Letters to the Editor, New Zealand Herald, Friday, December 17, 2021, page A32 (with inserted hyperlinks and redacted paragraph)
Gratitude is not something you expect in politics. And your columnist Andrew Barnes seems to subscribe to this view.
As New Zealand enters the Christmas and New Year season, we are able to take stock of the pandemic so far:
- Fewer than 50 deaths from Covid over two years, a rate less than one per cent of that recorded in almost any other country.
- An economic performance as good as any, including growth and low unemployment.
- Internal restrictions on behaviour among the lowest, when taken over the pandemic to date.
- Frequent media briefings and full-scale accountability, including inquiries and robust media scrutiny.
- Vaccination rates reaching 90% for all ethnic groups in Auckland, and soon likely 95%.
- A whole-of-system immunisation system built from scratch, and vaccine passes, verifiers, and mandates developed quickly.
- And a hospital and wider health system that to date has been spared being overwhelmed as witnessed in most jurisdictions overseas.
[And Andrew Barnes wants Ministers and the Director General of Health to resign – on the strength of the Cave Creek Tragedy which caused 14 deaths in a single incident in 1995 and where the Minister of Conservation, a decent man, resigned after an inquiry found “institutional failure” and the Department of Conservation had suffered several years of budget and staff cuts.]
Of course there have been errors and missteps, but these pale into insignificance compared to those recorded in other countries and for which almost nobody has been held to account for often monumental, and fateful, policy errors.
4 Cromwell Street