I notice a few people are now demanding that Kiwis who want to return home must get a test three days before flying. This will not make New Zealand any safer than it
The reason is, a person gets a test three days before flying and returns a negative test and gets their piece of paper to say they are okay. They then walk out of the clinic and pick up the virus in those three days before flying. They can also pick up the virus at the airport, they can also pick it up on the plane from people whose country does not require a test. They can also pick it up in any one of the transit airports, such as Dubai, Singapore or Doha.
When they arrive in New Zealand, they can show their bit of paper and say they are okay, but unwittingly they have picked the virus up on the way home.
The way that New Zealand is managing this virus is the best way, get them home and then we are in control of the process.
Tony Barnett, Pukekohe.
Richard Prebble "discloses" (NZ Herald, December 30) our Covid testing plan was written by a veterinarian epidemiologist. Well, New Zealand has recent experience of epidemics - on farms. Whatever, we are Covid-free. The author of the Great Barrington Declaration, which endorsed the Swedish experiment, is Oxford epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta - a biologist. Was she right?
I quote the professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, Devi Sridhar: "Now more than ever, it's clear why we need a proactive strategy to eliminate Covid altogether ... It's no longer enough to just flatten the curve, or treat Covid-19 like a yearly flu.
"This will devastate our economy and society and run down our health services. The model of living with the virus and allowing it to run through the population has failed. Even Sweden, once hailed by some as an example of how to avoid harsh measures, has been hamstrung by outbreaks, run out of hospital beds and asked its Scandinavian
neighbours for help."
Dennis N. Horne, Howick.
Will the monitoring of social media, as reported (NZ Herald, December 27) develop into the English system?
Miller v Humberside Police and the College of Policing as trainers of the police was heard in the English High Court. Miller had been engaged in a political debate on Twitter.
A complaint was made suggesting that Miller had made hate speech. No crime was alleged, but Miller was interviewed, to "check his thinking" as the investigating constable put it. Even though no crime was alleged, a crime report was completed.
Miller demanded a judicial review, which meant a High Court hearing. The Justice absolutely excoriated both police parties, aligning them with Stasi, Cheka, and Gestapo. The usual totally insincere "lessons have been learned" statement followed.
In another case, in which names escape me, two women were having a Twitter spat. One called the other "a fat pig in a bonnet". The hate speech complaint again went to the High Court. The Justice ruled that "free speech includes the right to offend" and dismissed the case.
Which way should New Zealand go?
G.N. Kendall, Rothesay Bay.
My daughter has twice failed the written VTNZ test. There were 35 questions and she had to get at least 32 correct.
I wonder how many of us, with many years' driving experience, would pass?
The following are eight of the questions:
A vehicle should not send out visible smoke for more than how many seconds?
To tow a trailer on a Restricted car licence, the weight of your vehicle plus the weight of the trailer and its load must not exceed what?
What is the maximum distance a load may extend in front of a car?
You have a restricted licence. A condition for driving at night without a supervisor is that you must not drive between: (Hours)
What does a reflectorised triangle placed on the side of the road mean?
What is the least distance of clear road you must have in front of you when you have finished passing another vehicle?
When driving on a road with lanes you must be able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in front of you. (T/F)
What is the maximum distance a load may overhang your vehicle behind the rear axle?
Brian Alderson, Glen Eden.
As John Collinge pointed out (NZ Herald, December 28), consumers have been rorted by the gentailers who simply operate on the basis of "you make the rules, we'll play the game". The game is to maximise profits by keeping the system on the edge of a shortage.
The rules were set by the Wholesale Electricity Market Development Group (who foolishly rejected an alternative market that would have ensured a lower cost reliable supply) and enforced by the Electricity Commission who will not contemplate the possibility that the present market is fatally flawed.
Electricity, like water, sewage and roading, is a public good for which there is no alternative. We should have a reliable supply at the lowest possible cost. Yet nobody is responsible for ensuring the lights stay on and the price is set by the gentailers who reap windfall profits from hydropower stations the NZ public has paid for.
We need a comprehensive review of the electricity market to ensure a reliable and economic supply. If this is not done, increasing prices and a rapidly increasing risk of blackouts in a dry year are inevitable.
Bryan Leyland, Pt Chevalier.
It is outrageous in this decade-old crisis, that owners should just be able to do nothing with their properties and get away with it, frequently for years, and benefit from this. Two obvious examples in Grey Lynn come to mind, the Church of Tonga's Carlile House and The Little Grocer. Either government legislation, including tax law, or council by-laws should surely be able to bring pressure on the owners of these properties and the hundreds of speculative house owners who are just leaving them empty to simply gain in value, to either ensure they are occupied or developed or they will pay penalty tax and/or rates, eventually leading to fines and, as a last resort, confiscation through the new compulsory acquisition powers.
Christopher Johnstone, Grey Lynn.
"Kurt Bayer's top 10 cricket grounds" (NZ Herald, December 26) names number six as the Bay Oval at Mt Maunganui.
Unless the Mount's venue and its encircling industrial skyline is attempting to emulate London's Oval venue with the gasworks and gasometer dominating its northeastern boundary, Mt Maunganui's ranking at number six is surprising.
The crowd at the Pakistan test did its picnic-blanket best to brighten up the ground's charmless perimeter of steel tanks and chimneys, particularly with the dads promoting kids' running races over the ground's incongruous 680m concrete track.
The local council, who years back chose industrial spaces to establish such a mediocre site for a cricket ground, might better have considered Hagley Oval with its trees and English Green spaces for its model.
Sadly, this prosaic theme is true of much of the Tauranga area's mediocre community facilities and its reserve spaces.
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
I was disturbed to read in Lincoln's Table (NZ Herald, December 29) about the inclusion of shark fins in a fancy soup.
Obviously, our legislation lags chronically behind what should be.
All sharks should be protected. No shark should have to suffer for this human indulgence, nor should we be promoting and justifying its consumption in articles.
Haven't we moved on to better aspirations, for goodness sake?
Alan Pettersen, Devonport.
Valmai Shearer's letter about catching white butterflies (NZ Herald, December 29) brought back memories of when we lived in Ōtāhuhu.
There were six children in our family and our father had a very large vegetable garden. He didn't use anything other than natural pest control and that included some of us being on white butterfly capture. We got a penny a butterfly, which was generally spent at the corner dairy.
I can't say I learned the value of saving but I did learn that white butterflies were a pest.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Short & sweet
I particularly enjoy my Herald this time of year because of the Summer Photo competition. I also enjoy the extra puzzles and crosswords at this time! Kia kaha, NZ Herald. Colleen McMurchy, Blockhouse Bay.
Trade was always free, until governments got involved. The best example being Norway who wouldn't have a bar of the EU and, as a free trader, is now the wealthiest country on the planet. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
With International travel still obviously quite some way off, now would be a good time for Air New Zealand to show some goodwill by extending the use-by date of the credits awarded from Covid-cancelled flights. Gary Andrews, Mt Maunganui.
It is ironic that the Tree Council opposes the removal of one macrocarpa tree by a developer in Avondale but supports the Tūpuna Maunga Authority to remove 345 exotic trees at Ōwairaka/Mt Albert. Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
We have been very fortunate to be able to receive the paper without fail throughout a very difficult 2020. Many thanks to you all. Patrick Robertson, Hobsonville.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the New Zealand Government's world-leading response to the coronavirus pandemic? Am I the only one wondering what planet Richard Prebble (NZ Herald, December 30) lives on these days? Richard Irwin, Te Atatū South.