New Zealand Budget Ditches Climate Change, Prioritises the Economy

New Zealand, Land of the Extensive Wind Farm. Te Apiti Wind Farm New Zealand. Michal Klajban / CC BY-SA

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Green New Zealand has disappointed activists, by ditching climate idealism in favour of trying to restart their economy.

New Zealand’s COVID-19 budget delivers on one crisis, but largely leaves climate change for another day

Many had hoped the COVID-19 crisis would be a critical juncturefor climate change policy in New Zealand.

The budget was not this moment. It was about minimising the immediate crisis, with an eye to the forthcoming general election– not a pivot towards a low-emissions economy.

Under the circumstances, the budget’s short-term vision is not surprising. It is even morally necessary. Climate change is ultimately about people’s welfare too – which needs defending in the present as well as the future.

Still, as time passes and the emphasis shifts from response to recovery to rebuild, long-term objectives like climate change should re-enter the picture. Back in December 2019 – before COVID-19 hit – a just transition to a low-emissions economy had been identified as one of the 2020 budget’s five priorities. For now, it has clearly taken a backseat, but New Zealand should return to it as part of the rebuild because of its economic promise.

notable study led by Oxford University economist Cameron Hepburn argued climate-aligned fiscal recovery packages could not only help shift the world closer to a net-zero emissions pathway, but could also offer the best economic returns for government spending.

Those returns are precisely what governments need to service the debt they’re incurring now.

Read more:

I’m surprised, I honestly thought New Zealand’s government would embrace activist calls for a green Coronavirus recovery. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is right out there with Canada’s Trudeau when it comes to green speak.

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Rod Evans
May 16, 2020 10:34 am

Can sanity and reality be returning to New Zealand at long last?
The land of the long white cloud was a name in vogue for New Zealand long before human fossil fuel came into play.

Alan Tomalty (@ATomalty)
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 16, 2020 11:10 am

It is only temporary sanity. Ardern is a climate emergency nutcase.

John Tillman
Reply to  Alan Tomalty (@ATomalty)
May 16, 2020 11:21 am

Maybe she saw Michael Moore’s movie.

Douglas Lampert
Reply to  John Tillman
May 16, 2020 1:16 pm

New Zealand is not a bad spot for a climate nut to run.

Lots of geothermal, which is about the only worthwhile zero emissions base-load that’s not nukes. Lots of rivers and slopes for pumped hydro storage to help load level, and for that matter, even wind generation is in pretty good shape with the whole island being a north-south ridge-line in the middle of the ocean breeze.

The government can mutter all it wants to about green zero emissions goals and while it will cost money if they do anything, it’s quite possible that it won’t crash the grid or economy.

Reply to  Douglas Lampert
May 16, 2020 4:49 pm

Why not just build dams? Norway is almost entirely powered by them.

Marc Sparks
Reply to  Douglas Lampert
May 16, 2020 6:58 pm


Bulk of NZ’s power is supplied by Hydro, followed by Geo-Thermal.

Reply to  Douglas Lampert
May 16, 2020 7:20 pm

“Tab Numlock May 16, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Why not just build dams? Norway is almost entirely powered by them.”

Tectonically hyperactive islands need to carefully consider constructions that contain significant downflow dangers.
Or move all of their populace to live above dam heights.

Reply to  John Tillman
May 16, 2020 1:28 pm

Maybe her deputy prime minister and minority government co-conspirator Winston Peters whispered in her ear –
“Jassie – I’ve got one word for you – ELECTION!”

Winston’s “New Zealand First” party is not renowned for pushing a rabid green agenda.

Reply to  John Tillman
May 16, 2020 4:58 pm

Right on!

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 16, 2020 5:44 pm

The Land of the Wrong White Crowd, as we used to joke as school children and still do in defiance of stupid political correctness.
The time is long gone for petty arguments about words. Intelligent countries are arguing now about the best efficient and economic design of the nuclear and fossil fuel powered future. Intermittent are over, except for a few obvious niche applications. We knew this when planning for energy in the 1970s. The windmill experiment has been tried on a huge scale and it has failed. End of story. Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 17, 2020 8:30 pm

So a country with renewables already at over 80% plus is on the wrong path ?
I never thought it would work either but it does as if you could create the perfect long narrow country , not too high a population for its land area ,with plenty of wind and support from hydro , NZ would be it
Watching the wind farms on moderately windy day shows how they do it . Maybe a third of the
wind generators are braked so that capacity can be adjusted up and down.
Its not prefect in the system approach as some smaller gas turbine peaking generators near the biggest load have been decommissioned and that increases risk. Thats more to do with commercial approach amoung competing generators

Reply to  Duker
May 19, 2020 2:11 am

Near 80% renewable..not so according to its own energy website
New Zealand’s energy mix
New Zealand has the third highest rate of renewable energy as a portion of primary supply in the OECD (after Norway and Iceland). 40% of our energy comes from renewable sources.
While we rely heavily on renewables, such as hydro, geothermal and wind to produce our electricity, 60% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels.(NOTE…60% Hydrocarbon)

In fact, we use around 49 million barrels of crude oil every year – that’s more than 1,600 litres of crude oil per person, per year. Together, that is enough oil to fill the Wellington Regional Stadium (the ‘Cake Tin’) around 13 times….
We also use over 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas every year.

