Our border is a joke right now.
How are we still not quarantining every single person arriving in this country?
The half-arsed measures we have in place are simply not good enough. We know our rules aren't being enforced and aren't being followed.
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Right now, all arrivals are waved through unless they are obviously sick and obviously have no satisfactory plans to self-isolate. The Government and officials tell us this is fine, because everyone waved through has pinky-promised to stay home and police have pinky-promised to check on them all within three days.
Except neither is happening.
Retired Police Commissioner Mike Bush (and now boss of the response) admitted Thursday that police haven't checked on all arrivals. He said, "It was our intent to visit every one of them within three days and we have not been able to do it." How many were visited, he doesn't know. How many were not visited, he doesn't know.
What makes it worse is that he then also admitted that those who were checked were not all self-isolating like they promised. Some, he admits - again, we'll have to guess at the numbers - were presumably not at home, instead off doing whatever they liked.
This is completely unacceptable. We have a country in lockdown, costing us billions of dollars in economic and social damage every day, and we risk having to drag that on for longer because the Government refuses to properly close that border.
It's not hard to do. Australia did it more than a week ago. Given their relative size to us, they must have more arrivals than we do daily. So if they can, we can.
There isn't a shortage of accommodation. The Government's emergency powers allows it to requisition hotels for the purposes of quarantine.
Experts have been begging the Government for more than a week to do it. Sir David Skegg, who last week spoke out publicly on radio, this week told MPs the lockdown is "not enough", that "we all know how costly this lockdown will be in human and economic terms" and that it's "a terrible waste if we don't pull out all the stops now". He advised the Government to quarantine everyone coming in. Sir Peter Gluckman - the PM's former science advisor - said NZ needs "attention to the border, quarantine and isolation will be needed".
The police compromise is to track arrivals' cellphone locations instead. It's so easy to beat it's almost embarrassing. First, it relies on arrivals agreeing to police tracking. Second, any arrival who wants to leave home for a party at their mate's just needs to leave that tracked phone at home. A truant teenager would figure that out.
So, you're left asking the question: given the need and the pleas, why won't the Government shut the border? Honestly, it is so baffling there must only be one, obvious answer. Politics.
Right now, the only plausible answer to this is that the Government is refusing to do it because it would give their opponents a victory. National has - quite rightly - started picking at the Government on the border this week. National's had the platform to do it, now that the alternative parliament - the Epidemic Select Committee - is up and running and drawing bored, white-collar eye-balls.
So, National has used the committee to ask questions. It has ratcheted up the pressure on this issue with social media ads. The Government didn't need this to be a political problem. This could've been fixed a week ago. Commentators - this column included - have been calling for this for more than a week.
But now it is a problem. Tough luck. Political point-scoring is not a good enough reason to avoid making the right decision. These arrivals are our most high-risk group, given how many of them are potentially infected and the fact that at least 51 per cent of our infections are travel-related. Everyone who comes in and either doesn't know they're sick or doesn't self isolate properly or doesn't get a police knock threatens to drag this lockdown on for longer.
Which means more time for abusive men to beat their partners, more time for low-income families in overcrowded, damp homes and more time for businesses to fall over.
Close the border properly.