It is disturbing to read that the Labour Weekend road toll is higher than last year, but hardly surprising.
Have people noticed that driving on the open road is crazy, with drivers tailgating constantly, as a form of intimidation. What do they hope to gain from this?
I am maintaining the speed limit while the crazies whirl past, only to be waiting impatiently at the next set of lights.
They have gained nothing. The speed limit is ignored, drivers are rude, and lacking in sense, making driving most unpleasant. I think this must have something to do with the pandemic.
I can think of no other reason.
A N Christie, Rotorua.
Bosses to blame
New Zealand is facing a crisis that is creating huge problems for every Kiwi.
While the NZ government is widely admired throughout the world, our productivity is not even in the top 20. Whereas an Irish worker is worth more than US$87 per hour a New Zealander generates only US$40. The amount a worker produces is the measure of productivity and the responsibility of managers.
New Zealand business managers (CEOs and directors) are failing the country either because they are not working enough or not working cleverly enough. I call on the government to provide training for our CEOs and boards of directors so that they can do as well as the Irish and provide for Kiwis the same well-being many of the rest of the world enjoys.
Mark Nixon, Remuera
I have thought that the existing eftpos network could enhance the Covid-19 tracking system.
By having a simple opt-in or opt-out model to link your tracing details, the trading banks could post details in near-real-time to the Covid system whenever your bank card is used.
Even if no financial transaction occurs, your unique Covid tracing detail and transaction location would capture most of the current scenarios where the Covid QR code is currently used.
In effect, tracing would happen automatically with far greater accuracy than the ad-hoc model currently in place, without replacing it.
Scanning the code would remain an option.
There are of course the same privacy concerns to tackle and the legitimate authorities are already able to request this information via a search warrant if they require it.
There must be specific pandemic targets to determine the end of the national tracking exercise, and the individual should be able to both opt-out and explicitly grant access to the location data.
Simon Shanahan, Takapuna
On frontline nurses
Kevin McVicar, the Greenhithe pub owner who tested negative, gets a Covid hotel to protect his elderly mother. Does that mean nurses working with Covid can get Covid hotel protection for their elderly? As for the mixed messages from DHBs that is par for the course.
None of this protection is offered to the frontline workers in care homes.
Is this just for show; special treatment now the crisis is over. Covid nurses are underpaid and their elderly relatives at risk. Where is the equity here?
Only now do we have an admission from DHBs that it isn't possible to self-isolate at home from the elderly.
Covid nurses have been treated badly and are still underpaid for the risks they and their whānau take to open the borders.
Get tougher at the borders and stop pussy-footing around and give nurses the respect pub owners get.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest
Rugby crowds stay away
The "Battle Of The Bridge" was talked up all week, yet the crowd was minimal.
Obviously even the North Shore stadium staff did not expect a crowd as a lot of the seats had advertising sheets over them.
The TV presenter's expectations of what a decent crowd is are set very low as they described the few people who turned up as "a decent crowd".
It's not as if this was a low grade rural game. This is our national game in a city of 1.5 million.
It has been a problem for years and I go back to the Mitre 10 Final of a couple of years ago between Auckland and Canterbury.
A memorable game with Auckland winning 40-33. In an effort to get a good crowd for the final of our national game there were free tickets.
Eden Park holds 50,000 and the crowd numbered just over 20,000. Ian Smith at one stage waxed lyrically about the fantastic crowd!
Even the recent All Black games against Australia both were 4000 short of capacity and we hadn't seen international rugby for 400+ days.
So where are the rugby fans?
Jimmy Johnson, Whitianga
If I had lost a relative in the Erebus crash I would think a discreet bronze or granite list of all the names, such as exists at the site of the Cave Creek disaster, would be a more fitting tribute than the grandiose piece of iron and steel work presently under consideration, and altogether more suitable in the lovely setting of Judges Bay.
C.K. Stead, Parnell
With the greatest sympathy for correspondent David Allan's tragic family loss in the Mt Erebus disaster, his faith in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC) having employed "experts" with good design taste for the proposed memorial at the Parnell rose garden site is misplaced.
Throwing good money after bad to install a huge ugly concrete and steel monstrosity on a treasured green space in that park, already dedicated to the memory of Sir Dove Myer Robinson, is not even agreeable to all family members affected by the crash.
Locals who formed a Friends group to save the green space do not oppose a smaller more discreet Erebus memorial being included there, despite the fact there are other more suitable sites connected with Māngere where the plane departed from.
The Waitematā Local Board will hopefully see the foolish expenditure by MHC on an unsuitable design for what it is, and continue to support local opposition by declining consent for construction in that area.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera
Tough calls needed
This month's election marked a failure of New Zealand's democracy at its most fundamental level.
The media and political parties behaved responsibly, and media coverage was — apart from the usual commentator biases on both sides — reasonable. Participation by the electorate was high.
Success? No. Both Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson have since announced — apparently reasonably — of their intent to "govern from the middle".
Commentators of all stripes have instantly agreed this is the wisest course, and all have stated that a successful government that wishes for more than one term must embrace this incrementalism.
But governing to ensure re-election is neither the point of government, nor of democracy. The argument of the need to govern in this fashion is a failure of understanding in democracy itself and of the moral responsibility of politicians to the electorate.
Government's role is not to see itself sufficiently popular to ensure it remains in power. Government's role is to make hard, often difficult choices in the long-term interests of the people it serves.
All political parties agree that superannuation costs are on the verge of bankrupting NZ. Most people will remove $2 from the system for every dollar they paid in taxes.
The economy and population simply can't grow fast enough to support these costs over the longer term.
The same applies to the need for a Capital Gains Tax. All political parties know that not taxing the rich is unfair — after all the poor can't escape paying PAYE, so why should the rich escape paying on their earnings? Making hard decisions in areas like these is why governments are elected. Simply aiming for re-election is a betrayal of the principle of democracy itself — service and self-sacrifice in the name of the people.
Paul Schmidt, Greenhithe
Short & sweet
On foreign workers
I wonder why we are eager to import fishermen who appear to be riddled with Covid — yet are opposed to allowing horticultural workers in. Surely they couldn't be any more of a threat?
Alan Hay, St Heliers.
There was a letter recently published in the Herald suggesting that superannuation should be means-tested. I agree. Our superannuation payments should be pro rata to the income tax we have paid during our working life.
Bryan Airey, Waiake.
On voting Prior to the election
South Island constituents were seriously vocal about their lockdown restrictions because there were no community infections. However after the election it became apparent that they had voted Labour en masse. Would someone like to explain how that works please?
On small business
Small businesses depend on small workers with enlarged wallets. Who benefits when a worker can now afford a loaf of bread and a packet of cereal? Peter Thomas, Hamilton. On US election As Americans head to the polls, I hope they remember one unassailable fact. People always matter more than power and politics.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.