Is Wellington's Bureaucracy Actually Working?
A few weeks ago a row blew up in the UK when a senior government minister was reported as saying that civil servants should lose pay if they remained working from home. “If people aren’t going into work, they don’t deserve the terms & conditions they get if they are going into work”, the minister said. This is referring to the issue that a big proportion of London's civil servants now wish to work remotely due to virus concerns. The BBC report that their Union hit back, running the headline, "The government must not 'under any circumstances' order civil servants in England to return to the office until Covid rates are cut, a union has said". Note that even the powerful British Public Sector Union appears to be happy for its members to physically go back to work once "Covid rates are cut".
So what are Covid rates in Windy Wellington? Zero. Yes zero. And are its civil servants able to return to work? Yes, since its only on Level 2. But are they back to work? No. In fact, Newshub report today that central Wellington businesses are struggling, "Radio NZ spoke to a number of retail businesses on Lambton Quay who did not want to be named - who said most of the public servants have fled the CBD".
On that note, a little reported aspect of the recent Herald Kantar Poll is that a clear majority of Wellingtonians, 55%, the highest of any region in the country, support an unconditional elimination policy, regardless of vaccination rates, and by implication the lockdowns that go with it, compared to 45% who do not. Whereas in Auckland it is the REVERSE! That is, a very clear majority of Aucklanders, 56%, wish to either end elimination once 70% are vaccinated, or even before that number is achieved, versus 44% who do not.
Now Wellington's bureaucrats are paid out of taxes from incomes earned in Auckland & regions like Queenstown, where the ski fields are up & running & the lifties are busy digging out the snow & ice, under the same Level 2 rules as Wellington. Why hasn't this issue been raised by National, Labour, Act & Green Party politicians? Maybe they dare not antagonize the unions & are afraid of losing votes in Wellington. As for the media, will they blow it up? They better tread carefully too, since lots of their funding comes out of Wellington, either directly or in the form of advertising.