New Zealand is closed

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I am taking the wife to see Tami Neilson in a few weeks, I hope they dont stop her leaving NZ
we are looking forward to it
real music without electronic beat and whining
 
I live in NZ.

This is a dramatic move by the NZ government. NZ has had only 6 cases of Covid-19, all imported. To date, no transmission has occurred within NZ.

Tourism is NZ second biggest industry. The NZ tourism industry is now closed. NZ is at the "end of the train line". It is hard to see many airlines maintaining a service down to NZ, because empty aircraft burn cash. In the belly holds of those aircraft are NZ exported goods (seafood in particular) and inbound aircraft bring medicines. It seems all of this will stop tomorrow night.

This has the potential to be devasting in a smallish country so reliant on trade and tourism. NZ is presently relatively free from Covid-19, with no Covid-19 patients in hospital.

The government says this will be reviewed in 16 days. It's hard to see the circumstances that will give the NZ government confidence to remove these restrictions. That confidence will come from our trading partners no longer reportimg COVID-19 cases, and that isn't going to happen in the next 16 days, or indeed 60 days I would suggest.

The U.K. Is an island as well. Will Boris try something similar?
Surely the Government will charter Air NZ flights as necessary, or use the RNZAF for medicines and other priority imports? Or club up with Oz And use their C-17s and QANTAS?

Agree on exports though, that’s going to hurt. In the wider sense, the drastic reduction in transatlantic flight capacity will hurt many economies, especially things like fresh food that’s normally air-freighted to the market where it’s sold. A lot of our veg in this part of the US comes from central and south America at certain times of the year.
 
Surely the Government will charter Air NZ flights as necessary, or use the RNZAF for medicines and other priority imports? Or club up with Oz And use their C-17s and QANTAS?

Agree on exports though, that’s going to hurt. In the wider sense, the drastic reduction in transatlantic flight capacity will hurt many economies, especially things like fresh food that’s normally air-freighted to the market where it’s sold. A lot of our veg in this part of the US comes from central and south America at certain times of the year.

Silly question:- Out in the big country, is it not possible to grow your own, if pushed, many millions of open acres, blazing sunshine in the summer etc?

A good example is Israel, turned miles of arid desert into fertile productive food production.
 

Dumbas

Swinger
NZ will be a interesting case study. Medical safety (perceived or real?) traded off against jobs and economic well-being.

In theory, we can isolate because we are an island nation. We are presently in summer, and will head towards winter and "flu season". Those who get "boring garden-variety flu" will have to be screened for Covid-19 and that will place a strain on the NZ medical system (much like the UK system is strained now). Garden variety flu will still kill the elderly and vulnerable across the winter, albeit at a lower rate than Covid-19.

The medical arguments to isolate are compelling, but isolation only buys NZ time and Covid-19 will still continue to enter NZ. The NZ government knows this and I assume they are buying time hoping that testing and treatments improve in the short term (weeks) and either the virus disappears like SARS or a vaccine is found (months/years).

However, buying this "time" will come at a profound economic cost. NZ can feed itself; without doubt. For sure, French Cheeses and American Strawberries will be off the menu, but fish, beef, lamb, venison, fresh veges, frozen foreign produce shouid be plentiful.

However, unemployment will rise. The tourism, restaurant and entertainment sector will be devasted, which is a huge chunk of the economy. The Kiwi dollar has devalued and may fall further. That will make imports more expensive, however we are fortunate that oil prices are presently low, as we rely on imported oil and we import inflation through oil prices.

Many jobs will be quickly lost. NZ has an extensive social welfare system and with the inevitable economic slowdown, tax revenues will fall. Fiscal borrowing is inevitable. This could all be rapid (days/weeks) and we haven't heard the government's plan for this.

NZ is lucky to be so isolated and not suffer extremes of heat or cold, flood or drought. However, being a small nation at the end of the train-line our economy doesn't have a lot of inertia and we are very reliant on trade.

I have no doubt NZ will survive this, but I am concerned that many jobs will be lost, which will bring associated social and economic costs. I fear the jobs will be quickly lost, but very slow to return.

