Jabbed are less of a threat
The exodus of Aucklanders heading north for their Christmas holiday is about to begin. We have been in lockdown for what seems like an eternity and now it's time to let loose and have some fun, especially if you're double-vaccinated and have a vaccine pass. The journey seems relatively straightforward unless you're heading east to the coast, where things could become a little heated. David Fisher's article gave a good insight to the varying opinions of Northlanders. Holidaymakers will come across Tai Tokerau Border Control personnel, of which Hone Harawira is the most outspoken member. He says he doesn't want Aucklanders on his patch as there are not enough vaccinated Māori and the borders shouldn't have been opened. Former Cabinet minister Shane Jones, on the other hand, says the borders should be open and "the 90 per cent Aucklanders who are vaccinated are arguably less of a threat than the unvaccinated whānau who are here". Who is right? Who knows?
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Get your booster
I did think it would be nice to go north during the Christmas break, but I will visit Rarotonga instead. At least they are keen to see us. It's a pity that these non-vaxxers don't realise that it is vaccinated Aucklanders who are keeping them safe. For years vaccinations have kept us safe from all sorts of horrible diseases — many given at birth and still keeping us safe. I got my vaccination as soon as I was able, without a food parcel for my trouble — only criticism from people who didn't bother. I am sure Covid will be with us for a few years yet and vaccination means a win-win situation for the caring community. So, go get your booster.
B Jessopp, Massey.
Keep Auckland safe
Is there a plan to ensure that Auckland will not, once more, be plunged into lockdown once Omicron reaches New Zealand as a result of the city having so many MIQ facilities — and if not, why not? The consequences of asking one city to bear the brunt of keeping New Zealand safe is to make choices that surely are no longer an option. Our hospital staff are overworked and exhausted, our GPs are exhausted, those on the frontline looking after home isolation are exhausted, and so many more. Where is the plan to ensure that Aucklanders are kept safe, and are not placed once again in lockdown as a result of a breakdown at the border?
Robin Harrison, Takapuna.
Good luck to Leo
Coming to grips with operating under the new traffic light system, restaurateur Leo Molloy really has a way with words (NZ Herald, December 3). Having ascertained that a dead horse is "just a carcass", he now has to figure out how to serve under half his usual number of diners with two-thirds of his normal complement of staff. Good luck with the menu, Leo.
Rebecca Glover, Waiuku.
If anyone was hoping to see a change in the National Party's way of behaving, like I was, their start has been disappointing. It's showing instead the plan to bring back the bitter banter between the two main parties. Their start with the attack on the Government's traffic light system, demanding the country be at green, is emotive, disruptive and leans toward a preference for big business over our health and safety.
We need someone with the skills to pick up on what is working through this pandemic, with the intention of showing the country that they can, in times of stress, work for the betterment of us all. Climate change is here, although running behind the pandemic as an issue. Climate change brings with it the devastation of our planet.
Now is the time for all elected members to Parliament to change too. We cannot afford to go back to the days where party bitterly fought party to gain their feathers, their cock-a-hoop moment, but to work together to show our people that the future is more important than political whims.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Wilson a must-read
Simon Wilson is a national treasure. His article on climate denial was a masterpiece of clever writing. He does more for society with his exposes and articles on important issues than anyone else in the press. His articles are a must-read.
Frankie Letford, Hamilton.
Trees of life for city
Trees make a city more liveable and provide a buffer against noise and allow us to remain connected to nature. Green architecture is becoming increasingly popular overseas, so why did we allow a 120-year-old pōhutukawa tree to be chopped down on Khyber Pass outside St David's church in Auckland last week? The lack of protection of trees in Auckland is disgraceful and the fact that developers can build right up to the boundary of the property with no landscaping. Auckland Council committed to planting a million trees in 2017 as a part of its Million Trees project and further commitments have been made to this. It is ironic, then, that trees planted aren't actually protected.
Alison Feeney, Remuera.
Freedom to encroach on all
The Freedom and Rights Coalition? What a horribly ironic name for a group of anti-social, non-law-abiding individuals who feel they have the "right" to disrupt children playing Saturday sport and shoppers contributing to a starved retail economy in Newmarket. All sympathy to Aucklanders who have sacrificed so much to now be saddled with this nonsense. I have no sympathy for Brian Tamaki and his disregard of the principles of Christianity, and a lack of understanding of how to "love thy neighbour as thyself".
Lynette Parish, Matamata.
