Long-term Covid impacts
The argument about letting Covid ravage our vulnerable communities ignores something. The WHO believes it is not just a respiratory disease. Covid attacks a wide range of vital organs, and that means
we're storing up problems.
If we take, say, the UK's team of 70 million and scale it down to our population, we would be looking at around 30,000 cases and 3000 (instead of 25) deaths, but there's more. I'm at the edge of "vulnerability"; in the next 20 years or so something is going to get me and there is nothing I can do about that. Covid might shave a few years off if I'm not careful. You, however, are different. If you catch Covid at 25 and it goes for those organs, you have half a century to regret you let the government play with eugenics to save money.
As Bob Dylan asked a long time back: "How many deaths does it take till you know…that too many people have died?". At the moment, my answer, my friend, is 26.
Mike Diggins, Royal Oak.
Simon Wilson, (NZ Herald, September 25), writes that "the Greens calculate the tax will apply to only 6 per cent of the population" - 300,000 of the 5 million. Auckland's population in 2020 is 1,606,000. On September 18, it was reported that Auckland's average house value had exceeded $1m for the first time.
Auckland homeowners will need to give a bit of thought to whether they are happy to "help fund a guaranteed minimum income of $325 per week with top-ups for children, for everyone not in fulltime work"; one of the purposes of the tax. And struggling business owners will also have to think about whether the struggle is worth it.
Unsurprisingly, Simon Wilson thinks it should be.
June Kearney, West Harbour.
National's promise of tax cuts for the wealthy and the increasing support for Act are hugely disappointing. We are witnessing ever-increasing greed and inequality in this country. An increase in the basic wage is surely a better way to inject some stimulus into the economy.
People looking for ever bigger wage packets to perhaps go toward purchasing another rental property, should consider trying to live on less than $20 an hour and having to spend the vast majority of your income on rent.
Vince West, Milford.
Your correspondent (NZ Herald, September 25) asserts that no government can be built on welfare and taxes. I am afraid he got that wrong.
The fact is that all modern governments have welfare and taxes as policy pillars. Whereas these policies will vary from country to country a government not concerned with the welfare of its people and raising sufficient means to fund the good society, mainly through taxes, cannot stay in operation.
Long live the inclusive and caring society.
Frank Olsson, Freemans Bay.
In my view, the basic issue is that unlike many cities overseas, it isn't possible for drivers to bypass Auckland when they are simply going north or south.
Our limited bridges create bottlenecks (even without accidents), as do on and off-ramps that are placed too close together.
There is some progress - once the motorway link is completed from the north, traffic will at least have the choice of using the Upper Harbour route, then flow can be directed along the western corridor, to link south near Manukau.
It isn't perfect, because drivers will still be forced to mix with Auckland traffic though they want nothing to do with it.
True bypass options involve great investment courage, such as a separate motorway link that avoids on and off-ramps, probably incorporating another crossing (whether a bridge or a tunnel).
With an eye to the near future, any such developments will need suitable facilities included in their design, for example, fuel and charging stations, rest stops, etc.
Investment in heavy rail for bulk transport will help, of course, as well as local improvements in public transport.
However, the real relief for this city will be in the creation of functional bypass options.
B Watkin, Devonport.
The more recent emphasis on the rural/urban divide during the election period is concerning. In the context of the international trends - Trumpism, nationalism, populism and neo-fascism - we know how simplistic and un-nuanced such viewpoints are, and how divisive they can become to any society.
To consider we in Aotearoa/NZ are immune to such simplistic dogma is naive, and Judith Collins' continuing emphasis on the lack of empathy we townies apparently have for our neighbours in the farming community is capitalising on that. Her emphasis is subscribing to a latent prejudice being reignited in this sometimes fraught atmosphere of our present election. We all know there are many in the farming community who are very aware of the dangers of pollution, and act accordingly. We also know there a few who do not. Knowledge and continuing education to best manage our primary industries is actually having a positive effect. The rhetoric of some in the National Party, and Ms Collins in particular, does nothing for our wider understanding, but I suppose Ms Collins, in pursuing this line is already aware of that.
