I believed in the ‘Jacinda effect,’ now Covid-19 has made me critical – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:30 am

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Questions have been raised over Jacinda Ardern's Covid-19 response, and what's next for the country.

OPINION: In August 2017, I had a piece published on Stuff Nation about how the 'Jacinda effect' wasthe best thing to happen to New Zealandat the time.

Back then, and even now today, I standby what I wrote at that time.

During that era, I was so supportive of Jacinda Ardern.I joined up to the Labour Party and made a very smalldonation towards their 2017 election campaign.

We all know what happened next.

As a supporterfor the past four years, Ive received emails fromArdernasking me to chip into the Labour campaign at various times, and to follow up on key announcements the Labour Party makes.

READ MORE:* Covid-19: Level 1 still a way off for the rest of New Zealand, experts say* Covid-19: New Auckland cases will stop rest of country moving to alert level 1* Covid-19: Education Minister Chris Hipkins says school holidays won't be moved in Auckland

Afterthedecision that, for at least another week, Auckland wasto remain at level 4 and the rest of the country at level 2, an email from Arderncame through at 10.37pm the same day.

The subject line was: Three Things.

Basically, in the email, the cabinet decision was justified in three ways, based on what this is all about;saving lives.

But this time, and it is hard for me to admit, I just wasnt buying what was being said.

Out of frustration and concern, I replied to Ardernat 11.17pm.

This is what I said:

Hi there.

I have, up until now, been a supporter of Ardern and the Labour Government and am not one to speak up. However, my position is wavering and I worry that you are out of touch with what many New Zealanders are seeing and feeling right now.

So here are three things from me:

1. It was and is naive to think we can stamp out this virus. Why werent we fully vaccinating monthsago and building a hospital to cater to people with Covid in the future? A vaccine is not going to be a magic bullet.People will still get Covidwhen vaccinated.Where are we going to put them all when we loosen the rules/borders? Our hospitalsseem to be struggling enough as it is and will not cope with more cases of Covid-19. And why oh why do we still have all of our MIQ facilities in downtown Auckland?

2. You need to help people see and understand the long term goal. Many can notsee a way out at the moment. But first, you need to know what that is, and Im not sure this is known anymore? What are we working towards, what is the plan? As above, people get vaccinated, but then what happens when we still get Covid? What about the economy, jobs, businesses?Do you think theyll all just bounce back?

3. Your decisions now are changing the trajectory of our country forever. I am worried, a lot of people are worried. We are losing faith in your plan, asmany of us dont know what it is anymore. This going in and out of level 4seems not sustainable and, quite frankly, some of the things we are having to do dont make sense.

Thelack of strategic and long term thinking seeminglygoing on is unnerving.

It appears this cant be about just saving lives. Lives and livelihoods are going to be lost because of this path we now find ourselves on.

You seem to beignoring what was obvious from the beginning;our health systemappears woefully inept.

I know you and the team may be tired and exhausted, it must be hard to think clearly now.

Please consider getting more experts in from overseas. Its ok to pivot and change tack if you need to, please dont make this about egos.

Please do whats right.Build hospitals, get ready for Covidto come because we arent going to beat it.

And believe me, I hope I am wrong.

I can only hope that in another four years time I am writing an opinion piece saying that I was.

Because, perhaps unlike some people at the top, I dont mind putting my hand up and admitting that maybe I got it wrong.

Read the rest here:

I believed in the 'Jacinda effect,' now Covid-19 has made me critical - Stuff.co.nz

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