Is comparing Ireland to New Zealand legitimate?

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Disillusioned democrat

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My twitter feed is effectively now swamped by the "oh yes she did, oh no she didn't" pantomime around whether Jacinda Ardern specifically called our leaders our in judging our lock-down as over long because we didn't get a good start.

This has been brewing for a few weeks with many here looking longingly at NZ's stats and wondering why ours aren't similar. New Zealand seems to have skipped lightly thru the pandemic with a relative handful of casualties and is now looking like it will be first out of the blocks in getting back to anything like normal.

She recently name checked our own roadmap as being very long and used this to justify the draconian steps she took early on and this seems to be polarizing many on Twitter and at work (on calls) also.


So - are comparisons between here and New Zealand fair?

Are the actions we took comparable?

Why do people feel the need to take one side or the other?
 


wombat

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No harm in comparing ourselves with other countries, especially those who have had fewer cases or lower death rates. We are not really comparable with New Zealand or Australia as they cut off travel from overseas fairly promptly. Its a valid question/criticism as to why airports weren't closed sooner but when you consider the efforts that were made to get Irish people back from overseas its questionable as to whether it would have been a good idea. We are a European country so we probably are better served by seeing what works elsewhere in Europe.
 

rainmaker

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So - are comparisons between here and New Zealand fair?
No. In fact comparisons between NZ and almost anywhere else in the world are not valid.

NZ is remote for a start - a four & half hour flight from it's nearest neighbor. Ireland on the other hand is on the doorstep of & deeply integrated with an entire continent.
 

wombat

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No. In fact comparisons between NZ and almost anywhere else in the world are not valid.
I think that's the point, its less a question of whether a comparison is fair than whether a comparison is useful.
 

Fur Q

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No. In fact comparisons between NZ and almost anywhere else in the world are not valid.

NZ is remote for a start - a four & half hour flight from it's nearest neighbor. Ireland on the other hand is on the doorstep of & deeply integrated with an entire continent.
While I agree with that, it doesn't alter the fact that we appear to be an outlier when it comes to loosening the lockdown.

And because of the secrecy in which our leaders are currently engaging, we don't know the reason for this.
 

Sync

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Right. You look at the excess death rate against the rest of the EU first, and then the EU needs to look at its excess death against the rest of the world.

‘New Zealand’s an outlier due to its geography and travel patterns.

But there’s certainly learnings for the EU in how it responded to this. The individual responses led to spread within the country community. There’s a strong argument that you need an EU wide response to be activated rather than 27 individual country responses. Italy in particular should have seen much more assistance far earlier.

Really though what everyone’s looking to is Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore and asking what their responses worked.

‘And the fair answer is: they weren’t reacting to Corona. They were reacting to Sars. Europe and the US listed pandemic as their top priority and then actually prioritised other things (Military spending, social spending etc). Because Sars and Ebola and Avian were things that happened in other places, they never hit home.

They DID hit home in Asia. So those countries spent lots of money and time prepping. Not as a theoretical “what if this happens here” exercise, but as a “what are we going to do when the next one hits us and starts killing people” preparation for The inevitable.

‘And that’s why when China and the WHO told everyone in January: this is an emergency and everyone needs to respond to it, Asia went into lockdown, started testing, activated it’s PE chain.

Europe and the US, better placed geographically, mostly went into denial, then dismissing the potential impact, then realising their plans weren’t sufficient.
 
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raetsel

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No. In fact comparisons between NZ and almost anywhere else in the world are not valid.

NZ is remote for a start - a four & half hour flight from it's nearest neighbor. Ireland on the other hand is on the doorstep of & deeply integrated with an entire continent.
Apart from remoteness, there may also be a vitamin D factor, and it may be more than a coincidence that Australia also did well. This outbreak hit during the southern hemisphere summer when vitamin D levels were not an issue. While its effects are not yet fully clear I learned recently that NHS staff have been advised to take a vitamin D supplement.
 

shiel

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There is another thread on this subject.

Since I think it is an interesting comparison I posted the following bit there.

If New Zealand was in this part of the world it would stretch from Gibraltar in the south of the Iberian peninsula to Brest in northern France.

In addition to that it would be half way across the Atlantic relative to Europe if it was in a similar distance to what it is relative to Australia.

