Unsupported Super City
Your editorial (NZ Herald, September 22), summing up our Super City and its expectations of developing sound infrastructure requirements to the region failing, does not go far enough.
Go back to 2010 to the then minister of local government Rodney Hide, Act leader at the time and, as with the present incumbent, there through Epsom voters' manipulation of MMP.
Hide believed in National's tight monetary views and, being a devotee of Rogernomics, used his position to amalgamate Auckland's smaller cities into one super city.
Saving costs as much as possible and letting the city know it was its own little bureaucracy, was the theory and helping to fund large infrastructure needed for Auckland was disregarded. Instead the "Super City" has had to manage within its own borders. So to have expectations of a sound infrastructure without citing limited government support over these past 10 years, all but three under National, is not fair.
Rapid rail could have already been running for 45 years if the friction between mayor of Auckland Dove-Meyer Robinson and prime minister Robert Muldoon, hadn't become so entrenched Muldoon wiped it.
Hide has succeeded in keeping costs down, but his legacy has been critically analysed over the years and has been found wanting.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Build it now
Our only Auckland harbour crossing has a sad history. Beginning with an already inadequate four-lane bridge opened in 1959, it had the additional four clip-on lanes added just 10 years later.
Then in 1984, in a political move to retain the North Shore seat, PM Robert Muldoon abolished the 25 cents toll. Had that not happened we would have had enough finance long before now for a second crossing. Instead, 61 years later we see an already overcrowded bridge turned into a congestion mayhem as a result of damage to just one internal supporting steel span.
The message is not difficult. With already a disastrous delay of a back-up, and interest rates so low, central government and the Auckland Council should immediately begin planning and building a road and rail tunnel, with completion in the shortest time possible.
Furthermore, with this vital project, the ridiculous Resource Management Act should be bypassed.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
I am not an economist, far from it, but what say the country borrows $100 billion, or $200 billion or whatever it takes to fix infrastructure in NZ and particularly Auckland and to future proof it so it can be added to or adjusted as population grows.
Let's get this done within the next 20 years.
Experts talk about the fact that future generations will have to pay for it.
If we don't put a massive amount of money into infrastructure now and get ahead of the eight ball, future generations are still going to have to pay billions of dollars to keep funding projects but will still be trying to play catchup without ever getting there and enjoying the benefits of modern cities or a modern country.
Allan Atkinson, Hillsborough.
As a solution to the Auckland Harbour Bridge problem, how about a city that never sleeps? Why not? Office blocks, factories, both small and large businesses, libraries, shopping malls, universities, garages and what have you all operating on 12 hour shifts.
The police, airports, long-haul drivers, supply chains have been doing it for decades without a hitch. So why can't we?
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
It was pretty even really as a leaders' debate - but who won really?
Jacinda Ardern debated the issues, while street-fighter Judith Collins unsheathed her claws, pushing belittlement and contempt at her opponent with every glance and snort. The PM became somewhat defensive as she adjusted to the cattiness but by the end reasserted her position by sticking to the issues and playing the ball, not the person.
Give me Ardern any day. She doesn't look to win by back-stabbing the Opposition but behaves like the world leader she is; intelligent, gracious and Prime Minister-like. Ginsburg and Mandela would be proud.
Judy Anderson, Cockle Bay.
Jacinda Ardern had tons of words but no real content - no detailed plan, just selling an emporious dream.
It's not honest to promote a huge vision but not acknowledge you need big, big taxes to pay for it.
Adina Thorn, St Heliers.
Do we want NZ to be wealthier, or better? Do we want to lean towards the American model or the Nordic model? Do we actually care for more than just ourselves?
There is enough natural momentum in the NZ economy plus a huge amount of (captive) money sloshing around without electing a right-wing government to look after the "haves" through deregulation and tax-cuts. It is the low-wage workers, the untrained/uneducated, those who cannot pay rent or feed families who must be our focus; they don't need to be punished into submission or worse.