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 17, 2020 3:47 am

No its NOT going to the sane side
if you read the fine print in her statement/budget
shes holding 30 bil or mil? back for the greenies sweeteners
I thought it sounded too good to be true when I read the aussie medias report on it
and it was
shes not going to get smarter at this stage in her life
and for those with the stomach for it? extreme nausea warning..the ABC ran a program fullof whimpering women n mums all moaning about the climate their kids will have etc etc
as if any parent at ANY time on this planet could control anything kids or not.
Naomi whatserfaces book gave em all the fear panic and hysteria it was written to do to the less than bright minions.
climate grief one and two
I warn you its self indulgent bullshit

May 16, 2020 10:45 am

It doesn’t take much thought to understand wind and solar energy is expensive to initiate and maintain despite what the proponents tell otherwise. Add poor reliability plus the need for backup and you have a money pit that won’t do the job.

Reply to  markl
May 16, 2020 2:01 pm

In NZ we have some of the best wind resource in the world, with geothermal and hydro in support. Investment in wind works well.

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 2:42 pm

The problem with wind is that you have to build twice the energy capacity.
First you need enough wind to power your economy.
Then you need enough something else to power your economy when the wind isn’t blowing.
Better and cheaper to just build the second and ignore the wind.

Reply to  MarkW
May 16, 2020 2:56 pm

Not if you have spare short-term buffering in hydro. Just as rain and snow melt is an intermittent “topper-up” of hydro, so can wind.

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 3:49 pm

HAS: “Not if you have spare short-term buffering in hydro.” I seem to remember a time when NZ had a problem with that “buffer” when the undersea electrical cable was cut, it didn’t rain like usual, and the wind ….. well acted like wind usually does.

Roger Knights
Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 5:06 pm

“I seem to remember a time when NZ had a problem with that “buffer” when the undersea electrical cable was cut,”

Wasn’t that Tasmania?

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 5:39 pm

NZ does have DC link between the two islands, but has hydro in both. It is a vulnerability in the distribution system, but it isn’t particularly selective to the ~80% renewable generation we currently have.

The vulnerability from all renewables in NZ is in dry years when the lakes are emptying early winter, the wind is low, and peak demand is upon us until we get the gales and the thaw in early spring.

An inter-annual problem every 6-7 years, not short-term variability i.e. intra-day.

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 7:07 pm

– well, I suppose that six or seven years is long enough to rebuild your reserves of sheep dung for heating and cooking on those unfortunate winters.

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 8:08 pm

@writing, and there in hangs a tail (and before we have inappropriate references a “dag” in NZ/Oz parlance is a reasonably affectionate term – each to their own as they say).

The electricity industry couldn’t possibly countenance a demand side response to the problem so completely miss such opportunities to manage the short-fall. While domestic winter fires is one approach (trees tend to be easier than dung) another is the observation that it will partially solve itself – as we get warmer the winter peak diminishes, instead requiring summer AC in the north that can be serviced efficiently with PV (to the no doubt annoyance to some here).

Reply to  HAS
May 17, 2020 8:14 pm

Thats right with the plus that the hydro is the frequency stabiliser that South Australia nor parts of UK dont have

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 4:23 pm

Anyone who can look at that picture of the absolute desecration of the land and not weep is an absolute disgrace to humanity, or in simple terms a modern environmentalist.

Reply to  Greg
May 17, 2020 3:53 am

yes its an ugly mess over such scenic beauty

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 4:34 pm

“Investment in wind works well.”
Really ?

Windpower electricity in NZ for the huge sums invested, a Billion dollar “investment” is hardly discernable on the NZ power Generation total output , in fact it is largely irrelevant and a dismal failure which will never be admitted . The big ugly monstrosities that polute the skylines around New Zealand are just to show the International Climate Change Commission ? that New Zealand is doing something although NZ is largely powered by hydro anyway . For instance today NZ is consuming 4652 MW of electricity and windpower output?? 42 MW .9 % , pathetic! and I have been logging onto the web page dashboard below every couple of days for the last 4-5 weeks and the wind output is always around this figure .


Reply to  Don
May 16, 2020 6:41 pm

0.8% at 13.28 NZ time May 17

Reply to  Don
May 16, 2020 6:47 pm

It’s one of those things – wind doesn’t supply electricity when it doesn’t blow.

Over the whole year however it contibutes about 5% of generation (about the same as coal) at a price that is competitive.

