Quarantine debacle escalates as Woodhouse allegations confirmed

Widespread anger was expressed after it was revealed that tow women who were granted a compassionate exemption from quarantine travelled from Auckland to Wellington on Saturday before testing positive for Covid-19, breaking a 24 day run of no new cases in New Zealand.

In a show of no confidence in the Ministry of Health handling of quarantines Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appointed a military leader to review and oversee the quarantining.

A number of people came claiming poor procedures in quarantine.

It turns out that testing of people arriving in the country from overseas were not required to be tested, it was optional.

But it gets worse. It appears that the public have been misled after an allegation made by National spokesperson on health Michael Woodhouse that the exempted women didn’t travel from Auckland to Wellington with no contact with anyone has been confirmed.  Apparently they got lost on the Auckland motorway and met up with friends.

Yesterday Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield did not front up to media, instead emailing a statement (there was no update posted on the Covid website).

From The Spinoff live updates:

On yesterday’s cases, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said in an emailed update, “As director general of health, I have overall system responsibility for the health operations of our self-isolation facilities and exemptions.

“In this instance, these individuals should have been tested prior to leaving the managed isolation facility.

“I am taking responsibility for ensuring this does not happen again.

“We have put in place a number of actions to provide the public and government assurance that anyone arriving into New Zealand does not pose any risk from Covid-19.”

“There is one family member isolating with them who is being monitored daily by the local public health unit. The Ministry of Health is managing wider contact tracing from the National Contact Tracing unit.

“We are treating anyone on the flight or in the facility at the same time as the cases as if they are close contacts who have potentially been exposed. We are getting them all tested and isolated until a negative result is received.

“At this point, there are 320 identified close contacts. The majority of these will have been contacted by the end of the day. All of these people will be encouraged to get a test.”

The ministry is confident no contact was made with anyone on the women’s journey between Auckland and Wellington, the update said. “The actions of these two individuals have been exemplary in terms of following health advice and the agreed plan on departure from the facility. I want to thank them for their cooperation and ask that their privacy  continues to be respected during this time.”

Ardern did front up to the media:

The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has addressed media on why yesterday’s two new cases, both New Zealand citizens, were allowed out of managed isolation before being tested.

She said it was “an unacceptable failure of the system”.

“From the beginning we have taken an extraordinarily cautious approach at the border … that is also why we required tests to be undertaken at those facilities – one at day three and one at day 12.

“That should have happened in the cases we learned about yesterday, it did not and there are no excuses. It should never have happened and it cannot be repeated.”

Blame did not lie with the two New Zealand citizens returning from the UK, she added. “It is totally unacceptable that procedures we were advised were in place were not. Our job now is to fix that.”

Ardern said she would leave it to director general of health Ashley Bloomfield to determine where responsibility landed and if anyone’s job would be threatened.

She said she was not considering sacking the health minister, David Clark. “The minister is in exactly the same position that I am, we both find what has happened here unacceptable, it is counter to what we were told was happening… He is part of fixing this issue, not part of the problem.”

Ardern was critical of the pressure she said was coming from “a wide range of quarters, not least from some of my colleagues on the other side of the house” to loosen the border. “We have always said that we needed to be cautious. I utterly stand by that.

“This is a growing pandemic, not a slowing one, and we should be extraordinarily careful, and I send that message to the opposition.”

But the Opposition responded with an allegation in Parliament.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: Were the two individuals, confirmed with COVID yesterday, accompanied on their drive to Wellington, and, if not, how can he be 100 percent sure that they did not stop during the trip?

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: They were not accompanied, and I am assured that they have been the kind of people, and have demonstrated, that they have followed the protocols in place with their self-isolation plan.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: Has he seen reports that the two individuals went the wrong way on their journey to Wellington and came into close contact with the people who gave them directions?

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: No, I have seen no evidence of that.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: Was he aware that the good Samaritans who assisted them were rewarded with a kiss and a cuddle, and would he consider that to be a close contact?

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: I would be deeply concerned if that were the case. I have been assured that there was no contact on their journey to the place where they visited their relative in the Wellington region.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Has he been advised of the details and facts behind the allegations in that last question?

