I’ve been working with some clients on the new rules that come into effect today. Most understand the provisions around vaccinated staff – they don’t want to fire people, but they don’t want to risk significant fines either. Fully vaccinated staff are mandated only for certain industries and, among my clients, the most affected are in hospitality or in personal services, such as hairdressers and beauticians. The requirement to have vaccinated staff is killing some of their businesses, as a surprising number of employees do not want the vaccine. Time is running out for these people and my job is to make sure that they know the legal position, even if I don’t agree with it.

Believe me, I don’t.

However, that is not their biggest problem. As if the prospect of being short-staffed is not serious enough, as so many businesses are struggling to hire staff, now it seems that business owners have to become the vaccine police as well and check everyone’s COVID pass before they are served.

This is a disaster waiting to happen – at least for the government, but possibly for a number of business owners too.

Please, please watch this video. It is here that Ardern, with her usual rambling, makes the point that business owners will be doing the policing of vaccination certificates…but look out for the monkey in the background. Just as she says that ‘the vast majority (of businesses) will support the government on this’, the monkey flies into the shot. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The people I have been talking to will not be acting as the vaccine police. Quite honestly, most of them will not have the time.

One cafe owner I work with was aghast when we talked about it. She has to stand down a staff member who is not vaccinated – and pay them up to 4 weeks leave – so she will be struggling as it is. Most of her customers come just for coffee. Queues can be quite long. Who are we kidding here?

If you ever wondered about the claim that this government doesn’t have a clue about business, then you need no further proof. Staff shortages abound everywhere, and now they have to lay off unvaccinated staff… but hey – they will check everyone’s vaccine passes. No problem!!

No, they won’t. I guarantee that they won’t.

The problem will be the Karens. They are out in force everywhere. I have had to warn business owners about those that will ‘dob them in’. But somehow, I can only see this whole thing falling apart. Anyway, you can often spot Karens. It is easy to ask them for their vaccine passes, as they will have them at the ready.

I am fairly confident that, in most circumstances, the unvaccinated only need to flash something that looks like a vaccine pass under the nose of the waiter, or whatever, and they will get away with it. Not that I am suggesting this, you understand…

But with all the pressures that have been put on business recently, particularly Auckland businesses, although some will want to make sure they don’t cross the line and get penalised again, most businesses will be focused on survival over the next few months. They are not likely to want to do the government’s dirty work for them, and even more, they are probably going to struggle to just keep going. They are already unpaid tax collectors, mainly in the GST arena. How much more do they have to do for this government, without recompense, and after a period where they were simply not allowed to operate normally?

I think I know the answer to that, and most of them are not totally anti-government. They want to play by the rules. But this government keeps changing the rules and putting more and more pressure on them, in spite of the pressures they are already feeling… particularly in Auckland.

I have noticed that the mask mandates are definitely waning in some places, and I suspect this will continue. But, judging by the reaction of some of my clients, checking for vaccine passes won’t last more than a week. Those that want to wave them under someone’s nose will no doubt do so, but I doubt it will be going on for very long. Don’t forget, we have lost a number of police due to the vaccine mandate, so how exactly is this going to be enforced?

I have worked out a plan for business owners who are caught out. Fess up. If approached by any Nazi about checking vaccine passes, they simply look frazzled, apologise, and say, “Yes, Herr Kommandant, I usually do check, but it must have just been a really busy time…” or similar. A quick Nazi salute or a few goosesteps will also help. Licking their boots might be an option if the aforementioned doesn’t work.

But seriously, I think we should all just calm down, see what happens and wait it out. Nobody is going to have time to do this. It will fizzle out fairly fast.

Let’s all hope so anyway.

It Won’t Work


Ex-pat from the north of England, living in NZ since the 1980s, I consider myself a Kiwi through and through, but sometimes, particularly at the moment with Brexit, I hear the call from home. I believe...