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That’s the chilling demand that sends a shiver down the spine. There’s the man in uniform. He controls your life: he decides whether you go or stay.

The demand for “papers” was life behind the Iron Curtain. It’s symbolic of why we had World War 2.

We have read it in books and seen it in movies. Scary.

But we were free. No one in uniform could demand to know who we were or demand to know our status. We were free citizens not subjects. We could travel unhindered. Our government didn't track us.

But that was long ago.

This is now.

That demand is now a fait accompli. Before the year’s out we will need to carry our papers or digital ID everywhere we go. The police will be empowered to demand to see official documentation of who we are and our status. We could be innocently enjoying a cup of coffee when the police arrive for a spot check. “Papers!”

Our movements will be trackable. The government know where we are and where we have been. We will need our papers up-to-date to travel within New Zealand.

Our status will determine what work we can do and where we can go.

That’s now New Zealand.

There has been no debate, no discussion, no proposal, no vote. It has just been announced despite our Prime Minister ruling such a vaccine passport out only a few short weeks ago.

We don't know the policy, the law, the limits, or where it will end.

We are told vaccine passports are necessary to protect those who we love. It's the inconvenience we must endure to be no longer shuttered at home. It’s because the Delta virus is like nothing else. And the government must keep us safe.

In the meantime we can't meet, protest or speak out. Dissenting voices are shouted down. Our newspapers and broadcasts are now public health broadsheets and organs of government propaganda. Journalists don't laugh at the government declaring the Beehive Theatrette The Podium of Truth.

They no longer give voice to dissent or opposition. They ignore or viciously attack it.

Want to see Mum? Better make sure your papers are in order. The same if you want a cup of coffee or a haircut. This is the New New Zealand.

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