Mind that child, every child
Your Monday headline (NZ Herald, January 24) caught my eye: "No progress on child abuse slated by advocacy group".
It was sad reading. Child Matters said one child died every five weeks as a result of abuse last year and thousands more were abused and injured.
How could this possibly happen? A few years ago, thousands of taxpayers' dollars and countless hours of parliament time was spent in passing the "anti-smacking bill".
Yet the abuse seems to be increasing. It is plain to see the anti-smacking bill is a farce and was a complete waste of time and money.
Alan Eustace, Pakuranga.
That rascally reactionary right wing raconteur Piers Morgan, having run out of royal babies to pillory, has turned his attention to Jacinda Ardern (NZ Herald, January 25). He doesn't understand why New Zealand has imposed "draconian" measures in our fight with Covid.
Common sense health measures - wear a mask, get vaccinated, avoid large gatherings - are not draconian.
If you extrapolate the UK Covid death toll to NZ's population, we would have nearly 15,000 deaths from Covid, instead of the 54 that we have. If you extrapolate NZ's death toll to UK's population you would have had only 670 deaths, not 176,000.
Morgan, Mark Jenkinson, Nile Gardiner et al, thank you for your insightful observations regarding our Prime Minister and her approach to public health, but you can keep your Prime Minister and we'll keep ours thank you.
aul Cheshire, Maraetai.
I heartily agree with your correspondent Sandra Coney (NZ Herald, January 25) that some of your columnists are undermining the public response to government health advice, and stirring up resentment and even rage.
The crude and offensive attempt to run the Prime Minister's car off the road when she was visiting Paihia is a disturbing example of this.
The righteous indignation of anti-vaxxers is ludicrous and misplaced. I suggest they stay at home and avoid Omicron, as it's likely to be in their street very soon, seeking them out.
V. M. Fergusson, Mt Eden.
The CC2M project (NZ Herald, January 25) is flawed and expensive.
Blair Ngarimu was right to dissent on the choice citing equity and cost. Matt Lowry from
Greater Auckland is also right to query the expense of surface light rail.
On the other hand, the $10 billion-$14b for a tunnel will likely balloon 70 per cent or more. It has limited scope, ignoring many suburbs in Auckland especially in the south and west who will have no direct access to the employment hub.
The cheapest option will be a heavy rail connection to north and south at Wiri, travelling via the Mangere airport, employment hub and residential area to Onehunga. There is a need for a freight line from Avondale to Southdown and a simple connection at Onehunga will provide many new services from south to west, but importantly connecting many more residential suburbs with the employment hub and airport.
The best mass transit for central Auckland would be a surface line from Queen St, Dominion Rd, Richardson Rd, Maiora Rd, Sandringham Rd to Symonds St.
Add front loading compensation for disruption.
More equity, less emissions, less congestion and much cheaper.
Niall Robertson, chair, Public Transport Users Association.
Organisations such as the Waikato Regional Council who are considering allowing non-vaccinated members to attend meetings while everyone else is required to produce a vaccine pass is a double standard.
To attend these people must show two negative tests, which means these need to be paid for, need the testers to be paid and add to the long queues at the testing sites and testing laboratories for each meeting. Are these councillors going to pay for their own RAT but will still be diminishing rapidly depleting supplies for essential workers?
There are rules for some and rules to be bent for others, at a cost to the majority.
A blanket "no pass, no entry" rule should be for all.
Get vaccinated or do Zoom meetings for the safety of all.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
Does Christopher Luxon not realise we are all standing on the beaches nervously waiting for the Omicron asteroid to hit and could really do with some positive reassurance?
In drama, we play a game called "Yes.. and..." where we accept the offer and add to it positively.
He could try the same approach rather than adding to everyone's anxiety.
Samantha Cunningham, Henderson.
Why are we not letting young New Zealand citizens, who have gained places at NZ universities, back into the country in time for the start of the academic year 2022?
They are our bright potential for our future, with abilities to add value to our society in the years ahead.
Why are we crushing their hard-fought-for opportunities?
Why are we doing this? Is it to prop up an already broken health system, or to add a star or two to a political career?
Anne Macmillan, Meadowbank.
We seem to average about 50 people arriving at our borders every day and testing positive for Covid 19.
Under the circumstances it would be interesting to know who checks if they have a negative test 48 hours before departure. And then do they actually cancel their flight and MIQ booking?
