The Government's recalcitrance in opening up New Zealand for business reinforces the divide that Covid has created between us.
There are two types of New Zealanders - those who are quite happy hiding behind Jacinda's skirts, who don't see any reason whatsoever to allow "foreigners" in; indeed, they're reluctant to let New Zealand passport-holders back in.
The reluctant New Zealanders might be on a pension, they might be on a benefit, or their salary might be funded by the taxpayer. They, or members of their family, might have a health condition that would put them in Covid's sights; but all reluctant New Zealanders are united in the belief that New Zealand is doing marvellously well just the way it is.
Look at the rest of the world, they say. Jacinda Ardern is a saint and anyone who is calling for the borders to be opened - even just a crack - is at best reckless; at worst, a granny-killer.
They have no truck with the hospitality industry and dairy farmers screaming for workers to be allowed in. Just pay New Zealanders more, they say, and the workers will come.
Besides, if we let "foreigners" in, where will they live? What few houses we have are eye-wateringly overpriced - and that's all the fault of the "foreigners" John Key let in back in the 2010s.
Some of those reluctant New Zealanders within Fortress New Zealand believe the disruption Covid has caused has shown that capitalism doesn't work and it's time for a major reset. There may be a glimmer of truth in that.
Hospo is saying they're paying as much as they can, but I was earning pretty much the same money thirty years ago when I was maitre d'ing. Tradespeople have been consistently undercut by unscrupulous tradespeople - many of them "foreigners".
So sure. If there is a better system than capitalism, if capitalism can be tweaked to be improved, go for it. But in the meantime, on the other side of the divide, there are those who generate their own living.
These are people who are eager to engage with the rest of the world. These Eager Engagers are people who get up every morning and make their own money and provide jobs for other New Zealanders.
They have to have a product or a service or a skill to sell that other people want. They knew how to pivot before the word became part of government-speak. They have to adjust to consumer demand, labour shortages, disruptions to supply chains and changing government policy.
Ninety-seven per cent of New Zealand businesses are classified as small-to-medium businesses. They employ three-quarters of New Zealanders and generate more than a quarter of our economic output and they're doing it tough. Not because they don't have enough work. But because they simply cannot find reliable, drug-free staff who will help them become more productive.
Pay them more, say the bureaucrats and politicians sitting in their taxpayer-funded offices, drawing their taxpayer-funded salaries. But it's not that simple.
Workers are being paid about as much as businesses can sustain before price rises kick in and products and services become unsustainable. As one commentator said to me, people want to buy their bread for a dollar a loaf and have supermarket workers paid $40 an hour.
There are hundreds of places available at MIQ facilities but the Government will not allow specialist workers in despite the pleas from all sectors of business. And so we stagnate.
But we can't keep shaking the Wellington money tree forever. At some point, we are going to have to pay back that money. And those reluctant New Zealanders, on their pensions and benefits and taxpayer-funded salaries, have to realise the money that funds their lifestyles comes from the Eager Engagers.
Sure, put restrictions on immigration. Ensure that those who come here aren't just playing Monopoly and buying up our houses without putting down roots and making New Zealand their home. But don't just pull up the drawbridge and expect New Zealand to continue to thrive.
If you cut off one of the vital arteries that pump life into New Zealand business, and that's skilled staff, businesses will wither. As will the tax take.
The money to fund New Zealand Inc comes from New Zealand businesspeople and all they have ever asked is for the opportunity to do what they do best. And yet this Government continues to treat them with contempt.
A constant complaint is that this Government doesn't understand business. The reluctance to let skilled workers into the country is another example that reinforces that complaint is justified.