Letter of the week: Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay
New York's lockdown, causing the shutdown of its cafes and offices, left the city's subway system with a $16 billion dollar shortfall.
Covid-19, which has forced more and more people to work from home highlights that office use is on a steep decline. Companies such as Microsoft, Zoom, Google, Meet and Cisco have 300 million workers, all able to work from home as are those involved in civil courts, banks, law, and accountancy.
To avoid the pressures on children by having two parents working, which the high cost of housing has brought about, Germany has introduced a four-day working week.
Before the government embarks on grandiose public transport systems and four-lane highways between major centres, it needs to factor in the changing city centre office scenario which could leave such major public transport and motorway systems significantly unused monuments to town planners' lack of vision.
Name and shame
Two recent homicide cases involving children have sparked calls to end the right to silence; statements in a recent media item reveal an investigation spanning 2004 to the present, carrying the names of 12 children whose killers have never been brought to justice.
The right to silence is enshrined in the Bill of Rights Act. Like most countries in the Western world, New Zealand authorities can't compel people to talk, "Aside from a few exceptions, we all have – all the time – a right to silence,
Yet I know of no law which prevents the police publicly naming the persons of interest relevant to each case, completely acknowledging the public shame this will bring to the family, the culture, the tribe, whatever is appropriate to each case.
Thus family peer, tribal, or cultural pressure is brought to bear on the individual responsible, leaving one of two options: to remove the abhorrent stain on the community concerned: or to reveal or to ostracise the miscreant. Either action brings the perpetrator into the light
Paul Evans-McLeod, Hamilton.
To John Roughan (Weekend Herald, September 26) and his many apparent supporters longing for the re-opening of the borders and the economy, believing that Covid-19 will just magically disappear (sound familiar?), I suggest they look at what is happening right now in the UK, Europe and America.
This is a dangerous disease, for which the long-term morbidity is unknown (think chickenpox and shingles), and has an extraordinarily high infection and death rate with no certainty about a future effective vaccine.
We have got off lightly in all of this thanks to courageous leadership and a socialist Government. Yes, mistakes were made, but the outcome is undeniable.
In America, they have sacrificed more than 200,000 lives (and counting) to keep the economy going and now have about 15 million unemployed. It's a similar pattern in the UK and Brazil. Those countries now have the worst of both worlds.
We are uniquely placed in New Zealand to succeed.
Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
It is ludicrous to assume that Aucklanders will be able to take their Level 2 distancing restrictions on holiday with them (Weekend Herald, September 26), even if they were willing to do so.
How would they be able to follow these while in a cafe or dining out? Are cafe and restaurant owners supposed to clear adjacent tables of diners because Aucklanders have walked in? Is this likely to happen? It's just totally unrealistic.
Ella Harris, Christchurch.
Substance and honesty
Bruce Cotterill hit the nail on the head with "Where are the leaders as NZ crumbles?" (Weekend Herald, September 26). I am sure a great many people would like some straight answers from our politicians, regarding the issues raised in his article. Hopefully at the next televised leaders debate, the moderator will extract some specific policy from the leaders, as to how they will deal with the breakdown in infrastructure, that has occurred throughout New Zealand.
We have had enough of "eyebrow gymnastics" and talk about "being kind". Now is the time for some substance and honest debate. The leaders need to stand up and take control, we can't continue with projects that are redundant by the time that they are completed and the huge cost and delivery time blowouts.
Announcing the allocation of millions of dollars, to deal with a problem isn't enough; we need specifics as to how the project is going to be managed.
Wayne Powell, Hillcrest.
End to suffering
I wish to respond to the article "A change to the way we view and value life" (Weekend Herald, September 26.
Like the church leaders, those of us who favour the End of Life Choice (EOLC) Act are concerned for the well-being of our society and caring for the vulnerable.
Unlike the church leaders, EOLC supporters are convinced that giving the terminally ill the choice to end an agonising and inevitable death is the best way to achieve those aims.
This act of mercy should not be conflated with the suicide of others. The terminally ill are about to die due to their illnesses. They will simply be choosing the time and manner of their imminent death.
We also support improved palliative care. Palliative care and EOLC together give vulnerable, suffering people the wider choice of options at the end of their lives. The person suffering is best placed to make those final decisions.
Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
Full Monty economics
Following on from Andrew Montgomery's thoughtful letter (Weekend Herald, September 26), yes, there is a better way.
Cancel income tax - both individual and corporate - thus massively increasing spending and saving capacity for workers and company shareholders.
The government can simply print money at will to fund health, welfare, educational, infrastructure, etc, as it sees fit. Don't laugh, it's already happening so why not go the Full Monty?
Garry Wycherley, Awakino.
Long Covid tail
Comments by John Roughan (Weekend Herald, September 26) and some of your correspondents suggest that New Zealand's attempt to eliminate Covid-19 comes at too much cost to the economy. They argue that the death rate in this country has been low. What people forget is the damage the virus does to peoples' health, likely long term. A sizeable proportion of people infected by Covid-19 have organ damage and sometimes it is serious. People unable to work to full capacity, more people on benefits. Surely greater numbers of damaged patients will require increased numbers of hospital beds and the increased attention of medical staff, which will also be damaging to the economy. Not to mention the increased suffering of our fellow citizens.
Raye Catran, Tauranga.
A quick word
If I had one word to describe our relationship with Australias sports bodies, it's "naive". We owe Australian Rugby nothing - that should be the starting point for any negotiations. David Patterson, Raumati Beach.
National's promise of tax cuts for the wealthy, and the increasing support for Act, are hugely disappointing. An increase in the basic wage is surely a better way to inject some stimulus into the economy. Vince West, Milford.
Time to knuckle down and pick some fruit; at least no-one's shooting at us. Jim Carlyle, Te Atatū Peninsula.
The "tall poppy syndrome" is alive and well in Aotearoa New Zealand with the Greens' election promise to implement a wealth tax on those who have done moderately well by hard work and sacrifice. Lloyd Murcott, Whangamatā.
David Seymour states "the simple truth is they were just making it up as they went along".
How else did he expect any government to have responded during this unprecedented pandemic? Maureen Dunn, Levin.
Reading that French linen is woven from flax, when is the light of this homegrown industry going to switch on in NZ? Yvonne Sutton, Northcote.
Congratulations on your rigorous review of the personal use of cannabis (Weekend Herald, September 26). Better to have government-controlled sales generating taxes for drug education and treatment. Graham Gulbransen, Pt Chevalier.
So help me, if I see one more picture of a probe shoved up somebody's hooter, I swear, I'll start shouting at people. Dean Donoghue, Papamoa Beach.
The media plays up the entertainment value of leaders' debates – their clever put-downs, their winning personalities. But what about what they stand for? Judy Hunter, Pt Chevalier.
It would be fantastic to see David Seymour to stand on his own as the Act Party without the help of the National Party. It is diabolical how both parties seem to accommodate each other with completely different policies. Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
Why are we importing all these Covid cases from India? Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
Why single out India? USA has more cases. Heng Teoh, Parnell.