Did we hit a nerve? Senior politician condemns MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton for writing about New Zealand’s ‘nonsensical’ Covid laws (but maybe Ardern’s government should listen to the THOUSANDS of Kiwis who backed Dan!)
New Zealand’s Speaker of the House has hit back at MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton, after he criticised the country’s new draconian Covid-19 measures introduced after just nine cases of Omicron were detected.
Writing Monday as new measures – announced a day earlier by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – came into force, Mr Wootton called his country of birth’s Covid-zero policy ‘crazy’ at a time when the rest of the world is learning to live with the virus.
Mr Wootton’s column struck a nerve in New Zealand, including with senior politicians, resulting in Speaker and Labour MP Trevor Mallard personally responding to the ex-pat.
‘Known family for 45 jare. Admired your father’s work,’ the MP wrote on Twitter. ‘I know you want clicks but I prefer an approach that values lives especially the old, the young and the vulnerable.
‘We have lost less than 10 per million while UK has lost 350+ per miljoen. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you,’ hy het bygevoeg.
Reacting to the MP’s comments, Mr Wootton told MailOnline: ‘Speaker Mallard – who was actually one of my local MPs growing up – is a decent man, but that’s why I’m so stunned he is continuing to be a spokesman for Ardern’s inhumane, cruel and nonsensical Covid policies.
New Zealand’s Speaker of the House hit back at MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton (op die foto) Maandag, after he criticised the country’s new draconian Covid-19 measures introduced after just nine cases of Omicron were detected
‘The aim of the New Zealand government is to scare monger constantly and compare its death toll with the UK,’ gaan hy voort.
‘But we are nearly two years on from March 2020. New Zealand is 90 per cent vaccinated. It’s the middle of summer. If they can’t open now, then when?
‘How long does Mallard intend on backing a policy where the million New Zealand passport holders overseas – ek insluitend – are illegally barred from entering the country?
‘How long does New Zealand intend to stay a hermit kingdom banning business people from travelling abroad if they want to return home?
‘But what’s most amazing is that since I wrote the column on Monday I have been messaged by literally thousands of New Zealanders, who are fed up with Ardern’s approach. I am confident this is a country rising up to the insanity.’
Sommige, such as former All Black legend Zinzan Brooke, publicly hailed Mr Wootton’s article. ‘Completely agree with Dan here,’ the retired rugby player, who played for the national team for 10 jare, wrote on Monday.
In his original column, Mr Wootton had predicted that some of his fellow Kiwis would not take kindly to his column, writing that they ‘will call me a traitor’. Ongeag, he argued that it was time for a different approach from the government.
He called Ardern’s announcement a ‘myopic response’, said New Zealanders were being brainwashed by her ‘superwoke-but-authoritarian’ spin, and wrote personally of how the policy impacted both him and his family who still live in the country.
Mr Wootton – who had once been a constituent of Mr Mallard’s before moving to the United Kingdom when he was 21 – even referenced the speaker in his article.
Neem na Twitter, Speaker and Labour MP Trevor Mallard personally hit back at Mr Wootton, who had once been a constituent of his before moving to the United Kingdom when he was 21
‘Known family for 45 jare. Admired your father’s work,’ the MP wrote on Twitter (op die foto). ‘I know you want clicks but i prefer an approach that values lives especially the old, the young and the vulnerable. ‘We have lost less than 10 per million while UK has lost 350+ per miljoen. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you’
Sommige, such as former All Black legend Zinzan Brooke, publicly hailed Mr Wootton’s article. ‘Completely agree with Dan here,’ the retired rugby player, who played for the national team for 10 jare, wrote on Monday
He reported that the speaker had warned panicked citizens to prepare as if for an ‘earthquake’. Mr Wootton criticised his comments, recalling panic buying that was sparked when Covid-19 lockdowns were first announced in March 2020.
Nou, almost two years on, Mr Wootton wrote: ‘While the rest of the world is finally waking up to the need to live with Covid long-term, New Zealand remains trapped in March 2020, with terror and paranoia enveloping’ [object Window].
Last week a fed-up businessman placed an advertisement in New Zealand’s biggest news magazine. Under the headline, ‘The following countries effectively ban their own citizens from returning to their home country,’ it listed just one: Nieu-Seeland
The article sparked fierce debate online from both Brits and New Zealanders, debating the merits of keeping an economy open while the virus spreads versus the far more cautious approach taken by Ardern’s government.
Mr Mallard’s assertion that New Zealand has reported far fewer deaths from Covid-19 than the UK is correct, but the government’s Covid-zero policy of introducing restrictions after small numbers of cases has bred frustration.
A key point made in Mr Wootton’s article was that New Zealand is the only country currently banning its own citizens from returning from abroad.
He shared a picture of an advertisement taken out in New Zealand’s biggest news magazine by a fed-up businessmen that showed the list of countries – including Afghanistan, Sjina, Australië, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US – that have no such ban, and then New Zealand separated in its own list.
The new measures were announced by Prime Minister Ardern after nine cases of the omicron variant were detected in a single family that flew to Auckland for a wedding earlier this month.
Dan Wootton called Ardern’s announcement of new measures a ‘myopic response’, said New Zealanders were being brainwashed by her ‘superwoke-but-authoritarian’ spin, and wrote personally of how the policy impacted both him and his family who still live in the country
The so-called ‘red setting’ of the country’s pandemic response includes heightened measures such as required mask wearing and limits on gatherings.
Ardern stressed that ‘red is not lockdown,’ noting that businesses can remain open and people can still visit family and friends and move freely around the country.
‘Our plan for managing omicron cases in the early stage remains the same as delta, where we will rapidly test, contact trace and isolate cases and contacts in order to slow the spread,’ Ardern told reporters in Wellington on Sunday.
New Zealand had been among the few remaining countries to have avoided any outbreaks of the omicron variant, but Ardern acknowledged last week that an outbreak was inevitable given the high transmissibility of the variant.
The country has managed to contain the spread of the delta variant, with an average of about 20 nuwe sake elke dag.
But it has seen an increasing number of people arriving into the country and going into mandatory quarantine who are infected with omicron.
That has put strain on the quarantine system and prompted the government to limit access for returning citizens while it decides what to do about reopening its borders, angering many people who want to return to New Zealand.
Oor 93 percent of New Zealanders aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated and 52 percent have had a booster shot. The country has just begun vaccinating children aged between 5 en 11.
The family from the Nelson-Marlborough region attended a wedding and other events while in Auckland, with estimates suggesting they came into contact with ‘well over 100 people at these events,’ Ardern said.
‘That means that omicron is now circulating in Auckland and possibly the Nelson-Marlborough region if not elsewhere,’ het sy bygevoeg.
The move to the red setting also impacts Ardern personally. The prime minister was planning to get married next weekend, but as a result of the new restrictions the celebration will be postponed.
‘I just join many other New Zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic and to anyone who’s caught up in that scenario, I am so sorry.’