Skills required for tight economic times
Thanks to your reporter Jamie Gray for an excellent article (NZ Herald, January 19) in which he writes that business expects to feel the pain and all eyes are on the Reserve Bank as inflation and labour shortages start to bite.
These are but two of several economic problems facing us. But to point the finger at the Reserve Bank, albeit correct to do so as a theoretically so-called independent economic arbiter, does beg the question of what part our Government has to play.
Even more to the point, do our Government Ministers have the relevant skills? They seem to be relying on the Reserve Bank, on Treasury and indeed on other public servants and independent consultants.
Does our Government actually have the skills itself to manage a clearly very difficult set of circumstances?
Steve Clerk, Meadowbank.
Each day we learn of Omicron cases "detected at the border" with the ever-increasing chance of this virus strain getting into the community.
Those arriving must pass a pre 48-hour Covid test and be double-vaccinated. The infection then is occurring between this test and the 10 days within MIQ.
Does this not call for a further level of protection? It seems the highly infectious Omicron Covid variant might be occurring within the 48-hour period and boarding.
A rapid antigen test could be applied pre-boarding, with the results apparently available within 15 minutes. This could easily detect infectious travellers rather than waiting until they arrive in New Zealand.
While rapid antigen tests are apparently less sensitive at detecting cases, the time and cost of this further level of checking might easily reduce the number of Omicron cases arriving at the border.
Des Trigg, Rothesay Bay.
It's interesting to compare the Tonga response to the earthquake in Napier almost 90 years ago.
At the time of the quake, the mine-sweeping sloop Veronica was at Ahuriri Wharf in Napier. The quake started at 10.47am on Tuesday, February 3, 1931. It killed 256 people. After securing his ship and sending relief teams ashore, the Veronica captain contacted Devonport Naval Base. Because the telegraph system was down and the valves in the ship's radio had been broken, the initial communication was in Morse Code.
Two cruisers at the Naval Base, the Dunedin and the Diomedes, loaded medical and other relief supplies, embarked 26 doctors and nurses and departed for Napier at 2.30pm.
According to the Naval Historical Review, they maintained a speed of 24 knots most of the way to Napier, arriving 8.20am the next morning. During the run down the coast they kept radio contact with the Veronica and worked out a preliminary relief plan. The ships' bakers were making as much bread as they could.
We have been told the Aotearoa and Wellington will take three days to get to Tonga. At an average speed of 24 knots, the Dunedin and Diomedes would have made the trip in less than two days.
Keith Hay, Waihi Beach.
What is the point of anti-vaxxers harassing and upsetting families getting their vaccination? These families have made their democratic choice in the same way that anti-vaxxers have, and we all need to peacefully respect personal decisions, whether we agree with them or not.
The anti-vax movement is on a destructive path of action that promotes the "entitlements" of the individual at the expense of a democracy.
R Young, Kerikeri
Protests too much
Voices for Freedom, and other groups who hold views against Covid vaccination, try to impose their views on people and disrupt people who are lawfully going about getting themselves or their children vaccinated.
This activity is trivialised by both Government and the police, who talk about peoples' right to protest. These are not protests, the anti-vax people have the right not to get vaccinated, they have nothing tangible to gain from their actions, neither does anyone else.
These are attempts at intimidation, trying to spread their disbelief in science and medicine, often to vulnerable people, in a way that would endanger the health of our entire population.
They should be stopped, not excused as protesters.
Graham Carter, Herne Bay.
Each day, we are notified that the daily numbers for Covid will be revealed at 1pm. It has been something we have come to rely on, but no longer. The message hasn't changed, just the timing; and I sure do miss the consistency.
So, you could say, who cares? Well, I do. Living in Auckland over lockdown meant tuning into the numbers in the hope that numbers were decreasing and we would be able to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle that was being experienced by those in the lower North Island and South Island. I timed my lunch to coincide with the news and it worked out so well. But sadly, rarely does this timing have any relevancy any more. Even though we are being told the numbers will be released at 1pm, it could be any time between 1pm and 2.45pm. There is no consistency, no information, no timing but random and who knows when we might be told what the next step will be.
For me, it's the small things that count - like doing what you say you will do, when you say you will, that makes a difference in my life.
Robin Harrison, Takapuna.
Your columnist Richard Prebble (NZ Herald, January 19) has it wrong in praising
Clarke Gayford over giving a pharmacy wrong advice based on partial information.