I hope this has been "war-gamed" beyond the Prime Minister's 16 day review period, because at the end of the 16 days I expect the world will still be gripped by Covid-19 and it's hard to see the 16 days not being rolled-over continuously.

Whilst NZ might be accepting of a 16 day closure, those who have lost their jobs or fear for their jobs may view this differently in a month or two.

Interesting times.......
 
I have no doubt NZ will survive this, but I am concerned that many jobs will be lost, which will bring associated social and economic costs. I fear that jobs will be lost, but never to return.
Change jobs to lives, and read with the word in red. May I suggest that lives are ever so slightly a tad more important.
 
The world must be about coming to an end.

The latest headline
Coronavirus: iPhone shortage looms amid outbreak
 

Dumbas

Swinger
Richard,

Yes, lives are important. However, closing off NZ may save some lives, but may cost others. This is not the first time NZ (and other countries) have faced this decision, in fact it's an on-going decision.

Some points to consider;

1. There is irrefutable evidence that higher national wealth leads to longer life-expectancy. NZ's national wealth will take a massive hit, not nessarily because of Covid-19, but because of a government decision. That will cost lives, whether that be because of reduced healthcare, higher suicides or just the unquantifiable reasons wealthy countries have higher life expectancy.
2. Hong Kong did not close their borders to all travellers. I'm sure they wanted to, but instead steered a middle course to not destroy their economy. HK is twice the population of NZ and has reported 140 cases and 4 deaths. I suspect during that same period a similar number died of pneumonia and garden-variety flu; but this is not reported daily.

Finally, NZ has an abnormally high mortality rate due road accidents. Of those deaths, around 6 per year are resultant of foreign drivers not being conversant with NZ conditions (right-hand drive generally). There has been calls to ban foreign drivers. These calls have been resisted because of the deterimental effect on the NZ economy. The same argument can be made for measles, AIDS, Hepstitis which are all imported to NZ. So, yes NZ does trade "lives" for jobs, it always has. In this case I just hope the "trade" is based on data and not a knee-jerk response to jingoism or "populism".
 
Change jobs to lives, and read with the word in red. May I suggest that lives are ever so slightly a tad more important.
A Prime Minister has to think of the country as a whole and not individuals. A country needs production, a working population who work and (in)directly produce taxable wealth.
As an aside, if we accept that washing our hands is going to help fight the spread of Covid19, will our newly found cleanliness and self isolation also reduce the normal seasonal infirmities? If so, surely, the number who ‘should’ or ‘would’ statistically die of normal seasonal flu will instead die of Covid19 and the average annual death rate will probably not change much.
If the overall death rate remains relatively stable and those dying are the elderly and infirm, then we should possibly not be talking about death and/or survival rates, but instead we should be focusing on changes to life expectancy.

Edited for grammar.
 
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Have to say I think this is mad. New Zealand can it avoid COVID. By locking down the whole country, they won’t develop he’d immunity. The virus will still be going round the term of the world when they are forced to open up the barriers, but everywhere else will be building immunity. Unless a vaccine is developed, all this is doing is to delay the inevitable.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Richard,

Yes, lives are important. However, closing off NZ may save some lives, but may cost others. This is not the first time NZ (and other countries) have faced this decision, in fact it's an on-going decision.

Some points to consider;

1. There is irrefutable evidence that higher national wealth leads to longer life-expectancy. NZ's national wealth will take a massive hit, not nessarily because of Covid-19, but because of a government decision. That will cost lives, whether that be because of reduced healthcare, higher suicides or just the unquantifiable reasons wealthy countries have higher life expectancy.
2. Hong Kong did not close their borders to all travellers. I'm sure they wanted to, but instead steered a middle course to not destroy their economy. HK is twice the population of NZ and has reported 140 cases and 4 deaths. I suspect during that same period a similar number died of pneumonia and garden-variety flu; but this is not reported daily.

