Structural changes to electricity generation and transmission were introduced by Max Bradford, (National in the late 1990s), with five generating companies and a separate transmission company. New Zealanders were told this would introduce commercial disciplines for trading activities and electricity prices would come down. This would have made a great Tui advert – Yeah Right.
The Electricity Authority has confirmed what we already know. Power-generating companies have made their systems ridiculously complex and our monthly power bill is also ridiculously complicated.
Two suggestions for reform. Return power generation for the country to a centrally controlled organisation.
Secondly, to encourage home solar and micro-wind turbines, allow for homes to be fitted with meters that can run in reverse when generating power during the day.
Peter Jamieson, Titirangi.
Voices of the past
Although I respect Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie's right to hold a personal view on Covid-19 vaccination, I would invite her to take a trip to the historic Shortland Cemetery in Thames.
It is now overgrown, but a group of dedicated volunteers maintain tracks there. If you go deep into the cemetery you will find a section of graves of children, parents, and others, who died within a short period of each other, in 1918, as a result of the influenza epidemic.
Goudie should listen to them. They will tell her, I think, that there is a time when civic duty outweighs personal preference.
Philip Dreadon, St Heliers.
It has been interesting to see how the vaccine-hesitant are being bribed to get their jab with offers of free junk food. What is the message being given?
One of the risk factors to becoming ill with Covid is being overweight.
The medical centre I attend in Cambridge has a large car park but no bike racks. What is their message?
The best thing we can do as a nation is to lose weight and exercise. We are the third fattest nation in the world. Shame on us.
Judith Browne, Cambridge.
The decision by the Government to mandate vaccines is both responsible and right. Polling shows it has the support of the vast majority of Kiwis. I found the headline, "Why the PM now wants two classes of Kiwis" (NZ Herald, October 27) alarming. The use of the word "class" in this context, is not only emotive and value-laden but also inaccurate and unfair. A more objective description might be two "categories" of Kiwis. The category making the choice to be responsible and concerned about the health and wellbeing of their families and fellow Kiwis alongside the category who do not.
Many vaccine resisters claim "individual choice" as the basis for their decision. Responsible parents teach children, at a very young age, that "choices bring consequences". It is logical, therefore, that those who choose not to get vaccinated should expect their choice to have some consequences. If that means they do not get to enjoy the same freedoms as those who are vaccinated, then so be it.
That is a consequence of "choice" and has nothing to do "class".
Liz Horgan, Mt Albert.
Stop, go, wait
The Government is smart setting a 90 per cent vaccination target because when that target is inevitably reset to 85 most of us will be that happy being so much closer to freedom we may forget how many times the rules have been changed in this Covid game.
What is then to be done with those who don't stop for traffic lights?
Stuart Mackenzie Ohura.
Suggestions that the vaccine certificate is divisive and discriminatory make no sense. The Government is simply providing two ways to deliver on its first duty – to keep New Zealanders as safe as possible.
Vaccination (available to all over 12 for free) protects those who choose it. Limited contact protects those who choose to decline the offer. That seems like free choice with equitable outcomes to me.
Michael Smythe, Northcote Pt.
At your service
Now that the Government has mandated the requirements for hospitality and industry in the traffic light era, I presume that all public-fronting public servants and departments are included in the edict.
They will all need all of their staff to be two-shot vaccinated and anybody seeking assistance from these public bodies will have to show a Covid passport before they can enter the public premises?
Grant McG Robertson, Milford.
The Government proposal to allow large housing blocks without any resource consents at all is nuts. These buildings will be with us for many decades, possibly centuries, so what is the all-fired rush? Are we ready to just trust developers to fully comply with the rules?
The vast bulk of resource consents for urban housing are approved - in Auckland this exceeds 98 per cent. So the important issue is not whether an application is granted (almost none are denied) but the applicable conditions. Most domestic resource consents include dozens of conditions - larger commercial developments can have hundreds.
There are conditions limiting noise, dust and vibration effects on neighbouring properties during construction, confining noisy machinery use to core hours (say 7am to 5pm). Other conditions relate to the operation of the new building - for example, traffic-generating activities which may impact on the neighbourhood.
Most of the conditions relate to the building itself, ensuring that it complies with the rules of the relevant District Plan. If there is no consent, complete with a set of approved plans and conditions, how will council compliance inspectors possibly be able to verify that the work is being properly done?
