From saint to sinner

Once lauded for her compassion, Jacinda Ardern has become increasingly autocratic

Joanna Grochowicz

It was a standard Facebook post: pictures from a small farewell party in London. An evening of dancing, mild drunkenness and high frivolity, with certain guests rolling about on the carpet. Nothing Dionysus and his maenads would object to, but neither would it have shifted Caligula’s needle. 

The first likes trickled in from UK friends; even a few hearts were lovingly tossed from those tagged in the post. But by the time the sun rose on the other side of the globe, a certain sanctimony had seeped into the comments. Ah, the dawn chorus from New Zealand – the country to which I was due to return – where the wine had mostly definitely soured.  

Not again?!? Should you be travelling? How many tours have you done? asked one snarky friend, who hadn’t been able to leave in years. Gruelling. 

Gruelling indeed. A word more accurately reflecting the ordeal I was about to face on arrival in New Zealand: an extended stay in one of the country’s military-managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities. A hard landing perhaps? Ironically, a blessing. On day two of my incarceration, the government suspended all further allocations, making it impossible to enter the country.

Initially, the MIQ system was introduced by Jacinda Ardern’s government in April 2020 as a temporary measure to limit the risk of importing Covid-19. It seemed a sound idea. Shortly after, a secondary market arose that saw profiteers and their army of bots scooping up limited quarantine slots and selling them on at a profit to stranded Kiwis, desperate to get home. It also failed to address the needs of the elderly, the disabled, basically anyone who lacked the lightning-fast reactions needed to grab slots whenever the government saw fit to release them.

Now entering its second year, the system underwent a major redesign in mid-2021. Touted as more equitable and invulnerable to fraudsters, the “improved” online allocation process employed a randomised approach whereby lucky recipients would be picked from a holding pen of hopefuls. 

In essence “a lottery of human misery”, MIQ is now the subject of a judicial review filed in the High Court by advocacy group Grounded Kiwis, alleging Ardern’s government acted unreasonably and unlawfully in the design of a cruel system that breaches the Bill of Rights. 

They needn’t look further than me for living proof of an unreasonable system. Even before the January suspension, it was an acknowledged impossibility to obtain a slot in MIQ. And yet I’d hit the jackpot three times in six months. If only I were entering a lottery with a prize pool, we’d have been necking Cristal at the London bacchanal. 

Not a week later, a story surfaced in the international press telling of a heavily pregnant Kiwi journalist stranded in Afghanistan who, when her repeated appeals for an emergency MIQ slot were rejected, was left with no alternative but to seek help from the Taliban. The Taliban!  The “brutal irony” as Charlotte Bellis spelt it out, was that, having questioned this oppressive regime about their treatment of women, she now found herself asking the same thing of her own liberal government.

Largely Covid-free, New Zealand has been viewed as a paradise for much of the last two years. Jacinda Ardern, already considered by many the Mother Teresa of the Antipodes, excelled in the early stages, acting decisively and with compassion. Appealing to the population to act as one, her “Team of Five Million” approach did wonders for national unity at a time when most other leaders were floundering and failing. No wonder I voted for her – twice. 

But times have changed. Once saintly, Jacinda now appears merely silly, having led New Zealand to a place that looks more like a smug cul-de-sac than a nation wholly reliant on overseas tourism and trade. Then again, long-term strategic thinking was never a feature of her government’s Covid response, with “elimination” taking precedence over vaccination for much of 2021.  

Not that anyone in New Zealand is really focusing on what she got wrong. Ardern’s $55 million (£27m) sweetener in the form of the Public Interest Journalism Fund has enabled her government to exert tremendous influence over private sector media outlets, as well as tightly control-messaging through state media channels. So much so that any coverage critical of Ardern now originates from pundits in Australia or Britain. Most recently, opposition leader David Seymour had to turn to the Daily Mail to get an opinion piece printed. This is when silly starts looking sinister.

If democracy is built on the ability to question those in power and hold them to account, then the Kiwi media are wholly complicit in Ardern’s swing from immaculate heart to autocrat. The major opposition party National have only made their job easier by offering nothing more headline-grabbing than leadership squabbles. Then again, the opposition’s perceived infighting might just be the PM’s grand media bribe in action. Gosh, she’s good! 

Some suggest that Ardern’s government is seeking to restrict entry into New Zealand for another twelve months, thereby disabling the one million expat voters effectively locked out of next year’s election after an absence of three years. Only time will tell if this sort of conspiracy theory offers an accurate representation of the depths our leader will plumb in order to maintain power. In the meantime, New Zealanders will continue to look across the ditch at our Aussie neighbours and act smug. 

Australia’s hard line on borders may have been thrown into stark relief for most Britons with the recent Novak Djokovic debacle, but the tragedies have been piling up for years. Or rather washing up on their shores. Remember John Howard’s disgraceful handling of the Tampa affair?

For years New Zealanders have sniggered about Australia’s current oafish leader. But maybe the joke’s on us

When over 400 rescued Afghan boat people were held aboard a Norwegian container ship in conditions no better than a nineteenth-century prison hulk, denied basic hygiene, medical care and entry into Australian waters? And while we’re robbing people of their human dignity, look no further than Australia’s shocking treatment of detainees on Manus Island, where many preferred to take their own lives rather than suffer the psychological misery of open-ended incarceration. 

For years New Zealanders have sniggered about Australia’s current oafish leader. But maybe the joke’s on us. At least you can hear Scott Morrison’s stolid footfall as he sweeps aside refugees, asylum seekers and tennis stars. Our PM’s talent for stealthy manoeuvres against her own people makes her far more dangerous. 

Nobody can see the silent assassin at work next door; nor the mental health crisis her government’s Covid response has unleashed on New Zealand, where youth suicide rates are already the highest in the developed world. It certainly doesn’t fit the image of the leader I voted for – the young woman breastfeeding her new born at the UN General Assembly, the compassionate leader who offered succour to survivors of 2019’s Christchurch massacre. Here was a rare thing! A leader who understood both grand gestures and nuance.

Of course, there is nothing nuanced about Ardern’s shameless Covid scare tactics. They’ve worked a treat, keeping the public vehemently opposed to opening the country’s borders, and compliant in the face of tyrannical restrictions even as the rest of the world is emerging from crisis. Especially when combined with the bread of endlessly extended wage subsidies; and circuses in the form of a parade of overseas DJs, sports teams and stage shows that have breezed in without needing to enter the dreaded MIQ lottery.

Had Omicron not happened, she might not have managed to keep it up. In the event, the threat of a new variant provided a perfect cattle prod to corral the highly vaccinated but docile population back into submission at the end of an idyllic summer.

Her latest diversion has worked. Terrifying the Team of Five Million, and focusing their fear and loathing on outsiders importing pestilence into paradise, is a highly effective strategy – if a little lacking in originality. Despots for thousands of years have deployed such methods to distract their subjects from something infinitely more damaging to long-term wellbeing – an unchallenged leader. 

Ardern’s lack of transparency runs deep. One example, the He Puapua report currently before her Cabinet, was hidden from former coalition partner, New Zealand First. Finally outed as a result of an Official Information Act request, the report recommends a raft of co-governance structures along racial lines.

Critics now claim the government is advancing a separatist agenda under the guise of social justice without public consultation. So much for the Team of Five Million, some might say; meanwhile the media downplay such wild suggestions and gleefully report on the Covid chaos in every country in the world but our own. 

So if it’s paranoia, what should we make of the law sneaked through one Saturday in November that granted iwi (tribes) permission to block public highways at will – a law the government wouldn’t admit existed, until several weeks later? Or the government’s farcical consultative process for their Three Waters plan, which totally ignored the vehement and unanimous opposition from local councils to the seizure and centralising of their infrastructure water assets to be 50% controlled by 17% of the population?

What’s particularly galling for me is the mind control Ardern has exerted over the population

Already, we are witnessing the corrosive impact of these policies and plans on national unity; and yet these issues and many others are being decided behind closed doors, with no regard for democratic process. Governments do this all the time, right? At least, oppressive regimes do. 

What’s particularly galling for me is the mind control Ardern has exerted over the population. Coming back here, I’m shocked at how few have lost their faith, and baffled by the self-congratulatory mood that pervades the country. After two years of sermonising from Ardern and nowhere to drink other than from the government fountainhead, New Zealanders have turned into a nation of self-congratulatory, cavorting maenads.

Mea culpa. In voting for Mother Teresa, I unwittingly ushered Caligula into office. The parallels are there: noble and moderate for a period, admired all over the world “from the rising to the setting sun”. Our esteemed leader has become self-absorbed, cruel and dangerous. Where’s it all leading? I’d love to know, but getting to the truth in New Zealand is a tricky business nowadays. I prefer my chances at the London bacchanal – there at least I can be assured in vino veritas!

