We read and hear that we need to have 95% of the over 12 year olds vaccinated so we can meet the requirement for vaccination of 80% of the entire population of New Zealand before we can open up the border to free up travel.

Then we also hear that this may possibly need to be a higher % rate because previous governments haven’t invested adequate funding into our hospitals, especially the intensive care units. The number of beds in New Zealand in the intensive care units is at the bottom of the OECD countries.

The government needs to prioritise what is needed to provide a basic, good and reliable level of services to the public of New Zealand?

We need a good education system that fits all parts of society; good health and sanitary systems that don’t only meet efficiency standards but also allow for coping with emergencies or pandemics; a safe system for transportation of people, goods, services around the country & from overseas and a good environment to live in.

The most important part of the jigsaw is our people and we have been quick to put people into boxes and tell them where they belong.

Singapore is doing the same as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Stuff today published an article on how well Singapore is doing in this pandemic but also how the migrant workforce (a 6th of the total population), are treated differently, locked down in dormitories and only allowed out to do the jobs that the Singaporean people don’t want to do themselves and also only allowed out with permission to go shopping. (

It seems that intentionally or unintentionally, we are putting people into boxes here as they have done in Singapore (see website link above).

The pandemic and its lockdown restrictions have turned into something akin to a lot of white-collar employees working from home while the “essential” classes are ensuring they are able to obtain essential supplies and other persons being locked down at home.

Turns out a lot of people are not all that worse off under these lockdowns. They’re a massive inconvenience, but the average median voter doesn’t blame the Government for them. Even the economic cost is small for significant chunks of the economy.

The lack of visible political or economic costs has made us less willing to listen to those bearing these costs. All of this has played a part in the long tail of the lockdown we are now in. It is likely no accident that these “mystery” cases are popping up in areas of Auckland like Māngere, Ōtara, Papatoetoe and Manurewa, where people often make do on low wages, in overcrowded conditions, with mattresses on floors or in garages.

The same as in Singapore, many of the people from these communities are employed in occupations to which people barely pay attention during normal times, but are essential during a pandemic.

It’s time we realised some of our most ignored communities are having an even tougher time during this pandemic than everybody else.

They are not just essential to supplies being delivered, but to the success of our elimination strategy too. If we are content to keep them cooped up, without listening to them, then we are following the part of Singapore’s example that we really shouldn’t be.

As in Singapore, which saw cases in its migrant worker dormitories explode to over 1000 per day, this situation in Auckland is a potential disaster waiting to happen.

Since the first lockdown, we have heard calls for better pay and conditions for essential workers, vaccines for the most vulnerable, more widespread testing, and less intrusive forms of testing like saliva to help us keep on top of any outbreaks.

Many of these protests and entreaties have fallen on deaf ears, perhaps with the exception of a recently ramped-up vaccination drive.

While it seems like we may have been putting people into boxes here as they did in Singapore, we are all equal and deserve one rule for all and we should not be putting peoples into boxes and saying one is more important than the other.

Our Government must have a credible, coherent plan covering all of the ongoing issues around dealing with Covid 19 as it is not going away. It is in our world to stay and we cannot stay with our borders shut for much longer as a control method or we will suffer massive economic recession.

Peter Buckley