Thousands of at-risk lives saved

Published in The New Zealand Herald, 9th. February 2022

In all the debate about the qualities of MIQ, it is easily forgotten that border controls have been a major tool in ensuring our low death rate.

If New Zealand had suffered the death rate of the United Kingdom – that is, 2000 per million instead of just 10 – we would be talking not about 50-60 deaths nationally as at present, but 10,000.

Those 10,000 are alive and going about their everyday business, many of them elders, Māori, Pacific peoples, and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. But necessarily they are unheard. They do not know who they are. This is an unacknowledged gift to the nation, and to the health system.

Instead, what we hear is the anguish of the aggrieved who were inconvenienced by border controls. So, alongside the team of 5 million we have the legion of 10,000 Covid survivors – and now the MIQ-aggrieved.

This life-giving gift of MIQ should not go unacknowledged just because the survivors are unheard and hard to identify. It is surely appreciated in our hard-pressed health system!

Peter Davis, Elected Member, Auckland District Health Board


  1. Dear Peter

    Thanks for the pieces you have been churning out. It’s good to hear the voice of reason – and plaudits for Jacinda and the Government – in the face of idiocy from the few. Driving back from Napier on Monday we encountered the convoy heading south. We were surprised by the numbers of vehicles and the warmth of the reception in Taupo! I ended up with a scratchy throat from shouting “idiot” at them.

    Keep up the good work.


    Patti O’Neill Apartment 1607 The Residences 26 Albert Street Auckland 1010 New Zealand.

    Phone: 64 (0)9 600 1417



    • Thank you for your kind words! The piece I published in Stuff received more (positive) feedback than all my media items over the last two years combined! As for this letter – doubtless there will be some critics writing in reply to the Herald, but otherwise in the Twitterverse I have got much the same reaction (people thanking me and saying that this had to be said!). People have to hold their nerve. Fortunately Luxon said National supported mandates, but wanted to see an end date (which, on the face of it, is reasonable). This is in contrast to Canada where some members of their Conservative party are supporting the truckers. They might be the “ACT wing” of that party, since Canada still has first-past-the-post so they do not have the party diversity we have in NZ! All the best peter


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