Jacinda Adern rejects Trans-Tasman travel bubble

Yesterday, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry released a plan to implement a trans-Tasman travel bubble in an effort to resuscitate the tourism sector.

The plan proposed using a Canberra to Wellington route as a test path with politicians, business industry leaders and journalists first passengers on initial flights to ensure its safety before being extended to the general public and other regions of both Australia and New Zealand.

However, New Zealand’s Prime Minister has reportedly rejected the plan. With just one active case of COVID-19 in New Zealand, Ardern says more work needs to be done in Australia to combat the virus before she would sign off on the travel arrangement.

Fair enough. But the impact on New Zealand’s economy from maintaining the travel ban will be far greater than Australia’s, given it is one fifth the size (in population terms) and is far more dependent on tourism.

Given the tiny number of active cases in Australia – i.e. 1.8 cases per 100,000 population – it’s hard to see how an objective cost benefit analysis would support maintaining such a travel ban between the two nations.

Leith van Onselen


  1. MountainGuinMEMBER

    If Australia’s case load is too high and risky for NZ, esp considering canberra has not had any covid cases for ages, how long will they remain on lockdown? If they are looking for a zero case load or a vaccine they may have a very long wait.

    • NZ has had a zero-new-cases figure for 14 days straight.
      It’s likely that no restriction on internal movements or gathering size or sport etc will still remain after next Wednesday.
      Keeping the borders closed make eminent sense given that we don’t have the luxury of ‘having another go’ if we get infected again – we have given it our economic all, and a resurgence would sink us.
      No one knows how this lot will be resolved on a Global basis, so the expenditure of more time seems a small price to pay.

      • MountainGuinMEMBER

        Thanks Janet. ACT had its last case 42 days ago, although cases could come in from NSW.
        I get the call by NZ, as unlocking the domestic economy is a huge feat. But any firm that depends on international tourism has just received a signal that no tourists will come for a very long time and these firms may now need to give up and close.

        • Smoke & mirrors were used to juke the stats.
          ACT shipped them off quite some time ago in a convoy of patient transfer vans to Goulburn so they could claim their cleanliness.

      • economics aside, there are other benefits to wiping out the plague in your own country and not allowing it to spring back up.

        you keep more of your countrymen alive.

        LOL pussy women leaders! idiots.

        • Braden McPhail

          Smart woman leader. Todd wants to give every business owner 10k for every new employee. So in other words if it was his rule I could employ will my Fb friends for a couple of weeks then tell them ill give them half the cut of Todd’s payment to get back on the benefit🤣🤣🤣 Then maybe I can take a holiday

      • Janet, what have you been doing all this time? Building resiliency in the hospital system? Doesnt sound like it.

  2. PolarBearMEMBER

    It might be the immediate future she is more worried about- Australia bringing in a small city of international students.

    • Luckily the Prime Minister said they would all go through Canberra as some sort of trial to prove it was safe. Oh wait, maybe I’m confusing the two stories.

  3. She knows as we all do that the Australian gov. is so desperate to save QANTAS that appropriate safety measures won’t be imposed on these flights as with flights within Australia.

    • I am GrootMEMBER

      Yup. No social distancing on flights is Qantas’ prerogative, but I don’t think a lot of potential travellers will be comfortable with that idea for a while.

      • The bleating Gnome treats our laws as if it’s his prerogative that’s for sure.

    • Don’t forget AirNZ is circling the drain too. I think they did maybe 15000 passengers in April, compared to millions the prior year.
      Stupidly they put their hand out for govt cash but this came with the priviso to keep regional routes open, which in NZ are tiny towns that are generally a few hours drive from a larger population center anyway. With no international tourist traffic, no way will those routes be profitable.

  4. > Given the tiny number of active cases in Australia – i.e. 1.8 cases per 100,000 population – it’s hard to see how an objective cost benefit analysis would support maintaining such a travel ban between the two nations.

    Why take the risk of having to lock down twice?

    You don’t win a war and then give weapons to your prisoners for round 2.

    • Or there wasn’t even a war in the first instance to be won?

      The hysteria created a feeling there was a war to be had, and now Arden et al look like Churchill figures.

