2021-08-28 00:34:06 UTC
One of the missing links in coming out of level 4 is the precise
rationale used to justify why one region stays at level 4 but others
go down to level 3. Auckland currently has by far the highest number
of confirmed cases and this alone probably justifies continuation with
level 4. Wellington goes to Level 3 with a small number of cases.
Northland remains at level 4 with no cases. All other regions go to
level 3 with no cases.
So on the face of it Northland is not being treated equitably. Note
that Warkworth has one case but that is part of Auckland - not
Northland - and the border patrols are way further North (Brynderwyn
and Mangowai) so Warkworth is over 45k south of the roadblocks now in
place, and 20k south of Wellsford (being the border of Auckland).
Now we can bring in close contacts. There are a fair number, most
notably in Coromandel, Northland and the South Island. There are also
some close contacts in various other parts of the North Island. In
the early stages of level 4 no actions were taken by the Police to
stem the flight from city to batches. Up until 11:59pm on Tuesday
August 17 this was quite legal, but after that not so and past history
gives plenty of warning of what was going to happen.
In the case of Northland there is a significant number of close
contacts which the PM foolishly mapped out without telling us anything
relevant about why the disparity between locations on that map and
locations of confirmed cases. There are many Northlanders who believe
that the sole reason they have so many close contacts is because of
Aucklanders moving North on and after August 17. They are wrong -
there are plenty of places of interest from August 7th to 17th that
visitors from Northland were caught up in and returned home from. The
fact remains though that some have made the connection that Northland
is being singled out as not going down to alert level 3 with the rest
of the country because the Police did not prevent Aucklanders from
Level 3 is not much less restrictive than level 4. The Maccas
drive-thru can open as click-and-collect is allowed including cooked
food. Restaurants can do takeaways etc. However retail businesses
remain closed - no pubs or cafes open with tables available.
Accordingly the seemingly inequitable treatment of Northland has drawn
a muted response.
When we get to allowing level 2 though - if a similar situation arises
then expect a major issue to arise from the affected regions. The
Government will have to give cast-iron reasoning behind the decisions
to allow some regions to go to level 2 but not others. They did not
do this when making their announcement yesterday (Friday August 27th,
in respect of level 3 vs level 4).