The above, a recent opening line in the New Zealand Herald by its Science reporter, Jamie Morton.
Plainly Jamie doesn’t read the foreign press. All year New Zealand has been a laughing stock in the British media over its closed off society and vaccine failures.
The serious media such as the Economist, in articles on dealing with covid has always politely dismissed the New Zealand hermit state approach as essentially infantile, unnecessary and hugely harmful.
And infantile it is with the government methodology more appropriate to addressing 3 year olds; e.g. “team of 5 million” (in my 8 plus decades I’ve never known New Zealand so divided and certainly not a team, particularly regarding race), but worst of all, the unbelievably childish teddy bear in the windows nonsense and “Be Kind” messages on our highways etc. It’s mind-blowing.
The out-spoken British press such as the Telegraph and Daily Mail have poured scorn on New Zealand’s covid response all year, in the process eliciting thousands of endorsing responses.
Many are abusive of the PM such as “Let’s know when St. Jacinda has wiped out flu, venereal diseases, croup, TB, bubonic plague and other diseases”.
“Jacinda is the modern day King Canute”.
“Beautiful country; daft people”.
“People in Britain and the USA would find it hard to comprehend the meek acceptance of an authoritarian police state”.
“A nation of sheep hoping for flock immunity”.
“Kiwis; Get off your knees”.
“Kiwis are supposed to be courageous, well educated and wise. What happened?”
The above are indicative of the literally thousands of similar comments but, are at the polite end of the spectrum, particularly regarding the Prime Minister.
Tune in to TV One or TV3 6pm news and it’s non-stop covid. Switch to CNN, Sky Australia, Sky UK, the BBC or Al Jazeera and covid rarely rates a mention. They got on with vaccinations (Australia excepted although at least its Prime Minister apologised to the nation for their failure in contrast to the blatant fudging and lying by our government) and are now getting on with life.
People are dying of covid abroad but nearly all are non-vaccinated through ignorance or religious belief as vaccines are now readily available, especially in Europe, Canada and Britain. In contrast we continue to cringe under our beds.
Perhaps due to our small population and isolation our media has always been obsessed with foreign media comment about New Zealand, so why have they ignored the relentless criticism?
Name another country in the world in which newspapers run a “What the foreign press said” following any events occurring here.
With the passing of time and thus perspective, our enforced hermit kingdom approach I have no doubt will be viewed as a black period in our history.