Sally Quaddel, Tauranga.
I cannot imagine Auckland's residents, banned from watering their gardens, will feel compliant when spring showers cease to do the job naturally. Especially if sports fields, paddocks and commercial nurseries are given preferential access to water.
Homes with buried automatic irrigation systems will water plants undetected while those without are expected to stand by and watch their gardens die.
The buck stops on Mayor Phil Goff's desk on this issue and if he has chosen to disregard advice from Watercare's board regarding residential gardens, which often include homegrown food supplies, he's going to be the most unpopular mayor ever.
And has Auckland Council decided to employ a special team of people to go around to catch and prosecute people using a handheld hose to keep their gardens alive?
Just fix the leaks in Watercare's pipes and we'll all be happy.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Auckland Council CCOs, Panuku and Auckland Transport are seeking approval for the provision of parking at nine suburban park and ride centres that are being developed in South Auckland - that is where they should be.
Each space provided should result in the removal of a council-owned parking space in the CBD. This would result in the return of city parks and open spaces to their proper purpose with the removal of tar-sealed areas and a great reduction of traffic congestion and pollution in the city.
AT should not function as a business in competition with private companies, and council-owned real estate in the CBD should be used for some more productive purpose than as car parks.
J. Billingsley, Parnell.
I was looking at some history around the TPP. When the National Government was negotiating it, the Left were up in arms. They did not want a bar of it and were marching in the streets protesting about it. They said we were selling out our sovereignty to multinational companies and New Zealand had nothing to gain from it.
When the new Labour-led Government came into power, they made a slight name change and signed it into law.
There were no more protests and all the things that the protesters said were going to happen did not happen. The trade deal has been in effect for over two years now.
David Brown, Waiuku.
St James' Church in Mt Eden is the latest casualty of the downturn in Christianity.
Through recent years there have been so many churches for sale, many smaller ones being converted to private residences.
Is this faith now the minority of religions in New Zealand? My ancestry goes back to the missionaries in the 1800s whereby Christianity was well-promoted.
It seems a shame that some of the old churches, now losing their original identity, can't be preserved as part of our history - even if it meant turning some of them into museums, with relics and factual stories from the past, identifying local prominent individuals, along with their memorabilia.
I, for one, could tell a story or two, with many items of interest to display, and keep alive some historical interest to pass down.
Margaret Dyer, Taupō.
Short & sweet
When robbing Peter to pay Paul you will never hear Paul complain. Just ask historians what happened to the Robin Hood ideology of robbing the rich to pay the poor. It didn't last long. Chris Ellis, Remuera.
Together, Judith and her husband appear to have set the tone for National's entire campaign - disrespectful, arrogant and at times childish. Lois McGough, Ōrewa.
On All Blacks
Re: the All Blacks' Christmas deprivations. They are not able to compress the schedule because playing two matches within a week is too tough? Have they not heard of the Tour de France - 20 days in three weeks, non-stop action five hours in the saddle? Petrus van der Schaaf, Te Arai Pt
It would appear that making freedom of speech illegal, sounds like communism to me. Carol Steenson, Whakatane.
It would appear that the coronavirus pandemic is now set to affect nuances of the English language. For example, what does giving someone the elbow now mean - rebuff or greeting? Alan Thomas, Silverdale.
Peaches from Greece, noodles from Malaysia, tomatoes from Italy, biscuits, cereal, aioli, porridge and potato chips from Australia, sweet chilli sauce and rice from Thailand, muesli bars from Spain. The sooner manufacturing is brought back to New Zealand the sooner we get back on our feet. Karola Wheeler, West Harbour.
Just planted the tomatoes - thank heavens for daylight savings and that extra hour of sunlight for ripening them. Now off to prep for my Covid hoax-anti-5G march. Oh, the joys of Spring. Josephine Ellis, Meadowbank.