NZ needs fair market controls
It would be great if the media can ask the Government more direct questions about how it is going to protect business by changing some rules of engagement during this
It is great to make decisions that help contain the virus and direct consequences to certain businesses. But those in different sectors are not impacted to the same degree. The burden needs to be shared, which will ensure most businesses survive rather than the lucky ones.
For example, tourist businesses are effectively shut, yet there is no requirement on directly involved businesses (like landlords and banks) to provide any relief to these businesses. Also, tenants who are made redundant won't have the capability to pay rents, so we are going to make people homeless as a consequence. Government needs to lead so we can have our economy managed through this tough period. We need a totally controlled market, rather than just a partially controlled one.
Boomer high horse
As a Boomer (I think — born in 1957), I have two post-millennial sons, born in 1999 and 2002 and their lives will undoubtedly be harder than mine.
My oldest is finishing a double major BSc in Ecology and Genetics and my youngest is in Year 13, about to study (in all probability) a Commercial Music degree at Massey's Wellywood campus.
I left high school at 16 (with UE) and went into a three-year polytechnic qualification in a NZ Certificate in Science (Chemistry) while working for DSIR. If I studied hard, my government employer paid for me to gain a qualification.
It's a harder, colder world for millennials and post-millennials and we should remember that before we climb on any Boomer high horse.
Andrew Bell, Christchurch.
Isolate NI and SI
Now is the time for the Government to close all passenger movement between the North and South Islands.
If we can keep this out of the south it will be a win-win for us and also allow our ICU hospitals to lend beds and equipment to the north if needed. At the speed Covid-19 is moving this has to happen quickly.
David Wood, Christchurch.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (latest):
I wonder at the logic of politicians being criticised for being "political" and behaving politically. Isn't that their very job description? Some columnists and commentators seem to be choking that a young, clever, empathetic woman is now "da Boss" and having the cheek to being political.
Barbara Matthews, Onehunga.
Shopping hour for seniors
The supermarkets will need to implement a seniors policy like Australia, where the first hour of the day is restricted to the elderly, and also to limit two of any one item per customer for each day.
The photo of queues outside Pak'nSave is disgusting and selfish. Do all those people think the virus is not going to affect them when they are likely spreading it being in such close proximity?
I am ashamed to be a Kiwi when I see that infantile behaviour. We are not at war and there is no food shortage in New Zealand. Congratulations to the supermarkets who are responsibly keeping prices at normal levels despite the greed and buying sprees.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
Actions too tardy
Cases are on the rise, exponentially. No surprise there. The borders should have been closed at least six weeks ago.
Cruise ships should have been turned away, whether they were in our international waters or not. More should have been done at our borders instead of handing out pamphlets, hanging posters and broadcasting over the PA.
Leaving things up to people, their honesty and common sense was a huge, costly mistake. After closing the borders, all returning residents/citizens should have been put up in commandeered and compensated hotels for their 14 days of isolation and tested immediately. I think residents/citizens living permanently overseas should have been told to ride it out where they were now living.
Only those residents/citizens currently travelling should have been allowed home and only those travelling should have been allowed on the so-called mercy flights. Every person returning should have been tested. That is how the countries who have managed to "flatten the curve" have done so successfully.
We are a group of islands at the bottom of the world and not that easy to get to.
We have limited entry points which should have been easy to control.
Now we are in for a long expensive and hard haul. Hopefully, our over- stretched, underfunded health system can handle the coming events.
Graham Hansen, Howick.
Thank goodness we still have RNZ Concert. It's planning to play and livestream concerts for its listeners and the presenters are making an effort to cheer us up. A welcome voice in an uncertain situation, especially for those confined to home.
Liz Patel, Hobsonville Point.
It would appear that teachers, their partners and families, parents and grandparents, are to be the "sacrificial lambs" in this new pandemic plan.
Only at Stage 4, when the virus is rampant throughout the country, will schools close nationwide. Meanwhile teachers, teacher aides and specialist teachers, particularly those of young children or of those with disabilities, will be directly in the firing line because it is impossible to maintain any distance whatsoever from these dear little sneezing, coughing, and sometimes even dribbling beings.
This is ridiculous and especially unfair to teaching staff, many of whom are in their 50s and 60s, remembering that we have a teacher shortage. They didn't sign up to take on the risks of health professionals and are not equipped with protective gear.
This plan also goes against expert advice and that of WHO. If we are looking at countries successful at stemming the tide, they have all closed schools, except for Singapore, which didn't let anyone with the virus self-isolate. We know that self-isolation doesn't work well because a number of people are flouting the rules.
Surely a better approach, as recommended by Professor Michael Baker, is to close everything down now and test, test, test to establish where the virus is and who actually has it. Then we will be able to deal to it better and hopefully reopen things a lot sooner.
Otherwise we stand a very good chance of ending up like Italy and many European countries, which face lock-down for months because they never got ahead of the curve.
Ella Harris, Christchurch.
While the election is six months away and may be rescheduled, the Labour component of the coalition is politicising and electioneering at every opportunity during this health crisis.They have an unfair advantage.
A J Petersen, Kawerau.
While one may applaud the Government's sentiments in trying to minimise the spread of Covid-19, I am not sure that I can rationalise the concept of "being kind", with a Stalinist approach to keeping the oldies' safe by sending them off to the equivalent of the gulags?
The difference between us over 70s and younger generations, is that we managed to get to this age by being self reliant and making sensible choices.
The most effective way to halt this pandemic is to educate the public about what each of them can do to prevent further transmission. That can best be done by intensive advertising on social media platforms, preferably using humour.
The other positive initiative would be for the Government to ensure that hand sanitiser (using foot pumps) is freely available at critical areas such as petrol/charging stations, railway and bus stations and anywhere there is unavoidable human interaction. (If the Government can do it for kauri trees, surely they can do it for this?)
People need to feel they have some control over their future. Give them the knowledge and tools to exert that control. Shutting people away can only be a short-term solution and will inevitably lead to civil unrest and chaos.
Brian Currie, Auckland.
Not the end
Some people are panicking and saying this is the end of the world. I can just as well say this is the beginning of a new world.
Mohammed Yakub, Mangere East.
Perhaps this is a good time for supermarkets to follow the European example and provide disposable gloves for customers buying fresh fruit and vegetables. Many shoppers seem to think it is vital to handle item after item before making their choice.
Robin Reid, Hauraki.