AT's plans for CBD aren't fair for all
Correspondent, Simon Wilson (Weekend Herald, May 29), is absolutely correct in stating that Auckland Transport CEO, Shane Ellison, and other of his senior executives, have been totally
obstructive in their dealings with Auckland citizenry concerning alternative traffic solutions for Queen St. Auckland Transport's proposal to ban all cars and taxis travelling north between Mayoral Drive and Wellesley St, so prohibiting the dropping off of the mobility challenged outside the main doors of the town hall, is not only a denial of the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1945, against NZ law and the Human Rights Act of 1993, and under this act also a denial of formal Auckland City guidelines concerning the rights of the temporary or permanently mobility challenged and disabled, who are regarded officially as 10 per cent of any group of citizens.
Lack of space possibly prevented mention that Auckland Transport is totally out of order with its illegal and thoughtless proposals. Simon Wilson's suggestion that the senior executives involved in these decisions should be found new work, is therefore entirely appropriate, and should be implemented forthwith.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
Apparently there has been a surge in enrolments in private schools in Auckland (Weekend Herald, May 29). Some schools have closed their rolls for the first time in decades and others report huge waiting lists. Apparently Covid-19 has fuelled demand as private schools were seen to offer better support during lockdowns, another reason being returning expats who can afford the fees. There is another possible cause not mentioned in the article, that is parents' concern about the declining standards in certain subjects in NZ state schools. Returning expats looking to educate their children will be aware that an international study survey by (TIMMSS) reported NZ students' maths and science knowledge in the first year of high school is the lowest it has ever been compared with all other English-speaking countries. That surely is inexcusable.
James Gregory, Parnell.
Bid to liberate a lane
Once again thousands of Aucklanders broke through the police line and dared to claim traffic lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. They did this in sheer frustration with the NZ Transport Agency, who for 17 years have shown an entrenched inability to provide Aucklanders the option to walk or cycle over the bridge.
In 2017, the Transport Agency was asked by the Government to deliver the consented SkyPath design. This could have been built by now. But instead the Transport Agency have come up with a proposed completely new bridge across the Waitemata just for walking and cycling. The sheer cost (over $500 million) means it is highly unlikely to be built. In fact it's so ridiculous that it's the kind of solution to put forward when you don't want to do anything.
Hence we are campaigning to liberate a lane. Internationally this has been shown to improve traffic flows, provide travel choice and reduce the environmental harm from transport. We will march again and again if necessary.
Bevan Woodward, Auckland.
Vaccination at pace of a snail
Kiwis should be very concerned at the snail's pace of vaccination. Opening our borders without more vaccinations is absolutely crazy. A group of people from Melbourne, supposedly self-isolating went to a very popular restaurant for lunch, and are currently living in suburbia, with their mother.
New Zealand suffers from a lack of logical thought, both in our politicians and our public service, and an impending disaster will not be averted if we continue on our current stupid path. Jacinda and Labour have a huge amount of support that will evaporate very quickly if we get a second wave, like India.
Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
Car hoons must be punished
Two so-called boy racers are now in hospital after crashing their car in East Auckland and it's a scene that is being repeated all over the country with authorities wrestling with how to stop it.
Two things spring to mind here. Firstly, where on Earth are their parents and the second is this country's continuing soft touch on crime. If they behave like that, then remove the cause of the problem which is the vehicle. And don't mince words, for such behaviour you forfeit the vehicle for good. Meetings won't solve the issue, but when the punishment also hurts then positive results may follow. Judith Collins had the answer in crushing the cars involved but in her case it was all talk with no action. This time, just do it.
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
Old economics not golden
No, John Roughan (Weekend Herald, May 29), the golden years of Reagan, Thatcher, Douglas and Richardson were but a flash in the pan. Or perhaps as history will show — down the pan.
Apart from the personal cost in loss of jobs and a stake in society, and reducing half the real economy to foreign tourism — now kaput, the principle that your greed benefits everyone and consumption is obligatory for progress, neo-liberalism has brought human life on Earth into doubt.
Like it or not, to survive we need to move forward into the past, where people walked and caught a bus or train, ate food in season and drank local water, not from some European spring, lived in houses made of wood, not grand structures of concrete and steel — two of the worst contributors to CO2 levels and global warming.
Dennis N Horne, Howick.
Greetings within cards
Having spent considerable time deciding on, and selecting, a birthday gift for the recipient, I then do the deed — and look for an appropriate card. The effort in choosing the gift proved to be taxing (and ultimately friendship-breaking), but minor to the struggle of trying to select a card that has words that are witty, only mildly offensive and exempt of details of bodily functions. The selection of the gift, was a doddle to selecting the card.
There must be a market for clever, greeting cards that make selection an enjoyable task. I do love the humour in some of the cards, but not sure if I would appreciate receiving one at my senior age.
J R Ferguson, Milford.
Labour borrows, taxes, spends
The recent poll hinted a mood swing may be unfolding amongst the mainstream where elections are won and lost, no doubt due to the new direction pursued by government. Policies such as segregated state entities, redistribution, collective bargaining employment laws, centralised compulsory wage arbitration, cases in point. Businesses appear hesitant to commit new investment capital and international investors may reduce their exposure to the NZ economy aware of the social and political changes.
The ban on oil and gas exploration with jobs, prospective taxes and royalties lost just one catalyst for a change in sentiment. The Labour Party, once reformers but now unfettered with a mindset to borrow, tax and spend.
P.J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
Reader's bridge solutions
Simon Wilson (Weekend Herald, May 29) is a dedicated polemicist who avows combating climate change but his bikes on the bridge proposal is not a good response.
The harbour bridge isn't coping now with vehicle demand and a bike lane will reduce its capacity and increase congestion.
When he compares Auckland to other cities' bridge solutions Simon compares apples with oranges. Vancouver's Burrard bridge is one of several bridges as are the other cities' bridges he quotes, is flat and manageable by bike and not exposed like our high-rise bridge crossing an open expanse of water. Our only other crossing is the Upper Harbour Bridge. As a cyclist I wouldn't use either much but would find the Upper Harbour Bridge more manageable.
If we want fewer cars on the bridge we need to a more attractive eco-friendly alternative. A better way would be to make the outer lanes T2, encouraging car sharing and speeding up bus services. Some of these buses could be equipped to carry bikes. I would rather take my bike on a ferry. This is already popular but needs expanded capacity.
Keith Marshall, Devonport.
Short & sweet
On back flips
With all the back flips on No CGT, no new taxes, pay freeze, vaccine rollout etc, the Labour Cabinet would make a perfect gymnastics team. Pim Venecourt, Papamoa.
Private schools make no difference to life outcomes. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
I am an older person with a disability. I want to be able to get to an opera in the Aotea Centre. The move to favour pedestrians and bicycles is aimed at younger people. We have paid rates a long time, why aren't we heard in the planning? Kay Irwin, Parnell.
I would not be surprised if David Seymour takes umbrage at the Emmerson cartoon (Weekend Herald, May 29), which portrayed him as a goat. It was not only insulting but offensive. Garry Larsen, St Heliers.
In their haste to make landlines obsolete, the telcos seem to have forgotten those in their middle years for whom the landline often plays a vital role in locating misplaced cell phones. John Christiansen, Mt Albert.
Wider footpaths and planters have been installed in High and Lorne streets, Central Auckland. Three out of four of the planters now contain dead plants, weeds and rubbish. I expect the same in the proposed Queen St makeover. Helen Webber, Auckland Central.
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