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: I have not. I have certainly asked the question about whether there was any contact at all, and I have been assured that there was no contact along the way. So I have certainly not heard that report, and if the member has actually heard that and not passed it on, that would be very deeply concerning.

Last night from Stuff:  Ministry of Health confirms women with Covid got lost and stopped on drive from Auckland to Wellington

The Ministry of Health has confirmed two women diagnosed with Covid-19 after leaving a managed isolation facility in Auckland did not drive non-stop to Wellington.

Health officials had insisted they did, but Stuff revealed the pair got lost, stopped and met someone.

Politicians had questioned the validity of the claims but the Ministry of Health responded to Stuff late on Wednesday to say that the journey between Auckland and Wellington, taken by two New Zealanders with Covid-19 who returned to New Zealand to see their dying parent had been confirmed.

“Upon leaving the Novotel in a private vehicle provided by friends, the women got lost on the Auckland motorway system.

“On realising this they phoned the same friends who supplied the vehicle, who met and guided them to the correct motorway, so they could go in the right direction. As part of this the pair were in limited physical contact with the two friends for approximately five minutes.”

In addition, health authorities had been informed of instances where friends have made contactless deliveries of food or care packages to the women while they have been in self-isolation in recent days.

The packages were contactless deliveries and the friends who had delivered the packages had taken all appropriate precautions to maintain physical distance, the statement said.

“As such there is no risk to the community from these interactions.”

A second interview with the sisters was conducted by the local public health unit on Tuesday evening and there were subsequent interviews on Wednesday.

The statement says the information was communicated to the Ministry of Health on the afternoon of Wednesday 17 June.

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked for a comment on the revelation, she did not address the issue or that officials had been misled.

A spokesperson for the prime minister reiterated to Stuff what she had said earlier – that there had been an unacceptable systemic failure with the case.

“The government is focused on cleaning it up as quickly as possible and fixing the problems that led to it.”

Woodhouse was criticised on social media, I saw the usual ‘attack the messenger’ nonsense on Twitter, and also at The Standard, but there was also anger expressed there, see from here.

It appears that Woodhouse has been vindicated.

Also:

Something is up with this case.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/419252/ministry-confirms-women-with-covid-19-did-stop-on-trip

The Novotel Ellerslie is literally on top of the Southern motorway jammed hard up against the Greenlane interchange. Apparently they got lost between the hotel and the motorway, a drive less than 500m…yeah, right.

Someone is still lying.

There may be more to come out on this.

The Ministry and the Government should have fronted up with the correct information. This has turned out to be a further embarrassment for the Ministry of Health and the Government.

Stuff: Furious PM sends in military to review and oversee border controls after two new cases.

Ardern said the bungle was completely unacceptable and the “rigour” of the military was needed to sort out what was going at the border.

She appointed assistant chief of defence Air Commodore Darryn Webb to review and oversee border management from here on out.

“We need the rigour, we need the confidence, and we need the discipline that the military can provide,” Ardern said.

He would be able to use the military to make sure the border was being properly handled.

“It is totally unacceptable that procedures we were advised were in place were not. Our job is to fix that.”

“There is no room for error.”

It appears to be a litany of errors and incompetence.

That looks like a major vote of no confidence in Ashley Bloomfield (or throwing under a bus), and in the Ministry of Health.

This isn’t quite hero to zero, but it is a major denting of public confidence in Government and Ministry handling of the pandemic. Minister of Health David Clark has had a poor public relationship, nothing more from him since he expressed ‘frustration’ and ‘disappointment’ over the quarantine debacle before the latest revelations.

I don’t trust the getting lost story. I think it’s more likely a deliberate meeting contrary to specified conditions of exemption.

So this is likely to require Ardern to front up and try to repair the damage.


NZ Herald: Woman who MP claims ‘kissed and cuddled’ Covid travellers attended Auckland gym class days later

An Auckland woman who an MP claims “cuddled and kissed” two Covid-19 infected British travellers attended a “hands-on” training at her local gym yesterday morning.

