Wednesday, 26 August 2020 10:09

Dad’s Army antics — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

OPINION: No one can doubt the great job that Dr Ashley Bloomfield has done in protecting New Zealanders from COVID-19.

It hasn’t been perfect, but we are one of the luckiest countries in the world thanks to him and his team.

However, in the last few weeks, some cracks have appeared with all sorts of problems in the isolation facilities and the disconnect between the politicians’ expectations and what the Ministry of Health and the others managing the isolation facilities have been doing. The ministry is great when it comes to straight health but is woefully out its depth when it comes to managing things out in the field.

The classic example is their dealing with Auckland’s latest lockdown. It has been an unmitigated shambles of the highest order. Dad’s Army would have done a much better job! Farmers and a whole range of people who work in the rural area around the border of the super city are rightly frustrated, enraged, dumbstruck and in a state of despair at the incompetence of the MoH’s management of the border.

In Auckland it seems a trip to Waiheke Island was okay – no penalty, just the usual slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket. But trying to look after your calves or other stock, get a vet to sick animals or move your produce to other parts of the country was taboo. The penalty for trying to do your job – a five hour wait in a queue.

The inconvenience inflicted on the rural sector in Auckland at the border checkpoints was unforgivable. Yet Dr Bloomfield and the PM at the daily Jacinda/Ashley pantomime proclaimed that the exemptions were being processed quickly. Really? So, a farmer who calls a vet has to wait for five days until the vet gets permission to travel! Excuse us, but by the time he arrives the animal will likely be “dead, buried and cremated” – to pinch a phrase coined by former Australia Prime Minister, Tony Abbot.

It seems that agriculture – let’s call it food production – is not a priority for the MoH or the politicians running the COVID campaign. One feels for Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and MPI who seem to be bystanders in this whole fiasco.

MoH policy wonks are not experts in supply chain and food production. Come on Ashley – take the advice from MPI and the rural community and get it right. Aren’t we all in this together and wasn’t agriculture supposed to lead the economic recovery?

More like this

Editorial: Get vaccinated!

OPINION: Rural NZ is again getting the rough end of the stick when it comes to services - this time in relation to Covid-19 vaccinations.

RSE flights ramp up

Quarantine free flights, bringing much-needed Pacific Island workers to New Zealand, are being ramped up.

Rural vaccination message from Damien O'Connor

OPINION: Rural New Zealanders and those working in the primary sector play a vital role in our response to COVID-19 and it's important they take the opportunity to get vaccinated against the virus, says Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor


Tatua smashes $10 barrier

Waikato milk processor Tatua says keeping products moving to overseas customers during the pandemic was one of the highlights of…

New regs boost Massey Ag course enrolments

Demand for expertise in sustainable nutrient management, environmental planning and improved freshwater outcomes has seen Massey University's range of agricultural…

Machinery & Products

Keeping everyone safe

As tractors get larger and front linkage kits become more common, many have started fitting underrun or collision protection systems.

Keeping stock and drivers safe

Livestock haulers are a crucial link in the New Zealand agriculture supply chain, transporting stock onto or between farms, to…

Making lamb marking easy

Designed by a sheep and beef farmer, Vetmarkers are made in New Zealand and sold around the world.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Flag it!

OPINION: Agriculture and Trade Minister Damien O'Connor tried to keep his latest overseas jaunt secret squirrel.

Oh dear!

OPINION: This old mutt suggests that farmers' growing discontent with Beef+Lamb NZ's performance is going to reach fever peak after…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter