned. Aside from that I am happy with it.

      Reply
      • “Ardern clearly wont trust us to behave like adults”

        Some people can’t be trusted to behave like adults.

        And if you’ve been to the supermarket you will have probably seen that even adults can get quite lax with social distancing, they have to allow for laxness and creep. If conditions were relaxed many people will naturally take things further.

        Reply
        • David

           /  23rd April 2020

          But no one has been infected at a supermarket. The health boss in Timaru said there was no risk to the public after the Covidiot went shopping at Countdown.

          Reply
          • “But no one has been infected at a supermarket. ”

            Yet, as far as they know. But it’s a risk that gets greater as more shops open, and as shoppers get more lax.

            But because the lockdown seems to have been so successful so far at limiting spread this may not be an issue.

            Reply
            • David

               /  23rd April 2020

              I think we know where 98% of transmission came from and none was from shopping. We also have to note that Australias shops are open and they dont have transmission either.
              I think we are past the tipping point where sensible reopening is required, I know people who work in retail getting just the government subsidy and nothing else and being made to use their annual leave. They are keeping stum because they want to keep their jobs, I am providing rent relief but the suffering is escalating.
              TBH if i didnt have tenants or contractors, staff etc. that are suffering I could quite easily live in a bubble and think this is great because I wont catch this beastly virus and dont really have to work.
              We have dentists, doctors and successful gyms pleading poverty imagine what its like in retail and hospitality.

            • Pink David

               /  23rd April 2020

              “But it’s a risk that gets greater as more shops open, and as shoppers get more lax”

              This can be avoided. I’ve seen your future…..

        • Bill

           /  23rd April 2020

          Hi Pete,
          by Pete George on 4th May 2015 • Permalink
          Posted in Politics
          Tagged Fabian Society, Lyndy McIntyre, Michael Cullen, Mike Smith, Peter Harris, progressive government, Richard Harman, Sandra Grey, Sarah Helm, Tracey Martin

          Think; Mike Smith ex labour sec
          Think; Mike Smith chairman NZ Fabian Society
          Think; Jacinda Ardern, general election indicated that Labour received 35.79 per cent of the vote to National’s 46.03 per cent.
          Think; where’s the king maker now, where’s Winston?
          Think; Paul Hendry’s snide remark ( socialism by stealth )
          Think; Fabian Society’s coat of arms ( a wolf in sheep’s clothing ) and yes Socialism by stealth, one small blow at a time.
          Think; Never let a good crisis go by.
          Think; Future proves past.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        The stupidity of the lockdown was the silly notion and fantasy of essential being decided by a DG Health. That should never have been allowed.

        If it was really urgent then the criteria from the start should have been safety with the few (supermarkets, pharmacies etc) given immediate dispensation while the many earned approval. Maintaining the destructive farce for four weeks was simply criminally incompetent.

        As for the insane ban on outdoor activities, don’t get me started.

        Reply
    • David in Aus

       /  23rd April 2020

      I think you mistake concepts. Lockdown is acknowledging the initial responses have failed, not a masterstroke in public health.

      All the things I have been saying has been leaking out as being correct. The reason they went into lockdown was the lack of testing and tracing. They had lost control of community transmission and still lack the ability to get new outbreaks under control.

      Talking of elimination of the virus as the reason for the lockdown was in the imagination of media fanboys and fangirls. Now you have the Orwellianesque redefinition of the meaning of elimination from Jacinda herself. Apparently ‘elimination’ is not elimination after all but ‘zero tolerance’ of new cases.

      There is a serious dumbing down of the media, a real lack of critical thinking. At times you get the sense they are third-formers hanging on the teacher’s word.

      When you pay peanuts……., I suppose.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd April 2020

        when you pay peanuts you get…primates ,all around the world in various ..shades.

        Reply
  5. David

     /  23rd April 2020

    Hope you dont mind the link, not sure of the etiquette but its an interesting piece.
    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2020/04/simon_oconnor_on_the_way_forward.html

    Reply
    • Links to other blog posts are welcome here, even to promote own posts if it’s appropriate content.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd April 2020

      As the comments there say, the thing is unreadable. For heavens sake learn to be concise and economical with time and language.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  23rd April 2020

        It’s discursive. It’s meant to cover a lot of ground. I found it a well-written, thought-provoking article.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  23rd April 2020

      Is that Simon Bridges brother in law….trying to appear even handed !Bol.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        I don’t know what he is trying to do as my eyes glazed over at about the 3000 word mark. Did he say anything original?

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  23rd April 2020

          Kiwiblog has been full of those surrogates for National… Bill English pulled strings to get his brothers bumpf published.
          A few days it was Barry Brill …Im sure he was a somebody 30 years ago.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd April 2020

            At least Brill can write intelligibly and generally sensibly. You don’t have to be somebody to have a brain and being somebody doesn’t mean you have one.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  23rd April 2020

              Imagine if nobody had a brain,how would somebody…know?

            • Gezza

               /  23rd April 2020

              Gave that a serious ponder. Uptick definitely in order as still grinning.
              😀 👍🏼

            • Gezza

               /  23rd April 2020

              (Soz – @ Blazer)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              Nobody would have to tell somebody, B.

    • The lack of paragraph breaks makes that very hard reading.

      I did spot this in it:

      As Jordan Peterson well articulates, “Kindness is the excuse that social justice warriors use when they want to exercise control over what other people think and say.”

      Oh dear. That sort of nonsense doesn’t help O’Connor’s case.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

        H. L. Mencken

        Reply
      • I see that the post has now been reformatted from extremely large paragraphs to large paragraphs.

