Worrying education drift
The longer this lockdown continues, the bigger the effect on students from lower socio-economic communities.
Home schooling and virtual learning are not for everyone. Children of well-to-do families have access to computers, laptops for each child at home and broadband - not so available in many homes in the lower socio-economic areas.
Parents who are focused on getting their children educated will be able, at lockdown or not, but not all parents have the same skillset, desire or ability to inspire and motivate their kids to study at home.
I see the drift between these students only getting bigger. Many who perhaps could have made some success will fall off the education train and end up increasing the undesired stats such as unemployment, teen pregnancy, youth prisons, drugs, the list goes on. This has nothing to do with the system failing the students, but everything to do with the Government and its continued lockdown policies. The Government can pour as much money as it likes towards these kids but unless they are in schools nothing will change. The real damage will become prevalent in 2-3 years and it will then be too late.
Krish Krishna, Ōrākei.
So there will be a clear road out of lockdown for Auckland this Friday.
I can't wait, as there hasn't been one at all to date and I am not holding my breath this time either. Hope I am wrong and the goalposts remain firm this time.
Alan Walker, St Heliers.
What is clearly in evidence in Auckland is the Delta variant is spreading in greater numbers in poorer or less affluent suburbs while the wealthier suburbs are pretty much spared.
In the Eastern Beach zone, where I do my daily walks, everyone without exception is either wearing a mask or exercises strict social distancing.
It is no coincidence there are no Covid cases or places of interest in the region which would indicate the importance of wearing masks and social distancing is not getting through to the less affluent suburbs.
If Auckland is to come out of lockdown within two weeks there has never been a more important time for the Government and, particularly, Phil Goff to get through to the people that social distancing and the wearing of masks in the next two weeks is vital if Auckland is to come out of lockdown before Christmas.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Every day last week, prior to the Vaxathon, it should have been mentioned that Covid was in multiple suburbs in Auckland.
At 4pm on Monday, the Prime Minister announced it and it was then reported (NZ Herald October 19) that the virus was in 124 suburbs.
Possibly more people would have got the jab knowing how widespread Covid was in Auckland.
At the daily Covid press conferences we need to know how many people are vaccinated in new daily cases and in hospital and locations of interest.
If you don't have a computer, you don't know where they are.
Owen Blackbourn, Papakura.
Winners and losers
Our Government seems focused on academic individuals for advice and is not prepared to listen to business or us, the people, who voted them in. What happened to democracy?
The economy is doing well, is it? For whom? The middle class and below bear the brunt whilst the wealthy and big business thrives regardless.
The Government seems impotent in relieving any stress for those most in need. A housing shortage is constantly reported but little focus is given to where the greatest need is - social housing. Borrow, borrow, borrow to keep us going, at whose expense ultimately?
The taxpayer who will most likely be today's young. Every cent earned is taxed then there are the additional "taxes" on such essentials as food and fuel, which impact heavily on lower-income earners.
A simple solution to this is to return to having a threshold such as Australia, the UK and other countries have.
Further, the failure by governments to implement a system to ensure huge profits made by property investors are taxed.
You can't have a healthy business in an unhealthy society, and we are certainly not a healthy society today.
Valerie Moran, Stonefields.
Portugal is at 100 per cent vaccination and zero restrictions. How did that happen?
The vaccine roll-out was entrusted to a Vice-Admiral of the Portuguese navy. He put the politicians and bureaucrats back in their boxes and ran it as a military operation.
The public health system was not interrupted as he mobilised the entire Armed Forces medical departments to do the work.
Vaccination stations were set up in easy-to-get-to places like football stadia and arranged for maximum efficiency and flow.
There were opposition protests, and it is reported that the officer attended them in uniform but without weapons or aides. He reasoned with the protestors (as distinct from shouting at them as we tend to do) and won them over.
To quote one of the nurses, "We have run out of adults to vaccinate".
G. N. Kendall, Rothesay Bay.
We all make choices in life. Our choices have consequences and therefore accountability.
People do not choose to get cancer or have cataracts growing on their eyes.
People do, however, choose whether or not to have a Covid vaccine.
To suggest diverting funds from an already underfunded health system to have clinics to treat those with long Covid, which is a consequence of their choice not to get vaccinated, is in my opinion, appalling.
Melanie Corbett, Westmere.
New Zealand motorcycle world champion Courtney Duncan is reported (NZ Herald, October 18) as saying she is desperate to return to New Zealand to be with her family, but cannot get an MIQ spot. She has been in the draw four times so far. In contrast, the system gives some lucky overseas Kiwis an MIQ spot on their first attempt.
The random draw system is unsatisfactory, and the Government has ruled out the idea of a points system, saying it would be too complicated.
There is a simple way to make the system much fairer. It is to enable people to put their names in the draw as many times as they have previously entered.
For example, someone misses out and tries for a second time. So that person then has their name entered in the draw twice. And when Courtney Duncan tries again, her name may be entered five times.