Joanna Grochowicz is a polar historian and author of several non-fiction children’s/YA novels about the human aspirations and tragedies of early polar exploration. Her latest “Shackleton’s Endurance: an Antarctic Survival Story”, is out now (Murdoch, £7.99)

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239 Comments. Leave new

  • Nice work Jo…

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  • Russell Brown
    February 8, 2022 9:11 pm

    What hideous nonsense. Yes, MIQ has caused suffering. It is also a principal reason that New Zealand’s Covid mortality rate is only 10 per million (for comparison, the UK’s rate is *2000* per million). It *is* hard not being able to visit grandparents because of constraints on MIQ capacity; harder yet not being able to visit them because they dead. After a false start prompted by Australia’s explosion of Omicron cases, MIQ is being phased out in favour of self-isolation this month, having facilitated the entry of more than 220,000 people. (This is nothing to do with Bellis, who was not “stranded” in Afghanistan – she returned there from Europe, after declining an emergency slot that didn’t suit her travel plans, and has now been granted a slot under another category, one she initially refused to apply for.) But comparing staying in a “military-managed” MIQ facility (translation: a three to five star hotel room with meals, TV and wi-fi) to the appalling experience of Australia’s interned refugees is beyond absurd. And yet somehow Grochowicz manages to get worse. The series of conspiracy theories she reels off about the Crown relationship with Māori are poisonous fringe garbage. The fact that the only reason she can come up with that New Zealanders have not risen to overthrow their supposedly tyrannical government is the feeble suggestion of “mind control” is telling. The polite description of this column would be that it’s hapless bilge. The more blunt version would be that Perspective has, for some reason, chosen to publish the ravings of a paranoid, racist culture warrior.

    Reply
    • Do you have benefit from government for this reply?
      I think so.

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    • The government is under achieving, spending beyond belief and passing bills that will impact this country well into my children a generation. Lying, secretive and divisive would be the 3 words I use to describe this governments current term.

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      • Agree absolutely. That’s why we are fighting in Wellington- for our children and grandchildren!

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      • Sandra Brennan Cull
        February 16, 2022 7:37 pm

        Absolutely AGREE

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      • I totally agree. Arderns definition of transparency must come from the fake news dictionary

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      • Damn right. This government is rapidly wrecking this country. Surging debt, looking like a frightened, irrelevant joke ot the rest of the world, surging inflation, declining standard of living, increasing child poverty & an ever intensifying housing crisis, and housing policies that sometimes result in state housing tenants acting as local terrorists are just a few of the highlights. Three waters, and numerous other divisive policies add to this intensifying disaster.

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    • Thank you Russel, l recieved this via an anti vaccination group, using this article to criticise the government.

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      • Why are we not allowed to criticism the government?

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      • Oh. that makes it ripe tripe from word go then, doesn’t it! You are just proving his mind control point dearie but never mind, you have not had to think for your self for the last to years after all. It must be somewhat of a challenge for you and we all do still need to be pretending to be kind to one another…

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      • By ‘anti vaccination group’ I suppose you actually mean ‘ anti mandates group’ – there are a lot of double vaccinated people in the groups standing and fighting to bring back our Bill of Rights and freedoms to NZ….they to can see what is happening in our once beautiful country.
        I know it’s not your fault how you think, brainwashing via media and government has been rampant every time you turn on tv, radio or read a news paper.
        To say that the government is “the only source of truth” an no one should do their own research or speak out about it if they do, just shows how much of a dictatorship NZ has become.

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    • Julian Fairmaid
      February 12, 2022 7:02 am

      It seems unbelievable that Hitler was able to brainwash the masses too, but hey, what a talent. Extreme comparison I know, but definitely comparable. And your point about hotel rooms vs Australians refugees would be fair if it was a fair comparison. But the fact of the matter is that thousand of our NZ Citizens have been denied the right to even have a crack at getting in, so they may as well pump up a life raft and try sail the treacherous seas to get into the fortress they call home

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      • You really don’t understand NZ or it’s govt to write that…it couldn’t be further from the truth.

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        • Embarrassed Kiwi
          February 18, 2022 8:08 pm

          It is the truth – get out from your brainwashed rock – worst govt and leader we ever had.

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        • OMG!!! Are you really from New Zealand? Or do you reside in that fairy tale place that Jacinda prefers to call Aotearoa, a fantasy land that Jacinda is attempting to corrupt unto her own image?

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    • Perhaps you should stick to being a Polar historian Joanna. What a delusional load of nonsense.

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    • @Joanna Grochowicz FYI Russell is so far left, he’s never in the frame so pay no mind.

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    • Hear, hear!!

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    • Fraser Williamson
      February 16, 2022 3:12 am

      Cheers Russell I couldn’t agree more. The comparisons being made between totalitarian regimes and NZ’s govt are beyond absurd. Most of the folks peddling this horse manure can’t seem to tell the difference between an excellent public health outcome due to some quite good leadership ensuring very few people died and some delusional idea that the virus virtually doesn’t exist or isn’t dangerous. Someone postulated to me that due to the above competencies it is almost like we haven’t had a pandemic in NZ hence the moronic narrative currently doing the rounds on the Beehive lawn.

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      • Trevor Gilbertson
        February 16, 2022 3:17 pm

        Open your eyes. Obviously you have no idea of politics, economics and the evil of Jacinda adern

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      • indeed open your eyes, and if you have chosen to not take the experiment, you end up losing your job, your house, many of your friends, all because you chose autonomy over your own body. what sort of government supports that? obviously at the very least, indifferent and manipulative, belief in false science, exaggerated and often baseless so called data from the very pharmaceutical company to which this country is now enchained. we are in deep trouble now hooked into treaty agreements which take away the rights of the citizens, and give greater power to unelected health ministers than to any elected official. ( see the Covid Treaty).

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      • She knows there’s more than one way to kill the cat. While people like you are blowing hot air up her derrière for her lack of Covid deaths she’s removing people’s livelihoods and increasing the suicide rate.

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        • The suicide rate is down…don’t believe the nonsense you read.

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          • Suicides now classified as accidental death……
            When a new police graduate has to pick a pregnant mother and child off rail way tracks separately, then deal with a young man who landed on a footpath after jumping from a bridge then deal with an older man who had hung him self all in one day …. yeah Na something is very wrong. All this in Hamilton NZ.

      • Oh dear, Fraser. Have you thought through your comment?

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      • banana-boat-boy
        February 17, 2022 5:44 am

        Yes, hurray for Russel! May you both stay forever enclosed in your little 1/4 acre sections of secluded safety while the rest of the world attempt to get on with their lives. Like Brazil for example, where only those unfortunate enough to be ventilated in hospitals appear to be dying from most accounts, of a medical malpractice of sorts. You would definitely disapprove of the filthy unsanitary and unwashed street beggars, that have only increased in numbers due to lockdown measures, from what I see of it on most days.

        Strange how COVID seems to only take those who are masked, vaxxed and spotlessly clean…

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      • Amazing the response of those who have just followed like sheep in Aunties agenda, totally unwilling to keep an open mind to the fact that when last year the conspiracies out there were talking about blood clots, heart inflammation, strokes, they were branded lies, yet here we are it’s all be coming out true, the mandates that have gives you a choice but with consequences if you don’t choose Aunties option A , is that really a choice ? . These hard ball Jacinda lovers can’t see the longer you keep kissing her butt the worse it will become, and the worse for those who don’t comply.
        You have managed to allow a government to divide and alienate good people , you have condemned health professionals who kicked back , criticized and refused the Jab.
        If our own medical professionals won’t take the vaccine, shouldn’t we be concerned they know something we don’t and that’s a good sign to question what is going on ????
        Yet so blind to ask and scared , she has got you hook line and sinker.
        Perhaps it is these jacinda lovers should be isolating from their complete niavity and stupidness.

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        • Totally agree with you James. There are none so blind as those who do not want to see how we are being controlled and kept in the. dark. Im fully vaccinated because of pressure!!

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      • You mean a virus so deadly, so contagious most people that test positive…and that’s a very questionable positive, don’t even know they have it. What a pile of crap this country has been fed. I’d bet money that the 53 deaths we have from covid arnt from covid. They had other life threatening ailments that frankly were killing them anyway. Catching covid was the same as a cancer patient in their last days that get pneumonia and die. Still a cancer victim not a pneumonia one. Nz wokes need the wake up.

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    • How much are you paid to support Jacinda Ardern. ? Or are you just a dumb sheeple z?

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    • Trevor Gilbertson
      February 16, 2022 3:18 pm

      I guess the truth hurts to a labour supporter

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    • You haven’t read He Puapua; you need to. It will change your view.

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    • Russell Brown you are not even remotely neutral or in the position to make an enlightened comment on this. I’ve seen your Twitter handle & connections to Clint Smith, Neale Jones and the labour paid stooges. (All paid off by labour).
      I work in the real world with 1700 small businesses who cannot even afford to obey the testing & contact mandates through fear of not being able to operate. The government you love has failed to close the wealth gap, violence & gun crime is through the roof, our people are still locked out for no real good reason as they are less health risk now than New Zealanders. You are a disgrace to your profession as a journalist

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    • Hélène Roelants
      February 16, 2022 9:35 pm

      Well written reply Russell, thank you

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    • Did you think through this comment, Marion?