Reply to  HAS
May 17, 2020 8:38 pm

Looking now gives geothermal 900 MW and Wind 46MW in North Is
Gas/Coal 114MW ( 1 particular station) and gas is 431MW
A very still day.

What did people say the problem was?

Reply to  HAS
May 17, 2020 8:57 pm

Whoa, 5 whole percent ? Really ? And you’re holding that up as some big environmental accomplishment ? Moron.

Reply to  HAS
May 16, 2020 6:02 pm

We do have the best wind farms. But the best is still expensive.

We also have amazing geothermal and hydro.

My power bill is insane

Reply to  Jesse
May 16, 2020 7:14 pm

Insanely low or insanely high?

Reply to  Mr.
May 16, 2020 8:36 pm

According to Google… “The rate you are charged for the power you use is referred to as a “variable rate”. This is usually between $0.24/kWh and $0.41/kWh for customers on Low User plans, and between $0.26/kWh and $0.43/kWh for Standard User plans.

Presumably in Kiwi currency which is 1 NZ Dollar equals 0.59 USD

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jesse
May 16, 2020 9:41 pm

Monthly, plus 15% GST!

Reply to  HAS
May 19, 2020 1:23 am

If the wind is working so well why does it need back up support?

Anything to do with Intermittent?

What are other nations to do if they do not have the geographical lottery win of Hydro and Geothermal?
While we rely heavily on renewables…, such as hydro, geothermal and wind to produce our electricity, 60% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels.

So the MAIN back up…actually the MAIN source of power generation is Fossils…HYDROCARBONs…King Coal and all his fossil fuel mates drives the New Zealand economy and society…

Bruce Cobb
May 16, 2020 10:53 am

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as Te Apiti.
The windmill whose mighty blades whirl
Catching hapless birds who towards the ground then twirl.

Apologies to Joyce Kilmer.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 16, 2020 12:03 pm

How about
I hope that I shall never see
A sight as ugly as a three bladed tree

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bryan A
May 16, 2020 1:13 pm

You must not have seen cell towers meant to look like trees. A wind turbine is beautiful in comparison.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 16, 2020 1:41 pm

I have hiked and camp in the Joyce Kilmer wilderness area.

On the OT,

There’s been no sanity to the CCP virus. Most of the same people who have been insane about climate are the same ones who are being insane and despotic about CCP virus.

We would be slightly better off with Extraterrestrial Overlords….

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  JEHILL
May 16, 2020 2:48 pm

“We would be slightly better off with Extraterrestrial Overlords….”

At least they would give you food and water, and a wheel to run in.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 16, 2020 5:44 pm

Read ‘To Serve Mankind’, short story.

J Mac
May 16, 2020 10:59 am

Hot Damn! NZ may have learned a hard lesson:
Reality is a hard knuckled teacher, unaffected by virtue signalling and ignored at your own peril.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  J Mac
May 16, 2020 11:38 am

Stupidity is an even harsher teacher. And having nations striving for Green net-zero goals on a world economy dependent on fossil fuels are about as stupid as one can get.
Very predicatably, western Pacific nations pursing that stupidity will one day find themselves having to learn Mandarin to appease their Sino-masters, very much like Tibet.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 16, 2020 10:55 pm

China is a major exporter of wind turbines and solar panels. I lived there for 5 years and yet I can’t recall ever seeing a single wind turbine or solar array in the landscape. Most strange.

Reply to  J Mac
May 16, 2020 3:47 pm

Damn Straight, Hard lessons all round, time for sanity to rule out Hello from NZ

Frederick Michael
May 16, 2020 11:10 am

I wonder if Moore’s movie was a tipping point. It got though lots of people’s “shields” and made them aware. Maybe now they’ll pay attention.

Only time will tell.

May 16, 2020 11:11 am

The really neat thing is that the NZ government is forced , with the collapse of tourism, to focus on its remaining industry to get NZ out of the massive fiscal hole created by the classification of half the population as non-essential. On the dole , as we say here.
And guess what that remaining industry does – it sequesters carbon using renewable resources i.e. soil and plants. Self-renewing solar panels -it doesn’t get any better.
We are talking about perennial grasslands – that is all NZ is .
And before this” scare ” was whipped up , the farmers were being portrayed as public enemy number one.
The irony is delicious.

Greg in NZ
Reply to  farmerbraun
May 16, 2020 4:51 pm

“The irony is delicious” –
as delicious as eye fillet steak, lamb chops, pork/bacon, venison, salmon, or any other farmed (or wild) life-sustaining food we produce.

My ‘non-essential’ job (vineyard tour guide/driver) evaporated in early March due to dwindling numbers of overseas visitors (and vineyards closing their cellar doors once Jacindarella & Co. announced their “80,000 deaths unless…” blather). Relocating down the coast a few hours to a place deliciously called the Bay of Plenty, a buddy organised a commission for me, ironically painting a hunting & fishing scene on a 6ft-long double-handle saw. Good money and another job booked – sweet!

