Yes, this is a bit late. There have been storms overnight: sorting out other things this morning had to happen. One of the things that is happening locally is that the government is starting to microregulate because people are not complying with their social campaigns.
New Zealanders could soon be fined for not wearing face masks or scanning QR codes in “high risk” situations under Government proposals to combat the rising threat of Covid-19 and highly infectious new variants.
The announcement has been welcomed by public health experts but questions remain over enforcement.
The hospitality sector said it wanted to be involved in planning.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet had commissioned advice on the moves after daily scans fell from a high of two million a day at the height of the pandemic in New Zealand to a low of just over 400,000.
She also said less than a fifth of the more than 2600 contacts of the Australian traveller in Wellington had been using the app.
The Government was also considering mandating mask-wearing at Alert Level 2 and above at certain high-risk locations where social distancing was difficult.
Covid had caused significant disruption in New Zealand in the past week and it was time to review our “toolbox”, Ms Ardern said.
The changes could be considered reform of the alert level system, but she was not in favour of further alert levels, she said.
Asked why mandated scanning had not already been put in place, Ms Ardern said the hope had been that people would scan. She also cited the difficulty of enforcement.
Asked whether the individual or an establishment would be held responsible, she said it would likely be the establishment but the Government was receiving advice on this, acknowledging the extra burden on the likes of hospitality operators.
Penalties were covered under existing legislation and would likely be fines in the “moderate” range, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
The Government would be considering the changes to mask wearing and QR code scanning over the next week, he said.
There is a solution for this. Leave your phone at home.
This is an example of what happens when leaders find the people voting with their feet. Against them. They resort to force.
However, within the church, we are supposed to plan what we do and agree so that there is never a sense that we have to suddenly produce a large amount of money. We should give, yes. The church should have emergency money for when bad things happen yes. But giving should never be forced.
9 Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.
An exaction is a tax. it is something compulsory. This is one issue I have with those who say that there is a command to tithe. There is no such command in Christ, as there is no such command that one shall fast or that one should abstain from certain foods. In Christ we have liberty, and we should not let theological traditions written by those who sought the virtue of men over the love of God rule us. I don’t want anyone knowing what I give but the accountant, the taxman and Kea. If you are married or a family, you should decide what you give together and budget it in advance. .
Having said that, I believe we should give through our local churches whenever possible, for when times get hard it is the church that should be the storehouse people go to, not our houses.
So here there is a balance point. We can look to the laws of Moses, with its Tithe, and note that we are expected to give. We can use guidelines. But the giving should never be under compulsion.
That is the role of the crowns. With the maximum tax rates we have in the antipodes, we experience a sufficiency of exaction. Our giving should instead be for love.