According to a Facebook post by Felicia Alkin, the owner and founder of Highland Park’s Lioness Gym for Women, the unnamed member was in contact with the two women on Saturday.

She did not know they were positive until yesterday afternoon, Alkin said.

Alkin says she has now cancelled her classes and appointments, and decided to self-isolate with her family, until the gym member – who underwent testing this morning – had tested negative.

Contact tracing will now be a headache for the Ministry.

And the flow on effects of quarantine incompetence and laxness by the women are significant.

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111 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  18th June 2020

    Duker is going to really have his work in spinning this one!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Ardern & Clark had every right to rely on the information & assurances they were given by their principal health adviser that the protocols they were told were in place were being rigourously implemented & monitored.

      Bloomfield has to carry the can & front up on this one.

      Ardern’s clearly ropable & calling in a senior military official to oversee the border & quarantine controls was a master stroke; lost track of how many commentators around the world have described us as being at war with Covid-19.

      It’s rather distrubing to be reading that testing of quarantinees is voluntary.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th June 2020

        1News at 6 last night got stuck in. It appears obvious that testing before release from quarantine is often not happening & it’s a complete bloody shambles. No doubt why Ardern has gone ballistic & called in a senior military officer to oversee things. Bloomfield’s lot are clearly too incompetent to be left alone to do it themselves.

        Watch the embedded tv news item:
        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/health-official-involved-in-birthday-party-girl-managed-isolation-travellers-mingled-against-rules?auto=6164744534001

        Reply
        • Tom Hunter

           /  18th June 2020

          Bloomfield’s lot are clearly too incompetent to be left alone to do it themselves.

          Which begs the question of their degree of competence earlier and across this entire issue of lockdown as the only solution to COVID-19.

          Incompetence does not tend to strike only once and only in one area of work. To coin a word much in vogue recently it tends to be systemic.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th June 2020

            The AG report on PPE confirms your prediction. Michael Reddell has catalogued their incompetence on his blog since January – just google his name and Ministry of Health.

            Reply
        • artcroft

           /  18th June 2020

          I get the impression the health officials drop the newly arrived off at the hotel and have left the hotel management to run quarantine. Probably wrong, but that’s how it seems.

          Reply
      • It sounded like it.

        The PM and NZ will be a laughingstock. Keystone Kwarantine.

        The man who had to go to court couldn’t get a test because he had no symptoms and couldn’t get out to see his dying father because he hadn’t had a test. You couldn’t make that sort of absurdity up.

        Reply
        • Jacinda and Ashley were fawning all over each other and she was happily taking credit for other people’s supposed work, but she seems less willing to take any responsibilty for other people’s stuffups.

          Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  18th June 2020

    Maybe their google maps GPS app got confused and sent them north. but probably not…

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  18th June 2020

      In any case those health bureaucrats who were lambasted last month, for not letting visitors see dying relatives have been completely vindicated now.

      Reply
    • It’s not difficult to get confused with on ramps if unfamiliar with a motorway system. But once they realised they were going north, it’s hard to understand why they would contact and meet with friends just to turn around and go the other way.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  18th June 2020

        Hard to understand? No. They are obviously dumb, arrogant, have no sense of proportion or a combination of all. I read they’d come from the UK. You’d think anyone coming from there would have some sense of the gravity of the situation.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th June 2020

          Coming from the UK they may be used to public transport, not self-driving.

          Reply
          • Not between cities, surely. There are plenty of traffic jams with heavy traffic in the UK.

            They are not English born. This excuse isn’t valid.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th June 2020

              Driving standards dropped here after just a couple of months of lockdown. Lots of expats in London don’t own a car. Odds are high these two didn’t.

            • Not everyone lives in London in the UK.

      • FarmerPete

         /  18th June 2020

        It’s pretty dammed hard to miss the southern exit at Greenlane. Once they had missed it all they had to do was keep going around the roundabout and they would come to it again. There is a lot of BS in this story by all the parties involved.

        Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      How can you get lost if you have a smart phone in central Auckland?

