Blot on politics
With the current crisis in the National Party many are now asking two questions - is the National Party really like this? And does it have a moral compass?. The answers are yes it is, and no it doesn't.
With very few exceptions, notably Jack Marshall and Jim Bolger, the National Party has always operated on power at any price politics, rather than doing what is right and what is good for the country. Leaking information has long been one of the party's tactics to undermine and attack opponents. One of the most despicable being the confidential police report about Labour Minister Colin Moyle, that Muldoon released. The National Party like the leopard does not change its spots. At present they are a blot on the current political landscape.
Russell Armitage, Hamilton.
Amy Adams says the public has a right to expect the Government to stop people from escaping quarantine. A week or so ago a convicted teen murderer escaped from custody. Where were the cries of outrage from the National Party? There weren't any. People who do not respect the law will always try to find ways of escaping. The person who broke a window to escape clearly broke the law. The National Party would do better to get its own house in order, and perhaps to make comments condemning the escapees instead of the constant carping. Go team five million.
Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
Stop the stupidity
Reading the article "Border passes for sentencing" in Saturday's Herald made my blood boil and ask myself: Why?
Why do these people need to come to New Zealand to witness the sentencing? Why are they being offered financial assistance?
We are currently experiencing a worldwide pandemic named Covid-19 where the virus has been contained within New Zealand but, still being imported from travellers being allowed in to this country. There is no need to extend these benefits to allow non-citizens to "witness" a sentencing where the perpetrator has already pleaded guilty. If, absolutely necessary, a Zoom facility could be arranged.
This country will be in debt for years to come with the current lolly scramble being doled out by the present Government.
Jacinda – there are no votes to be gained from this absurd move!
Stop the stupidity and get on with getting this country back in to some sustainable future.
Brian Daley, Eastern Beach.
Zip it, Nats
Todd Muller's inept handling of the Michelle Boag emails illustrates perfectly how a convoluted lie can tie you up in knots. Nikki Kaye's explanation on Q&A was rehearsed unintelligible gibberish. We are left with a simple conclusion. The National Party should "zip it". Only Judith Collins could lead this party out of the mire.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
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Present a certificate
We need to solve this "dicing with Covid-19" at the border.
The solution is simple, and is now also being promoted by others.
Every traveller coming into the country - returning resident, visa holder or tourist needs to present a medical certificate not more than 21days old that establishes they are "Covid negative".
Every arriving traveller needs to be retested, and their immediate future travel plans within the country made known and verified.
Personally I still am of the opinion that those not presenting a Certificate should be refused entry, but wiser heads may prevail.
Let us work to an acceptable regime that will allow tourists to return.
Lawrie Walker, Ellerslie.
Deport the selfish
New Zealand's enviable position of having virtually eliminated coronavirus is being jeopardised by the actions of a few selfish and unpatriotic individuals.
As it did with gun laws after the Christchurch massacre, the Government should invoke emergency legislation. Anyone not New Zealand-born should have their citizenship or residence visa revoked and be summarily deported to their country of origin.
New Zealand-born culprits should face a mandatory five years' imprisonment without parole.
Ray Gilbert, Papamoa.
Explain to the arrivals
Has no one explained to these recent overseas arrivals, who complain about being isolated for two weeks in luxurious warm hotels, that the rest of us five million have been isolated for at least two months, in houses or flats which are not necessarily luxurious or warm?
Indeed, oldies like myself are now into their fourth month, and only now venturing out for essentials like food or medical supplies. And only with face masks that may or may not be helpful in letting us survive a little longer.
Certainly no visits to cinemas, bars, restaurants, a haircut, or even church.
Roger Stewart, Te Atatu.
Prison could be used
I have a lot of sympathy for those locked away for two weeks just because they wanted to return to what is looking like an increasingly safe haven. I believe that they should be helped to plan how to use that time, and then helped to make isolation useful for themselves. I was, however, amused by Cory McVicar's assertion (HoS, July 12) that we didn't understand that "managed isolation" involved "managers", which she chose to call "guards". Given recent behaviour, we'd rather expect them to be there.
We also understand that hotels are not meant to be secure facilities, but there is an alternative – a lovely heritage hotel, purpose-built for the isolation needed. A two-week stay there would be no problem for most former guests. It's at the edge of Mt Eden, with a convenient entrance just off Boston Rd. For those idiots who don't want to play the game of keeping this haven safe, I suggest we clean and use it.
Mike Diggins, Royal Oak.
Remove the tanks
Reports and media coverage on the future of Auckland's port are all based on the premise that it has a limited life. The latest Sapere report is typical, noting that "its future is based on resource consents for dredging and increased berth length for larger container ships". Not the case with the alternative sites? And the futility of controlling the Manukau Harbour bar, or the real cost of a 200km double tracked train link to a new inland port in South Auckland from Northport?
If a better connection to the harbour is sought for Aucklanders then the removal of the Viaduct storage tanks by the end of the 2020s offers much greater potential than a working wharf area relatively isolated from downtown. Hopefully we will make a better fist of this area's potential than the half-empty Queens Wharf. And for those who decry the appearance of the port, or its apparent negative effect on the harbour get over it. We need it.
The current uncertainty around what New Zealand's future will look like after Covid is a compelling reason for putting some of these grand plans on the back burner. Not forgetting the need to prevent future generations from living with an even larger debt burden.
Don Bunting, Freemans Bay.
I write in support of Tony Molloy's suggestion of completing rail lines across the North Island to create an interconnected network, which will support reducing New Zealand's carbon emissions, help create safer roads and make rail a practical option of choice for freight and travel.
The criticisms of these proposals and of others such as from Winston Peters mentioned by correspondent John Tizard are inaccurate, such as the route proposed between Taupō and New Plymouth, where two-thirds already exists in the form of the Stratford-Okahukura line. The majority of the route between Napier and Taupō, and onwards north to Rotorua, is indeed mostly easy country, with NZ Railways having seriously investigated a line between the Napier-Gisborne line and Taupō in 1980, along with a line between Paengaroa, Rotorua and Taupō in the early 1970s, and a line between Kinleith and Mangapehi on the Main Trunk line.
If New Zealand is to make real changes to address climate change and the need to reduce transport emissions, there needs to be a significant mode shift with the country's transport system to rail, which will require a bold new focus by the Government towards the development and completion of the rail network.
Isaac Broome, Pukekohe.