As for Douglas’ up-thread comment re: “the whole island” of New Zealand, at the risk of being a geographical prat, ‘Zealandia’ is a sunken continent – an archipelago if you will – consisting of two main islands (the North and the South), four smaller inhabited islands (Stewart, Chatham, Waiheke, Great Barrier), and thousands of smaller isles, rocky outcrops, reefs, volcanoes, etc. And sitting astride the Pacific Ring of Fire as we do, there’s a very sound reason we’re also known as The Shaky Isles. 🙂

Patrick MJD
Reply to  farmerbraun
May 16, 2020 6:38 pm

What industry? IIRC it was Peter’s who dropped import bans and duties on cars that lead to the collapse of the NZ car assembly industry in the mid-1990’s. Sure, NZers got better choice/price of cars, but the industry, like in Aus, was gone.

May 16, 2020 11:31 am

Speaking of Canada, the Trudeau government has recently announced that they are linking CoVid19 financial support to businesses to those companies’ “2050 net zero carbon emissions” plans. Along the lines of a similar previous program linking summer student hiring programs for charities, to the charity’s stated support for the government’s official pro-choice abortion stance. This caused many principled charities and religious groups to be ineligible for the funding. Snowflake’s minds are truly evil.

Russ Wood
Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 18, 2020 8:28 am

On the same lines, but hardly ‘snowflake’, the South African ANC government, on top of what the UN regards as the harshest of lockdowns, has made its Covid support for tourist businesses (all closed) dependent on its black ownership certification (BBEEE). So if you’re a white guest-house owner – tough!

Joel O'Bryan
May 16, 2020 11:33 am

Yep, island nations’ economies across the globe dependent on tourism to provide the hard currency needed to import food supplies from continental sources are being devastated right now. Hawaii, the Caribbean Islands, the Western Pacific Islands all have thrown large percentages of their population out of work as hotels-resorts and island recreation services have but shut down because they have no tourists arriving via airlines or Cruise ships and spending money.

New Zealand is still facing the real prospect of austerity by its residents in the next year. Lots of beans and rice in other words. Fortunately, the Kiwis do have their sheep for mutton, so they are in better shape than many smaller islands that do not have NZ’s vast grass pasturelands available to animal husbandry.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 16, 2020 3:28 pm

NZ will be a lovely hobit country with beautiful agriculture and crafts focused of keeping the machines they were able to buy in the past going.
NZ exports 2019 -Top 10
Dairy, eggs, honey: US$10.7 billion (27.9% of total exports)
Meat: $5.3 billion (13.9%)
Wood: $3.3 billion (8.7%)
Fruits, nuts: $2.2 billion (5.9%)
Cereal/milk preparations: $1.5 billion (3.9%)
Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $1.4 billion (3.7%)
Fish: $1.2 billion (3.2%)
Machinery including computers: $1 billion (2.6%)

Separately listed – tourism as worth $12.9 billion in foreign exchange & 188,000 fulltime equivalent jobs

Back to the days when you had to wait years for a new automobile due to currency controls, only now it will include all goods not manufactured from scratch in NZ. Hope the washing machine does not quit.

May 16, 2020 11:46 am

Its a good thing most of the disappointed people were born in New Zealand; they’re likely to dumb to pass the citizenship exam.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Prjindigo
May 16, 2020 1:16 pm

“they’re likely to dumb to pass the citizenship exam”

Pot/kettle fail.

Kone Wone
Reply to  Prjindigo
May 17, 2020 6:18 pm

Well, based on what you wrote, so are you (if spelling proficiency is part of the test).

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 16, 2020 11:54 am

Arrogant idiots talking about ‘morally necessary’.

John Robertson
May 16, 2020 12:16 pm

Size matters.
With a mere 4 million people and an enormous welfare system,other peoples money is in short supply even in good times.
Gang Green can only steal so much before other political organizations compete.
Shutting down the trading economy starkly reveals government theft.
When zero is coming in,every little slice aggravates.
For even in NZ,the parasitic class suffered no loss of pay nor any real consequence for actions they imposed.
The producers did.
But restarting the true economy is actually beyond the ability of any government.
And the producing citizens are well aware of that.
The only help government can provide,is to stop their stealing.
And that is not going to happen

May 16, 2020 1:01 pm

Jacinda Ardern (39) the pm, despite her relatively young age appears to be a very wise woman.
New Zealand with population of just under 5 million had just 21 CV deaths or 0.4/100k of population, no one in Europe, on the other side of the globe, got off that lightly. Most of NZ population is of British descent, but the UK (35 thousand deaths with pop. 68 million) had more than 100 times the NZ death rate, whichever metric you take.
So what did New Zealand do so right and the UK did so wrong?
Boris Johnson should call Jacinda Ardern and listen and learn not only on the CV but on the priorities for saving the economy before it spirals down the black hole guided by the Imperial College’s ‘superpredictors’, being it the Neil Ferguson’s corona virus useless codes or it’s Grantham Institute’s AGW nonsense. Some decades ago when Imperial was part of University of London it was a top learning institution, but since it declared itself an independent university on its 100th anniversary in 2007, it is not what it use to be some decades ago.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 1:20 pm

“So what did New Zealand do so right and the UK did so wrong?”