      Reply
    • Some people I knew went the wrong way in the UK and ended up either in Scotland or at John of Groats, I forget which, but whichever it was, it was the opposite end of the country to the one they thought they were going to.

      Reply
      • It was like ending up at Cape Reinga instead of Wellington or the other way round. My sense of direction is abysmal, but even I couldn’t stuff up to that extent.

        Reply
  3. Stuff: Isolated travellers let out to attend large funeral in Christchurch

    Quarantined arrivals from overseas attended a big funeral in Christchurch this week, as concerns grow that lax border controls are boosting New Zealand’s Covid-19 risk.

    Steve Parkyn, chief executive of funeral directors Lamb and Hayward, said “nine or 10” of those people were let out of quarantine early to attend one of the company’s funerals on Tuesday.

    Parkyn said after being contacted by health authorities he refused to allow the isolated travellers from the Commodore Hotel to attend the service, but they joined about 150 other mourners at the burial, accompanied by a health official.

    “We asked for information, and whether the people had been tested, but they couldn’t tell us anything.

    “It was bizarre. We’ve been through lockdown where people couldn’t get exemptions to attend funerals or see dying relatives,” he said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121858074/coronavirus-isolated-travellers-let-out-to-attend-large-funeral-in-christchurch

    Reply
  4. NOEL

     /  18th June 2020

    I wonder if Woodhouse advised his trusted confidential source to ring the “dob them in ” number?

    Reply
  5. Stuff: Covid-19 isolation broken at Mongrel Mob tangi

    A teenager and a child who fled from authorities after being given a compassionate exemption from isolation were attending a large Mongrel Mob tangi in Hamilton.

    The pair went AWOL after the funeral on June 10 and authorities didn’t know their whereabouts for an unspecified time afterwards, meaning they had to be tracked down.

    The pair, aged eight and 19, flew with four other family members, including their mother, from Melbourne, before being granted an exemption to attend the tangi of slain gang member Deiderick John Grant, known as DJ Rogue, NZME reported.

    A teenager and a child who fled from authorities after being given a compassionate exemption from isolation were attending a large Mongrel Mob tangi in Hamilton.

    The pair went AWOL after the funeral on June 10 and authorities didn’t know their whereabouts for an unspecified time afterwards, meaning they had to be tracked down.

    The pair, aged eight and 19, flew with four other family members, including their mother, from Melbourne, before being granted an exemption to attend the tangi of slain gang member Deiderick John Grant, known as DJ Rogue, NZME reported.

    Six members of the Australian family had compassionate leave. Five are back in managed isolation in Auckland and are due for Covid-19 tests on Thursday.

    Hundreds of mourners from all around the North Island were believed to have attended the tangi in Hamilton.

    A source told NZME the boys, and the rest of their family, mingled with them all.

    “The ridiculous thing about the Mongrel Mob funeral in Hamilton … you could see how many hundreds of people there were there … these boys who essentially just came in the country from Melbourne were mingling all in amongst those people.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121865460/coronavirus-covid19-isolation-broken-at-mongrel-mob-tangi

    Reply
    • oldlaker

       /  18th June 2020

      Wasn’t it the Mongrel Mob helping man iwi checkpoints because they were really keen to protect their vulnerable communities? Not as keen, now, apparently.

      Reply
  6. NOEL

     /  18th June 2020

    Both occasions people not complying with instructions.
    Must be something in the Emergency regulations they can be charged with?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      They possibly can, but this event is now producing a litany of confusion & cock ups & potentially similar offences by Health Ministry officials not following their top brass’s supposed requirements. They might then need to be charged as well?

      Reply
  7. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Well, colour me surprised.
    Another case of part – Maori totally ignoring the rules that we are all subject to.
    Nothing like a feeling of self entitlement that they appear to be born with.
    Bugger the economy , the failed businesses and the 10’s thousand on and going on the dole.
    Now that our border has been shown up as anything but “ world class “ as Ardern chooses to describe it to our fawning media, all she can say is that she is “ disappointed.”
    Heads never roll with this apology for a government, only frowning and hand wringing.
    Pathetic !
    .

