Testing positive after Covid recovery
I know a person who regularly transits our international border. He has had Covid-19. He has been vaccinated.
Everytime he re-enters the country, he is required to isolate until a negative test is achieved. He is not allowed out of his hotel room while overseas (other than in Australia). What is the point of the vaccination if we don't get our freedoms back?
The only reason for the above process is the assumption that he is carrying the virus. However, having had the disease and having had the vaccination, his body will kill the virus as the human body has done for millions of years. The virus mutates as every virus has the capability of doing. While there are different strains of this virus there are different strains of the flu and we adjust as we go along but we continue with our lives without constraint.
Is the Government going to continue to curtail our freedoms? Are we to forever live under a North Korea-esque regime with our freedoms forever controlled; or are we going to be able to start the journey back to normality with well defined positive steps forward?
Michael Sommerville, Beachlands.
The health-care system shake-up by the Government should have the foundations for much stronger prevention. This would address Art Nahill's plea (NZ Herald, April 21) as a frontline doctor for 30 years for stronger policies on tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food. A new Public Health agency, joining up the 20 Public Health Units, and reinstating the independent Public Health Advisory Committee should strengthen the capacity and connectedness of these critical prevention structures.
Health Coalition Aotearoa applauds the boldness of the Government to put health equity and prevention front and centre of our health system.
Professor Boyd Swinburn, chair, Health Coalition Aotearoa.
NZ Health sounds smooth, efficient, all-encompassing and all-inclusive. The clutter of multiple health boards gone, a new shining body of equity and fairness for all replacing them.
In reality we are headed for spaghetti junctions. The growth of heavily politicised bureaucracy, the centralisation of power, tinges of apartheid realignment in healthcare delivery, and the restraining and control of clinician and manager decision making powers by a faceless cabal of political hacks.
The elderly will likely have access to increasingly fewer services and treatments as they advance through senior age brackets, and GPs will be expected to pick up ever greater workloads at a time of growing GP shortage and a looming surge in retirements within their ranks.
Centralised IT systems will be set up to largely dictate who is admitted or discharged, and innovative regional treatment programs and models will need to go through a myriad of approval hoops. Progress? Hardly.
Sam Clements, Hauraki.
Appeasing the dragon
The Foreign Minister's analogy of the taniwha and the dragon was a lot of smoke. She (and her boss) are trying to obscure the fact that NZ is valuing its trade with China over the, far larger, Anglosphere.
Like with the non-nukes moment, which was unarguably counter-productive (Professor John Ferris explains this very well in his latest book) and only offended our friends, it looks like Nanaia's taniwha will be the same as Lange's "uranium on the breath" – albeit less eloquent and less explicit.
Andrew Parsons, Ōrākei.
It's great to see at last (NZ Herald, April 20) some fact-based analysis of the effects of the migrant worker temporary visa policies (RSE) on New Zealand's languishing productivity and badly skewed labour market.
Now it is time for the Government to urgently put aside the anecdotal rhetoric that has plagued this issue and use the facts in these reports to find equitable solutions to the issues for both employers and workers.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
In a previous life, my occupation as a cost accountant, leads me to express amazement at the cost of Auckland's recent speed bump construction blitz.
The cost of $97m for 700 of these monuments to the legions of engineers, planners and various levels of sedentary managers, who no doubt were involved in the expense of the process, to say little about the direct costs of the actual build, works out at $138,571 each.
As a benchmark, a recent private driveway built in reinforced concrete, 3m wide and 70m in length cost $120,000.
Given the economies to be had from efficient contracting and for a one-design project of a mere 3m wide by 10m in length, I remain "amazed".
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Got the hump
Where I live, Auckland Council has recently put in five quite vicious speed humps near the end of a no-exit road. After the speed humps, there are two short side streets, also no-exit.
Most people living here are either retired or working middle-aged. It is a nice, quiet area. There are no through roads. There were no boy-racers or hoons. There are no schools, parks, etc, after the humps.
There was no public consultation before the humps were put in. The speed humps are nothing more than a nuisance for the residents, with no good reason for being there.
Yet, I read in the Herald about Town Hall lifts not working, and the Aotea Centre car-park lift and pay machine not working for months. Cycle lanes are planned across the harbour that are unlikely to be popular because of the gradient and the weather.
It would be really nice to see Auckland Council do something radical, like spending our rates sensibly.
Russell Rolfe, Massey.
Sent a meter
Steward Lind's letter (NZ Herald, April 21) highlights the real reason for "smart" electricity meters" - allowing electricity companies to maximise profits.
There was no mention of the plan he was on but it must be a "controlled" plan. A programmable automatic switch can surely be installed to bypass their supply and ensure he gets his water heated for free?
The Energy Minister Megan Woods needs to tell Stewart's electricity company to cut out using smart meters to rob him blind.
His investment is a waste of time. How "green" is this Government?
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
Gloriavale seems to be a cult, which operates on values from 200-300 years ago.
They make a lot of money from their businesses; use our roads and other Government agencies; and certainly use our hospitals, Starship etc, to the max. Yet they pay no taxes, PAYE, GST, ACC or corporate taxes.
Time for a shakeup of the system, or we may see a whole lot of similar cults being formed… Stuartvale does have a ring to it…
Stuart McMonagle, Greenhithe.
Auckland surely has become a mess from the royal city it once was.
I spent many trips as a small child to Queen St with my aunt. We travelled from Papatoetoe by train and took the tram up Queen St. There was no litter as the council employed street cleaners. Now the councillor' enormous salaries don't allow any extra to pay street cleaners. Also there was no takeaway rubbish to litter the streets. The big department stores were a joy and there were chairs at the counters for the weary shoppers.
There were three variety stores; Woolworths, McKenzies and McDuffs. Outside one was stairs with fairy lights going down under the street to a boat which was 6d a ride. People had pride and dressed up to go to the city.
Years later I joined the Air Force and was stationed at Whenuapai and Hobsonville air bases. Friday night was late night and shopping, then a visit to one of the beautifully decorated cinemas. Even when the Yanks were here during the war, the city was always tidy and clean.
I never go to Queen St today but still have the wonderful memories.
Gwyneth Jones, Albany.
Short & sweet
Cheap ain't best when you add in coal-fired power running the slave labour factories that made the goods. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
Wind warning issued for Auckland Harbour Bridge; rain, wind sets in across parts of North Island... how viable it is to have a cycleway across the bridge? Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
May l unofficially respond to the letter from Stewart Lind (NZ Herald, April 21) regarding his understandable frustration with the lack of meaningful response from his power provider: "We care for you and value your custom but love your money even more." John Norris, Whangamatā.
How are the voters interests served when MP's choose to knit while being paid a salary for serving in Parliament? I agree with the MP who objected. Johann Nordberg, Paeroa.
On van Gogh
With the big exhibition from the works of Vincent van Gogh advertised on TV in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, why is his name pronounced as "Van Go"? Is it just ignorance or laziness? W A Houtman, Waiau Pa.
Although the entities differ, it is hoped that lessons are learned from the Auckland Council experience and that the health system is truly reformed for the benefit of all Kiwis. Warwick Maxwell, St Heliers.
Welcome back to the old Department of Health under a new name, to counter the next pandemic. Next, a newborn NZ Electricity Department to mitigate the other certain threat: climate change. Dennis N Horne, Howick.