Obviously the present system must have processes to make sure people do not attempt to enter under different names. So quality control under a revised system should not be an issue.
Such a system will give unlucky applicants a much greater chance of being lucky.
Peter Grace, Henderson.
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, led by chief executive Bernadette Cavanagh, really should be renamed The Department of Silly Works.
How silly and irresponsible to send contractors in to start work (NZ Herald, October 20) on a highly controversial project at Dove-Myer Robinson in the middle of a Covid pandemic, and knowing full well kaumātua have placed a rāhui on the site. Cavanagh saying they were taking a non-confrontational approach is patronising since a 2-metre social distancing rule is already in place precluding contact between people.
This is public parkland the locals want protected from a government department hell-bent on ignoring the culture and heritage of this treasured Parnell green space.
Will it take a full-blown "Ihumātao" stand to get The Department of Silly Works to back off?
Coralie van Camp, Remuera
That the relevant ministry has shown itself willing to flout a Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei rāhui, protecting an ancient pa site and a centuries-old pōhutukawa, and ignore the Ombudsman's request to give him time to look into the matter, suggests a wish to get construction of the Erebus memorial under way so it will be harder to stop.
It does not suggest confidence in the project, a hideous concrete and steel structure quite inappropriate in the chosen Judges Bay/Dove Myer Robinson Memorial site.
Fortunately, locals have rallied against it and for the moment it appears to be on hold. Perhaps Jacinda could take her eye off the pandemic just long enough to cure this malaise with the stroke of a pen.
C. K. Stead, Parnell.
As an Air New Zealand crew member at the time, I regard the public backlash over the Erebus memorial as disgraceful.
It's a memorial, not a graveyard, and public parks are full of memorials to dead people. This one already has a memorial to the Korean War, and people visit for lots of reasons, including drinking wine.
The scale is far less than that of the Rose Garden, which has only a seasonal relevance.
D B Hill, Freeman's Bay.
Recent tragedies on the Manukau, particularly the latest on the treacherous bar, accentuate the need for more signage warning of its dangers. Saturday was the calmest, most beautiful day but low tide caught out those involved. If 300 boats were recorded crossing the bar, where was the Coastguard?
Ultimately local bodies are responsible for pointing out hidden dangers to their unsuspecting public. Large multi-lingual signs at all departure wharves and Little Huia beach are a start.
And surely these disasters put paid to any suggestion that the Manukau Harbour is a possible alternative port? This bar will never be tamed.
Mary Tallon, Takapuna.
Short & sweet
It's not the Government's Covid traffic lights that concern me; it's the free left turn. Keith Berman, Remuera.
I've had my Covid and influenza jabs. Where do I go to get my in-flu-en-cer one? Huw Dann, Mt Eden.
Lockdown for the unvaccinated; freedom for the vaccinated. Chris Bennett, Kohimarama.
After 12 or 13 years of schooling, young people's futures are still decided by their performance in a set of two- or three-hour exams over one month of time. There has to be a better way. David Hood, Hamilton.
Personalised vaccine passports should be the next step for the Government rather than vain efforts to persuade real anti-vaxxers to change their minds. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
It is an indictment on Jacinda Ardern that her Government has done nothing to stop the 22 per cent rise in petrol prices in a year. Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
This Government will potentially be remembered as the government of future announcements. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
The Premium Debate
Good move. The councillors in their upmarket areas may not be so pleased but Joe Average will be rapt. More supply, less demand, lower prices. Unlikely collaboration but my hat is off to both parties. Clark M.
It's encouraging to see the combined effort to fix the housing crisis but with all the talk of building multiple three-storey properties on one section, there seems to be a lack of thought or planning on infrastructure impacts. Lee O.
Densification is a good idea, but this sounds like an absolute free-for-all without any consideration given to existing local infrastructure and resources. So now areas designed to cater to a number of houses in single-dwelling zones are going to be swamped with three-storey high apartment blocks? Guy S.
Part of an effective climate change response is to reduce the ongoing low-density sprawl and the number of travel people do in our cities. It's time for massive intensification in the core of all of our major cities - not two or three storeys but 20 or 30. Richard M.
We could intensify a lot more smartly if we went for more terraced housing. It would use available land more efficiently and allow for a bit of greenery. For some unknown reason, Kiwis prefer monstrous standalone townhouses surrounded by shared concrete driveways that look directly into the neighbour's house which is one metre away. Sounds like this is exactly what we'll be getting more of with this plan. Will H.
So they have finally agreed to cut some red tape? One doesn't need to wonder very hard over which of the main parties needed to shift their ideology for that to occur. Well done National forcing those concessions. Justin L.
Not sure this will be a good thing at all. A lot of the character of a city is about old established homes and gardens - and already our motorways are jammed. Better to allow very high rise clusters of apartments around major nodes than to have a messy mix of different architecture along with loss of views and sun. Andrew M.