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Another case of part – Maori totally ignoring the rules that we are all subject to.

      What are you ranting about? The only recent case I’m aware of is bloody gang members & their family or associates disobeying the rules. Nothing surprising there. They’ve been getting away with that sort of shit under numerous administrations.

      Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      Are the two women from the UK Maori or are they of European decent?

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  18th June 2020

      What’s this trying to ignore rules that we are supposedly all subject to and people with feelings of self entitlement that they appear to be born with?

      Isn’t that the sort of stuff that makes the world go round? Isn’t that the basis of our society?

      Class structures, the ‘have nots’ being told to get over it, get off their butts and do something about it, people being born in the right bed, going to the ‘right’ school cementing their feelings of self entitlement. Isn’t that the way the game of life goes?

      The really serious frowning and hand wringing goes on when participants find others seeking or getting the breaks and the advantages.

      Reply
    • colour me surprised – another whiny racist commenter

      Reply
  8. David

     /  18th June 2020

    Bloomfield playing down every newly revealed breach is appalling. He should be slamming these women not saying be kind and respect this difficult time. They took the right royal.piss out of the system deliberately and I bet there is a political connection there.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Maybe. Remains to be seen. But he’ll be being paid an eye-watering amount every year to ensure his staff are up to the task of managing quarantinees that he’s been assuring his political masters & the public they are doing. No doubt others in his chain of command are paid similarly enviable salaries to competently manage their teams. He & they are now neck deep in the doggy do.

      Reply
      • I have known a number of very high up politicians well through my late husband, and wouldn’t have dreamt of asking them for this kind of favour as I’d know that I wouldn’t get it. Letting someone out untested when they show symptoms…any MP who pulled strings to allow that would be signing their own resignation letter.

        Reply
  9. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Get a, get up to date.
    This refers to the 6 idiots who attended a Tangi in the Waikato.
    Following that the self entitled iwi hid 2 for a couple of days.
    Of course I agree, because they are part- Maori they can get away with it and zero sanctions.

    Reply
    • FarmerPete

       /  18th June 2020

      Can we please leave the generalised Maori bashing out of these discussions.

      Reply
  10. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  18th June 2020

    A few comments over on KB that the 2 women are connected to someone with political clout.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Do they say to whom they are connected or are they too scared to because it’s all third hand rumour stuff?

      Reply
      • Or how they are connected ?

        They don’t seem to be doing that person any favours if it’s true. Enter rumour, painted full of tongues.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      “Health Minister David Clark has alleged in Parliament that National MP Chris Bishop lobbied for the early release from quarantine of two sisters who later tested positive for coronavirus.

      The two sisters are now at the centre of a political scandal over the safety of managed isolation after it emerged that neither sister was tested before being released.

      Yesterday it was revealed that they had come into close contact with at least one other person since leaving managed isolation, contrary to earlier reports/

      Clark made the claim in response to a question from Education Minister Chris Hipkins.”

      More…
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121874465/claims-in-parliament-national-mp-lobbied-for-leave-for-sisters-who-have-covid19

      What are those Kiwibloggers saying about it now, Maggy? 🤔

      Reply
  11. David

     /  18th June 2020

    I would be arresting these bloody women now, question them under caution get NZTA camera footage, check service station footage along the way. Bring in their friends who have been visiting in Wellington and send the bloody message that its unacceptable.
    We had locals charged with breaching the lockdown why different rules ?
    Did they get special help from the beehive ?

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      Yeap, lock them up.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th June 2020

      “Putting speculation to the rest, he said the women travelled in a diesel vehicle to Wellington.

      “Anyone with a diesel vehicle will know it is very possible to get from Auckland to Wellington and beyond on a single tank of diesel. And they’ve reassured that is indeed what happened.”

      hehehe, there was much knashing of teeth over the last few days over how it was impossible to travel without refueling…the obvious answer was staring people in the face, as hive-mentality took over

      Reply
      • A friend was left a car by her exhusband. It can go from North Waikato to Wellington on a tank of petrol and not be almost empty. So it could probably do Auckland to Wellington.