        It had been copied from a Facebook post by O’Connor on Sunday – about the same time Bridges posted his now well known post.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  23rd April 2020

        Evil men do not wake up in the morning and wonder how much evil they can do, they wake up in the morning and think, ‘how can I make the world a better place’.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  23rd April 2020

          why are they…’evil’ then?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd April 2020

            Menken’s quote should be engraved on the desk of every public health official and every socialist politician.

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  23rd April 2020

              … and the 1930s E.E. Cummings poem:

              a politician is an arse upon
              which everyone has sat except a man

            • Pink David

               /  23rd April 2020

              I used to think Menken was far too cynical. I do not anymore.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd April 2020

              Menken’s quote should be engraved on the desk of every public health official and every socialist politician.

              Why? To remind them to exploit the loophole?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              To remind them and their visitors that they are there to advise rather than decide.

  6. duperez

     /  23rd April 2020

    In the editorial meeting room: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find someone, somewhere who is disenchanted, upset or unhappy in any way at all with what is happening. You are to wheedle, entice them, grille them, prick into the heart of their disgruntlement, tease it and tap it.
    As always, should you or manage to capture some morsel and turn it into multi multi-media opportunities you will be praised, (albeit incidentally behind me,) to as far as the CEO and The Board.
    Should you not manage to come up with someone with a complaint, someone with a 2% feeling that things should be better that can be fashioned into a story, we will dock your pay $1 for every click you should have garnered according to the Hosking Fuckworth Doofus system.”

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  23rd April 2020

      Makes a change from fanning the flames of fear.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd April 2020

      Alternatively you could think for yourself rather than be a cheerleader for autocracy.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd April 2020

        or you could get Mencken to …think for you.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  23rd April 2020

          He who thought first, thought best, B. And he is hard to beat as a wordsmith. Certainly Simon O’Connor doesn’t.

          Reply
          • I have a book of Mencken’s writings, Alan.

            Did you know that he had a stroke that left him unable to read or write ? He had a vast library of books in different languages and would sit in it, unable to read a word of any of them. I wonder that he didn’t top himself; I would.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              No, I hadn’t read about that. I knew a man rendered speechless by a stroke who simply starved himself to death as quickly as possible.

            • My mother once taught a man who was left unable to read and write after a stroke to do them again, but I don’t know how.

  7. Pink David

     /  23rd April 2020

    Imperial College model compare to real world for Sweden. A rare opportunity to valid a model with multiple scenarios.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd April 2020

      All that graph shows that Swedens peak is yet to come ? And the current numbers are within the ‘prediction’ for the time period.

      I think you dont understand graphs as this destroys your whole Point. may be by Jun we can tell if prediction is true , but so far still ‘on track’

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  23rd April 2020

        Yes. Lets look again in June.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  23rd April 2020

        Just for reference when we look at this in June, here is the conclusion drawn by the person who actually did the modelling;

        “In conclusion, it appears quite clear to me that thusfar, the figures represented in yellow, which are roughly what we should be seeing in Sweden, according to the Imperial College model, are proving to be a gross overestimate. Instead, the truth appears to be this: Sweden is achieving the kind of numbers that the Imperial College report claims could only be achieved under conditions of 5 months of full lockdown. Meanwhile Britain, which has been put under full lockdown for one month, is actually doing worse than Sweden (26 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 18 for Sweden).”

        But lets look again in June.

        Reply
  8. David

     /  23rd April 2020

    From the dumb dumb files:
    “A group of researchers in Paris are planning to examine whether nicotine patches will help prevent – or lessen the effects of – the novel coronavirus.

    It comes after a French study found that few people hospitalized, or at home, with coronavirus were regular smokers compared to the general population.

    The team theorized that nicotine could prevent the virus from infecting cells or that nicotine was preventing the immune system from overreacting to the virus, reported The Guardian.

    To test this theory, scientists plan to put nicotine patches on COVID-19 patients – both in and out of intensive care – and on frontline workers to see if the stimulant has any effect on preventing the spread of the virus. ”

    Apparently only 5% of people hospitalized are smokers against 15% smoking rates also one of the biggest factors in suffering badly/dying from this thing is being fat because you are inflammed all the time and your immunity system is always fighting the inflammation…might they not have started with how many fat smokers are there, less than a 1/3 I would guess. If any protection is offered from smoking to the respiratory system how does a patch help.

    Reply
  9. Duker

     /  23rd April 2020

    From the minor virus files , UK weekly death rates showing how minor it all is compared to numbers over the 1970-2019
    Thats with the restrictions they have , imagine if they didnt have those

    Reply
  10. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  23rd April 2020

    The media have just been given a $50M carrot…
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/414946/covid-19-government-announces-support-package-for-media-sector

    They are not going to upset the hand that feeds them….

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd April 2020

      Didnt Media Works get a special ‘only for them carrot’ back around 2012 ?

      Reply
      • It will put them in an awkward position, Maggy; if they don’t criticise the government, it will be because they’ve been bought; if they do, they will be ungrateful sods who bite the hand that feeds them.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd April 2020

        Yes ,Joyces old firm.
        TV3 had to get rid of John Campbell too.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd April 2020

      There is evidence New Zealanders are turning to trusted news sources in record numbers at this time so it is critical the media is supported to keep doing the great job they have been doing.”

      Which ones would those be? I treat most of them with a high degree of skepticism because they’re repeaters, not reporters.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        Mistrusted news sources more likely.

        Thank heavens for the internet. It would be really Orwellian to be locked at home with only local tv and radio propaganda beamed at you. If that’s our fate shoot me now.

        Reply

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