No bull, but much bigger bucks have been budgeted to beat Mycoplasma bovis than for the govt’s Covid vaccine strategy

We’ve heard of people being treated like animals by the governments of some countries.  But two statements from the Beehive yesterday suggest the well-being of beasts – those that contribute to our export receipts, at least  – is much higher in government budget priorities than the well-being of people.

Our evidence?

 Exhibit one:  A statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark.  They announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts and explore the potential of vaccine manufacturing capability in New Zealand.

Government has allocated $37 million to the strategy.

Exhibit two:  A statement from Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor, who referenced the latest technical data in showing progress on New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

He reminded us that two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit funds to a 10-year programme to eradicate M. bovis to protect our most important sector and the economy.

The sum involved:  $880 million.

Other statements from the Beehive yesterday told us of –

  • The banning of smoking in cars with children;
  • The disbanding of the special Epidemic Response Committee (alas, this robs us of a chance to measure Todd Muller’s performance in the chair);
  • Appointments to four diplomatic posts;
  • A Bill introduced to Parliament which is intended to ensure “New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm…”

The last item on that list – legislation to impose greater censorship – is the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill.  It will amend the current Act which dates from 1993.

Under the Bill:

  • the Chief Censor will be able to more quickly notify the public of objectionable content that could cause high levels of harm;
  • the livestreaming of objectionable content, as happened during the Christchurch terror attacks, will be a criminal offence;
  • the Government will be able to issue take down notices to online content hosts through an Inspector of Publications, requiring the removal of specific links to objectionable online content;
  • social media companies will come within the scope of current laws on objectionable content; and
  • legal parameters will be in place for a web filter to block objectionable content in the future, subject to further policy development and consultation.

The Beehive statements yesterday were:

Release

26 MAY 2020

New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts and explore the potential of vaccine manufacturing capability in New Zealand.

Rt Hon Winston Peters Hon Dr Megan Woods Hon Dr David Clark

Foreign Affairs

Health

Research, Science and Innovation

Release

26 MAY 2020

Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape

New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor.

Hon Damien O’Connor

Agriculture

Biosecurity

 

Release

26 MAY 2020

Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law

Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa.

Hon Jenny Salesa

Health

Release

26 MAY 2020

Parliament returns to a safe normal

The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today.

Hon Chris Hipkins

Leader of the House

Release

26 MAY 2020

Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism.

Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister

Foreign Affairs

Release

26 MAY 2020

New Bill to counter violent extremism online

New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.

Hon Tracey Martin

Internal Affairs

3 thoughts on “No bull, but much bigger bucks have been budgeted to beat Mycoplasma bovis than for the govt’s Covid vaccine strategy

  1. These are not comparable, just as designing a house is much cheaper than actually building it. The $37 million COVID response is to support research into a possible vaccine. The $800 million M bovis campaign is to actually eliminate the disease. If a COVID vaccine is successfully developed, then manufacturing and administering it is going to cost a lot more than $37 million.

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  2. My goodness, if you were setting out to make a deliberately dishonest argument you couldn’t have done a better job.

    The money spent on eradicating M Bovis is by and large on the Economic impact from the methods used to eradicate it, namely culling animals and restricting their movement.

    Much of the money has gone to farmers to compensate for the fact the MPI has come along and killed their property or stopped them carrying on their business.

    The equivalent to Covid would be dealing with it’s entire impact, in particular the economic impact of Lockdown and all the other restrictions put in place. As we know that runs into the many billions.

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