        I didn’t think of diesel, just of B……’s small Jap import.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th June 2020

      Two women get lost navigating from Auckland to Wellington? Well that was unpredictable, wasn’t it?

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  18th June 2020

        That is an area I wasn’t game enough to mention

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th June 2020

          I’ve been married long enough to know a problem when I see it, Patz. First time I went shopping as a young guy with my wife to be I fell over her when we came out of the store and she turned the wrong way to go back to the car. I learnt my lesson.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th June 2020

            Make sure the way head is clear before proceeding? Or don’t follow too closely?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  18th June 2020

              *ahead

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th June 2020

              Lead, don’t follow. My first wife would peer at a map as though it was written in Mandarin. Thank heavens for Google Maps and the nice lady who speaks directions. Must have saved lots of relationships.

            • Did she have to turn maps upside down if you were going North ? Er, not that I do, heh heh.

              I know a very clever doctor who went from Hamilton to Auckland and had to come back again because he became so lost on the motorway.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th June 2020

              Yes, she did try to turn maps around but it didn’t help much. Best to stick to what you are each good at and not try to defy nature.

            • It does help if the map’s facing the same way as you are.

  12. Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      Actually when they come out of the hotel area onto Greenlane you go into the left hand lane which gets you onto the Southern Motorway.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th June 2020

      So now the debate has shifted, to “how hard it is to get lost in Auckland”, shameful state of affairs that 2 women from overseas cant navigate the motorway system. with aplomb …someone should resign

      Reply
      • NOEL

         /  18th June 2020

        Yes. Self interest trumps community protection every time.
        It is suspected that in both cases legal instructions were disregarded.
        Charges should be investigated.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  18th June 2020

      Any person not used to Auckland motorways and getting in and around the various intersections and gets confused when split second decisions have to be made would seem to be stupid if I get the tone of Presland’s message.

      What the women did wrong was not drive at 40-50kph in the middle lane at a time when there was no traffic or hardly any traffic around. They would have been under less stress with time to scan for signs.

      If they’d been away and travelled from the UK they probably hadn’t driven for a time. If it was a rental it was likely a car they hadn’t driven before. They had a couple of hundred metres to drive to get on the motorway heading in the right direction. They may have done their ‘how the hell do I get out of here?’ homework but in split seconds things happened, they got in the wrong place and went the wrong way. On Auckland motorways and intersections it’s not hard for out-of-towners to do.

      For some parts of events I think the women were stupid. Maybe they’re just naive and limited. I don’t think I’ve heard of Greg Presland. While the women might be stupid, naive and didn’t handle a situation as well as we think they should have, Presland comes across different. His contribution makes him sound a smartarse.

      Reply
      • Ray

         /  18th June 2020

        Greg Presland is a well known wannabe Labour MP and lawyer, possible a legend in his own mind, definitely part of the reason David Cunliffe didn’t become PM and is a lead poster at “The Standard”
        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11213991

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th June 2020

        Greg Presland is a regular stalwart post contributor on The Standard. He’s a Labour apparatchik who used to be Cunliffe’s chief of staff or press officer or something.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  18th June 2020

          Just googled. He was Cunliffe’s electorate chair & cheerleader.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th June 2020

        There is often heavy traffic on that motorway approach so you can’t see painted signs on the road and it is difficult to change lanes if you need to. NZ cities have a disgracefully poor standard of overhead lane signage compared with overseas. However anyone sensible would have got advice from wherever they left about getting onto the motorway correctly. It beggars belief that the could figure out how to meet up with their friends but not how to get onto the southbound lanes.

        Reply
        • They had a phone, couldn’t they have pulled over and used it ?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th June 2020

            Depends where they were. No room to pull over on Greenlane East. If they took the northern onramp they could have come off at Market Road but if they missed that they were into central Auckland which is a bit hair-raising if you don’t know it or even across the Harbour Bridge into North Shore.

            This is all assuming they left from the hotel and didn’t go somewhere else to pick up the car.

            Reply
      • Why do people assume that no one drives in the UK ?