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    • Wake up! You are the deluded one hanging off your ‘one source of information’ is all you can do is criticise because obviously your one brain cell is unable to process more than a narrative full of red flags…

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    • Damaging the healthy, to protect the unhealthy, backward logic

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    • Linda M Laison
      February 17, 2022 5:15 am

      I think you should do some more homework Mr Brown. I thought the article sounded pretty spot on.

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    • You know f… all Russel. Do some honest research in the topic you are daring to enter.

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    • Basil de Dairy
      February 17, 2022 9:34 am

      Oh boy just what we need, another rose-tinted glasses wearing apologist for this dictatorial govt. The protests in wellington, and in most other sities and towns in NZ should be giving everyone food for thought.

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    • Hits the nail on the head, it’s racially motivated and if you say anything your a racist. Democracy has been replaced with so as your told we know best.

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    • This is a typical comment from a long list of mind seduced commentators and bought and paid for journalists still under the spell of this former intern in Tony Blair’s office. The article is too accurate in the description of Ardern for Russell Brown.
      Mea culpa – I too voted for her twice.
      An example of how ’empathy’ is just part of her branding –
      On Sept 27, last year, she invited the followers on her Facebook page to ‘let’s talk about side effects…’ about the vaccine – something she must have immediately regretted as some 25 – 30,000 replies came in.
      The breadth and scale of the adverse effects to the Pfizer vaccine was horrendous and heart rending. These were from people who had trusted her personal and heavily promoted message the vaccine was safe and effective and were shocked at the reactions they were having to them. Many referred to deaths of otherwise healthy family members.
      Her communications staff worked flat out deleting all these comments
      – a damning indictment of her pose of kindness.
      In Wellington at the moment our own version of the Convoy movement has been camped on the grounds of parliament for the last 10 days in protest at her vaccine mandate. The support for them is widespread and growing daily in reaction to this control freak.

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      • Every day I hear more and more just how this country have been manipulated. Not once has this woman been held to account for this blatantly obvious behaviour.

        The media are responsible here in part . Not once have we seen any investigation with the likes of deleted peoples concerns as you mentioned.
        Fortunately some brave people have stood up and said ENOUGH! And stand at parliament to hold the line of democracy. This is growing by the day as the government don’t respond and the media grow less a less credible as people start to seek their own source of truth by talking to people around them and seeing live footage which is not twisted into the toxic narrative of she spin.

        The sad part is now it is going to get ugly as division’s have set in and it’s deeply personal and painful to every single NZR . This government is responsible for this and as people fight I keep reminding myself that we should not hate the players we need to hate the game . She must go

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    • Fully agree with this Marion – I laughed out loud when I read this opinion piece at the complete absurdity of some of her claims. And some of the commenters on here really need to do some research before they hit their keyboards!!

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    • 32,000 more children in benefit reliant homes as reported this week than when Ardern was first elected under the promise of reducing child poverty in Nz…yes for sure that smacks of looking after the poor and vulnerable. Youth suicides are off the charts here and elderly still can’t see loved ones, so die in despair without family support. Yup… while the rest of the world is easing restrictions due to increasing awareness of the pandemic now viable as endemic, we are experiencing tighter control, subversive tactics to decrease our rights, and a media that is largely silenced and shackled by the great leadership of Labour! But hey, you don’t like this authors books so want to take a shot at her … wake up! Grow up!

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    • You must surely be benefitting from our esteemed Prime Sinister’s “Media Fund” (The zillions being paid to media to promote “better quality” journalism)
      How about addressing the REAL issues….. the knock-on effects …… of this crazy policy…… the suicides, the spiraling domestic violence, the bankruptcies, the annihilation of an economy, the destroying of the countries reserves……. in short, the total wrecking of a whole country……
      But then, again……. in her own wise words….. “One cannot put a price on a human life”
      What she ACTUALLY meant…… a human life has no value.

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    • You have well and truly taken of the Kool-Aid.

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    • Well written!

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    • Russell. You clearly haven’t spent any time in MIQ or looked anywhere outside the mainstream media. Maybe you’re a victim of the mind control mentioned in the article.
      This shambles of a Government has failed to achieve in every important policy area. Furthermore it has passed some of the most oppressive laws in our nations history. She is, without doubt the leader this country has seen. That you can’t see this makes you one of the smiling zombies that Jacinda depends so heavily on.

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    • Russel, don’t panic mate, Omicron is a cold! I know my vaccinated wife gave it to vax free me!
      Go figure that?
      My 3 daughters and their husbands also got it, we’re all fine after a few dusty day and now we all have superior natural immunity, the grand kids must have also had it but were symptom free.

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    • Michael Weston
      February 18, 2022 5:42 pm

      Have you been living under a rock???

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    • The putrid swamp needs draining,top to bottom,left,right and centre with a decentralized system that truly represents the needs and concerns of the people put in it’s place.
      How this would operate needs careful consideration,but what is abundantly clear is that the current system is a tragic failure,hijacked by vested interests both local and overseas with the resulting tyrannical regime dictating agenda.
      The opposition parties are equally complicit and incompetent and they should all be booted out in a vote of no confidence.And that goes for the appalling government funded media as well.

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    • Great article thank you. So refreshing.
      Spot on summation of our despot, lack of opposition, simpering media fools, & sleeping citizens who by in large are ignorant of their rights and democratic obligation to question.
      Their is a momentum of awakening happening though – driven by those that were never fooled by the act and reinforced by those that have been disenfranchised, impacted, harmed, dehumanised or have just had a guts full.

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    • Russel Brown- The death rates in the uK are higher than here due to density of living, plain and simple. Why is it that debate and having another opinion cannot be expressed. Our media is controlled, I am sick to death of one sided news reports. I have had a guts full of a government that continues to make promises it cannot keep. I am still waiting on the 100,000 kiwi build houses they promised two elections ago, all under 650k and mostly in Auckland. That one thing stopped me from voting for them, any idiot could see that was a pipe dream caused by someone running an abacus for financial modelling. This country is heading towards the cliff, no ambulances at the bottom, with the Pied Piper – Ardern leading her band of sheep followers with her.

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    • Marietjie van Schalkwyk
      February 18, 2022 11:49 pm

      Be very mindful of what the current state of affair is in New Zealand. Watch “winter on fire” on Netflx. The parallel is shocking. People of the west has become cushy and ignorant.

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    • Here is the thing most kiwis are really happy to have a leader that actually turns up . Through all of this including earthquakes, volcano explosions and terror attacks our PM turned up .. stepped up . No pony tail pulling here with Ardern . And certainly no double standards . At times we pinch ourselves to realise she is the real deal .
      We are still dipping lattes in our cafes but we can’t travel . No worries why would we want too . Sit tight and remodel the kitchen. We are actually grateful . And now as Omni takes hold we are grateful for the boosters and open dialogue. Wouldn’t be anywhere else mate !

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    • Who are you Russel? Jo is right on the money and you will see just how right in 2023 or hopefully much, much earlier. Without doubt she is the most inept, divisive, Machiavellian PM this country has ever seen. She will never be forgiven for what she has done to this country under the cloak of Covid.

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    • Huge respect for you Russell for speaking the truth in a sea of bs.

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    • Russel Brown is a well paid Govt shill. That’s been his thing for well over 2 decades as a “media commentator”.
      He’s not been largely affected by anything outside his lovey bubble.
      Must be so hard for him to read something that shatters his narrow point of view.

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    • And Russel, you better be careful when outright lying about Charlotte Bellis in public. Your portrayal of her situation is wrong and you know it. And that is more than enough proof to see somebody who is a long time Labour apologist & defender, within the Labour inner circle, so willing to attack even stranded pregnant women, because they had the guts to stand up against Russell’s dead leader. Gross.

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    • Well said, Russell. In fact I have stolen your whole reply verbatim as an answer to the person (my brother!) who sent me this link – no doubt with a smirk on his face as he did so.

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    • Russell Brown is a left wing lunatic and part of the MSM paid by Ardern.

      Excellent article. Can’t fault any of it.

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    • Well said Russell

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  • I had nearly forgotten what journalism was having being subject to govt funded PR spin for so long. This article is the best thing I’ve read all year!

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    • This isn’t journalism, it’s Opinion. Based on many contestable claims and written from a base of privilege. Managing a pandemic is tough. The government has made a number of blunders, many of them based in long-term under-investment in public health services.

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      • Trevor Gilbertson
        February 16, 2022 3:21 pm

        OMG why is it that all supporters on here of socialist Cindy are women. Let me guess, you don’t read political articles, understand politics and watch Shortland St.

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        • The female airhead vote is Jacinda’s majority. They feel but don’t do facts.

          Brown’s rant masks the facts that the MIQ implementation and the vaccine mandates have been cruel, divisive, destructive and continued when unjustifiable.

