Former Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins has regrets:
. . . Asked if he had regrets, Hipkins said it is easy to look back with the knowledge we have now, but “you still have to make decisions based on the information that you had at the time.”
Hipkins told Q+A that some restrictions may have gone on too long.
“I think there were probably some areas where we could have moved more quickly to step down some restrictions,” he said.
“I think that lockdown in Auckland at the end of 2021 … I think nerves were pretty frayed by that and we should acknowledge that. Aucklanders paid a big price for our ongoing suppression of Delta while we got our vaccination rates up.” . .
That begs the questions:
Does he also regret the slow vaccine rollout which is why vaccination rates weren’t nearly as high as they could, and ought to, have been when Delta got into the community?
Does he regret the mental, physical and financial toll the extended lockdown took?
Does he regret the lottery of misery that left people stranded without jobs and homes and kept so many people from coming home to be with seriously ill and dying family and friends, to attend funerals?
Does he regret the unfair and unkind exemption system that let hundreds of foreign DJs in but kept hundreds of pregnant New Zealand women out?
Does he regret the enormous economic and human cost of the extended lockdown and closed borders?
Does he regret the massive debts incurred by the Covid fund and the spending of a lot of it on initiatives that had nothing to do with Covid recovery?
Does he regret the slow approval and import of rapid antigen tests (RATs)?
Doe he regret the time and money his government has, and continues to waste, on restructuring the health system instead of strengthening it to cope with Covid-19 and the usual winter ills?
Does he regret not learning from repeated reports, and implementing the recommendations of them which would have reduced the impact of Delta and Omicron?
Having no playbook explains, and possibly excuses, early mistakes.
It neither explains nor excuses failing to learn from them and do much better, much sooner.