Graeme Easte, Mt Albert.
Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, October 26) makes the point that EVs do not fix traffic congestion
In Auckland, as we progress out of level 3, more of us could have a rethink about how we travel, and consider one of the solutions to climate change and congestion: public transport.
Some who don't use buses/trains/ferries grumble that the city needs better public transport. Public transport has actually improved in recent years, but many people don't know this.
For example, on buses, there are no steps and there is dedicated space for wheelchairs. You can take your fold-up bicycle on the bus, or your full-size bike on a train or ferry. (Maybe Auckland will soon have buses with bike racks going over the harbour bridge.)
The AT website – at.govt.nz – has helpful information, including how to tag on using a HOP card, and a useful "journey planner".
If there isn't a route that works for you, you can phone AT and put your case to the public transport customer experience team.
Every person using public transport means fewer cars on the road, which benefits everybody.
Audrey van Ryn, secretary, Civic Trust Auckland.
Future, be dammed?
In the mid 20th century, the authorities in Amsterdam had a plan to fill in the city's canals and replace them with motorways and car parks. The plan made a lot of sense: cars had long since replaced boats as the main form of transport and this plan would solve the
congestion and parking problems that had resulted.
The project was started, but never completed because of public protest.
Today's Amsterdammers are very grateful to the protesters for saving their city's character and heritage.
In Auckland, we need to think about the future. We need to think about people 50 years from now. We need to protect our city's character and heritage from the bipartisan housing intensification initiative. Just as they did in Amsterdam, we need to reverse the planning rationale from "the adaptation of the environment … to the adaptation of activities to the existing urban environment".
Andrea van Himst, Grafton.
The minister, on the one hand, tells us that the Three Waters regime will create 9000 new jobs but, on the other hand, she tells us that water rates will fall. How does she manage that?
Next she will claim she can walk on it.
Peter Newfield, Takapuna.
Short & sweet
The Ardern Government has performed the largest robbery in New Zealand history by proceeding with the unpopular Three Waters reforms. Shame. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
Councils can opt out of Three Waters any time they like but they can never leave. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
If the mayors and councils had maintained the water systems rather than worrying about votes over the last few decades, then there would be no need for the change. Dunstan Sheldon, Rototuna.
Your freedom to roam unvaccinated ends where my freedom from Covid begins. Peter Thomas, Hamilton.
Some time ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Kiwis were fleeced at the pump. I wonder which word the PM would use to describe what is happening now. R van Pelt, Mt Roskill.
I would suggest that if Simon Bridges is the Nats' only hope then the time for a rescue mission is long gone. Brian O'Neill, Chatswood.
On a wing
Bird of the Year: Vote Batty McBatface. Beverley Nielsen, Waiheke Island.
The Premium Debate
It's irresponsible, vexatious and completely out of line for this group to behave like this and expect that they can get away with it. Round them up, put them all on buses, give them all a vaccination, drive them home, and keep them there. Auckland doesn't want or need them, and neither does Northland. Leigh H.
Meanwhile back at work for most of us. My message is get a job please and help the other taxpayers pay for the whole Covid situation. Oh, and get vaccinated so business owners can survive and the overworked healthcare workers won't have to choose who gets a bed in the near future. Teresa K.
Sue Grey said people stopped at Auckland's southern border were "pretty unhappy and frustrated". Big deal. There are a lot of people all over who are pretty unhappy and frustrated but tolerate the hardship knowing that health measures are important for the way ahead. Peter N.
Sue Grey being involved says it all. Not at all a Māori protest but the group of marginalised groups Grey is involved with that appear to be "anti" everything. Ross W.
The other thing that gets my goat is how people come out all anti-Māori about something, then shamelessly abrogate Māori custom for a hīkoi when it suits them. Timothy T.
So a bus parks on the highway and the police politely ask them to move it. Different rules for different folk. Bruce C.
The media seem to be giving this "group" the notoriety they want ... How about media highlight the low vaccination rate in the Bay of Plenty, where this protest originated, and ask what can be done by the DHB and others (their local National MPs for example) to help increase this? Rachel B.
The right to protest is a cornerstone of a democracy. Don't be hasty in denying others this right just because you don't agree with them. Anna S.
Get a vaccination bus and some pies over there! Nicholas B.