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        • What a ridiculous, idiotic, sexist remark. Of course – women don’t understand politics and we watch Shortland Street, and we all need men to mansplain politics to us because we’re so stupid. Such an easy way to explain away the support that Labour has from women. Maybe the predominant support from men that National has is because they don’t understand politics and watch Shortland Street. Perhaps women understand that a degree of socialism is good for a society that wishes to care for all its’ citizens, especially the vulnerable; rather than just prioritising the economy, as experienced in countries such as the UK and the USA, resulting in huge rates of deaths from COVID and economies that are still struggling anyway. I know which I would rather have.

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        • I am a woman and watch Shortland street and don’t follow politics but even I can see what that evil witch is doing lol

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          • Tracey, with your comment you’ve supported misogynists of very questionable intellect. I’ll use you as an example to my girls of what not to be. Enjoy your own goal.

      • Nope

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      • Exactly

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    • Exactly!

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    • Journalism is about reporting the news. Columnists write opinion pieces, like this one. Not necessarily always based on facts but definitely full of personal opinions. This little piece of trivia is simply another average writer trying to stay relevant!!

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    • Fully agree Kate. The news now is so pedestrian. TVNZ doesn’t have news anymore, it has talking heads! Pretending to look concerned and serious while peddling Arderns garbage.

      Reply
  • Jacinda is not perfect but has done a good job keeping NZ safe. The alternatives are consistently ghastly. I’m not a Labourite but I have on the odd occasion ( Father forgive me for I have sinned) voted for the Labour Party.

    Reply
    • “a good job” might mean one thing to some but factor is the harm caused by the Ardern’s ‘pill’ and you’ll see far more harm has occurred intentionally hidden from the public eye. She has done anything but “a good job”.

      Reply
    • Jacinda did well to slam the boarders shut initially but she lost the plot very quickly after that.
      The “Elimination Strategy” was bound to fail and it did.
      The “Vaccination Strategy” was bound to fail and now it is.

      Twelve months ago she stated on National TV that the vaccination would ALWAYS be voluntary and nobody would EVER be forced to get it. Now we have vaccine mandates so she lied.

      Twelve months ago when asked if children under the age of 18 should be vaccinated she said it was not neccesary as they were at a very low risk of getting the virus and an even lower risk of being seriously ill with it (which is true as it happens) now she is trying to pressure everyone to jab their kids right down to 5 year-olds which is totally unnecessary and verging on being criminal in my opinion.

      Eighteen months ago her message was get the jab and you won’t get covid and you won’t spread it, we now know that message is false – vaccinated people still get it and some of them die from it.

      I do hope you are forgiven but I think you penance may have to be more than 12 Hail Marys.

      I voted Labour at my first election nearly 50 years ago but ever since then I have voted not to get someone else in but to keep Labour out because I began to recognise their Marxist leanings and the fact that they made election promises without having a clue how they were going to deliver those promises.

      I think if they were running a pie cart it would go broke before three months was up.

      Reply
      • I agree completely with your assessment of the facts.

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      • Ahhh Ian didn’t various covid variants emerge between the announcements you mention and today. The world keeps changing mate.

        Reply
      • Trevor Gilbertson
        February 16, 2022 3:24 pm

        Well said. The lies of Adern are a bitter pill her supporters are in denial of because they think she saved them from what? The highest your suicide rate in the world is what she’s achieved.

        Reply
      • It takes a very poor intellect to understand that in a totally unprecedented pandemic, things change and the scientists, plus we who follow them, learn things as we go and adapt to the new research. No one is claiming NZ’s approach was perfect, but you can tell from the number of people commenting here who want to lay claims akin to witchcraft at the PM’s feet – and at her feet alone! – that we have our usual pool of haters out there who have next to no idea of what is really going on.

        Put your hand up if you wanted to have 6,000 dead like Ireland or truly brutal lockdowns like China and even Hong Kong

        Reply
  • As someone living in Auckland NZ, your article is on point and I wish more New Zealanders could see through the bullshit. I feel like I’m living in a nightmare where so many around me still think Jacinda is our saviour spurred on by our treasonous paid off media who sing her praises and won’t or can’t say anything against the approved narrative. God help us….

    Reply
    • The NZ news media are neither “treasonous” or “paid off” and there has been ample criticism of the government. Have you considered that it may simply be reality you don’t like?

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      • And ample proof of taxes being used to pay for the PR machine. $55m . Do you actually live or reside in NZ Russell I wonder. Or are you oblivious to reality?

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        • Andy can you give examples of stories written with support from the fund to back your claim? Ive only seen stories on local democracy — and the forthcoming national master class for emerging photojournalists. Both hugely important at a time when the old fee-paying model for media support is no longer viable.

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          • A Journalism Fund was established by the Labour Government that is available providing media support the view that the Treaty of Waitangi is a partnership between Maori and the Crown, and that the media must promote the Government in a positive light on the implementation of He Puapua which is a separatist race based document.

      • Thank you again, Russel for articulating the thoughts of many New Zealanders.

        Reply
      • Most criticism of the govt is very weak and usually behind a paywall ensuring that probably only 5% of people get to read it. The govt has systematically suppressed questions and interviews from reporters seen as being negative to their cause. This week the speaker of the house instructed reports NOT to interview protesters at parliament. Kiwis need to wake up and look again at what is happening under cover of covid.

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      • One word sums this comment up nicely… bullshit.. I’m a Kiwi and a witness to the truth of the paid off media..

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      • You are a fool

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      • For transparency purposes Russell, can you please confirm any personal conflicts of interest? I’m not 100-percent but believe you are on the Bfm board? Is that station receiving funds from the Government jouralism slush?

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      • Well, that’s your opinion and perception but let’s agree to disagree. From my experience – as a former newspaper editor of a NZ newspaper as well as regional and national senior news reporter – is quite different. Nowadays information is never objective due to the many constraints that the competitive media sector is undergoing (esp. Print which is my sector): There’s a real daily pressure to perform (aka in news type content) to satisfy shareholders. Of course, your boss will most of the time never say that in your face, it will come in circulars from higher up etc. These shareholders are not just from NZ, OZ but also overseas which result in constant restructuring within media companies (we are talking about several times a year here!), leading to less staff on the ground especially those in regional and local desks across NZ to the profit of Auckland and Wellington newsrooms. Some desks are so squeezed that it’s more than challenging to produce quality in detph news (features, investigations) with time pressure and that why you see in these papers some (what i call) “2nd class journalism” or “news entertainment” type of stories, easier to cover, not in depth..We can only do some much in 1 day.. Also there’s a huge pressure nowadays with corporations, as newspapers and even media, cannot afford a lawsuit, so (esp. in regions) some stories will never make the cut. Some of these corporations- public or private- are a great source of revenues from newspapers which – without them – would not survive financially. Many staff reporters ends up with a burn out due to the constant pressure in this industry. Anyway, I am just brushing the surface here as I respect the privacy of my former company and did love my job too.
        But voicing a different opinion, stance on NZ journalism is actually really hard in an industry torn apart with “influence” (esp. NZ is quite PC in a sense that media history is quite recent comparedto other nations with a deeper media culture). Also everyone who communicate is an influencer one way or another (learnt that during my communication class at Uni and then on the job), it also means that even the neighbor or small business tries to influence you when you perform your task of news reporting (i have countless stories about that). I think that to my perceptive, on the “receiving” (story writing) end, there’s a real communication issue between people, misinterpretation even in the everyday people (not just the corporates). It’s interesting to see how many people have strong opinions on mainstream media without actually trying to understand or having a real idea on what happens on “the other side”. Anyway, take it or leave it. I’m just telling another story, my story.

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        • Thanks for explaining this. What I can’t understand is that if these issues are the reasons for the terrible journalism happening why can you not get this into the media as a general concern so people are informed. Or are the editors afraid of the consequences ? That is the reality here and it’s so frustrating to see good people NOT speak their truth .

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      • Trevor Gilbertson
        February 16, 2022 3:28 pm

        OMG Russell try reading what overseas media are saying. The media are owned lock stock and barrel by socialist Cindy and were before she gave them 105 million of taxpayers, sorry borrowed money

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      • What rock have you been living under Russell. Never before have we seen such an attack on our freedom and democracy. You may be suffering from mass formation psychosis, it is rampant in New Zealand currently.

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      • Russell you only have to look on your Twitter handle as you pat labour owned stooges such as Clint Smith on the back to show how left leaning and totally biased you are. Your reporting is never from an neutral investigative basis.

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      • I’ve actually seen for myself how they have totally lied. There must be some reason for it

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      • Alan Wilkinson
        February 17, 2022 1:04 am

        Just ridiculous. The NZ media have been nothing but the paid propaganda arm of the Party. The Herald a little less than the rest since it depends on subscriptions to an extent.

        Reply
      • How much of any payout did you receive Russell Brown from the governments coffers? The truth is so blatantly obvious that so much rot is in this government, yet you not only ignore the evil but champion it onward . . You appear to be very twisted and a Judas sellout to our country .

