Unlevel playing field
Once again, Sunday's announcement of raised alert levels reveals how people in Auckland are being singled out unfairly. There is no justifiable reason why all Aucklanders should move to Level 3 while the populace of New Plymouth, where there are more sites of contact with the newly infected community cases than there are in all Auckland, stays at Level 2. Pubs and schools open in New Plymouth: pubs and schools closed in Auckland.
Both Dr Bloomfield and Ms Ardern were unconvincing in their attempts to explain the discrepancy at the announcement.
It seems there are two teams: Auckland and the rest.
Late last year, only Aucklanders were required to wear masks on public transport even though the city was at Alert Level 1 just like everyone else. Train riders in Wellington, for example, were no less at risk than those in Auckland. Even Michael Baker said it didn't make sense.
If the Government believes the risks of infection really are greater in Auckland than anywhere else, I expect to hear soon an announcement that Aucklanders will get vaccinated against Covid before any other region.
Brian McDonnell, Grey Lynn.
Again, Jacinda Ardern's leadership is exemplary in a crisis. No doubt, there will be people who suggest a lockdown is not necessary, or bemoan the fact that vaccines have not been administered yet, but thank goodness Ardern listens to the advice of health experts and takes action.
Her press conference was amazing, empathetic and inclusive. New Zealand has been in a very lucky position; we have been able to enjoy everyday life as normal while the rest of the world struggles.
I would much rather have a lockdown than live overseas at the moment. We know this isn't what people want, but we must support the overall aim to reduce any outbreak of Covid-19. We also know that vaccines are not a quick fix overseas due to access issues and lengthy delays.
Businesses also need to adapt now and make changes, expect lockdowns and disruptions and don't expect things to return to pre-Covid times.
Gema Carlson, Auckland Central.
Shut the door
It's time to shut our borders totally. Anyone that is eligible and wants to relocate to New Zealand for the duration has had nearly 12 months to complete the process.
Those foreign nationals, who for some reason have residency but to date have not availed themselves of if it, should lose it.
Nigel Bufton, Pāuanui.
Methamphetamine will always be with us. It can be used safely - and used to be a prescription medicine.
It seems clear that no amount of enforcement is going to rid us of what is a very simple molecule to make. Prison sentences and asset confiscations make no difference.
It is clearly highly lucrative - and easy for those who want to start up in business again from scratch and rapidly acquire the money to buy a gold-plated Harley to replace the one that has been triumphantly confiscated
The solution: Make pharmaceutical grade methamphetamine (Methedrine was that) and prescribe it to the addicted.
The criminal behaviour driven by the need to make the money to fuel the habit will disappear. Other bad behaviours may continue but they couldn't be any worse than they are now.
The gangs will need to make money some other way, unfortunately, but whatever it is it could only result in better outcomes than those we currently see.
And pseudoephedrine - which was inappropriately reclassified as "B" - could once again be sold over the counter; it is far and away the most effective and useful decongestant.
Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
The sugar rush
It is no coincidence that, since the early 1980s, interest rates on mortgages have declined from around 20% to current levels of just above 2%. House prices have gone up astronomically, as have rents as so-called investors have tried to make a return on overpriced assets.
Isn't it time that we questioned the behaviour of our central bank, which has consistently fuelled this sugar rush? Think removal of LVRs as a Covid-19 response and overly stimulatory interest rates.
This is of course combined with complicity by whichever political party is in power and further aided by a lack of will to tax gains that require no effort at the expense of the productive and real wealth creators in our economy.
Jeremy King, Taupo.
Auckland Council and the Government declaring a Climate Emergency is nothing but hot air if they sit back and do sweet Fanny Adams.
A perfect example is the ongoing dilly-dallying around general tree protection and scheduling; all the while trees are being felled willy-nilly in Auckland at an alarming pace.
This week in Greenlane, we bore witness to the senseless and needless sacrificing of a large stand of mature, established, native trees - four pōhutukawa, five puriri, two rimu and a kauri. All very large, magnificent established trees that have been there for well over 100 years (as well as other shrubs and cabbage trees).
There was no need for these beautiful trees to be removed. They were at the front of the property, up against the border with the footpath and in perfect health. There was a full site behind them that could be developed, and they were a stunning feature of the property.
It is impossible to think that any human of sound mind would plan, consent or approve such a barbarism. Yet it is happening every day in Auckland. Meanwhile, ongoing flapdoodle from the authorities about our obligations to the Paris Agreement drowns out the shrill of the chainsaws and chippers destroying nature's carbon sinks.
Charlie Haddrell, Greenlane.
There is a simple solution to unlawful tree protestors. Provided the council has authorised the removal of the tree/s, go in and scarf (ringbark) the trunk/s and walk away. Preferably with an electric chainsaw so as to not annoy the neighbours or draw attention to the process. The tree dies, job done. Protest is therefore an attention-seeking waste of effort. If people want to preserve trees on properties they don't own, buy the property and thus preserve the trees.
Don't try and control what lawful owners can lawfully do on their own property.
Adrian Wilson, Northcote.
Now that men are no longer required to wear ties in Parliament and photos of MPs have appeared tieless with one shirt button undone, are there any other rules likely to be relaxed as to how many other buttons may also be undone?
Where will the standards be dropped to? Could we see a return to 1980s fashion of great hairy chests exposed adorned with gold chains and medallions - perhaps of cultural significance? It goes without saying that women wearing sleeveless tops are expected to shave their armpits, but should there also be an expectation that men wax their chests if shirts are worn unbuttoned?
And, unless required as protective headgear or uniform, when did it become acceptable to wear hats indoors?
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
The Trump impeachment process played out in the US Senate, despite the overwhelming facts as presented, was fundamentally nothing more than a political farce which was never going to result in a conviction.
The inevitable acquittal sends a strong and clear message that the US Senate is not an appropriate forum for a fair and unbiased impeachment trial on the grounds that US Senators are politicians who, by their very occupation, are incapable of exercising impartial justice despite their oath of office.
Sadly Donald Trump's acquittal will give him more oxygen to pursue his agenda.
Bruce Eliott, St Heliers.
Short & sweet
On level 3
Given that South Auckland probably, on a national average, has lower immunity levels, coupled with a high-density population, the three-day Level Three lockdown is a very prudent and commendable move. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Yet again, the powerless citizens of New Zealand are required to pick up the tab for the inadequacy of their governors' management. J Livingstone, Remuera.
On Team NZ
Should Team NZ successfully defend the America's Cup, but on-sell hosting rights offshore, surely morally at the very least, the public should be refunded their investment. Peter Dodd, Chatswood.
On Am Cup
Once upon a time there was an enthralling international yachting regatta, with nail-biting tacking duels. Now it's drag race. Even the commentators are bored. What a waste of taxpayer dollars. John Duncan, Nelson.
I vaguely recall an event in Bermuda in 2013 where a team, set to wipe out the opposing team nine to nothing; having won eight in a row - lost by one. Let's not forget that at our peril. John Ford, Taradale.
We desperately need properly designed, specially built quarantine faciltiies on site at ports of entry. Vivian McPhail, Auckland Central.
It is constantly stated we have to admit our citizens or they would be stateless. I wonder how many have dual citizenship but suddenly this part of the dual looks most attractive. Vince West, Milford.