I would say it’s simply a matter of high population density in certain areas. The population of London is about twice that of all NZ. That many people in a small area, easier to spread. Same with NYC.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 16, 2020 4:22 pm

Not relevant. Urbanisation rate is what matters. In New Zealand it is 86%, actually greater than the US and UK at about 83%

John Tillman
Reply to  Don
May 16, 2020 7:01 pm

Not just rate but density matters. Not all urban areas are created equal. Subways and high rises make a big difference.

Auckland’s density is 6300 per sq mi; NYC’s 27,800, and of course more New Yorkers than there are Aucklanders live at much higher density than that.

Reply to  Don
May 16, 2020 7:10 pm

Can’t see that myself. Urbanization isn’t a good proxy for likelihood to contact – think about the difference between lots of small urban locations or a smaller number large locations.

In fact Jeff compared NZ with London, not the UK. London is 100% “urbanised”.

BTW you should also check the different definitions used for urban areas in different countries.

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 1:37 pm

NZ’s P.M. predicted 80,000 deaths in NZ.
And you think that she is wise . That’s laughable.
All that NZ had to do was prevent 35 cases of Covid from entering the population, and spreading . It was a complete failure of border security , and appears to have been deliberate since the first arrivals were compulsorily quarantined and then the doors thrown open.

Reply to  farmerbraun
May 16, 2020 2:32 pm

In this sad and tragic CV death ‘competition’ it is not the early pundits’ predictions but the finial score that matters
Boris Johnson: 510 dead/million Brits and not done yet.
Jacinda Ardern: 4 dead/million Kiwis
Wise or not, numbers tell the score.

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 5:53 pm

NZ isn’t “done yet”. No one has any herd immunity there and they’ll have to keep on perpetual tenterhooks every time someone comes down with a flu.

NZ is an island, but unless they intend to institute autarky they’ll still need to import and export goods and that means coming into contact with foreigners. It’s only a matter of time before the virus gets passed on, and then what? Shut the whole country down for another month and a half?

People who are congratulating Jacinda are being wildly premature. And anyone “thinking” her solutions would work on major continental landmasses like Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas clearly hasn’t thought about the matter much.

John Tillman
Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 7:08 pm

NZ is not part of the vast Eurasian-African World Island, with its many COVID hotspots. It consists of isolated oceanic islands with a biggest city of fewer than 1.5 million inhabitants. No valid comparison possible.

Reply to  Vuk
May 17, 2020 2:09 am

Australia 3.6 deaths per million population under a conservative PM just beats the progressive NZ PM with less catastrophic economic shoutdowns. Maybe it’s about the season (late summer), population density yada yada and not the smiley face at the lectern.

Reply to  Vuk
May 17, 2020 3:13 am

May 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm

In this sad and tragic CV death ‘competition’ it is not the early pundits
The “competition” it is about “Ifr” (Insanity fatality rate), Vuk.

It is pretty insane and quite severe and fatal to smash the economy and the lively hood of a nation in consideration of 510 dead/million, when there not really any whatsoever exponential death rate.

Wholly insane and very very tragic to do the same in the case of 4 dead/million, especially to a nation that stands literally at the very end of the world.

No surprise there, if NZ ends up to be the first and the only “Amish” nation in this world.
No disrespect, and really in full support to the Amish communities…
but a nation will be a first. A first proper “Alien” nation in this world.

Don’t forget, the B(erry). S. top guy, has already saved the entire world from see level rise already, Vuk. 🙂

No any Jacindas or Trudeaus of this world can ever come close with a thousand miles to it.

Maybe BoJo should have a chat with the BS flooding scholar, as how to handle better next time around, the COVID-19 flood.
As good and promising as Jass looks, she is quite really pea[nuts] compared to the flood handling champ.
Not even close to the number handling psychopath chap in the C. of anada.
(there is still a valid choice there in anada for the anadians) 🙂


Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 1:42 pm

New Zealand banned travel from China the day after the USA took effect (Feb 2-3) while the UK was still allowing Chinese, Iranian & Italian citizens and practically everyone else in the world until March 22. Although direct fights from China had stopped earlier, London still remained a vast international travel hub from many locations and allowed international citizens including Chinese/Iranian/Italians entry into the country without any quarantine. Stopping travel from China and Iran did a lot in the early days of this pandemic to stop the spread in NZ, which the UK didn’t do but NZ did. The was smart and if there is any lesson to all this, is that the biggest bang for the buck would be stopping entry into any country from foreign nationals from hotspots. Global travel + Pandemic = Big Trouble