Vote with a soft heart and a reasoning head, not a desire to reward the "deserving", the winners and the aspirational - who can largely look after themselves. We really must try to close the gap not widen it.
B Darragh, Auckland Central.
Professor Rod Jackson's analysis (NZ Herald, September 22) of the numbers relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and its "Infection Fatality Proportion" are transparent and helpful as a start point for further important questions.
Why does he assume that "excess mortality" might represent uncounted Covid-19 deaths? What about mortality resulting from panic and lockdown, including health systems temporarily neglecting non-Covid care?
But the biggie is that antibodies are an insufficient sole explanation for "immunity". Mathematicians like Professor Karl Friston pointed out months ago that the shape of mortality curves was "wrong" if antibodies were the only means of immunity. Curves should flatten when there is about 65 per cent immunity, but everywhere, this happens when around only 15 per cent have antibodies (estimated by random testing).
Medical science has already determined the missing 40 to 50 per cent are people whose T-cells deal with infection, without antibodies being developed. This implies the true level of infections is around 5 times higher than antibody tests suggest, and the Infection Fatality Proportion 5 times lower.
The Spanish Flu in 1918 killed around 50 million people when the global population was 1.8 billion. Covid-19 might slightly exceed 1 million, out of 7 billion.
Philip G Hayward, Naenae.
Shane Te Pou's opinion column (NZ Herald, September 22 ) reads very much as though it comes from a current rather than "former" Labour activist.
His criticism of National Party leadership changes seems a little shortsighted. Labour leadership during 2016/17 changed from David Shearer, to David Cunliffe, to Andrew Little, and finally to Jacinda Ardern.
June Kearney, West Harbour.
The UK has one House of Commons member for about 100,000 people. Italy has one MP for every 150,000.
New Zealand has one MP for every 40,000.
I wonder if any of our political parties could consider these numbers and come up with an idea that might save taxpayers some money in these difficult times?
A suitable proposal would surely be a vote-winner, and would set an example that Auckland Council could be encouraged to follow.
Chris Elias, Mission Bay.
During the first lockdown, the autocratic Auckland Transport brought forward under cover of Covid its odd plan installing cones, sticks and blocks of concrete on major roads including Ponsonby Rd and Queen St. Hated by businesses, used by few, this mess has mostly faded away.
In the second lockdown around some of Auckland's biggest schools in Mt Eden, AT changed parking zones so as to make it almost impossible for senior students and some staff to drive to school. This forces them on to public transport during Covid and makes it difficult to attend important end of year exams.
As Auckland Transport continues its self-admitted "tactical urbanism" and war on cars, it should have more consideration during these unprecedented times for how the timing of its edicts affect the public who pay for it.
A. Seal, Mt Albert.
Short & sweet
Increasingly, party electioneering has the features of "pork-barrel politics" with vast commitments to spend our money, with little detail on how anyone intends to raise the money. Kenneth Lees, Whangarei.
The country is gearing up to carry out its tri-annual cleansing of the nation's largest septic tank. What a futile exercise. It will be full again with the same flotsam as before with the same degree of offensive detritus floating at the top. P Richard Parsons, Pukete.
The Queensferry Crossing bridge crosses the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh, and has 3.5m-high baffle barriers to deflect wind gusts. Perhaps something similar could be added to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Ishbel Meadows, Helensville.
Perhaps if "Goldie" keeps digging away at the hole he recently discovered, he might run into the chasm detected by Steven. They could then join up the holes and create a tunnel as promised by Judith. Perry Gallagher, Remuera.
The loser was actually John Campbell who seemed too intimidated by Collins to make sure Ardern was allowed to finish a sentence. Rex Fausett, Auckland Central.
Congratulations to both Campbell and Collins for their coordinated tandem act of talking over and shouting down the Prime Minister. John Capener, Kawerau.
Judith's hair was tidy: Jacinda's looked a bit unruly. It matched the debate. Pamela Russell, Orakei.