Ryan Bridge: New Zealand's the loser at the back of vaccine rollout

OPINION: Can you trust this Government to do what they say they'll do?

On Thursday, there was wall-to-wall coverage of an announcement by the Prime Minister.

Our borders will re-open soon, albeit ajar, a sliver of hope for businesses crying out for staff and wanting to send workers offshore. 

We'll speed up the vaccine rollout and you can all book an appointment from next month. 

Sounds fantastic, like loosening your belt after a big steak. Sweet relief. But before you settle down on the couch and relax with certainty, our straitjacket fortress will soon open, one must ask themselves: will it, actually? 

We must remember this is just an announcement and with this Government, announcements, outcomes and realities are often vastly different things. 

They said we'd be at the front of the vaccine queue. Remember that announcement?

How about the announcement on January 21 this year that this is the year of the vaccine. 

Well, it's August, nearly two-thirds of the way through the year and we're at 21 percent. Twenty-one percent of us fully jabbed with just a third of the year left on the clock.

At last check we were second to last in the developed world.

Bottom of the heap, the loser at the back, not the winner at the front. 

I don't want this to be another KiwiBuild or light rail or like the promises to cut child poverty or reduce house prices. 

Maybe I'm too cynical. 

Whanau deserve to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Our elderly and immunocompromised Kiwis are hanging on every word our leaders say. 

I just hope they can be believed. 

Ryan Bridge is the fill-in host on The AM Show.