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 2:08 pm

Vuk – appearances can be deceptive! I suggest that everybody worldwide should wait until good reliable data is available before drawing conclusions. Our death rate in NZ is worse than Australia’s, but we know that virtually all of those victims had serious underlying health problems. If COVID-19 proved to be “the straw which broke the camel’s back”, to what should we attribute that death? Many of the virus sources are known to have been returning international travellers, and Jacinda failed to shut down the border soon enough – air passengers were arriving at Auckland Airport and just walking back into the community with no treatment, testing, or recording for several days. Then, when the socialist government took action, they instituted lockdown which still applies partially while paying little attention to the devastation wreaked on the economy. Those decisions were made by politicians with no business experience, advised by public servants with no business experience. Comparing NZ with OZ and UK, it seems that population density has much to do with severity. Just the much more complication seen in the UK and the USA makes it harder to institute standard procedures, especially if a state legislature is running alongside federal legislature with differing political affiliations. The situation in NZ is relatively uncomplicated, fortunately for us!

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 2:20 pm

Adern did what Trump didn’t. She showed some balls and made the hard decisions. She didn’t fluff around minimising the threat or lie to the people at crucial times. She didn’t bow to the wimping libertarians who were bleating about their individual rights.
The end result is NZ is now almost free of the virus and the US is approaching 1.5 million cases with almost 100k dead. The difference in leadership is as stark as the end result.

Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 3:02 pm

Conveniently overlooked by many Jacinda-philes is the fact that NZ is a single national government setup – no grandstanding state / province premiers / governors to butt heads with.

Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 3:29 pm

You cannot blame Trump for not using powers the Constitution reserves for states. Well, you could, but that would be ignorant.

If he tried to exert his power to lockdown the country, he would quickly be impeached for abuse of power.

J Mac
Reply to  jtom
May 16, 2020 5:55 pm

…And that is why he is known as Simple Simon.

Reply to  J Mac
May 17, 2020 12:18 am

“…And that is why he is known as Simple Simon.”
Brilliant original wit…. if you are a five year old.

Reply to  jtom
May 17, 2020 8:12 pm

Trump didnt even use his existing powers to take over medical supplies , states and cities had to fight amoung themselves.
Nor did he use the Defense Production Act to boost production of medical equipment and PPE

Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 4:35 pm

Trump was called a racist for cutting off flights from China on 31Jan. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City was urging people to get out and
mingle. The governor of New York forced long-term care facilities to take recovering CV-19 patients who had been discharged from hospitals even though they were obviously still contagious. And New York City didn’t do any cleaning or disinfecting of the subway until about 10 days ago.

But that’s all Donald Trump’s fault, right?

Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 4:36 pm

Most of the US cases are in New York City.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 6:02 pm

As pointed out to you below, most deaths were in New Your City. Now compare population densities between NYC and New Zealand. There is your biggest clue.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 17, 2020 8:22 pm

Density is irrelevant . Miami has more apartment blocks than NYC- which isnt just the
apartment heavy Manhattan peninsula, but also its boughs of Queens, Staten island, Brooklyn etc
In UK the place with the highest cases per head is the small city of Barrow on a peninsula in the North east. best known as the place UK builds its nuclear submarines has around 60,000 pop.

Reply to  Simon
May 16, 2020 7:30 pm

Contrary to what the MSM will tell you NZ when “Late and Flaccid” rather than “Early and Hard”.

Cities, clubs and private institutions were acting before the government did.

Reply to  Simon
May 17, 2020 3:35 am

May 16, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Adern did what Trump didn’t.

Simon, you “sound” like a confirmed idiot, even when you clearly “look” quite intelligible.

Still, comparing Arden with Trump is quite a severely impaired intelligence.

One happens to be the leader of a country, which if it completely and instantly perished from the face of this world, like now, no one will care much or even ever really notice.

And the other happens to be the leader of a country, which when even in the case of facing the smallest problem or crisis it will shock wave the entire world.

So is quite silly to even attempt or flirt with the idea of a comparison there.
Quite dumb.

(one “leads” a small nation at the very end (the tail) of this world, and the other leads the top leading nation of this world)


Reply to  whiten
May 17, 2020 12:54 pm

“(one “leads” a small nation at the very end (the tail) of this world, and the other leads the top leading nation of this world)”
I’ll correct that for you….
(one “leads” a small nation at the very end (the tail) of this world, and the other “doesn’t lead” the top leading nation of this world)
And there in lies the problem.

Reply to  Simon
May 17, 2020 2:53 pm

May 17, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Whatever you say boy.
Send my regards to Napoleon from me, next time you meet him, please.

Reply to  Simon
May 17, 2020 9:32 pm

Simon, what part Ardern’s leadership should we aspire to?

Panic and over reaction?

Arbitrary and constantly changing (probably illegal) rules?