There is nothing equivalent to the EU with its home market and transport system for 500 million people in that part of the world.

All that said I'd say the New Zealanders are doing well.
 

galteeman

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This whole thread is obviously just another angle to attack FG by delusional democrat.
 

hiding behind a poster

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At the end of the day Ardern is a politician seeking to take credit for something going well. So she picked a similar-sized island which Kiwis would be reasonably familiar with, ignored the vast swathe of differences in how each country could handle the virus (remoteness, freedom of movement within the EU, land border on the island and two jurisdictions, etc), and for her domestic audience, it's probably worked for her. But it's nonsensical to be do any kind of scorecard mid-pandemic.
At the end of the day it's no big deal - politician seeks credit for something going well. Should we all faint or something?
 

neiphin

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At the end of the day Ardern is a politician seeking to take credit for something going well. So she picked a similar-sized island which Kiwis would be reasonably familiar with, ignored the vast swathe of differences in how each country could handle the virus (remoteness, freedom of movement within the EU, land border on the island and two jurisdictions, etc), and for her domestic audience, it's probably worked for her. But it's nonsensical to be do any kind of scorecard mid-pandemic.
At the end of the day it's no big deal -
politician seeks credit for something going well.
Should we all faint or something?


of course she should take credit, a good job, well done

new zealand is an island like ireland (given , its much larger)
it has a population of nearly 5m just like ireland
it has 10 cities with a populating over 100k, auckland the capital having 420ish

instead of bashing her for the sake of it, we should look at what they did right
we had no problem closing down after someone else took the hard decisions

as for the highlighted sentences, i hope you would never be found fawning over some of our own , for doing their job??
 

wombat

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At the end of the day Ardern is a politician seeking to take credit for something going well. So she picked a similar-sized island which Kiwis would be reasonably familiar with
Heard a New Zealand reporter say she was asked in an interview about easing their lockdown faster and made the point, using Ireland as the example, that other countries were taking much longer. Our problem at this stage is that the media have no other stories to cover so they are constantly looking for new angles.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Look at a map of the globe and the countries impacted hardest are in the northern hemisphere.

I struggle to believe that this is a coincidence. Influenza season and cold seasons are in the coldest months of the year, so why should this coronavirus be any different? Is the improvement in figures in the northern hemisphere completely detached from the fact that the weather is warming up? Might it transpire that our unusually dry and warm April is a real hero?
 

hiding behind a poster

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of course she should take credit, a good job, well done

new zealand is an island like ireland (given , its much larger)
it has a population of nearly 5m just like ireland
it has 10 cities with a populating over 100k, auckland the capital having 420ish

instead of bashing her for the sake of it, we should look at what they did right
we had no problem closing down after someone else took the hard decisions

as for the highlighted sentences, i hope you would never be found fawning over some of our own , for doing their job??
I didn't bash her. I said she's a politician taking credit for something good - my "should we all faint" line suggests that's not exactly unusual.
 

wombat

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Look at a map of the globe and the countries impacted hardest are in the northern hemisphere.
So far that's true but there was a time when the yanks thought they had escaped. TBH, I think the spread is due to the amount of air travel we do in the west, combined with packed mass transit systems.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Look at a map of the globe and the countries impacted hardest are in the northern hemisphere.

I struggle to believe that this is a coincidence. Influenza season and cold seasons are in the coldest months of the year, so why should this coronavirus be any different? Is the improvement in figures in the northern hemisphere completely detached from the fact that the weather is warming up? Might it transpire that our unusually dry and warm April is a real hero?
I doubt it's quite that simple. That said, it will be fascinating when, at some point in the future, all the data is thrown together to see what worked best. My own suspicion is that social distancing alone is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, given how bad the outbreaks quickly became in touchy-feely countries like Spain, Italy and France, and cities with successful mass transit systems - New York, London, Paris etc.
 

making waves

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While its effects are not yet fully clear I learned recently that NHS staff have been advised to take a vitamin D supplement.
There is standing medical advice for everyone in these islands to take vitamin D supplements because of our climate - but no directive has been issued to NHS staff specifically advising to take vitamin D for covid 19.
 

hiding behind a poster

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No.
1/3 of NZ's land mass is not under the jurisdiction of a foreign government.
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