No sympathy for Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is one of the best tennis players the world has ever seen. If he chooses not to reveal if he is vaccinated then it is his freedom of choice to make that decision. Equally, if the organisers of the Australian Open tennis tournament, or the Australian Federal government, or the Victorian state government, or whoever else, says only vaccinated players can participate, then it is their freedom of choice to make that decision. Djokovic's tennis career takes him to many countries... He is required to abide by the laws that apply in those places. He cannot try and bully his way around them by threatening not to play if he doesn't get his own way. As far as the Australian Open is concerned, he knows what he is doing, and I don't have any sympathy for him.
Phil Chitty, Albany.
How desperate is Grant Dalton to get his hands on some overseas dosh? Call himself a New Zealander? Spare me. Claiming the break-up of Team New Zealand if they can't compete overseas is about as desperate as Judith Collins' claims over Simon Bridges. Good try, Grant! I sincerely hope Jim Farmer doesn't give in to such blatant tactics and pursues his case. Let a new team of talented New Zealanders defend the America's Cup, there is no shortage of them. By far the majority of Kiwis are behind him.
Don Pickering, Milford.
Browns Bay gem
A rare bouquet for our Auckland Council, to go with their fair share of brickbats. The Browns Bay beach reserve is a gem. The imminent completion of the wonderful boardwalk plus all of the many other improvements the council has developed, all combine to make it a summer scene of great happiness. Planting of the dunes, a superb playground and skateboard bowl and the pōhutukawa seem to be suited to a name more prosaic than just "Browns Bay".
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Goff's ideas don't appeal
Mayor Phil Goff's idea of covering some climate change costs by levying Auckland rates is yet another attempt to fund issues from long-suffering ratepayers. It will be just like his petrol levy, which has yet to produce any roading projects. No doubt funds raised for climate change will disappear into the same hole. Goff would be better to concentrate on cutting operating costs at Auckland Council, rather than come up with more hare-brained ideas to satisfy his misguided philosophies.
Brent Marshall, Arkles Bay.
Don't extradite gang boss
Rather than trying to extradite the Comancheros gang boss from Turkey, police should be refusing to allow his entry to New Zealand. Just imagine what it will cost to bring him back; then we have to pay to keep him incarcerated and when he is released it will be at our cost.
Bob Wichman, Botany.
Short & sweet
It is extremely concerning to hear that the Government has passed a law which will enable Northland iwi to be authorised and given power to stop and question people going about their lawful activity in travelling to the region over the holidays. No one except the police should be given this power in a democratic society. This is a very dangerous precedent we should all be very concerned about. Ken Graham, Greenlane.
Christopher Luxon has three difficult messages to implant: There is no Christianity in his public life, there is no politics in his religion, and there is no 't' in his surname. John O'Neill, Whangarei.
Judge the new leader of the opposition on what he does, or does not, deliver — not on how many houses he owns. He appears to be quite astute with money, which is helpful to run an economy, is it not? John Ford, Taradale.
I haven't seen New Zealand so divided since the 1981 Springbok rugby tour. This time it's how the present Government is handling Covid-19. I was in my 20s back in the 80s and protested. Now I feel uncomfortable about voicing my opinion. I think the right-wingers are far more narrow-minded and are not willing to listen to other opinions. Christine Scott, St John's.
The Premium Debate
The hardest thing is that because Auckland has been the frontline for Covid and kept the rest of New Zealand safe. The rest of New Zealand has failed to prepare for the reality of living with Covid and are now experiencing what we were forced to deal with over 100 days ago. Ross H.
I'll observe a staycation in Auckland this summer. I'll spend my money with local Auckland businesses who are desperate for support and want my business. If the rest of NZ can survive without us, well ... best of luck. Jenni R.
It's about time a new generation of leaders stepped forth in Northland, like the young doctor in Kaitaia. There are millions of dollars waiting to invigorate this area of New Zealand. It is desperately needed as seed capital. Northland has huge potential in tourism and forestry. Get on with it for the sake of the young generation suffering unemployment. Peter S.
I went on two holidays for Northland last year — really loved it. I have often wondered how people in those businesses are faring; they weren't faring that well last year. What a shame people there are now trying to keep others out — I'm sure they could do with the visitors, customers and fun. Monique T.
It's worth keeping in mind that the very high vaccination rate in Auckland makes it a safer place to be than much of the country, along with Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Auckland businesses and council should plan to make it a fun summer to stay home. Ed W.
Aucklanders — come south for the summer, all welcome in the South Island. You've done the hard yards being locked up. It's time to get on with your lives and stop listening to doom merchants with their silly predictions and rules. Grant H.
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