Andrea Vance writes:
When are we going to admit that New Zealand’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out is not going to plan?
One of the biggest criticisms of this Government is that they fail on delivery. While true of some major promises (housing affordability, transport, child poverty), they are driving through generational change – in local government, health and education.
They are driving through significant change in those three areas, but it remains to be seen if it will be good change.
But the immunisation programme is their biggest challenge. And the signs are not promising.
The truth is mired in mixed messaging. The weekly sermon from the Beehive pulpit would suggest all is on track.
On the ground, this is not the reality. Listening to Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it feels like we slipped down the rabbit hole into an alternate vaccine Wonderland where graphs make no sense, up is down and right is left.
New Zealand is at the bottom of the OECD for vaccination rates.
Only half a million people are fully immunised. A third of border workers have not had both jabs – a milestone that was supposed to have been reached by June’s end.
The reality is that the Ministry of Health is not particularly competent at operational things. It is a policy ministry in the main.
But if Hipkins and Ardern persist in their White King and Queen double-act, while the rest of us experience more delays on the other side of the Looking Glass they will squander that trust, and patience will run out.
If the rest of the world opens up because they have been vaccinated and we remain the least vaccinated country in the OECD, people will get grumpy.