      How clever of them, because we all know they aren’t capable of actually creating better countries – much easier to fight false wars and approve turbo charged immigration.

  5. Probably a core plank of Adern’s carefully crafted re-election strategy and economic plan. As per linkedin articles “Strong Leadership NZ”.

    Always love hearing NZ preach across the channel.

    • Braden McPhail

      I hear its pretty cold in Queensland 8degrees last night. We are having a awesome extended summer 😀

  6. I am GrootMEMBER

    Politically and even economically it is hard to fault. Like Anna with the QLD border, opening up and risking a resurgence of the virus probably won’t swing may votes in their favour, but you could bet good money on them losing votes if it went pear shaped.

    • The90kwbeastMEMBER

      Unsure. Think there are many people on jobseeker/keeper in QLD right now who in Oct once the benefits end will be mighty pissed off if tourism doesn’t pick up by then or before.

    • MountainGuinMEMBER

      How long would borders need to stay shut to ensure no reinfection? . I recall figures months ago where the virus could last many days on different surfaces and hidden infections into asymptomatic people could drag on undetected for months after the last official case had occurred.
      If states had the powers to lock down towns or districts, this may help to enable border openings when cases appear to have been stopped.

      • I am GrootMEMBER

        I have no strong opinion on it, and I won’t pretend to know what the least worst course of action is. Being tourism centres, the population flow will be strongly biased inbound, with significant movements back and forth. If there was a second wave, contact tracing could become significantly trickier, with the bulk of the associated workload and cost incurred by the destination state or country. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but ultimately the sitting politicians in those places will be answerable to their entire electorate, not just the subset which benefit from inbound tourism.

        Hence I suppose the current focus on drumming up intrastate tourism in QLD.

        • Any bets I am Groot has kept his job and isn’t one of the people who have lost their in tourism et al.

          It must be easy to applaud the stupidity of the lockdown and closed borders when you still have a job, or may be one of those industries who has seen it as a boon.

          • I am GrootMEMBER

            BS speculation Chase. The lockdown has had a significant negative financial impact on my household. You mistake me trying to comprehend Anna’s possible reasoning for the border shutdown as a defence of her. You also seem to forget that irrespective of employment or income status, we all pay for the financial support measures which have been put in place. Yes, they are flawed, but if you’ve ever fallen on hard times outside of a large scale crisis or disaster, you’ll be well familiar with how much Govt support you can expect – seven eighths of stuff-all, previously known as Newstart.

            But your comment re “Queensland is all about BS jobs and tourism and retail” has some truth to it, and those type of jobs will always be vulnerable to an economic downturn, virus inspired or otherwise.

    • Anna Pinochet?

      A dumb egomaniac who doesn’t realise she doesn’t get criticised because she and the media will cry out ‘misogyny?’

    • Economically? Some old people dying that would have died within a year or two from the flu?

      I don’t think you realise how much Queensland is a service economy. Sure there are a few mines, but really, Queensland is all about BS jobs and tourism and retail.

    • Supermarkets, Bunnings and a whole lot of retail spaces remained open, and even busier, than usual during ‘lockdown’.

      Did you hear of any outbreaks from said stores? Did you hear about Coles workers going on strike after an outbreak of the virus before those sneeze guards were put in? Neither did I.

      It has all been a beat up from stupid politicians blindly following the hysteria of an even dumber public.

  7. she is just nuts
    she is going to destroy NZ as an economy and as an country

    what she is saying is like, there is flu in the world so we are closing borders until that flu gets eradicated

    coronavirus is to stay with us forever and she and other kiwis will have to get used to the idea … maybe she should visit UK or some other “hard hit” countries to see that almost nothing unusual had happened beside very unusual media scare campaign

    • So true. Somewhere the campaign has gone from ‘flattening the curve’ for the sake of not swamping the health system, to ‘total eradication’. Same with Queensland’s Pinochet.

      They think history will look upon them favorably. In time, common sense will prevail and history will not be kind to these women, including the Veiled in Solidarity one.

  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    All this effort just to keep old people rich and land owning. It’s great!

