Help NZ develop vaccine
The Minister for Research Science and Innovation is not innovative enough sadly. We have some of the best vaccine researchers ready to start the long process of designing and testing our own vaccine but she sits on her hands.
Has she not learned from the flu vaccine catastrophe where we have to wait for other countries. There is a supply chain problem in the world. We cannot trust Trump and Aussies have a history of treating us with contempt. Putting our eggs in one basket is foolish.
We need to urgently support our research scientists. If the Government cannot do this then let's get crowd funding.
This election will be about innovation and getting things done, not printing money and ignoring our scientists and hoping we will get some vaccine.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest
Cafes worlds apart
I was really impressed with the set-up at Q Cafe in Tauranga on my wife's and my first outing to buy coffee since before lockdown. They are using NZ-developed software called Bumpzi. All orders are texted in, even if you are standing at the door, enabling contact tracing without the need for scrawled address details in a contact logbook. One of the cafe entrances is for payment, the other for order collection. Fast, efficient and, most importantly, safe.
On the other hand, another cafe in the same area had no distancing measures in place whatsoever, other than closing off indoor seating.
One business went to considerable expense to meet level 3 requirements, the other barely bothered. Please readers, back the vendors that take the rules seriously — for all our sakes.
Eric Wolters, Tauranga
Heed the experts
Val Walker writes "Jacinda is only saying what the experts are telling her and then voicing her opinion." Would she rather have someone like Trump in charge who ignores the experts and offers his own "advice" like drinking or injecting bleach? The scary part is that people actually listen to him.
Robert Howell, Onehunga
Questions to answer
For weeks we have been told that we went hard and early and we didn't, that hospitals and care workers had ample supplies of personal protective gear and they didn't and that surgeries had plentiful supplies of flu vaccine and they didn't. Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield have some questions to answer.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth
The public response to Covid-19 has shown a marvellous sense of unity among New Zealanders. Much praise has been heaped upon our health workers and political leadership. In complaining about the extra week in lockdown level 4, your correspondent AJ Petersen (Herald May 2) ridicules those in government who have never worked in the private sector and suggests they are thus unable to make valid decisions. Petersen's argument insults every nurse, doctor, medical researcher, paramedic, educator, law enforcer, and public administrator in the country. We stand together; we stand tall.
David Howard, Pakuranga
Although not a fan of conspiracy theories, I wonder why there isn't a cluster of Greymouth cases arising around Anne Guenole, New Zealand's first person to die with Covid 19, on March 29. It was a mystery how this fairly isolated lady caught the disease, presenting to hospital with fever and influenza-like symptoms. Although treated in an isolation room, the 21 staff in contact with her were said to have used inadequate PPE for many hours and were later placed in self-isolation. Given the highly contagious nature of Covid-19 I wonder how those staff and visiting family members fared and whether Mrs Guenole had a false positive test result.
Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers
What planet is NZTA's Andrew Thackwray from? Referring to his April 29 reply, surely it's far more important to improve the transport situation to the northern suburbs, rather than build another unbelievably expensive cycleway for a few folk by comparison.
We have a busway that was deliberately built to light rail standards, and surely by anyone's imagination, converting this first is a far, far, more important project for this city than spending $360+ million on this farce, given that it's already spiralled up tenfold. We were given a very short timeline to complete a questionnaire by NZTA, and in it was the statement that they would seize houses off people in Princess St, Northcote. This plan was prepared by some architectural genius there, with the myopic idea that it would then provide a better off ramp to Northcote Point. As if we need it.
One only needs to see how busy the cycleways on the Shore are to realise that "here we go again" more of our taxpayer dollars being spent on the few. I'll bet not many people responded to that "urgent" questionnaire.
I think it's high time we had a referendum on this insane waste of our money, and one of the major questions in it should be "Are we prepared to seize and sacrifice ordinary folks' houses to make these sorts of dream projects eventuate". God help us if this council gets its way with this farce. Given where we are all at now, it's time that this lunacy was shelved — for good, like the Dominion Rd tramway.
John Agnew, Birkenhead
Some cyclists 'a menace'
There is only one thing more dangerous than Covid-19 and that's a rabid cyclist with no bell and no thought for others. A good example is Lonely Track Rd, Albany. Cones now divide the vehicles from cyclists and pedestrians and parts of the road are one way. A pedestrian in less than one kilometre observes eight cyclists using the vehicle roadway and two of them ignoring the one way.
Cyclists ride on footpaths when cycleways are present, ride two abreast when only room for one. Too many cyclists are arrogant, think they are bullet-proof and frankly are a menace. It seems to be the fashion for cyclists to frighten the life out of law- abiding citizens and on the odd occasion smash into them. One assumes it is beyond their dignity to warn others that they are approaching and that a bell is certainly not Lance Armstrong-like. Just what is wrong with these people?
Reg Dempster, Albany
Doggy doos on rise
There has been a large increase in posts on social media and no doubt you have seen it also, the increase of doggy doos on our public places. What has caused this alarming lack of decency in not picking up after your dog ? Surely it can't be blamed on the banning of one-use plastic bags.
Barry Wood, Cockle Bay
Many readers must be moved to tears by the news that oil prices have dropped to an extent that producers are paying US$30 a barrel to take it off their hands.
Countries, including NZ, who consume oil will remember the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, caused by Opec dramatically increasing the price of oil.
The effect of this caused massive economic instability, and hyperinflation, which took decades to overcome.
Cheaper oil will have a positive effect on goods that have to be transported to the consumer as transport is a huge cost of getting any products to market.
John Canty, Wadestown
Market forces no answer
Your columnist Paul Glass claims that urgency is missing in the Government's approach to Covid-19. It's widely appreciated that the sooner the country can move on down to level 2 the better however crushing the virus must be number one. Mr Glass preaches about things not happening quickly enough but surely this is the role of epidemiologists, doctors and scientists, not fund managers, to set the timing. As for his comments that Australia did it better I think we're better to say, "time will tell".
Clearly Mr Glass follows the neoliberal approach of leaving everything to the market. This approach has indeed worked well for the wealthy and for the corporates but has led to the huge disparity in incomes and what we see today as "the working poor". As is typical of this thinking, the goal is to keep wages screwed down to a minimum and hence push for the minimum wage increase to be reversed. Research on minimum wage increases has not produced evidence that suggests widespread additional job losses. I would have thought that a fund manager would have appreciated that increased money in workers' hands will in the main flow directly into the wider economy.
Mr Glass finishes by stating that "the political leadership right now has a lack of real-world experience". Inferring of course that few have actually run their own business. I've run my own business for more than 30 years and can certainly say this doesn't qualify me to be a senior minister. I think that relevant qualifications, capability and experience in the role are more valid prerequisites!
Bill Mathews, Auckland