Bring back dental clinics at schools
Up to 200 children referred to hospital for dental surgery each month, more than 17000 had not seen a dentist since 2018 and 57-70 per cent of Māori and
Pacific Islanders have dental decay.
These numbers are staggering and appalling but the blame falls squarely on successive governments who have paid low wages. The poverty gap is ever widening, people can only afford cheap junk type food, dental work is unaffordable with both parents working, lack of transport and time to visit even a mobile clinic in another suburb.
NZ had a world class dental service with a dental clinic and nurse on every school site and frequent dental hygiene lessons freely given. People had access to natural foods and salt replaced the expense of toothpaste. Messages of daily teeth cleaning necessity were constantly in children's faces. Some schools even resorted to teeth cleaning in the classrooms as a daily routine.
Tooth decay is one of the most toxic poisons affecting the whole body. Cardiac surgeons will not operate on people with severe teeth decay. Imagine the effect it has on a small child's wellbeing. It impacts on sleep, nutrition, ability to concentrate in school, plus their physical and mental wellbeing.
Now these clinics have been turned into storerooms, one-to-one teaching spaces, libraries, computer suites, etc and 17000 children in Auckland alone are missing out on an essential service.
I really despair when I look back to what NZ had and does not have today.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
At last the powerful NZ Food & Grocery Council and its chief executive have been exposed to the public. Herald writer Simon Wilson has again done the public a favour with his clear explanation of the forces working against the public good.
If you've ever wondered why professional lobbyists working to improve our health never seem to scratch the surface of large companies such as Coca-Cola and KFC who peddle fatty foods and sugary drinks, here is the answer. It's been a long time coming, but finally the truth is out — don't miss it.
M.Carol Scott, Birkenhead.
The Erebus Disaster happened 40 years ago. The only memorial should be to remember what happened on that day and not repeat the blunder.
A plaque should be on Mt Erebus. An annual award to future young navigators or pilots would be a practical memorial. Nothing more need be done. Leave the pā site alone.
Gillian Dance, Mt Albert.
The time has come that we cannot solely rely on trust regarding voluntary isolation any more. The cost of breaches, as it has turned out, is simply to be too high.
One way of getting some security is by electronic monitoring with an ankle bracelet to ensure more security and control. Also there can be no argument that people are not aware that they have to isolate.
Zach Jansen, Coastlands.
John Roughan argues his grandchildren's education is more important than his life. Maybe, but they're not more important to me than mine — sorry, John — and if we oldies are to thank the young for our lives, are they to thank us for their education?
Handling a pandemic requires judgment. It's not school or lockdown.
Brazil has thousands a day dying and now lockdown. The UK is hospitalising 100 children a week. Doctors are predicting the number of patients needing long term NHS care could be a million.
If you think NZ has handled this pandemic poorly how do you think our grandchildren's generation will react to the way we are handling manmade global warming?
Dennis N Horne, Howick.
It was almost a relief on Friday to hear of the tsunami warnings as it gave the media another bone to gnaw at other than the pandemic. It did not take long, however, before they were demanding to know when the waves would strike, how big they would be and what were the chances of damage.
The media used to focus on what had happened rather than in trying elicit predictions that are impossible to make accurately. I remember the dire predictions a year ago about falling house prices, high unemployment and a disastrous economy — all wrong of course.
The latest is to demand predictions for the roll out of the vaccine, which is something the Government has little or no control over. Maybe if the media started to focus on what is happening elsewhere in the world they would realise that the rest of the world needs the vaccine much more than we do. It may also encourage people to continue following the rules if they are aware of the consequences of ignoring them. I am happy to wait till it is my turn and don't need anyone telling me when it might be.
Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
New Zealand has nine Dart (Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys deployed along the Kermadec Trench. They provide early warning of the size and speed of approaching tsunami.
These buoys measure the height of tsunami in real-time and transmit the data to the 24/7 National Geohazards Monitoring Centre in Lower Hutt where it is analysed by Geohazard experts. These experts should have realised the data from the detectors was indicating that there was not going to be a significant tsunami anywhere in New Zealand.
These same experts should also have known that tsunami travel at about 700 km/h in the deep ocean so if a tsunami had been generated by the 8.30 am earthquake it should have arrived at both East Cape and North Cape by 10.30am. Why did they wait until mid-afternoon to give the all-clear?
We are continually being told to "believe the science". Our array of state-of-the-art monitoring buoys would have provided accurate real-time information on the progress of this (minuscule) tsunami. But it appears that the Government did not tell us what "the science" was telling them and tens of thousands of people were evacuated for no good reason.
Keith Hay, Waihi Beach.
Paying for the Cup
Good to watch as it is, one has to question the financial implications of hosting the Cup. Why do tax and ratepayers have to stump up millions for a sport that is funded by a group of billionaires yet go without money for housing, harbour bridge repairs and the like?
What I think is needed is a mayor like Sir Dove Meyer Robinson whose attitude, in contrast to today's politicians, would be if we are to host the Cup then here is what you billionaires will do for Auckland and New Zealand. In other words use the event to benefit the population, not just a select few.
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
Cost tipping point
A Tauranga owner of a house rental agency has stated, "for 10 days in a row our company had no properties available to rent", a situation no doubt aggravated by complex changes to tenancy law driving many owners from the market.
In a similar vein, Herald feature writer Kate MacNamara commented regarding employment law: "Somewhere there is a tipping point where efforts intended to benefit workers will actually discourage added hiring and will hurt the very people Government intended to help."
Her remarks are equally applicable to the house rental market. Kate's column outlined the increasing costs imposed on business owners and the complexity of proposed changes to employment law, in particular the Holidays Act, deterrents to starting a small business and the creation of jobs.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
Strengthen the border
A better solution to Covid than repeated lockdowns, (increasingly difficult to enforce and costing the country $300 million a week,) is needed.
Introducing a requirement for all new arrivals to show verifiable proof of a negative Covid test and vaccination prior to departure from overseas would help take the pressure off our border isolation facilities, and help protect our vulnerable communities, until such time as our own vaccination programme achieves herd immunity.
Joe O'Brien, New Lynn.
Short & sweet
So Bishop Brian Tamaki refuses to take the anti-Covid vaccination because of his faith. We can well do without religious leaders who indulge in magic thinking and ignore evidence-based science. Rinny Westra, Birkenhead.
Brian Tamaki must surely be the most quoted Kiwi church leader; telling us something about human nature, much about the media and absolutely nothing about authentic Christianity. Stephen Bayldon, Mt Roskill.
Is the Finance Minister's statement that "the Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions" just passing the buck? Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry she must have known she wasn't getting your average in-laws. If you buy into royal life you have to shape up or ship out. V. Hall, Whangaparaoa.
At level 2 and 1 only America's Cup course C should be used to provide elevated views for the general public from North Head reserve otherwise the two boats are just specks on the horizon. Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Immigration officials need to show a little kindness and let the young Afghan interpreter who provided valuable help to our army live in NZ. H.E.H. Perkins, Sunnyhills.
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