That's gratitude for you
I'm surprised at the ill-treatment our Prime Minister has been receiving from some factions on her recent visits to Northland and Auckland.
Our country's death rate from Covid-19 is still below 40 and the total case numbers thus far are below 10 thousand. I think we have been very lucky to have Jacinda Arden leading us through this little-understood pandemic.
Had we had a leader like Bolsonaro or Trump, we would have realised exactly how hard it is to survive without our cafe coffees or restaurant meals, or a haircut or a trip to the mall.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch mosques tragedy, our PM displayed genuine sympathy to the victims and showed courage in banning assault rifles. UAE appreciated her by putting her image on Burj Khalifa.
New Zealanders owe her gratitude for saving us from mounds of misery by taking bold, and at times unpopular, decisions during the past year and a half. Perhaps the Sky Tower can beam her image on December 15 when Aucklanders can enjoy all that they have missed.
Kanwal Grewal, Hamilton.
It saddened me to read an article that quoted doctors in Northland saying "Aucklanders will bring Covid to Northland". Aucklanders didn't want Covid either, but with an international airport on our doorstep and MIQ facilities scattered across our geographic location, we were always "top of the list" to get the outbreak.
During this time I have had two shots of Pfizer (my personal choice) and numerous Covid tests to make sure that I have not contracted or spread the virus. What I want now is for my family to be together at Christmas after what will be close to 120 days of lockdown distance. Auckland is where I reside, but Northland is my home.
Don't let Covid define us. If you are pro-vaccine and doing what you can to protect your loved ones by getting vaccinated then embrace that; if you are anti-vaccine or for freedom of choice then do what you think is right by being vigilant and scan the contract tracing apps wherever possible.
We are all human beings wanting to be with our whānau at a special time of the year.
Diane Burgess-Lardner, Northcote.
It is difficult to reconcile the self-serving, entitled protesters indignantly parading in their expensive tractors and utes with the smart, considerate and intelligent farmers we see every week on Country Calendar.
I would suggest that, much like the anti-vaxxers and blind Tamaki supplicants, they are very much a minority and the Country Calendar farmers will ultimately prevail.
Murray Knight, Massey.
Sweet and sour
Any grudging respect I may have had for the principles of anti-vaxxers to not vaccinate, quickly disappeared when a recent poll showed that 20 per cent plus would get a vaccine if there was a $100 cash or voucher sweetener.
Does everything have to come down to a "what's in it for me" attitude?
Maxine Samson, Whakatāne.
While not a supporter of Matthew Hooton's political affiliation, I still read his columns as they are generally thoughful. However his (NZ Herald, November 19) column criticising MIQ seems to me emotional because of the impact on the friend mentioned, and skews his normally good judgment.
We all know of cases where our border and other restrictions have caused individual hardships. But the reason for the system has been vindicated by our low numbers of infections, especially when we look at the rest of the world.
Restrictions are not new. New Zealand governments have done so since 1900.
I refer those interested in the history of such restrictions, including the reasons for them, to the historical summary that forms part of the decision last year of the High Court in the Borrowdale case.
Alistaire Hall, Pukekohe.
Perhaps the anti-mandate protesters could choose a place closer to their own neighbourhood?
The Domain is shared happily by locals, hospital patients, sports teams and visitors, but we are fed up with these uncontrolled rallies.
Cars are parked over the grassed areas, and we are being subjected to loud music, speakers and bike burnouts.
We will become far more divided as a community if this anti-social behaviour continues to be ignored by the police.
B Appleby, Grafton.
We bought a house in Auckland 40 years ago. It was right by the Northwestern Motorway and was so noisy, but it was a start.
We grew up there and became adults; grew a garden, did the whole thing, then when the time was right we sold up and moved to Māngere Bridge, which was apparently the "New Ponsonby".
We now enjoy great views of the Manukau Harbour, with no motorway noise. We're close to where we work and apart from the temporary inconvenience of the Covid-19 lockdown, we thought that we had finally made it.
Then news broke of the best blood moon in 800 years. Fantastic. Perfect timing, a reward and a break from what we've all been going through. We stayed up until way past bedtime with a mounting sense of anticipation, only to find that we are on the wrong side of the mountain.
Life truly sucks.
Bruce Tennent, Māngere Bridge.
It's a road
Encourage more cars, not less, back to Queen St. It is not a park. It is a road. An active road. A road designed for cars and moving pedestrians. Trying to turn Queen St into an area for loitering and lazing about is what is being encouraged, with all its manifest problems. Keep the traffic moving.
Andrew McAlpine, Herne Bay.