        Reply
  13. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Patzcuaro, don’t know but they are Kiwis returning to NZ.
    What I am referring to is the Waikato debacle that occurred at the same time but is 100 times worse.
    Our ex Police Commissioner is still out looking for a couple of them according to today’s Herald.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      The polite thing to do here is post a link to back up what one’s ranting about if going beyond what’s already public knowledge from earlier news items.

      Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      It will only prove to be 100 times worse if any of those involved in the Waikato incident turn out to be infected. One assumes that those coming back for the Waikato tangi came from Australia where the risk of bring the virus back are 100 times less than bring it from the UK at the present.

      Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      Ps if you tap on the bottom right hand corner of a post, a reply link comes up and your reply is posted just under what you are replying to

      Reply
    • They are Kiwis coming back.

      Reply
  14. Patzcuaro

     /  18th June 2020

    Warning this post contains anti Trump media coverage

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th June 2020

      UK excluded to make the chart look better?

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  18th June 2020

        Not sure

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th June 2020

          It is. You really need to take out the mega international cities like London and New York to see much and even then the reporting standards are probably too variable to be useful.

          Reply
          • Please pay attention Alan. The comparison in Patzcuaro’s comment is between the EU – an organisation that the UK no longer belongs to – and America.

            The EU still includes Italy, France, and Spain, and their 100,000 deaths.

            There’s no subterfuge – just a woefully incompetent president in America.

            Reply
  15. Trevors_elbow

     /  18th June 2020

    Jacinda being disappointed about quarantine breaches…. ha!!! Anything as political as covid response would have had all processes and procedures checked all the way up the chain of command – both in the Ministries involved but also by political staffers for the Ministers involved and highly probably by PM Office staffers

    Why? Because any mistakes are so politically damaging.

    Politicians are empowered to take responsibility. Clark should have been sacked months ago as Min. Of Health for his regular mistakes…

    Responsibility all sheets home to Ms Ardern. She took all the credit.. she bears the blame…

    These balls ups wouldn’t have occurred with Simpson or Eagleson doing overview of everything for their PMs…..

    Labour is incompetent… they need to go…..

    Reply
    • The sacking of a minister so near an election is unjustified; the expense would not be worth it.

      Jacinda must take the blame; she’s the one who was revelling in worldwide adulation, but the criminal incompetence, while not her personal doing, took place under her leadership. Sorry, PM, you can’t have it both ways.

      Reply
  16. Conspiratoor

     /  18th June 2020

    “She said it was “an unacceptable failure of the system”.

    Good to know no-one is accountable. Just that damn system again getting in the way of good folks just doing their job

    And it tends to make a mockery of the ‘go hard’ mantra

    “It turns out that testing of people arriving in the country from overseas were not required to be tested, it was optional.”

    Reply
  17. Gezza

     /  18th June 2020

    Bloomfield’s just completed his press standup. Weird how at the start the majority female repeaters/reporters seemed to be primarily baying for the blood of the two females from the UK on compassionate release who’ve sparked all the ruckus & shown up the shambolic management of managed isolatiion.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300037532/live-another-new-case-of-covid19-reported-in-new-zealand

    Reply
  18. Gezza

     /  18th June 2020

    Nikki Kaye wasted too much time on why Clark hasn’t been sacked during Question Time.

    It’s a well-established policy by National AND Labour administrations that the Departmental CEO has to carry the can for departmental cock ups and failings, even where the Ministers’ or the governments’ policy or demands have been a causative or contributing factor.

    And in this case there is no reason to suggest Clark should have known that the advice he was given that all the correct & required protocols were in place & were being followed was not true.

    The public knows this.

    Reply
  19. Patzcuaro

     /  18th June 2020

    A map of how easy it is to get on the motorway south from isolation hotel.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  18th June 2020

      No data for one.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  18th June 2020

      You can put a map like that up about any part of the motorway. and it looks simple.

      I’ve generally found that sitting looking at a nice graphic like that on a computer screen is a tad different than being on the Auckland motorway not quite sure about which lane to get in. And with big truck trailers unit in front or beside you, some hoon in a Subaru who’s been weaving in and out and threading into tiny gaps with and someone in a Ford Ranger trying to be on the North Shore 10 minutes ago. And drivers wanting their lowest speed to be 100kph.