        Reply
      • This comment is plain rubbish.
        When have the main stream media ever given an honest accounting of the vaccination side effects. There is no mandatory reporting which, for people who shout long and hard about ‘ following the science’s, should be a axiomatic if you wanted to follow the true effects of this still experimental drug.
        All the media have been in lockstep in promoting the government narrative – so nothing that might lead to ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is published.
        Russell Brown is just another participant in this disgraceful scenario.

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    • Well said

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    • You are spot on Victoria.

      This government hasn’t succeeded at anything, yet the believers keep their faith on what is a anything but a transparent government. In addition, this whole “we could have had 3000/10m deaths if the lock downs weren’t done” is horse shit. The modellers have proven themselves to be fear mongering too.

      Unintended consequences are not taken into account – and this government has had many of these . Let’s cut the Covid crap and talk about all the stuff they promised

      – more housing to be built (last year = -5)
      – health sector improvements
      – teenage suicide rates / manual health
      – solve the housing crises (made it harder for first home buyers)

      Fact is – they are largely inept and the only thing they have done is shut the country down to prevent spread and eliminate Covid. For how long ? Are we in traffic lights for life?

      Reply
  • Wake up NZ. This is not about your health. In fact look and research. Current places of interest for omicron exposure can only be visited by those that have followed the instructions of our communist leader. As for the NZ media, they are correctly following the money? Those pandemic focused advertising dollars have been hard to ignore in a time where media outlets are struggling. Follow the science we are told. But why then silence our doctors when they ask research based questions. Or alternatively in the midsts of a pandemic we are happy to see doctors, specialists, paramedics and nurses stood aside because of their concerns. Yet one person – a government official, can issue a vac exemption. It doesn’t make sense . Beyond lockdown infused suicide rates and mental health issues, let’s talk drownings this summer of 21/22. Mandated surf life saving clubs up and down the country have been dangerously undermanned. I’m afraid that Jacinda has become the gift that keeps on giving. We now have a divided country with massive issues, rampant inflation and despondent citizens. Wake up NZ!

    Reply
    • Exactly

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    • You are right.
      NZ must wake up ASAP.

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    • Well said!

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    • Gilbert O'Sughrue
      February 16, 2022 3:15 am

      OMG! Jacinda is a communist? ROTFL!!!
      Clearly you have ZERO knowledge of what communism is. What you and the hack who wrote this article have in common is your fanatical belief in hyper-individualism. Screw everyone else as long as I’M OK.
      NZ is doing great (and yes I do live here and no, Jo Gro doesn’t), considering the turmoil this pandemic is causing.
      And Adern is basing all her decisions on sound scientific advice, unlike most other leaders who have given in to political decision making.
      And 99% of our population are not affected by the mandates designed to protect workers and the public they serve.
      You completely ignore the need to change and update the measures necessary to combat the virus as the virus itself is changing.
      Your hatred of anything left of Far-Right pedagogy blinds you to your real reasoning behind the inane argument that ‘freedom’ is being lost. The reality is that you want to avoid the responsibility of caring for the society which helps you survive and thrive.
      Deny it all you want, but the fact is humanity survives and thrives on cooperation and altruism. That’s what will get us through any disaster this world can throw at us.

      Reply
      • Wasley Warwick
        February 17, 2022 5:43 am

        Are one of the 10 people that still likes labour….or maybe one of the people paid to right nice things about them …most people I know are very affected by these mandates ….and 3 waters will affect everyone…nothing like stealing a people assets mortgaging them them making the people paid for the whole thing …sound very much like communism to me …

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      • Thanks Gilbert, for saying what I was thinking. This ‘communism’ accusation that keeps surfacing is just laughable – have any of the people who use this as a denigration actually looked at what communism involves? The key difference is that we vote our politicians in, so whether right-wingers like it or not, this government was chosen by the majority of us. They can now only stand and ‘throw stones’ because they didn’t get their way. We are a society who rely on each other, hence the reason that so many of us were vaccinated. Not because we were thrilled by the idea but because we care about protecting the vulnerable in our community. Maybe some of the more selfish among us could try to think more about others and not just themselves.

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      • You really need to start using Duck Duck Go instead of censored Google .
        NZ isn’t doing well, it’s going down the gurgler , 50,000 businesses have folded, suicides are up, mental health system is over flooded, thousands of folks are suffering jab injuries, I personally know 3 with serious heart conditions right after they got the jab. Additional to medical apartheid she is bringing in Co governance, where most of us will become 2nd class to anyone self identifying as Maori.
        Not only is Jacinda a communist – she was President of the International Socialist Youth in 2008 – but also along with Trudeau, Macron, Merkel, Gates etc a selected Young Globalist Leader for the World Economic Forum. The most draconian brutal push for mandated jabs is coming from those countries with connections leading directly to WEF.
        Look up the Great Reset agenda. Please do a little homework to fend off your propaganda absorbtion of ‘the government cares about my health’ – it doesn’t .

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    • Trevor Gilbertson
      February 16, 2022 3:30 pm

      Thanks Mellisa, good input

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  • The leader of the opposition of the National party, is Todd Muller. David Seymour is the leader of a minority right wing party ‘Act’.
    I thought this article was good but eyed.

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  • My apology Christopher luxon is the leader of the opposition, Judith Colleens,was before Chris and Todd was before her. This has been in a short time frame. Showing an instability in the opposition party and one varible in the answer to Adern’s popularity.

    Reply
    • Golly, l thought my typos would be corrected (spelling) Judith Collins and l meant a ‘one eyed’ artical, l missed out the one.

      Reply
  • Darren Whittaker
    February 9, 2022 9:39 pm

    There’s a lot more to this you haven’t even touched on. We know she serves the WEF and the UN. We are screwed

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  • Ardern is evil, lies, is never ever wrong and has done more damage to NZ and it’s people than any previous NZ government. She and her misfits have zero business experience and does not deserve any accolades, worst still, she continues to dictate and never listens. The sooner her and her clowns are gone and buried under their own bullshit the better NZ will be. Nice to see some honest and on point journalism, not the crap the bribed NZ media puts out.

    Reply
    • 100% you right.

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    • Gilbert O'Sughrue
      February 16, 2022 3:34 am

      100% you wrong.
      NZ is least corrupt country in the world. Saying the NZ media is ‘bribed’ is the most ridiculous excuse you could say. Clearly, you think Fox News and Sky News are the norm.
      There is no major media in NZ polluted by the Murdoch empire. The only reason for that is anyone’s guess. I think he saved himself the bother because we are too small. He’s concentrating on Aussie, UK and USA for more impact.
      Anyway, as long as you live down the conspiracy rabbit hole, you may never know what’s really going on again. Sad.

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      • Correct Gilbert and bravo for your truth. I’m shaking my head in disbelief with the fantastical comments popping up here.

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    • Spot on Les

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  • I live in glasshouse New Zealand and see the fake growing, but not from the Govt but in social media.
    The article is not journalism, but a one-eye rant. It reinterprets reality with one-sided emotion “gruelling,” “misery,” “silent assassin,” “incarceration” not isolation, heavily pregnant woman— Taliban. Bellis could have applied to stay in Belgium, the country of the baby’s father.
    It is highly unbalanced to omit to say there are other explanations that may make good sense.
    A year of no cases, no masks, open travel. It is making false witness, feeding the fake.
    The article is deeply unchristian in the ad hominem attack on the person and unbalanced on their actions.
    Christs message is it’s God who judges people. We judge their actions, honestly, as we would like to be.
    If you like the article despite its lack of balance, do you need to look to your own integrity?
    Have you asked yourself why so many others view the situation differently. Could the blindness be yours?

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    • Thank you Jim it’s good to see some truth spoken.

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    • Having a negative opinion and voicing it is the right thing to do – sitting back and ignoring it is being irresponsible.
      Arderns govt endorses abortion, promotes lies about part-Maori claiming they have indigenous rights, empowers those despicable gangs, undermines truth, freedom of religion, free speech and much more.
      Ardern demonstrates absolutely no integrity – she was empowered by the people to act for the people, she has so far failed to do that.

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    • God has nothing to do with journalism. I think if you want to theorize about theology, you might be on the wrong website.

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  • As a NZ Maori I find your article on point. Gone is the Leader whom I to voted for x2, or was I fooled and am now seeing the truth of a woman that was always a self seeking Leader. While she still holds a blanket of so called Saint hood over many, the tide is turning and many are awake to the real power tripping Leader that is evident. A leader who was smugg to announcing two groups of people and I quote “yes that is what it is, yip yip” No jab, No job. Choosing to either ignore or overlook the evidence of vaccine injuries to many of the 5 million. The raise in mental health and suicides, pure heart breaking. The tripping point for many, jabbing our babies with a provincial vaccine. Taking people’s human rights away. Arrests of peaceful protesters, this is not the New Zealand I once felt safe and secure living in. I fear the future of my children and grandchildren.