Illegal roadblocks manned by gangs?

Or failing to close the border properly because it was “Too Hard.”

Ian Cooper
Reply to  Simon
May 17, 2020 6:20 pm

Yeah right! What about the big lie the Ardern Govt. put out just before the Level 4 Lockdown in March? 20-80,000 dead if we didn’t flatten the curve, and later on if we didn’t eliminate the virus. I know of some over 70 year olds that haven’t even ventured outside since March 20th. I know of plenty of families that are scared witless about the idea of kids going back to school even today. This BTW is from a region that has had only 32 cases in a population of around 120,000, none hospitalised, and no deaths! These scare tactics are the same as the ones that this government has been foisting on us with regards to climate change since they took office at the end of 2017!

They promote themselves as “the open, honest government,” but the recent act to give the Police sweeping powers of intruding into your home under Level 2 to shutdown gatherings of more than 10 people, which was done under urgency, only because they wasted the 5 or 6 weeks they had to prepare for this, is very similar to the haste used to bring in the Zero Carbon bill a while ago. Little or no time to have a proper look at why this new law was needed in the first place.

They are ‘transparent’ alright! We can right through their lies put out by the “great communicator!”

paul mcgoldrick
Reply to  Simon
May 20, 2020 6:03 pm

to make comparisons between NZ/USA or Trump/JA is quite absurd. like comparing Ritchie McCaw with the #7 from Estonia!

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 2:27 pm

Jacinda was also sucked in by Fergusson’s useless models. She scared the population silly with predictions of 80,000 dead if we did nothing and 20,000 with full lockdown. She then kept the lockdown going way longer than necessary and now we are pretty much destitute with a massive social welfare bill and shrinking economy to pay for it.

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 2:29 pm

Up close I fear wisdom isn’t one of her attributes. NZ is remote and as others have noted, a very low population density. It was an easy matter to close borders and trace and quarantine positives. Given this the NZ response has been poor – late to close and poor early tracking etc, but then when the lock down did come it was over-kill (compare Oz) particularly given the generally benign environment. We’ll see the consequences in future well-being. We still haven’t really had the debate about what next after elimination …

The economic management has been worse. When an immediate short-term fiscal and monetary response was called for, we saw the long-term socialist agenda pursued (e.g. minimum wage increases) and the usual emphasis on pork-barreling (Google support for the racing industry) and public investment into questionable infrastructure – again with impact in the out years rather than meeting the imeadiate counter-cyclic need.

Fortunately notwithstanding the love affair the international press is having with her there is a debate occurring here, and suggestions can now be seen in the media she mightn’t make it back in the election at the end of the year, despite her current high polling.

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 7:24 pm

Ardern is an idiot.

She ignored NZ’s single best defence against Covid 19, a great big bloody moat.

Instead of closing the borders and instituting strict quarantine in February Ardern was intent on celebrating a March 15th anniversary of a bloody terrorist attack.

Only once aged care facilities had begun to self-Isolate, cities had shut down non essential services and just about everyone had begun cancelling large public events did Ardern blink, panic and shut down the economy.

Even then she didn’t close the borders and institute proper quarantine procedures, New Zealanders were told (probably illegally) to lockdown and people arriving at Auckland airport were being handed brochures asking them nicely to “Self-Isolate”.

Now her idiot government is trying to buy their way out of an economy nightmare they’ve created and massage unemployment figures with a wage subsidy designed to take them to the election.

David Wolcott
Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2020 9:07 pm

Vuk, suppose you have an ingrowing toenail. Your doctor, Jacinda, says, “Oh I can fix that,” and cuts your leg off. It is a perfect cure for the ingrowing toenail. But you have lost your leg. Just how wise our PM was in sacrificing everything to achieve virus elimination will become clear in the coming years. Living here it feels like being in a police state, complete with snitches, and an utterly ruined economy.

Reply to  David Wolcott
May 17, 2020 12:22 am

“Vuk, suppose you have an ingrowing toenail. Your doctor, Jacinda, says, “Oh I can fix that,” and cuts your leg off. It is a perfect cure for the ingrowing toenail. But you have lost your leg. J”
Or… you have a melanoma on your toe and Trump says … don’t worry it’s only a spot, will be gone by Easter… and you are.

May 16, 2020 1:19 pm

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Thursday unveiled a budget unlike any in the nation’s history. Debt would shoot up from just over 20% of GDP to 54% by 2023, and thousands of jobs created by putting people to work building homes and improving the environment.”

“The plan also calls for 11,000 environmental jobs to be created, some of them temporary. People would be put to work killing pests and restoring wetlands. And up to 8,000 new homes would be built, creating thousands of construction jobs. Spending would also be increased on everything from health care and education to school lunches and the postal service.”