      I think Thomas like Presland earlier is a smartarse with no empathy for those who find getting on and off the motorway and travelling on it daunting and showing no understanding of how quick split seconds, uncertainty and unfamiliarity can see people get in the wrong lane.

      I don’t have sympathy for the women for the problems they caused. Put the boot into them, but for getting discombobulated on Auckland roads? If they’d driven really slowly to make sure they got it right they’d have the Presland and Thomas types in following vehicles going berserk.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th June 2020

        Yes agreed, dups. Some armchair driving from people who have never been on Green Lane East when it’s busy and nose to tail in every lane from every direction.

        Add female lack of direction sense in a strange city and anything could easily happen.

        Reply
  20. It should be National’s Chris Bishop who is first in line to resign. Then let the chips fall where they may. But Bishop first. His idea. His lobbying. His outcome. His responsibility.

    “The two sisters released from border facilities early to visit their dying parent were released after positive representations from the National MP for Hutt South, Health Minister David Clark has revealed in the House.

    He was asked by Labour MP Chris Hipkins whether National’s Chris Bishop had written representations for the women, to which Clark replied: “Yes I am aware of that”.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12341059

    Reply
    • David

       /  18th June 2020

      Desperate, where exactly did Bishop say let these women out and dont worry about testing or symptoms ? Thought not.
      He forwarded an email to the authorities to have a look at. Desperate Labour tactics and typically dirty ones.

      Reply
  21. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Ishmael, that is arrant nonsense and absolutely pathetic.
    Bishop was asked to make representations on behalf of a constituent.
    He did so on the basis that all protocols were adhered to.
    They were not and that is the direct responsibility of the Minister.
    They should resign but that will never happen in this hapless administration.

    Reply
    • Bullshit. He wanted a special deal for two people that the rest of us were unable to enjoy. Rather than standing for law and order for all, he lobbied for special privileges for two.

      There are plenty more resignations that ought to happen, but first up is Bishop, because he put the interests of two visitors from Britain ahead of the rest of the country.

      Reply
      • He didn’t; do keep up. He sent a standard email with their details, on the assumption that they would be tested and the proper procedure followed. He did NOT ask for special treatment. His email has been published for all to see.

        Do try to keep abreast of what is happening before you make groundless accusations.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th June 2020

        B.s. yourself, Ishmael. An MP’s job is to help constituents navigate the bureaucracy. Most of that work is done by his electorate staff. Compassionate access was managed by the MoH and he forwarded the appropriate application to the appropriate departmental decision-makers. That is proper process. An opposition MP would have exactly zero power to influence the subsequent decision.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      “They were not and that is the direct responsibility of the Minister.
      They should resign but that will never happen in this hapless administration.”

      FFS. Come off the grass. It’s ludicrous to expect the Minister to be personally responsible for ensuring that all the protocols he was told were in place & being followed were actually being followed.

      The UK notion & convention that Ministers are responsible for the actions of their officials is long gone in NZ politics.

      I’ve got no time for Clark, but Bloomfield’s got to carry the can for this one.

      Reply
  22. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Ishmael, if you paid attention to Parliament you would have learned that some 1,700 exemptions have been requested by MP’s of all parties.
    Shot up before you embarrass yourself again.

    Reply
    • Or you will be.

      Some homeless man had a free 2 week holiday in a nice hotel by joining the queue and saying that he was just back from abroad .

      It’s getting worse.

      Now the PM seems unaware that the Airforce man who’s going to be put in charge as she announced…has been for weeks.

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  18th June 2020

        Shocking a homeless man joins a queue and gets a few free nights on the taxpayer when heaps of employers especially those in the rural sector have put their hands out for millions of dollars in COVID related wage subsidies.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th June 2020

          More amusing than shocking, Patz. Nice cheek and carried it off for a fortnight!

          Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  18th June 2020

      Shot up is what the cops do in the US when they see a black man.

      Reply

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