Pandemic Effects Roil Aotearoa – End in Sight

A full two years into the pandemic and New Zealand has been roiled by the mass arrival of the Omicron variant, economic stress in the tourism and hospitality and agricultural sectors, protests against mandate requirements including three-week occupation of Parliament grounds, and frustrations by overseas New Zealanders with the “impossible” MIQ lottery system.

Travel restrictions have been eased and a re-opening of international borders has commenced. New Zealand continues to have one of the lowest death rates from Covid across the world, with 61 people having died in two years. The rate of fully vaccinated people has reached 78% of the total population.

New Zealand’s focus for much of the pandemic was elimination and for much of the past two years this has brought significant international media praise on the strategy. As was inevitable after two years of lockdowns and lockouts, the equilibrium of the ‘team of five million’ has frayed in scenes replayed across many countries. The dispersal of the Wellington occupation and the rapid diminution of Omicron in the USA offers hope for New Zealand to resume a sense of normalcy in April.

Following is a sequence of media articles from overseas and resident media, from the centre, left and right, chronicling New Zealand’s 2022 journey.

January 22: New York Post Pregnant New Zealand reporter turns to Taliban for quarantine help
Also Guardian The Independent Hindustan Times ABC Spiegel

January 24: Daily Mail Crazy Covid-zero policy is cruel, deluded and doomed to failure (Dan Wootton)

January 31: New York Post New Zealand defends COVID rules that forced pregnant journalist to seek Taliban aid

February 6: Stuff When being kind stops at the border: How MIQ made Kiwis mean

February 6: The Times ‘Hermit kingdom’ of New Zealand falls out of love with Jacinda Ardern

February 10: Financial Times Ardern must show she is a leader for all seasons (editorial)

February 10: Firstpost How Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ spirit traversed oceans to plunge New Zealand into anti-COVID protests

February 10: NZ Herald What NZ gained through being tough on Covid – Roger Morris, epidemiologist

February 11: NZ Herald David Cohen: New Zealand, the ‘hermit nation’ time forgot

February 11: The Telegraph Ardern and Trudeau, the woke darlings of the Western world, are finally getting their comeuppance

February 12: The Telegraph How Jacinda Ardern turned New Zealand into a ‘hermit kingdom’ (David Cohen)

February 13: The Guardian NZ Covid outbreak ‘like nothing we’ve experienced’, Ardern says, as cases skyrocket

February 14: The Guardian ‘It’s going to be a tearful few weeks’: Australians and New Zealanders count down to border reunions

February 14: The Cattle Site New Zealand dairy sector short thousands of workers

February 14: Al Jazeera ‘Selfish, stupid’ COVID protesters get short shrift in Wellington

February 14: CNN New Zealand weaponizes Barry Manilow, James Blunt and the ‘Macarena’ against ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests

February 14: Los Angeles Times New Zealand’s leader signals tougher line on convoy protesters

February 15: Stuff Rights of Kiwis overseas not forgotten, Crown’s lawyer tells High Court

February 15: Daily Mail Rules for thee, not for me: Lockdown-queen Jacinda Ardern will travel 9,100 miles to give Harvard’s coveted graduation speech – but Americans will have to wait till JULY to enter her hermit kingdom

February 16: Reuters New Zealand COVID vaccine protesters defy police ultimatum to leave parliament

February 16: World Socialist New Zealand right-wing, pseudo-lefts urge government to “engage” with far-right protesters

February 17: Study International How New Zealand kept delaying its border reopening for int’l students

February 17 NZ Doctor 10,000 health workers vote to strike (Public Service Association)

February 20: Voice of America Daily COVID-19 Infections Hit New Record in New Zealand

February 21: Development Policy New Zealand’s summer harvest woes

February 21: 1News/ Stuff Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says protesters at Parliament have ‘made their point’ and it’s ‘time to go home’

February 22: The Guardian Two years have passed since the Covid pandemic began but New Zealand ICUs still aren’t ready

February 23: New York Times New Zealand Protest, an Echo of Canada’s, Digs In and Turns Ugly

February 23: NZ Herald Professor Rod Jackson: An epidemiologist’s expert views on sailing – thanks to social media

February 26: The Guardian ‘So many rabbit holes’: Even in trusting New Zealand, protests show fringe beliefs can flourish

February 26: Daily Mail New Zealand’s anti-vaccine mandate protesters now wearing TINFOIL HATS as they blame increasing sickness on Jacinda Ardern’s government ‘beaming radiation rays’

February 26: The Guardian End New Zealand’s Covid mandates too quickly and the mistake could be measured in funerals

February 26: Brownstone Institute The Glorious Flop of New Zealand Virus Control

February 27: The Guardian New Zealand ends isolation rules for vaccinated travellers from Australia as transmission rates soar

February 28: Radio New Zealand New Zealand’s Covid-19 response still one of the best worldwide – Michael Baker

March 1: Psychology Today New Zealand Protestors in Tinfoil Hats Blame Sickness on Radiation Rays

March 1: The Conversation The extremism visible at the parliament protest has been growing in NZ for years – is enough being done? (Paul Spoonley)

March 2: New York Times Explosive Scenes as New Zealand Police Move to End Weekslong Occupation

Tags: COVID-19  New York Times (The)  pandemic  

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