Your editorial (NZ Herald, November26) rightly concludes that justice has been seen to be done in the Grace Millane murder trial. What is still in question though, is why there is the right
of the defence lawyer to be able to call on the past behaviour of the victim and the Crown cannot question the offender's?
Perpetrators of sexual attacks against women more often than not come to court with a background of prior behaviour, which is protected by law.
Women's background, it seems, is fair game. Something is very wrong here.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
• Murderer was burying Grace Millane when he was supposed to be doing a job interview, more lies revealed
• Grace Millane murder: Tinder messages with her killer revealed
• Several legal reasons Grace Millane's killer continues to have name suppression
• Grace Millane murder trial: The key people and what to expect
Pilots must know
Captain Derek Ellis, retired B747 and Concorde captain and a long-time advocate for pilots involved in accidents, summed the Erebus accident up in a few words.
"There is no place in airliner navigation for a pilot to think he is somewhere. He must know, with no uncertainty, where his aircraft is located and where it is heading."
He goes on: "Numerous reasons for this failure have been advanced since the accident, with many commentators attempting to convince the New Zealand community that it is possible for an experienced pilot to fly a perfectly serviceable modern airliner into the side of a mountain and to carry no responsibility for his action.
"The change of flight plan waypoint and whiteout became relevant only when the captain descended his aircraft to very low altitude, using an unorthodox descent procedure and without verifying his position, contrary to his briefing, training and good airmanship."
Finally, it is 100 per cent certain that none of the pilots arguing against Air NZ would ever have dreamt of descending an aircraft below safety altitude without first verifying their position, either visually or electronically, yet this is what the captain did and which action was so strenuously defended by those same pilots.
Robin McGrath, Forrest Hill.
Your correspondent (NZ Herald, November 26) chooses to ignore the fact that Air NZ overnight changed the "on route" flightpath from over sea McMurdo sound to tracking Mt Erebus and failed to alert the captain.
What beggars belief is the disgraceful deceitful coverup attempt that followed.
It was incumbent on Collins to "show the punters something of Antarctica" and "descent to sea" was "descent to see" and required in the absence of available ground-based nav system. The onboard gyro system of the era did not have sufficient accuracy locally. Choosing the place to "go visual" led him into a trap from which there was no escape. Whilst the limited accuracy of the onboard system would not guarantee the safety of such a departure from Minimum Safe Altitude where he chose, had the track stayed on the sound as he believed, then the probability is all would be home. The inference that that point would be chosen on the Erebus track is inconceivable.
John Pausina, Kohimarama.
Climb and head for a safe place. Continuing to descend in white-out when confused is pilot error. The fact Air New Zealand made errors too that put the flight on a path to Erebus and then went on to "a litany of lies" stinks, no question.
Some years ago I spoke to two commercial pilots – one a flying instructor and the other a standard pilot. Both agreed pilot error, descending confused in white out went against all initial flying instruction.
Fly home and explain, "sorry, you get to see nothing" if necessary.
Unfortunately, tragedies like these happen when a number of factors line up.
Duncan Munro, Clevedon.
With all the experts agreed that Auckland Port should be moved and that it will take 20 years to do so, it should be realised that in 20 years we will be in a post fossil fuel world and all trucks will be battery-powered. This will mean a loss of power for these trucks and a consequent need for a lot more trucks to carry the same amount of goods as is carried today.
This should be taken into consideration when deciding on the location of the new port.
John Robertson, Papamoa Beach.
The health system is in crisis (NZ Herald, November 26) and, again, the Government is the culprit. Or is it?
Could it instead be the comatose drunks of K Rd clogging up the ER; or the overweight needing special beds and lifting equipment; or the revellers at the music festivals taking cooked drugs; or the tourists without insurance; or the drunk drivers; or the couch potatoes?
Or all of them?
As long as we stick to the free, no-fault, treatment of lifestyle problems there will never be enough money for the health system.
K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
On whose authority
I wish to support the excellent letter (NZ Herald, November 26) from my fellow Henderson High School alumnus, Geoff Chapple, regarding the high-handed manner in which the ratepayer-funded Tūpuna Maunga Authority (TMA) has perfected the art of riding roughshod over the wishes of the wider community, on the management and maintenance of the maunga of Tamaki-Makaurau/Auckland.