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    • I arrived in NZ with hope for good live without communism, as I hate communism and everything what remind me that.
      But what I see now in NZ? Communist Arden and all what she is doing, I could not imagine here 25 years ago.
      She and her government must imeediately
      resign

      Reply
      • Gilbert O'Sughrue
        February 16, 2022 3:45 am

        Natasha, you must immediately go to North Korea. THAT is what communism is.
        Also, there is no “great harm” from the vaccine. You have been misled by lies on social media. Facebook is especially poisonous in this regard as they play lip-service to exposing falsehoods been spread on their platform. It’s part of their policy. The more upset people are (by outrageous content), the more “clicks” they get get and the more money they make.

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        • I have had 2 friends end up in hospital with life threatening reactions to the pfizer.
          Ardern is using all of Joeseph Goebbels trick as she was taught in University. We have our Gesundheitpass, gun control, control of media, heads of depts from the Party, divide and conquer, Rewrite history to be taught in schools. Exactly how the Nazi Party took control of Germany in the 1930’s
          I hope you get to enjoy our version of North Korea or Cuba or China.
          Look back at your history books and see the tens of millions who starved to death under these regimes where the govt knows best….and failed

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        • If you believe there’s no harm, you must not be reading the NZ Ministry of Health website, nor any other GOVERNMENT health websites where injuries etc are listed.

          You’re certainly not looking at the many cases of people in NZ who have died prematurely or have severe cardiac, neurological or other problems. I guess you don’t talk to Drs or Nurses very often about what they’re seeing in hospitals? Actually get on the ground and find out what is truth?

          NK is an example of extreme communism, that is true, but it is not the only form of communism.

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    • Thank you Gwenyth

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  • As is typical, the author stimulates the few dissatisfied citizens of New Zealand that don’t have vulnerable household members and are disrespectful of rights other than their own!
    Health and life is all some people have.
    Jacinda has protected all New Zealander’s, in order to protect that percentage of citizens who need to be cared for.
    Too bad, you irresponsible kiwis who care only about your own rights and needs!
    Send your grandparents, disabled and sick to the gas chambers, as long as you get to live the life that you want!
    Don’t you see the death numbers in other countries?
    You bunch of selfish, self centered and uncaring lot!
    Others first, yourself last!

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    • I just want to press the like button.

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    • Is this the same Donna Hall who supports separatism, flying the flag of apartheid and profits from that division? Of course, you would also be supportive of medical apartheid and no doubt would disapprove of any article that shines a light on the lies of Jacinda and her cronies as the light will eventually expose you too.

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    • I have vulnerable people in my family and in my household.

      Jacinda protected no one but her own interests. With the harm her governments policies have done and will do, the worst projections about Covid would look like joyful healthy years when things happen.

      The death numbers in other countries – do look at their overall mortality rates over recent years. You might be in for a bit of a shock. 2020 or 2021 (I cannot recall which), the US saw a significantly LOWER number of deaths overall, despite the supposed hundreds of thousands of Covid cases.

      Don’t forget in NZ that we have interesting deaths, like where the primary cause was Covid, the bullet(s) in vital organs were irrelevant. Or the people who had recovered from Covid who are counted among the “covid deaths” even though officially recovered. Other countries did the same.

      I have no doubt some died FROM Covid, not just “with”. But how many?

      I also have no doubt many thousands in NZ have suffered great harm from the vax, including deaths and life-wrecking injuries.

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  • Insightful article Joanna. The pernicious government funding of the media is also conditional on the observation of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi which eliminates journalistic criticism of a highly separatist agenda of Maori exceptionalism. Dark days for New Zealand indeed.

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  • A clever and entertaining story but why the provocative disinformation. Why the vitriol, the resentment? Has the writer suffered personally? Why the personal attacks?
    Why promote the Public Interest Journalism Fund conspiracy theory without finding out the facts? This fund is a $55m top up to support smaller media outlets who would otherwise struggle. Most democratic governments do this to make sure all stories are told not just what the media giants know will sell.
    David Seymour (ACT Party) is regularly quoted by the way, as he has a great deal to contribute to the national debate . Why has nobody other that the Daily Mail published an opinion piece by him? Probably because he’s a very ordinary writer if his autobiography is anything to go by.
    Why quote the tragic Youth suicide numbers completely out of context? There are a raft of problems leading to this and there have been for decades.
    The restricted border entry will change from the end of the month, so the claim that NZ will be closed to all for another year is wrong.
    A lot of us are concerned by the direction the NZ government is taking, and as far as Covid goes, yes there have been ghastly mistakes, i.e the closed borders and Managed Isolation fiasco. As for other measures, look at our population health and thousands of deaths have been averted.
    I would challenge the writer to name one government that has got everything right in their Covid response, and hasn’t come under attack from some disaffected group in the last 2 years.
    Jacinda Ardern is not perfect but she works hard, she takes advice from a variety of experts and sincerely believes in protecting the most vulnerable (the job of government if I’m not mistaken).
    The nasty attacks on the Prime Minister of New Zealand are unwarranted. Her competence may be questioned and we should oppose the many undemocratic moves made in this government’s term. But there is nothing sinister in the intentions of Jacinda Ardern.

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  • A wierd mix of fact and fiction. Of facts miss represented. Of motivation attributed without evidence.

    The shame of this twisted approach is that it distracts from the issues. The restriction of people’s right to return home. The move away from democracy toward ethno-nationalism.

    New Zealand needs defenders of democracy, of science, of human rights. It doesn’t need vitriolic personalised attacks and disinformation.

    Reply
    • Thank you again, Russel for articulating the thoughts of many New Zealanders.

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      • Most kiwis don’t support the cruel mandates because they’re illegal and against our most basic human rights .

        Russel Coutts certainly doesnt support mandates and sees the insanity of this government:

        BREAKING NEWS: RUSSELL COUTTS HEADS TO PROTEST… 📣

        “I’m heading to Wellington next week to join the protest. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to join a protest.

        I’m not anti-vaccine (I’m vaccinated) but I’m definitely against forced vaccinations.

        I’m also strongly opposed to the ever increasing erosion of our human rights and the growing limitations on our freedom of choice. I believe in having the freedom to be able to question so-called “expert” opinion.

        I’m against discrimination and the “them and us” society that is being promoted by our current political leaders.
        I’m against creating different rights, laws and privileges based on Race.

        I’m also against the irrational Covid rules that are currently being mandated in New Zealand, a few examples being;

        – The 10 day quarantine that still remains for international travel.

        – The absurd rules where our kids (vaccinated and unvaccinated) can sit in the same classroom and play sport together inside the school yard, yet are prohibited from playing sport together outside the school yard.

        – The absurd rules that prohibit two young unvaccinated brothers, living in the same household, from sailing together in a sailing competition because they would be within two metres of each other while sailing their boat.

        – The rules that require one to put on a mask to walk to and from the bathroom inside a restaurant when masks have already been removed while eating and drinking.

        – The contradictory rules that allow unvaccinated people to take a domestic flight (with a negative Covid test) but prohibit a young unvaccinated kid from competing in their sport (outside school).

        – The fact that our kids are forced to wear masks at school (even when it’s well known that the surgical masks most of them are wearing are highly ineffective).
        Finally and perhaps most important, I’m against the fact that some of our mainstream media have received payment from the New Zealand government conditional on them promoting government policy, propaganda and spin.

        So yes, I’ll be joining the protest in Wellington.”

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    • Greg, history shows many great leaders when a country is at war. We are at war with covid.
      Yes the government has introduced strict regulations in these times but only to protect it’s people.

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  • Thanks Jo, excellent summary of the situation. Wake up NZ. Some have been locked down to long and suffering from a lack of oxygen to the brain and the ability to think critically and objectively. When the masks are finally removed and the oxygen can flow naturally again to the brain, the fog ( may clear) and intelligence may reappear.

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  • Absolutely correct but the list goes on with Arden’s divisive agenda. Record levels of homeless, suicides, businesses closing, but of o course to show balance records levels of gangs with no police controls except when our dear little politicians mock protesters on govt grounds and police turn up in their droves to arrest normal law abiding citizens, yes evil has arrived in NZ in bucket loads and I fear for our childrens futures

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  • I wouldn’t call Ardern a mere autocrat; I would call her a Marxist-inspired Totalitarian who supports apartheid with the Three Waters Plan and the division of NZers into second class citizens in their own land who will be ruled by the Iwi elite (leaders of Maori tribes). This will be Zimbawe and South Africa all over again if she is not reined in.

    But you have to understand her primary motives; being Prime Minister of NZ is a mere stepping stone towards what she really wants and that is to lead the UN as Secretary General.

    If you read the UN Agenda 2030 you will find it is about handing over control of ALL countries to the the indigenous people of that land.

    Of course Maori were merely colonists just like Europeans were; the indigenous people of NZ were the Mori-ori but Maori killed most of them before the white man came and the remainder fled to the Chatham Islands but AFTER NZ became a British colony, Maori killed all of them too.