Finally, NZ has an abnormally high mortality rate due road accidents. Of those deaths, around 6 per year are resultant of foreign drivers not being conversant with NZ conditions (right-hand drive generally). There has been calls to ban foreign drivers. These calls have been resisted because of the deterimental effect on the NZ economy. The same argument can be made for measles, AIDS, Hepstitis which are all imported to NZ. So, yes NZ does trade "lives" for jobs, it always has. In this case I just hope the "trade" is based on data and not a knee-jerk response to jingoism or "populism".

Given how accessible technology is, can they not design software for hire cars, that informs the driver in their own language every time they start, to keep left, and perhaps a big sticky on arrow on the bonnet to remind them to keep left, it could be coupled to the Satnav to remind you at junctions
and paint the roofs a bright colour so the locals could spot them coming
 
Kiwis getting serious.

'Two people who arrived in New Zealand from South East Asia and failed to self-isolate will be kicked out of the country, the NZ Herald reports.

'The pair had put New Zealanders at risk and were being removed from the country, Immigration NZ said.
INZ compliance and verification general manager Stephen Vaughan said the tourists' behaviour was unacceptable.

"This kind of behaviour is completely irresponsible and will not be tolerated which is why these individuals have been made liable for deportation," he said. "They are currently being quarantined. If they fail to depart after quarantine, they will be arrested and detained under the Immigration Act.” The New Zealand Government's travel restrictions, which took effect at 1:00am Monday, require all international travellers arriving in this country to self-isolate for 14 days. Only people arriving from the Pacific are exempt. "Being deported has serious consequences. It means individuals will be banned from returning to New Zealand for a period of time and they may also find it difficult to travel to other countries."



Just a pity that Oz isn't being as robust.

 
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The latest announcement from the PM.
It had to be done in my opinion.

New Zealand is closing its borders to everyone but citizens and permanent residents in an attempt to stop the growth of coronavirus.

The ban is in place from 11.59pm on Thursday.

Partners and children of citizens or permanent residents are exempt from the ban, as are some health workers and humanitarian workers
.
 
Perhaps not completely, if you have enough dosh.

'As travel bans see virtually all global air traffic grounded, a high-end private jet owned by a Saudi billionaire last night landed in Christchurch.

'The plane, a $98 million Gulfstream owned by Saudi-based Rashid Engineering, took off from Georgia in the United States, stopping over at Honolulu, before landing last night at Christchurch Airport at 8.11pm local time. The plane’s apparent owner – Nasser Al Rashid – is reported to be a billionaire with close ties to the ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, the New Zealand Herald reported. Christchurch airport communications manager Yvonne Densem said she was aware of the flight and said it was managed appropriately.'


 
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Perhaps no completely, if you have enough dosh.

'As travel bans see virtually all global air traffic grounded, a high-end private jet owned by a Saudi billionaire last night landed in Christchurch.

'The plane, a $98 million Gulfstream owned by Saudi-based Rashid Engineering, took off from Georgia in the United States, stopping over at Honolulu, before landing last night at Christchurch Airport at 8.11pm local time. The plane’s apparent owner – Nasser Al Rashid – is reported to be a billionaire with close ties to the ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, the New Zealand Herald reported. Christchurch airport communications manager Yvonne Densem said she was aware of the flight and said it was managed appropriately.'


I remember watching a programme a year or two back about preppers (typically from the US) who have built large houses as emergency bolt holes, complete with bunkers and years of supplies, in remote parts of South Island.

I wonder if some of their billionaire owners have decided to move in?
 
I remember watching a programme a year or two back about preppers (typically from the US) who have built large houses as emergency bolt holes, complete with bunkers and years of supplies, in remote parts of South Island.

I wonder if some of their billionaire owners have decided to move in?
Quite possibly.

'The unprecedented coronavirus crisis has battered the wider travel industry – but one area at least is booming.

'As the pandemic escalates, Australian and global elites are choosing to self-isolate in style – and it has been a huge win for Australian luxury “home hotel” service Luxico. According to co-founder and CEO Alexandra Ormerod, foreign travellers had been spending upwards of $200,000 to self-isolate in remote Australian properties – complete with their own helipad to fly in and out of – for the outbreak’s duration.'


 

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