How does every airline know that people flying to NZ have to have a negative Covid 19 test 48 hours before boarding their aircraft?
We don't get information regarding the numbers who had their flights cancelled due to positive Covid 19 tests. I wonder why.
Russ Collins, Browns Bay.
Herald contributor Kushlan Sugathapala suggests (NZ Herald, January 25) "the US wants to park Nato troops on the Ukraine-Russian border". Ukraine is not a Nato member, the "troops" are simply Ukrainians endeavouring to confront aggression and expansionary tactics employed by Vladimir Putin's influence as Russian President.
The US endeavours to assist a free state.
As a KGB agent in Dresden, East Germany in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union and humiliation still haunts him to this day as he wages his own "Cold War".
The world today would be a dark place indeed without US influence, our own freedom endangered in 1943 until the US military arrived in "the nick of time".
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
US Secretary of State James Baker's famous "not one inch eastward" assurance about Nato expansion was given in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990. This was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991.
Can anyone be surprised the Russian side feels betrayed by broken promises? With the US (and Nato) militarising Ukraine, you don't need too much imagination or empathy to understand the perceived threat to Russia. According to the US Monroe doctrine of 1823 any attempt by a European power to control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States. Where is the balance in this debate and how difficult is it to understand that that American military presence in Ukraine is an affront to Russia?
The cold war mentality and expanded sanctions must be replaced by something more constructive. The world deserves something better.
Frank Olsson, Freemans Bay.
While I applaud the aid being sent to Tonga, I wonder if thought has been given to collecting up the thousands of donated plastic water bottles after use?
I am concerned that Tonga will be replacing the volcanic ash with a tsunami of plastic waste.
I sincerely hope that the aid teams will repack the waste into those barrels, and return them to New Zealand in the 25 containers for recycling.
Lynn Smith, Rotorua.
Short & sweet
Rather than the Government providing free N95 masks, perhaps a campaign to discourage "chinstrap" mask-wearing would be more beneficial? Yes, folks - your nose is connected to your lungs. Cover it up. Phil Parker, Pt Chevalier.
Thousands of otherwise disinterested listeners are now aware of Tova O'Brien's transition, and will be tuning in to see why Discovery felt so damaged about her departure. Ian Brady, Titirangi.
What is the point of having an employment contract? Dave Miller, Matua.
Jeremy Coleman (NZH, January 25) criticises leader of opposition for his pronunciation of Omicron. Now, where do I start with the PM? Wendy Tighe-Umbers, Parnell.
Zinzan Brooke was a great footy player but he's a lousy epidemiologist. Chris Brady, Taumarunui.
Using a RAT to out the plague. How apt. S. Mohanakrishnan, Mt Roskill.
The Premium Debate
Well done Sir Ian, I can't believe you got the rapid antigen test order coordinated and under way in just days. It beggars belief. I wanted to purchase my own RATs for family but was astounded the Government had banned importation of these. Thank you for looking out for us. Susan H.
I just cannot understand why we are not using rapid tests and why they are not available in supermarkets. Ian U.
The problem with rapid tests is that they are a lot less reliable than a PCR test. According to the CDC, rapid antigen tests are only 70 per cent accurate for people with symptoms, and 55 per cdent accurate for people without symptoms. That will have a significant amount of infected people going about their lives thinking they are Covid-free. These tests can miss a lot of infectious people and give people a false sense of security. Kylie T.
It is so good to have a solution-based businessman and team helping to see us all through this time. Businessmen and women have many tools and many skills that the Government and New Zealand needs right now. We all have different skills for different problems - we need to be open enough to listen and drop the egos. The Government needs to accept these offers and delegate where feasible and appropriate to get things done. We have been far too slow of the mark. Shona L.
Government officials are perfectly capable of developing and implementing plans and delivery on them at the same speed as businesses, often across ministries far larger than a lot of businesses. However, they do not have sole authority, Government and Treasury are obviously involved having prime responsibility for the public purse. It's the balancing act of managing the public purse which is the most difficult factor because when it comes to spending they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. Public comments on multiple platforms demonstrate this daily. Diana C.
Who is going to pay for them? The cost is astronomical if you want the quantities you're talking about. As has been said, there is an economic balance to be had. Richard S.
Thank you for all your efforts, especially working hard to get this Government to listen to worthwhile ideas. Don't remember many NZ governments willingly seeking assistance from those outside the dusty halls of power. Time they reined in the over-cautious, outdated, civil service gatekeepers. Maryjane F.