    • Have they got the hand job parlours open for you yet?
      Presume you’ve eased yourself from social isolation in the full body condom?

  9. the business / tourism community in NZ is ropable.
    Not with this decision especially, but with the lack of support overall.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      Have a couple of friends with businesses in NZ in the tourism industry, they had cash support in the bank sooner than Australia. Not sure how much ongoing support there has been.
      The public there are pretty happy with the handling of things, will be interesting to see how it plays out though.

      • Braden McPhail

        Our $ will stay slightly lower so we can have more fun, rich tourists here willing to spend up in due course. Maybe I should go back to being a guide at some stage. Teach them some history and do my best to make sure they get home safely to their families

      • You not seen the layoffs in NZ tourism industry? This despite the govt. support. No revenue equals no jobs. NZ tourism has largely priced out its domestic market too. How many Kiwis have the money to pay $200/head per family member to do some of the activities, thats before you factor in the travel and accommodation which is expensive relative to travel distance.

  10. sydboy007MEMBER

    Policy need on feelings not facts. It’s been her way since gaining office. She’s got a job so doesn’t have to care about all the workers lives she’s destroying. Probably angling for a flood of students to prop up the economy.

  11. Isn’t it past time the ‘political Noah’s Arks’ of Australia and New Zealand re – engage responsibly with the rest of the world ? …

    … Consider carefully what Prof Friston says …

    Karl Friston: up to 80% not even susceptible to Covid-19 … Lockdown TV


    Professor Karl Friston is a computer modelling expert, world-renowned for his contributions to neuroscience. He has been applying his “dynamic causal modelling” approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, and has reached some startling results.

    – The differences between countries are not primarily down to government actions, but due to ‘intrinsic’ differences in the populations … VIEW & READ more via hyperlink above …

  12. Prof. Michael Levitt | Direct | COVID-19: Choices and Consequences … interviewed by John Anderson … YouTube


    Professor Michael Levitt FRS is a globally renowned biophysicist and chemist. He received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” His long record of distinguished research and innate understanding of computer modelling make his insights into the COVID-19 pandemic indispensable.

    Professor Levitt is Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research in the Stanford University School of Medicine and Professor of Structural Biology and (by courtesy) of Computer Science.


    Stock market news live updates: Stocks surge as US economy unexpectedly adds 2.5M jobs in May … Emily McCormick … Yahoo Finance


    Stocks spiked on Friday after data showed the coronavirus-stricken U.S. economy unexpectedly added jobs in May.

    The Dow advanced more than 2% shortly after market open, adding more than 700 points. The 30-stock index hit its highest level since March 4. The S&P 500 also rose more than 2% and hit its highest level since February 26. The Nasdaq Composite rose about 1.7% to the highest level since February 20, and was just 1% off its record highs from February 19.

    The Labor Department’s jobs report Friday morning stunned market watchers, showing that the beleaguered economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, when consensus forecasts had called for another 8 million payrolls to be slashed. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to 13.3%, well below expectations of a surge to 19.5%. … view & read more via hyperlink above …
    May jobs report: US economy unexpectedly adds 2.5 million payrolls, unemployment rate falls to 13.3% … Emily McCormick … Yahoo Finance



    Fairlie, South Canterbury, Motel for sale for $1 …

    A South Island motel owner struggling under rent bills is desperate for a way out.

    Government’s commercial rent relief too little, too late for motel operator … Zoe George … Stuff NZ


    “Mongrel” landlords spurred Justice Minister Andrew Little to announce a commercial rental package this week, but it’s too little, late for some – including motel owner Trace Harper.

    She’s now trying to sell her business for $1, as she faces losing her home to cover business expenses including commercial rent.

