WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand’s top health official explained Friday why a man shot outside an Auckland motel last week was added to New Zealand’s Covid death tally. “The new way the Ministry of Health reports deaths is entirely justified,” snapped Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health. “We were still using the old scientific method, but when officials advised we were inadvertently out of step with international rules, Ministers acted promptly”, he said. “The new clinical criteria now follow WHO guidelines. This basically means we report any death where the person is found to have Covid-19 regardless of what the cause of death might be.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the change. “New Zealand is committed to the international rules-based order, and I can confidently say we are pulling our weight in the global fight against the pandemic”, Ardern said. “Meeting our obligations to comply with rules set by international bodies is vital in protecting the integrity of the health system.”
Meanwhile, NZ Police Assistant Commissioner Lauano Sue Schwalger denied reports Saturday that police placed a “rush” order for 100,000 Covid-19 test kits. She declined to be interviewed, but Chris Cahill, President of the NZ Police Association (the country’s police union), declared the omission “a travesty of justice”. While the rejection of face recognition software was “fair enough”, Cahill conceded (“we’re a small country, we know everyone, it’s really only the sheep that are a problem”), calls to equip police with ordinary policing tools – like sidearms, AK-47s, and Abrams battle tanks – repeatedly fall on deaf ears, he said. “Homicides and assaults are rising and Covid deaths, frankly, remain embarrassingly low by international standards. Police should test everyone claiming to be a so-called “crime” victim. The medical evidence might prove otherwise. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to eradicate violence and make New Zealand a safer place,” Cahill added.
In other news, with New Zealand one of the last nations to “accelerate efforts towards the phase-down” of a ‘zero-Covid’ strategy, “sometime in the future” (while keeping citizens locked down and borders closed), officials announce a ‘zero-crime’ anti-money laundering initiative “100 percent effective”.