Coates America's Cup star: 'New Zealand is a dictatorship over Covid'

Coates America’s Cup star: ‘New Zealand is a dictatorship over Covid’

Russell Coates may be obnoxious for a thousand reasons, but he should be credited with at least three things: he’s a sailing champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and a 5-time America’s Cup winner; He is a good manager for himself but also for big events like SailGp recently; He is not afraid to say what he thinks.

In this case, feel free to write it down, with a post on his Facebook page. Coats criticizes the Kiwi government, which still keeps the country under tight restrictions and armored borders. Just to say, the New Zealand team’s men explained how the delay in indicating the location that will host the next America’s Cup also affected the impossibility of traveling abroad, between grueling quarantines: they must also undergo isolation in government hotels and there is no room. Book your flight in January, and find a room in March.

Nor do Coutts, who travels the world with his SailGp, tell them. Here is his post:

“After experiencing what it has been like in Europe since May, there seems to be a lot of things in New Zealand being misreported. The media here seems ready to promote fear. It would be interesting to send a really independent crew out there to report how much more things are going on. A balance elsewhere…I suspect most kiwis would be incredibly surprised.

If you have any doubts about what I am saying, turn on the TV and check out the stadiums, which are packed with many outdoor sporting events. Take a look at the Premier League, the Champions League or the last Ryder Cup, the All Blacks just played the USA in front of 40,000 fans in Washington DC.

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The truth is that people abroad are living with Covid, and while some people, perhaps many, remain rightly cautious, life has largely returned to normal in many places. But that is not what we are told here in New Zealand.

The erosion of our freedom of choice and freedom of expression, the loss of precious time with family and friends, and all the other negative aspects of lockdown must be weighed against the health risks of Covid. Imagine if we invested an extra billion each week in lockdowns to improve our health system, education or roads (we had 8 NZ road deaths last weekend).

It seems absolutely crazy that people who have been vaccinated twice are afraid to meet people who are not vaccinated. Will it be like this for the rest of our lives? What about people with health problems who can’t get vaccinated? Will they be banned from society? (For the record I am doubly vaccinated).

Finally, the fact that the New Zealand government has now said that even if Auckland gets 90% of the double vaccination, people can still be limited to Christmas travel seems complete nonsense (for those reading the post, Auckland already has 93% first dose and 82% vaccinated second dose – the whole country has 87% first dose and 72% double dose).

It is also complete nonsense and paradox that double vaccinators with negative Covid tests for 14 days are banned in MIQ while people with Covid can self-isolate in the community.

New Zealand was a country where people greatly valued freedom of choice. The way we have come to this stage of blind acceptance of this kind of government, power and dictatorship on the part of our government is deeply disturbing.”

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