We better hope another global wide emergency doesn’t come out of ‘left’ field, and cause us all more grief.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Earthling2
May 16, 2020 2:16 pm

That aspect of the budget merely showed the extent to which the coalition government depends on the Green extremists for co-operation. They demonstrated that they have no ability to create productive jobs from which the output would reflect in increasing GDP. Whilst many of us will be pleased to see added attention given to environmental issues such as pest control, those jobs (if people are prepared to move to rural sites where that work will mainly be) will do almost nothing to generate any income to offset the cost of their income to the taxpayers.

Rudolf Huber
May 16, 2020 2:35 pm

All “Developed country” governments will have a chasm to bridge. On the one side ae the needs of the populations which have been ravaged by COVID-19 and they need money and services. Not the kind of vaporware that RE and EV’s is but stuff that really helps them. The current torrent of money will subside quicker than water in the sad and then it gets tough as decisions will have to be made. Any government that will be seen as to throw sparse cash onto bling projects and that ignores the urgent needs of its populations will get the boot at the next election. I always trusted the survival instinct of politicians. When they understand what’s up, they will save their skins and kick the Green scam to the fleas. Just wait …

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Rudolf Huber
May 16, 2020 2:51 pm

“On the one side ae the needs of the populations which have been ravaged by COVID-19”

They’ve been ravaged by the response to COVID-19, not by COVID-19 itself. It’s an important distinction.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 16, 2020 5:56 pm

“Jeff Alberts May 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm

They’ve been ravaged by the response to COVID-19, not by COVID-19 itself. It’s an important distinction.”

100% correct. I have co-workers who still believe in Prof. Lockdowns’ computer predictions (Australia used his predictions and projected 150,000 deaths. I guess that could be why any death is being attributed to COVID-19 to boost numbers because reality is proving computer model predictions were wildly OTT) even when I show the professor to have been monumentally wrong for the last 20 years or more with his computer predictions of SARS1, MERS, swine/bird ‘flu, foot and mouth (Where 6 million beast were slaughtered and wasted). They also believe the lockdown should be toughened up and extended. These same co-workers also appear too hate democracy because it seems their heads imploded when Shouty (Morrison, Aussie PM), BoJo (Johnson, UK MP) and Trump became leaders of their nations.

Stephen W
May 16, 2020 2:59 pm

Doesn’t surprise me.
NZ have never made any attempt to reduce emissions, despite their holier than Australia attitude.

Reply to  Stephen W
May 17, 2020 12:53 pm

Cow’s will burp, technically those “emissions” should go to the country consuming the beef.

May 16, 2020 3:08 pm

Snakes and ladders. Totally closing New Zealands borders on 17 March may have stifled the epidemic, stranding 100,000 tourists, but it means there is virtually no immunity in the country and without an effective vaccine NZ can not reopen borders without returning to GO.

+10% of GDP is tourism. After euthanizing self sufficiency in gas, Ardern’s minority party’s next target was to be the farting cows and sheep, the country’s remaining
major income source.

May 16, 2020 3:12 pm

Isn’t it about time NZ and Australia opened up trans-Tasman flights? I think both Ardern and Morrison are too scared to approve this in case a mistake is made and they will be blamed although I suspect Jacinda is the one dragging her feet with an election on the horizon. Come on NZ ski resorts – put some pressure on Wellington!

May 16, 2020 3:59 pm

When it comes to ‘Green Energy’ and ‘Renewables’, manana is soon enough for me.

john rattray
May 16, 2020 5:35 pm

Real problem was the governments lack of preparation and consistency:

– On March 17th NZ had the capacity to trace 10 cases a day over the whole country. Actual count was 13 detected cases.
– On the same day the country could process a maximum of 700 tests per day. Saint Jacinda was re-assuring the country that there was ample testing capacity – she forgot to mention that we simply couldn’t process the tests.
– As part of the lock down – supermarkets could sell bread, meat and vegetables but bakers, butchers and greengrocers could not.
– The government and police supported ethnic based road blocks in rural communities during the early part of the lockdown – totally illegal of course.
– Elective surgeries were cancelled (elective meaning anything that could wait for more than 24 hours) to prepare for the virus. It is expected that it will take at least 12 months to catch up – bad luck if you need hip replacements, cancer ops etc.
– Also all non urgent diagnostic examinations were cancelled. Again bad luck if you had a lump in the breast that was “probably” a cist. A 2 month delay in diagnosis has interesting consequences on survival rates.

Ans still it continues. For instance, at the moment strip clubs can have 100 customers, churches can have 10 worshipers as they are deemed more of an infection risk.

May 17, 2020 6:14 am

The article is correct that a green based focussed climate change recovery program would definately help expedite a push toward zero emissions. Because the disastrous post corona virus economy would be truly stuffed. Pity about the jobless rate and the GDP.

May 17, 2020 8:32 am

Makes sense, the virus is real.

May 21, 2020 12:10 am

New Zealand used to have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Then they planted windmills all over the views and a lot of the scenery has been been destroyed. Sad.

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