    So there are no truly indigenous people in NZ now only two groups of colonists – one brown and one white.

    But Jacinda will do whatever appeases the UN in order to get the top job there she really does not care what happens here in NZ because she won’t be living here she will be living the high life at the UN..

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  • Greg, history shows many great leaders when a country is at war. We are at war with covid.
    Yes the government has introduced strict regulations in these times but only to protect it’s people.

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    • Don’t repeat yourself Bev, I’m sure you must have something new to write.

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    • Gilbert O'Sughrue
      February 16, 2022 3:57 am

      Great analogy Bev!
      Now if we can only get the world do the same about anthropogenic climate change. We are running out of time.

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      • Doing decent and wise things to protect the environment = good.

        Doing really stupid things in the name of “climate change” which do vastly more harm (EVs, wind and solar farms etc) = really really bad.

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  • Excellent article. Wake up NZ!

    Reply
  • Marianne Hepple
    February 16, 2022 12:39 am

    Harsh but true Joanna. I too voted for St Jacinda of the Pestilence at the last election. Then I found the He Puapua document, actually before the opposition parties did. Quite simply the most shocking plan to turn NZ from a democracy into an ethnostate. The Maori co-governance agenda is actually far more dangerous long-term than Covid restrictions. That is what I would be protesting about. But alas as the media must toe the party line and nothing must be said against the Treaty principles (to get their share of the $55 million must abide by the ‘equity’ and co-governance agenda and must use Maori words at least twice in a sentence)

    Reply
  • We need more people like you jo spreading the message on how nz is becoming more of a communist run state by the day

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  • Is Bev Jacindas mother coming her defence? Great article but only touches on the nightmare we find ourselves in here. I live in Auckland and we were in Level 4 lockdown from 17 August 2021 until we went into traffic light system in late Nov. Have not had a haircut since lock down as nothing open at level 4 and level 3 apart from supermarkets and then in traffic light red you need a vax pass to go to the hairdresser. Can’t eat at a restaurant or cafe, can’t go to the gym, can’t take my 3 yr old grandson to the pool for a swim, can’t go to the museum or movies, all because I chose to not to put an experimental injection in my body. Her restrictions have been cruel, family members have died and last week we had 3 friends that had waited 6 months to bury their loved ones. No large gatherings allowed. My own dad passed away 8 August and he is waiting until family can come from Australia and Hong Kong to see him off. I will never forgive her and I want the mandates lifted, vax passes lifted and the covid act repealed so my kids and grandkids can have the NZ that we had before Jabcinda came into the role of PM.

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    • Unfortunately, it is very similar all over the world and needs to be this way when COVID has killed millions. I would rather live with restrictions and know that those I love are highly unlikely to die from COVID. As for the New Zealand we had before – COVID has changed the entire world, and that has nothing to do with Jacinda. I doubt that any country in the world will be able to return to how life was before COVID for quite some time.

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      • Even with Alpha, your loved ones were highly unlikely to die from Covid. Those who had co-morbidities might die with it, but not from it.

        If this is a serious pandemic, may I ask why getting rid of our medical staff en masse has been so important to governments the world over?

        If the mandates and vax passports are effective, can I ask why the majority of the “locations of interest” are vaccinated-only places?

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      • Lesley Smithson
        February 20, 2022 4:05 am

        Death is part of life. You can not artificially try and stop the process at the expense of the economy, and people’s rights. She has failed this country with her zero covid policy and needs to remove all mandates and all other covid restrictions. The science is clearly stating that omicron can be caught and transmitted regardless of your vaccination
        status so the measures are obsolete.

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  • I wonder how much Helen Clark is influencing Jacinda Ardern?

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  • I see you have made a foray into fiction. Pandemics are tough, with many no-win unpopular decisions needed. We are on track to come out of this really well, depending on new variants. Rest assured most of us Kiwis are not brainwashed, and have understood the need to make sacrifices for wider community benefit.

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    • My sentiments exactly.

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    • 1) As science and history shows, viruses don’t mutate into more dangerous variants. The variants are more transmissible perhaps, but are less harmful.

      2) The massive debt, harm to kids education, any long-term effects of the vaccine (not saying there are just saying we’ve not yet had long term data), all sorts of other stuff from closed businesses etc are yet to hit. They will hit hard.

      The first phase we may have done better than elsewhere (excess deaths from around the world over the last few years makes interesting reading), the next phase? We have to wait a few years.

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  • Like a breath of fresh air (or taking my over-used mask off, the one that I wear in supermarkets so people can’t see me mouthing curses to the nonsense and the price of butter) reading your article. You nailed it!

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    • Why would you mouth curses at the price of butter? Didn’t St Jacinda promise she would fix them, along with child poverty, the petrol prices, housing costs etc? Surely after so many years in power these things must all be fixed by now?

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  • Ardern is a dedicated socialist, globalist and supporter of the WEF, her goal is to subjugate the masses, undermine the economy, small business, farmers, religion, give sovereignity to part white/part Maori, deprive other NZers of their rights, private education, parental authority, even genders. Following a’woke’ agenda that she doesnt believe in she’ll use anything to achieve her goals – the pandemic is the thin edge of the wedge. Your wallet, your identity and your freedom of choice is fast heading out the door. Her Utopia will be headed by such luminaries as Bill Gates, Soros etc – the usual suspects. Her elitist attitude is all to evident in the way she looks down on anyone who dares have an opinion and the ‘National opposition party’ are too lame to do anything about it. The motto: ‘you won’t own anything and you’ll be happy’ is the agenda.
    This is not a conspiracy theory, its the platform of the WEF the UN, the Open Foundation and others – its about time mainstream media got of their asses and investigated and reported what has been blindingly obvious for several years now.

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  • Where exactly is your evidence Ms G. of state control of journalism in New Zealand via the public interest broadcasting fund? My listening to Tadio NZ and reading of things like Newsroom and the Maori broadcasts on other stations benefit ling from PIB funding suggest you are in error. Not much of a journalist are you. Not much digging. The Sun ir Daily Mail might have a job for you. Whichever journalism school you trained at won’t be feeling too proud of their training of you.

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    • The evidence is in the articles and broadcasts of the media themselves, what they say and what they don’t, what they show and what they obscure.

      More evidence can be obtained in the comments such places publish, and the ones they hide. Try linking to any peer-reviewed material in any well-known and well-respected medical journal which talks of vaccine injuries – last year even just acknowledging there may be some. Try pointing out data from our own government on death rates vs infection rates (ie “case fatality rate” or “infection fatality rate”.

      All valid medical data, some published by our own government, yet MSM would not let it be mentioned on their pages. Unless you pretended to be pro-vax and suggested people read such pages for themselves to see how real things were 😉

      Look at how little the 3 Waters stuff gets critical articles vs the many glowing articles.

      Journalism is supposed to be about balance, reporting both sides of a story. Propaganda is what you have when only the government’s official line is published, and critical voices are silenced or ridiculed.

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  • I loathe Jacinda and have never voted for her, but you’re vaxxed you don’t need to quarantine after March. So you can come home. Unless you’re not vaxxed. So if this is the case your article doesn’t hold much weight. You are choosing to quarantine which makes your argument baseless.

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  • Well said Joanna. Sadly, oh so very true.

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  • Not all of us Kiwis are compliant dummies. I never voted for Jacinda but I didn’t hate her, I too believed she was a kind and compassionate person. Now I know, like you and many others overseas who can see her for what she really is because your not brain washed. Neither am I and I am gob smacked that after all of the blatant lies, that many still have not woken up to reality. Just about all of the deaths we have had from Covid 19 and there haven’t been many, most of them actually died from other causes and they could have been saved had they been treated. NZ signed our lives away with a contract with Pfizer that did not allow any other treatments to be offered or used. They vilified Ivermectin which worked wonders in India where it was a cheap and effective alternative to vaccines. Check out the stats people. Why would this government force a vaccine on people who have suffered anaphylactic shock from previous ones. It is insanity. This is not about saving lives or keeping us safe. It was about convincing people they needed a passport to do every day things. This is also not about keeping you safe. It is about control and punishing those who don’t conform.

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  • Rachel Bastings
    February 16, 2022 8:41 pm

    Just a couple of comments on this as an ordinary nzer about the covid response. With 2 nephews in the UK. 1 caught delta before Vax was on a ventilator and 2 years on still very sick. The other had 3 Vax caught delta and had a sniffle for a couple of days. Jacinda Adern is our leader and mouthpiece but she’s not in this alone. I don’t envy her juggling act with so many advisors, team members etc. What a hell of a thing to be on your shoulders, to be blamed for all the bad stuff. Takes backbone.
    And, I for 1 remember all the nasties from my childhood we don’t get any more. Measles, Rubella, Polio and many more. These covid vaccines may be experimental but they didn’t come from thin air. Coronavirus and it’s mutations have been around for ages and looking for vaccine s has been an on going thing.
    On the freedom of not being vaxed and getting out there again. Go hard but don’t take your grandparents and sick families with you. Have a look at what happened with the flu after WWI. I personally think Jacinda is doing the best she bloody can in unprecedented times.

