The government told us they went hard and early.
They didn’t. They were lax and late and then harsh.
Lax because they trusted people to self-isolate when they came in from overseas; late in closing the border and requiring managed isolation and quarantine; and then harsh in the arbitrary definition of essential rather than safe for determining which businesses could open during lockdown levels four and three.
The government and the Ministry of Health (MoH) told us there was enough PPE.
The government and the MoH told us there was enough ‘flu vaccine.
The government and the MoH assured us that MIQ staff were being tested regularly.
Time and time again we’ve found they were not.
The government and the MoH told us we’d be at the front of the queue for vaccinations.
The government and the MoH have given us a variety of numbers for border staff and the percentage who are vaccinated.
We can’t know which, if any, can be relied on.
The government and MoH told us to only believe what came from the podium of truth.
Too often the media and opposition have showed us facts that contradict those utterances.
The government and MoH ought to have systems that keep Covid-19 at the border.
The debacles this week show that the systems are full of holes.
As Duncan Grieve writes, a system that can be hacked by lying isn’t a good system:
Whether or not the worker who has been infected lied, is disputed. What isn’t disputed is that the system wouldn’t have picked up lies.
Which is why we’re in this situation – the company designed and the ministry accepted a system which could be broken by the simple act of lying. Which is not a system at all – it’s a code, a wish, a vibe. . .
Any system which relies on individual honesty is inevitably going to break, and duty of care as an employer should not allow frontline workers to be put in this position.
So it seems fair to ask what would be the bigger lie: an individual signing a false declaration about testing. Or the New Zealand public being told that testing was already mandatory and occurring.
Who’s responsible for the system and the failures?
Who’s been telling us, time and time again, that testing was both mandatory and occurring?
Who’s shown themselves incapable of learning from repeated mistakes and shortcomings?
The government and the MoH.