Height of foolishness
In a rational world, it can be clearly shown that there is plenty of land zoned for housing. We know that there are problems caused by lack of infrastructure and a shortage of materials and builders.
There is a record number of all types of housing being built. In my neck of the woods, massive redevelopment of housing is occurring. And within 500 of the Eastridge Shopping Centre in Mission Bay, four large multi-storey apartment blocks - of different standards and meeting different demands - have been built.
But in the rarified air of Wellington, Labour and National and their advisers are planning bulky, intrusive and unsightly multi-storey blocks for unsuspecting neighbourhoods throughout New Zealand.
It won't solve the problem. It is hard to imagine how the vast bulk of ordinary New Zealanders will thank the two political parties when they see monstrosities starting to "pepper-pot" towns and cities.
My opposition has nothing to do with nimbyism. We are being presented with a "solution" that won't solve the problem but make matters worse for many.
Bruce Anderson, St Heliers.
Greetings to James Archibald, in Darkest Birkenhead (NZ Herald, November 18) from a survivor of Birkenhead's "Battle of Wounded Knee".
As a visitor to the Badlands near Beach Haven, I fell (literally) victim to an obstacle course masquerading as a footpath and have the scars to prove it. I registered my complaint about the hazard to the council and received a bland response about passing on my complaint to contractors.
Last heard, there's been no improvement to the footpath but the knee is still attached and working, no thanks to the council.
In ye olden days there were town clerks and council works departments: actual people who, when it was needed, could be reminded in person of their civic obligations. In those "backward" times, large ratepayer-funded council vanity projects weren't "must-haves" at the expense of the basics.
A year or two ago, a TV show ran a series of programmes on how councils spent (or didn't) the funds which are supposed to maintain footpaths. What, if any, organisation audits this spending?
I wish James and his fellow pilgrims safe travels.
Barbara Purvis, Christchurch.
Short & sweet
Four hundred fifty nurses have stood down due to the vaccine mandate. While one job lost is deeply regretted, this is less than 1 per cent of our total workforce of more than 56,000 nurses. Kushlan Sugathapala, Epsom.
This confused Government is frantically trying to get the entire population vaccinated for good reason. Why undermine the effort by telling working people they can quit and receive taxpayer support? Neil Harrap, Wellington.
The very DHBs this Government wants to abolish are being relied upon to achieve 90 per cent vaccination rates. Maybe they should reconsider? Mike Baker, Tauranga.
When will the unvaccinated receive a dose of reality? Do they not realise that when Auckland throws open its borders, Covid will rampage across the entire country like wildfire? Graham Taggart, Taradale.
While burping and farting farm animals get headlines, there is an inexcusable silence about tree destruction in Aotearoa. John Clark, Glen Eden.
You should invite readers from Auckland to send in photos of their dire hair situations. It would give us all something to laugh about. Judith Baranyai, Greenlane.
The Premium Debate
MIQ rooms should be used for those who need resources and health assistance within the community and not for fully vaccinated well returnees? When will the Government open its eyes and ears? Mark C.
One would hope the 11,000 pulse oximeters that health authorities sourced were all checked for accuracy before they are handed out to home isolation patients. As the story shows, a single inaccurate device can lead to very dire consequences indeed. I hope this near-miss is thoroughly and independently investigated and the root cause established and reported.Carl R.
This highlights once again the illogical approach of having huge numbers of nurses and defence force personnel looking after mostly well arrivals from overseas in MIQ facilities when those sick in the community need support. The Government needs to immediately change its approach to stop MIQ for all bar a small number of high-risk returnees and release these critical medical and defence resources to support the community. Kelly M.
This article does raise a very important point. How accurate are the pulse oximeters that are being handed out to the infected self-isolating at home? What number of them are duds or lemons? And how often are they calibrated or checked for accuracy? Between each infected household they are sent to, or never? If one of these is not working properly and giving a false reading how are folks at home supposed to know? David N.
Used in a hospital setting, the nurses know how to operate them properly and, of course, would be aware if the patient was in distress and the reading says they are okay that a re-check on accuracy is needed. It seems the readers may be "hospital grade" and more difficult for home users to operate or a lower grade home user unit supplied by the local health support agency that is less reliable. Hector O.
Health professionals use technology like pulse oximeters all the time. But they don't rely upon them as the only way to assess and respond to anybody's need. Anybody in respiratory distress is in respiratory distress. The oximeter gives data at a moment in time - not a trend. Parents bring their kids to EDs when they're struggling to breathe. Why not their Mums and Dads? The technology only gives an indication of what you already know or can see. Sick is sick. Get help - now. Thomas M.