    Three-and-a-half years ago Harper purchased the Aorangi Motel business from its former owner, who still owned the buildings she leases. She was offered a rent reduction after chasing the landlord for months, but said it’s not enough to save her business, or her home. … read more via hyperlink above …


    … For example … when can we expect to start seeing grossly excessive government spending / waste being dealt with effectively ? …

    US labour market data surprises; Fed says consumer debt levels fall hard; China cancels some US ag buys; China consumer debt demand jumps; debt interest rates rising; UST 10yr yield at 0.89%; oil and gold up; NZ$1 = 65.1 USc; TWI-5 = 69.9 … David Chaston … Interest Co NZ


    … extracts …

    … Bond yields are rising fast over the past week. It seems investors are moving back into equities as the mood lifts about restarting major economies. If it lasts, this will have an unfortunate impact on government budgets that have mushroomed recently to battle the economic impacts of the pandemic. Sharply higher liabilities combined with interest rates that have almost doubled from very low levels will eat into tax revenues very fast. Yes, central banks can create new money to buy increasing amounts of government debt, but obviously they can’t do that forever. And if market push bond interest rates higher, the taxpayer will need to shoulder an increasing load just to make the interest payments …

    … The UST 10yr yield is up again, today up another 8 bps at 0.89%. For the full week, it is up a remarkable 26 bps as investors start pricing risk back into American Government debt – in fact, long term debt from all governments.

  16. Tell her to F off. Plenty of places to holiday in Australia. Don’t see why we owe the current NZ government anything to revive their economy when those dollars would do more good circulating in Australia than go to a handful of already wealthy NZ tourism operators.


    Check out the daily rates being offered by the cruise industry for early next year.

    It is just incredible



    How are land based travel service providers … particularly in high cost New Zealand … going to compete ?

  18. IRELAND …

    Coronavirus: Irish roadmap out of lockdown accelerated … BBC


    … extract …

    … Change of pace

    On Friday the Irish cabinet agreed to ease more lockdown restrictions quicker than previously set out – with all travel restrictions now set to be lifted by the end of June.

    Mr Varadkar said this acceleration of the process had “been made possible by the considerable sacrifices that you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect others”.

    The cabinet agreed to implement all elements of phase two and bring forward actions in the remaining phases.

    The Irish cabinet also agreed that the hospitality sector, including hotels and B&Bs, will reopen from the beginning of July. … read more via hyperlink above …
    Prospect of foreign travel highlights remaining restrictions here … The Irish Times


  19. New Zealand Coronavirus: How many deaths from all causes (below just cancer) have likely occurred due to lockdowns and disruption to the usual medical services ? …

    Coronavirus: Three month window to diagnosis hundreds who may have cancer … Stuff NZ


    Four hundred people could die from cancer if New Zealand does not act quickly to catch up on cancer diagnostics missed during the lockdown.

    The warning from the Cancer Society comes after a report by the newly formed Cancer Control Agency found there were 1031 fewer cancer registrations in April 2020 compared to April 2019, a 47 per cent decrease, due to the lockdown.

    The figure is in line with what other countries around the world experienced during the lockdown, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The report, released in May, has seen swift action from district health boards (DHBs) to catch up on diagnostics. … read more via hyperlink above …
    How much did Prof Neil Ferguson of Imperial College modelling panic the authorities to impose lockdowns ? …

    ‘Professor Lockdown’ Modeler Resigns in Disgrace … National Review (May 6 2020)
    … h/t PH …



    Should New Zealand ease coronavirus restrictions? Cabinet faces an obvious decision … OPINION Thomas Manch … Stuff NZ


    … concluding …

    … Each person who enters the country will soon be tested for the virus, making it harder for Covid-19 to slip in undetected. More than three months since lockdown, we’re as close to water-tight as you can get.

    With the threat of the virus cleared, the economic and social affects of the Covid-19 response will be front of mind for Ardern and her Cabinet.

    Past Cabinet papers have shown there are no good guesses at how the economy will rebound from this recession. But minister can be confident that ongoing restrictions are a dampener on the economy – meaning more job losses and more shrinking paychecks.

    They can be less confident in the “buy-in” from the community. Previous papers have shown that officials believe they have the backing of the public.

    But as the invisible enemy can’t be found, the public’s tolerance for restrictions has diminished. And, with an election in September, this poses a political risk – any misstep or perceived delay could become toxic.

    This much is obvious, and it’s obvious why Ardern brought Monday’s decision forward. The time has come for level 1.
    Coronavirus: Up to 120,000 Kiwis predicted to lose jobs – economist … Patrick Gower … Newshub