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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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Nobody listens

26 January 2021

What is it about the beast that is bureaucracy?

We've been seeing articles in the media for weeks now, decrying the porous nature of our MIQ facilities and predicting that the virus will slip past these shonky defenses into our community.

I've see pieces written by microbiologists, virologists, doctors and other *experts* in their fields, all warning that we're not doing enough to protect the nation from the pandemic that rages beyond our borders.

One of the last articles I read was written by an expert who lamented the fact that all these warnings and sage advice was going unheeded but the cloth-headed politicians and bureaucrats who hold the lives of thousands in their inept hands.

And, sure enough, as predicted, our MIQ system has failed in a scenario that exactly matches one described by those experts.

What a shocking situation.

As someone who continues to do battle with local bureaucrats and politicians, I can empathise 100 percent with the frustration those doctors and such must be experiencing now.

I wish someone could explain to me why those who know nothing, so quickly discount the advice and warnings of those who, by virtue of training, experience and knowledge, have the answers.

As outlined recently, my own experiences with the local council are a very close analog of the MIQ situation.

I have warned the council of the risks and failure to comply with basic safety regulations -- and they have ignored those warnings, prefering instead to take the advice of members of staff who have zero training, knowledge, experience or understanding of what's involved.

This appears to be exactly what's happening with our MIQ facilities.

All the experts are saying "not good enough" but the cloth-heads are saying "we have confidence in our systems" -- flagrantly disregarding those experts.

Is this arrogance? Hubris? Stupidity?

To be honest, I don't care what is causing this ridiculous situation both with our council or with central government's attitude to MIQ but I do know that it needs to be sorted PDQ because people's lives are at stake in both cases.

As I've pointed out in previous columns, politicians such as Jacinda are more than happy to bathe in the limelight associated with being the country that eradicated CV19 in its community but they're doing nowhere near enough to ensure that our CV-free status remains intact.

I was surprised to read that the woman that was released into the community whilst being infected with the more contagious South African strain of the virus had been touring Europe before her return to New Zealand. Now I'm not for one instant blaming this woman for her CV positive status, that is clearly the direct fault of the lame-brained politicians and bureaucrats who think they know more than the experts. However, I have to ask why on earth she was perhaps on holiday overseas a full nine months after we went into our first lockdown?

We really do need to sort this mess out before CV19 starts claiming lives in our community. How long before we once again read headlines that describe how nursing homes or aged-care facilities are decimated by the virus -- simply because our politicians were too damned stupid or smug to take sage advice?

Should there be an increased level of culpability for people who are in a position to address glaring deficiencies in the MIQ system but who fail to do so, despite being adviced by experts to do so?

I'm sure our politicians will roll out that same old trite phrase "we will be judged by the public and if we're found wanting we won't be re-elected" -- which will be little comfort to those who may have lost loved ones due to the incompetence, arrogance or hubris of these cloth-heads.

What do readers think?

Should we be doing better -- or do you think those experts *should* be ignored in favour of our best "political intelligence"?

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