Gayford may have been well within his rights to accept a call from his friend and to offer that friend his opinion. Where he overstepped the mark was when he chose to use his status to present that wrong opinion, via speaker-phone, to the pharmacy as fact.
Prebble appears to have wilfully distorted the facts to argue that Gayford's only other option was to hang up on his friend's call.
That's wrong, he had other options and one of them was not to jump to a conclusion based on incorrect information.
David Bevan, Howick.
Back to basics
Phil Goff's article (NZ Herald, January 18) tells us about some of the bigger projects that the council is currently working on, but nothing about the maintenance of core services.
We have a creek running along the side of our street with weeds growing out of it.
The weeds are usually cut back by the council every six to eight weeks.
They haven't been touched for eight months.
L H Cleverly, Mt Roskill.
Delusions of grandeur
First up Sir John Key congratulates himself on the nationwide fibre roll-out, claiming it eradicated the urban/rural digital divide when it actually cemented it.
Rural users, who had the most to gain, had to wait years while city dwellers were linked up. The fibre roll-out was a good idea but starting it in the cities, which already had more fibre than needed, was wrong. It should have started in the regions from Invercargill to Kaitaia and worked towards the cities. That would have fixed the digital divide.
Now it makes more sense for them to connect to Elon Musk's Star network, with better speeds and no need to deal with Chorus.
Next Phil Goff bleats about a councillor voting against the relentless drive to increase costs and charges on ratepayers. They all should have voted against this.
If Auckland council needs more money, start with Ports of Auckland sitting on $6b of land and paying no rates or dividends. Force the ports to pay $200m of rates that other owners would pay, plus a $200m dividend, like Tauranga port pays its owners. As for his unsubstantiated claim of over $100m of council savings, if you believe that you'll believe anything.
Wayne Brown, Mangonui & Ponsonby.
Short & sweet
Great photo (NZ Herald, Jan. 19) of Brian Tamaki with microphone, doubtlessly singing his theme song "The Great Pretender". David Macready, Warkworth.
It looks like we'll have to be "boosterised" until researchers come up with a more "final" vaccine against Covid-19, as Salk, then Sabin did with polio. Anne Wilks, Devonport.
Mayor Goff (NZ Herald, Jan. 18) appears pleased to find $120 million of wasted expenditure last year and now plans to save $90 million each year in the future. What private enterprise could survive with that amount of waste just waiting to be carved away each year? Peter Newfield, Takapuna.
The solution to the problem of annoying cafes with their music, excessive customer conversation, noisy coffee machines, etc, is simple. Don't go there. Garry Wycherley, Awakino.
When questioned as to the veracity of her information, all Liz Gunn could respond with was it was related to a "buzz" from down the line. Are you kidding me? M Brown, Hamilton East.
We really need to move to the self isolation at home model. Many of us have not seen our families for nearly three years now. Alison Feeney, Remuera.
The Premium Debate
Ministers, in my opinion, should disseminate important information and announcements by press release or by press conference in person. Dashing off a quick tweet in the loo between meetings just won't do I'm afraid. Marcus A.
"The Government [read "Ardern"] finished the summer break, very much intact, with a risky strategy that defied naysayers and worked. Correct in the past tense, but - as we'll discover - correct in the present and future tense as well. Key was a popular prime minister, but Ardern stands out for her outstanding ability to "read the populace" and what they'll accept. Look to history: sharp lockdowns accompanied by empathetic communication style that sold the idea emphatically, safe economy, tough-mindedness in time of crisis, low mortality, genuine leadership, etc. Timothy T.
Western Australia was Covid-free for months until now with a few cases but will, invariably when it opens, have lots of cases. The New Zealand Government has sat by and watched as the opportunity was lost for Kiwis to return with virtually zero risk to NZ population. Meanwhile, arbitrarily through MIQ or otherwise, allowing non-citizens to come and go. At least they could have got some home without risk. Now the opportunity has been frittered away. Stephen J.
We got to Europe last summer. I can assure you, summer was as normal there last summer as our summer here. Holidaymakers in full swing. Marie K.
When does it end for the tens of thousands of New Zealand citizens trying to come home? The stories are heartbreaking. Angela H.
One of the highest vaccination rates in the world. One of the lowest death rates so far. MIQ, well, we all know that could have been better but you cannot keep everyone happy, huh? June J.
The country is closed down and the official Government announcement is via Twitter and you don't see the problem? How many people in NZ use Twitter? How about Jacinda Ardern standing up on the podium of truth and announcing it properly? Oh wait - bad news so that's never going to happen. They would have more coverage if they had used TikTok. Anna S.