Comment: Andrew Hoggard elaborates on his tweet from last week where he urged people to "be a good bugger, don't be a dick".

Last week I sent out a Covid-19 Alert Level 4-related tweet that got a bit of attention - "be a good bugger, don't be a dick".  This is the longer version.

These are not "business" as usual times.

In the last week Italy has lost more people from Covid-19 than live in Balclutha or Hokitika or Raglan or Greytown. In the past month more Italians have died from the virus than live in Te Puke, Morrinsville, Kerikeri or Otaki.


Each of those people would have been somebody's grandparent, parent, child or sibling, and they would have required treatment by somebody else's parent, sibling, child, or friend who risked exposure themselves to provide medical treatment.

New Zealand has a chance to take a different path if we make a success of this lockdown, and we owe it to each other to do just that.

This isn't about someone else's rules, it's personal. For me it's about my eldest daughter.

She's immune-compromised and we'll be doing everything in our power to look after her and also to avoid making this any harder for the doctors and nurses who've looked after her over the years. I want her to be safe and I want them to be safe.

As a farmer, I'll be continuing to produce milk over the next month. But as a farmer I also have a responsibility to everyone else who has stopped work, to play my part in making sure this Alert Level 4 lockdown doesn't continue for any longer than it needs to.

We've worked through a plan for our farm to ensure the two metre "social isolation" distances are observed. The nature of farming makes that a bit easier to achieve than for some of the other essential services.

I'm grateful for the other essential businesses in my supply chains who have also worked through how to keep operating safely.

That includes dairy and meat processors and supermarkets. Thank you to the staff in these businesses who are working under the additional protocols; what you are doing to support continued functioning of food chains in New Zealand and our other markets is fundamentally important to getting through this.


Being a good bugger over the next month means I won't be doing anything on-farm that doesn't absolutely have to be done.

I won't be a dick and risk anything that could result in accident or injury, putting additional pressure on the health system.

And I'm going to appreciate the time I'm not travelling for meetings to connect with my family. Maybe go old school with a few games of Monopoly and stuff like that.

You'll all have your own reasons for being a good bugger over the next month, and I predict none of them will be about you as individuals.

Now is the time for us to come together strongly as a community, while also staying apart.

New Zealanders have always liked a bit more personal space than your average global citizen so let's play to that strength.