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  • Chris Treneary
    February 16, 2022 8:54 pm

    Thank goodness, reality at last from the media. Bless your perspective which many of us share but here it would never be printed.

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  • Your article is 100% correct. The situation in New Zealand is dreadful! We returned to New Zealand last year due to a family death and i was appalled at what is happening here. We went from a normal existence to a fearful, oppressive country with a tyrannical leader pushing division, hatred and lies. So many people here have lost their jobs due to refusing the experimental jab, so many have taken it against their will to keep working. Jabcinda has stopped us going to cafes, restaurants, libraries, swimming pools even stopping unjabbed sitting driving tests. Its dreadful. But we now have huge protests outside Parliament and around the country as people are finally saying enough!!

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    • I admit I’m not one for noisy crowded spaces, like cafes etc..

      I did not let the mandates stop me. I travelled. Instead of cinemas I spent time catching up with friends around the country. Instead of restaurants we got together in backyards or picnic places, shared a great meal together.

      Swimming pools? I found myself swimming in bodies of water with friends I’d never been in before.

      The driving tests is another issue. There’s no call for that, and this government will have to answer for that as will the companies behind that.

      Libraries too are another matter. We’re rate payers, we pay for these things. If we’re not allowed to use them, can we reduce our rates?

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  • Great to hear that you have moved back to the UK, enjoy.

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  • Finally a decent piece of journalism. Thank you so very much. You have read NZ and Jacinda to a tea.

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  • One question . . . no, two.
    1) Why is it so difficult these days to find articles that criticize the current NZ government?
    2) Why do the naysayers respond with such wrath?
    The answers are likely to be telling.

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    • Yes true and it’s time people started looking elsewhere for their news. Thanks heavens for all the new privately owned media. Unfortunately so many people are scared of logging into them and also actually believe that our media is ‘the correct news’. They still don’t realise it’s sensored. They need to start asking themselves some questions.

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  • “What’s particularly galling for me is the mind control Ardern has exerted over the population.”

    Umm, YOU …voted for her twice!
    Some of us were never fooled by this charlatan and were NEVER on her “team of 5 million”…quite literally sheeple

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  • Ashleigh Taylor
    February 17, 2022 6:49 am

    Excellent write up! I wish our main stream media had a moral compass that wasn’t hinged on Jabcinda’s dime. Well observed, give it another 6 months and all of this will be out in the open for everyone to see.

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  • You have heard the moans of a few and misjudged it as the voice of a nation. Mistimed , misguided and misjudged.

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  • I don’t care if it rains or freezes
    I’ll be safe in the arms of Jesus

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  • I am currently in MIQ – in summer – no windows that open. This article is great. My time away has given perspective on this situation and its handling. If you have stayed in NZ the whole time I am afraid that you have indeed been drinking the Kool-Aid. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back – its what you know. Perhaps in the depth of time you will have a greater understanding of what some of us have had to endure.

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  • Johanna O'Connell
    February 17, 2022 6:41 pm

    Bang on Jo!! What a great article. I tried to warn people before both elections about Jacinda. She simply does not believe in democracy and is a total globalist (UN/WEF) shill. Her “comrade speech” on You Tube should be taught in schools. Speaking of which her next evil plan is CRT in schools which will be teaching more race division. Her history curriculum is deeply flawed and deliberately omits the Musket Wars as it doesn’t fit her maori caucus’ desired narrative. Sir Michael Bassett is appalled.
    Your essay gives me hope. Have you thought about writing for The Platform? There was another brilliant article by Ani O’Brian this week. 👏

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  • 100% accurate

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  • Well said, and I hope people wake up to the fact that heaps of ‘new laws’ have snuck through under the ’emergency’ banner. These are mainly laws to control people more and take away democracy and human rights. Why aren’t they reported on by the bias media along with an explanation of’ what it will mean to people. This is far more scary than covid. Why do the govt feel the need to push them through under the radar. Most likely because there is no way they’d get them through in normal times.

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  • Totally agree, sad to say she had me fooled. I couldn’t speak highly enough of her initially, but have seen the true Jabsinda now. NZ was a team of 5 million but now is divided & broken due to her decision to have everyone take the experimental vaccine. I know someone, & know others who know someone made very ill, the last Medsafe report showed almost 2500 serious adverse reactions ☹️

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  • The author is part of the problem voting this socialist/communist government in, next time look closer at who you are voting into power, I will never support Labour after living through the early 80s when Labour came to power and their policies caused people in my district to commit suicide, I will never forgive them for this heartless governance

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  • wayne biddulph
    February 18, 2022 9:31 am

    this woman is a vaccuous waste of space who is out to destroy new zealand,she sucked the sheeples in twice,she is a lefty who has no financial acumen and the flunkies she surrounds herself with are totally incompetent and struggle to string a sentence together,a rabble would be a understatement.nz is morally and financialy bankrupt down to one woman,unbeleivable

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  • Beautifully written and echoes my total experience in returning to a land of arrogance, ignorance and privilege.
    I’m embarrassed for us all.
    Thanks for your wonderfully accurate view, you have a new fan.

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  • Maryanne White
    February 18, 2022 8:41 pm

    Well written and on point!

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  • Jacinda did her best, got a lot of things right and some wrong – the virus changed shape multiple times through the pandemic which did make an arse out of some policy directives but to be expected in the circumstances. The bottom line is very few NZ’ers died compared with countries like the UK and the US and at the minor cost of pissing off the expats and the anti vaxers and burning off the tourism sector. But right now these impacts are fading away; MIQ is almost gone and the mandates will go once omicron burns itself out.

    It strikes me that those casting opinions from afar should reflect on the context of their criticism. It seems to me that many people forget that the NZ pandemic policy has achieved what it set out to do, buy us time to make decisions by using comparable country’s experience to inform our own. As a consequence NZ is 3-6 months behind everywhere else, and obviously the policies that have been put in place in NZ reflect this delay i.e. the fact that the rest of the world is moving on from mandates, masks, travel bans is fine for them but we’ve still got to get through the bow wave of omicron before we can get to a similar position.

    All in all, a good result for NZ. Hopefully Jacinda and co will put some effort into advancing non covid policy now.

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  • Well said. Shame you can’t be in Wellington at the moment. You should speak to Liz Gunn though.

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  • I’m so glad you chose the UK, thanks.

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  • Well said Russell. I fully agree with you.

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  • Fantastic truths. Brilliantly written. Everyone loved Hitler until he went rogue aswell!

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  • What a load of conspiracist bullshit!
    I think it is a partisan and one eyed point of view.
    MIQ has saved many lives and most of the time we have had as much freedom as the rest of the world. Economy going well in general, per capita debt less than Australia and UK,
    Really would we welcome back, without restrictions a load of people with Ebola?
    Sure there’s been a few fails, but Jacinda’s efforts have been lauded by the OECD, and Lowry Institute in Australia.

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  • Excellently put 👏👏👏 Although waiting for the penny to drop for sooo many more is exhausting

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  • Absolutely agree with this. Yes the government did well initially but now it is just controlling the country and Ardern finds any excuse to keep her control. But of course she wants to travel so has relaxed some border restriction and look at the foreign minister we are sending over seas – will show the world what this lovely country has come to

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  • With the current Pharmaceutical Colonialism, there is no longer a team of 5 million.
    Suspension of the Medical code of rights, a lack of informed consent, medical coercion, intentional division of the vax and unvax population. The team has become interned

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  • Ditto, u have captured reality in NZ

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  • 100% correct ,that is exactly what is happening here & JA paying off the media with tax payers money 💰 n return for compliance & spreading fear & propaganda was her master stroke .
    The media have been complicit in aiding her dictatorship style of government.
    Now she’s a coward unable to front up to the protesters , many of whom probably voted for her .
    The protesters have built a village in 2 weeks , they’re there for the long haul & can well handle Govt plants to cause trouble & violence towards fellow peaceful protestors . Now the media are saying there’s COVID in the camp – 2 cases amongst thousands – TWO cases of the most contagious virus ever .. .. it’s all crumbling , the lies , the mandates , finally people have had enough , & it’s not a small number …. The disappointing thing is all the politicians on both sides of the house need removing & we start again with people ready to serve our country & not themselves . Bring it on .

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  • Petersen Brett
    February 23, 2022 7:33 am

    Yes it is all well documented and true. Most people are behaving like sheep and lining up to be seriously fleeced by the worst government NZ has ever had. It has been evil to the core with more to come. May they and the opposition all rot in prison.

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  • Bev MacDougall
    February 23, 2022 8:00 am

    Don’t believe that most of New Zealand are happy. Ugh! Her and her party need to go and take the rest of the parties with her. They’re all as bad as each other. She’s driving our country closer and closer towards communism and we’re simply not going to stand for it. Yes, there’s an element that are blind, stupid or maybe both that actually still think she’s doing a great job but there’s way more that need her gone.

    Reply

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