I am no redneck and am generally supportive of righting the wrongs of our colonial past with treaty settlements, as I'm sure Geoff is as well (we marched together against apartheid in 1981). But this TMA authority has, in my view, crossed a line with its lack of consultation and undemocratic decisions. Especially a mass-felling of trees in the middle of the bird-nesting season because they are, wait for it ... " exotics". Give me a break.
A little more consultation, and a little less arrogance, and bureaucratic, high-handedness would be most welcome from this unelected group.
John Watkins, Remuera.
Law or justice
I appreciate law is a specialist subject only properly understood by those who have undertaken serious study.
Maybe that is why I don't understand what Simon Bridges said in announcing his party's law and order policy (NZ Herald, November 27). "Once you've been convicted of a crime beyond reasonable doubt, you are the murderer," Bridges told media in Auckland.
This was on the day three convicted for murder in the US were released after 36 years in prison. They are the latest of numerous who after many years of imprisonment for murder have been found to have been wrongly convicted.
Bridges, a former Crown prosecutor said, "Law and order is personal for me." Is that law and order as a political toy or law and order as in justice?
Peter Nicholson, Ruatangata.
It is great news the trams will start again in the Wynard Quarter (NZ Herald, November 25).
Puneet Dhall must be congratulated on his persistence on getting David Rankin and Panuku Developments to reinstate this service. It is great Mayor Goff has come in behind it. His influence will be necessary to get Auckland Transport on side and run the tram to Britomart and then onto Three Lamps, Ponsonby. By connecting the historic icons of Britomart and Three lamps, Ponsonby patronage will be increased and the public will enjoy a ride which includes modern, new buildings of Wynard Quarter to historic Ponsonby and pass through the soul of Auckland.
The success of the line will require more rolling stock. In Melbourne and San Francisco, some of the more popular routes have heritage trams and modern rolling stock.
With the major events planned in Auckland in 2021, it is crucial that this service is bedded in with the extended routes to Britomart and as I suggest, Ponsonby. This will help sustain the Three Lamps shopping centre and if the Leys Institute and Gymnasium were of interest to people too, then they could benefit from this if they chose to.
We must acknowledge Mike Lee, who was the original, driving force behind the trams.
Gerry Hill, Ponsonby.
Lack of litter
For years, I have been picking up litter once a month along the lovely little beach on Panmure Basin next to Lagoon Drive. I used to get so much rubbish I had to empty my bucket into the public rubbish bins two or three times.
Now I struggle to fill half a bucket, even though I scratch through the top layer of sand to find small pieces of plastic.
Of note, is the reduction in plastic bags. It is very rare now to find a plastic bag on the beach. Well done to the citizens of Mt Wellington and Panmure. You are doing a great job of looking after your environment.
Fiona Alexander, Pakuranga.
Short & sweet
Those Erebus pilots were sent flying on navigation coordinates freshly incorrectly entered by an office worker. It had been normal to descend on arrival - why are people still blaming that routine habit? Jim Carlyle, Te Atatu Peninsula.
Chippendale and Mahon and were answering different questions. Chippendale: the decision after which the disaster was inevitable; proximate cause. Mahon: which decision started the chain of disaster; ultimate cause. Martin Ball, Kelston.
The felling and replanting on Māngere mountain is an ecological nightmare, and many plantings at Ōwairaka are already dying. John Clark, Glen Eden.
Where were all the fair-minded NZers when the person who yelled racist abuse at the English cricket player Jofra Archer? What a difference it would have made to our image if the public had taken this clown to task and made a citizens' arrest. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
The abuse directed at Jofra Archer is a sour note to end a magnificent test match. However, are we so sure it was a Kiwi fan? Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
How boringly predictable for the desperate National Party to revive dear old Lora Norder. She is well past her last century use-by date. Let her rest in peace. Michael Smythe, Northcote Point.
How can the Warriors expect to win the 2020 comp with the same players as last year? Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
I have suggested to Wellingtonians that they honour a bunch of their musical/comic geniuses by naming their explosive wind: BLERTA. Bruce Allpress, Browns Bay.