Kiwis back Covid elimination strategy: poll

People wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 at Hataitai Park in Wellington. Photo: NZ Herald
People wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 at Hataitai Park in Wellington. Photo: NZ Herald
New Zealanders have signalled overwhelming support for Jacinda Ardern's Covid-19 elimination strategy, even as the country endures another lockdown.

A poll conducted by Kantar and published by The New Zealand Herald shows 85 percent of Kiwis support the elimination goal, compared with 13 percent arguing to "live with" the virus.

Of that 85 percent, 46 percent support elimination long-term, while 39 percent support elimination until 70 percent of the population is vaccinated.

The support for elimination is largely consistent across demographic and regional breakdowns.

Showing the resilience of Aucklanders - currently in the middle of their fifth lockdown - 87 percent of residents in New Zealand's biggest city offered their support to elimination.

Wellingtonians (91 percent) are the most likely to support elimination, with Cantabrians (84 percent) the least likely.

Meanwhile, in recent days, senior Australian politicians have attacked the elimination goal.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called enduring support of elimination "absurd" and on Wednesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenburg took aim.

With more than 100 cases yesterday in Victoria, Mr Frydenburg said elimination was out of reach.

"I welcome the acknowledgement in Victoria today that eliminating the Delta variant is an impossibility. It can't be done. No other country has done it, and based on the best medical advice we have we can't do it," he said.

It remains to be seen whether New Zealand will prove the pair wrong in coming weeks.

On Thursday, New Zealand reached day 16 of a national lockdown, launched after the identification of one case, to fight its first Delta outbreak of Covid-19.

The Director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, says he is confident the peak of the outbreak passed on the weekend, when 82 and 83 cases were announced.

Since then, 53 cases were announced on Monday, 49 on Tuesday and 75 on Wednesday.

Thursday's case numbers will be announced at 1pm.


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It's an unsustainable strategy. The government knows it. It's just buying time in the hope more people get vacinated.

I agree, an elimination strategy means having permanent MIQ systems. I doubt, people really want 20 years of NZ borders being locked. People do agree to a bit of short term disruption while the vaccination programme is brought up to speed.

Offer a sustainable strategy.

And you’re qualified to make this grand proclamation, how?
Seems science and overwhelming public opinion disagree.

Why don't nzrs trust the experts? Virtually every expert in the world says it's not possible but nz just refuses to listen, it will be the death of us.

Also this line is very biased 'It remains to be seen whether New Zealand will prove the pair wrong in coming weeks.' it will take years to prove/disprove if we can keep covid out, one could argue it's already been disproved due to this not being our first outbreak.

Your comment suggests that you do not understand what the elimination strategy is, it’s primary goals, and the science behind it.
The elimination strategy anticipates there will be outbreaks, and has a procedure for dealing with it.
Our expert advisory groups has international representatives on it. The elimination strategy is endorsed world wide as a legitimate strategy. The reason some don’t use it is because they chose less difficult strategies like letting people die.
Your suggestion that the quoted sentence is biased is hard to grasp. It’s a simple statement. Time will tell.

Covid Zero is a short term stop gap measure. It gives governments time to vaccinate people and bolster the health system. Short term may be months or a couple of years. It is not 5 or 10 years.

As NSW and Victoria have finally admitted, covid zero with Covid D is impossible.
It is critical everyone gets vaccinated asap. New Zealand's vaccine rollout has been slow and poor. Hospital systems have not been bolstered.

The real issue is to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible and to prepare for the onslaught of anti vaxxers going to ICU. That is where the UK and USA are today, a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Happy to support the lockdowns until everybody has had the opportunity to get vaccinated but If New Zealand decide to go with a long term elimination policy I think the reality of what that looks like will change their minds fairly quickly.

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