Thirty months in on Covid-19 and it is the same narrative – vaccinations, boosters, respiratory illness, and masks. Our "Ministry of Medication" team failed in its primary function. Why no mention of daily exercise and 5 + A Day?
Mother Nature brings us the exact product at the right time to help guide us through winter chills and ills. Hot lemon and manuka honey drink is one example.
How prevalent is junk food in schools, even in the cupboards at home? Do we feed our children porridge, milk, and fruit before school? Do schools sell that cup of soup we used to get with our humble lunch? Are kids busy at break time playing "Bullrush" type games, or do they have their heads in their phones?
Educate our kids about growing plants in school gardens and the prep of wholesome soups and salads. Hold free classes to teach parents how to cook if they can't.
Being active, and eating and drinking right, keeps an immune system strong – a bug or virus has no interest in trying to latch on to that.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
The desperate shortage of doctors and nurses in New Zealand demands massive changes to our training systems in lieu of political posturing and the jealous resistance by existing medical schools.
A reversion to training nurses in hospitals (full time), while maintaining the input of polytechnics, would increase semi-qualified nurse staffing levels in hospitals, and boost the output of graduate nurses.
The proposal to have a third medical school at Waikato University was side-lined in the context of spending scandals at Waikato DHB. But, if the Government can turn the DHB structure on its head in these complex times, it can also address the need for a massive increase in medical training.
The polytechnic-trained nurses have an edge in the academic sense, but the hospital-trained nurses always had the edge in clinical proficiency. It will take a decade to get graduates out of a third medical school, and that will coincide with the retirement of many doctors.
Bold decisions need to be made now, and we do not need any more committees or inquiries to see the way forward.
Pay and conditions must be competitive too, or we will lose even more of these essential healthcare workers.
Hugh Webb, Hamilton.
Out of time
I received a letter from City Vision on July 5, gushing about the achievement of their responsible financial management and meeting Auckland's needs in the last 12 years.
It invited me to have a discussion about my priorities on Saturday, July 2 at four different locations within an hour's space.
This postal letter sent to every household in the Albert Eden ward explains the very reason I stopped voting in this three-yearly farce: No engagement; no chance; no stopping the waste of ratepayers' money.
Juergen Petersen, Pt Chevalier.
I'm shocked that Simon Wilson, the champion of good design, can back the Government's medium density housing directive that contains the least design standards ever permitted in this city (NZ Herald, July 5).
He says that it will enable better design and possibly also bad design too - which one Simon?
It will, in fact, create bad (cheap) design in poorer areas and better design in expensive areas - is that really what we want for Auckland?
Updating villas with modern amenities and letting in more sun does not mean they're less authentic, it just means they're not museums.
He also assumes it's easy to attain historic heritage status as a scheduled building. Yet, this is an enormous, expensive task that can take years to go through the council process.
Devonport Heritage has applied to have the main street listed as an HHA and has been told our 107-page proposal is a "good start".
How many heritage houses will be lost while we wait for better protections?
Margot McRae, chair, Devonport Heritage.
The basis of forming the Three Waters entities is that there have not been sufficient funds spent to date. Several billions of dollars need to be spent to bring the processing of water – in its three phases – up to the standard that the proposers state is needed.
What has not been explained is who is going to pay all these billions of dollars?
The answer is "you and me". If the Three Waters proposal is successful, be ready for very large levies.
David Bentham, Browns Bay.
For the defence
I do feel sympathy for defence lawyers such as barrister Emma Priest (NZ Herald, July 6). Years ago, I was on the jury at the trial of a couple accused of stealing. Each was represented by a lawyer, paid for by legal aid. The trial lasted two weeks.
There were many witnesses for the prosecution and none for the defence.
I cringed for the two poor defence lawyers who did their best against overwhelming evidence which included video footage of the couple in the process of their offending.
But yes, they have a job to do, however thankless at times.
Anne Martin, Helensville.
Auckland mayoral candidate Efeso Collins plans to cancel road improvement projects to pay for free public transport (NZ Herald, July 6). That may provide enough money to cover it for the 2022-23 financial year, though I doubt it. What will happen when that money runs out?
There will still be safety concerns at the Lake Rd, Glenvar Rd and Lincoln Rd areas mentioned in the Herald report.
There will also be a concern at the prospect of rate rises to pay for the plan.
It's a great idea, better than any of the other candidates have come up with, but there must be a more rigorous costing.
Gerry Beckingsale, Torbay.
To read many letters to the editor and not a few opinion articles, one would think that the appointment of Justices Kavanagh, Gorsuch and Barrett by President Trump, ushered in a period of untrammelled right-wing lawmaking.
Nothing could be further from the truth and 2021 saw a raft of decisions of unparalleled unanimity. Unanimous and near-unanimous decisions, 9-0 and 8-1 respectively, accounted for 67 per cent of the total decisions in that year.
This compares to the decade score, including the halcyon Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg years, which showed just 48 per cent of decisions in the same bracket.
Rob Harris, Dannevirke.
Wesley Parish invited debate (NZ Herald, July 6) over the viability of the human fetus. He says it is only viable once surviving outside the womb, because before then while in the womb "all the decisions are being made on its behalf".
But surely, even for years after the birth, all decisions still have to be made on behalf of that same young child's survival and growth?
There is actually no status difference using even his assumptions.
S Guinness, Greenlane.
How much longer will the NZ taxpayer be expected to pay for, and endure, the puerile "Road to Zero" adverts that this Government, through NZTA, is repeatedly inflicting upon us?
As with the "Three Waters" propaganda, the only reason for these adverts is to brainwash the public into accepting the Government's policy.
Unfortunately, these extremely childish "Road to Zero" adverts have obviously been targeted at an audience with a very low IQ; a level that should exclude them from holding a driving license, on the grounds of diminished mental capacity.
These adverts are not only extremely annoying, they are also an absolute waste of time and taxpayers' money.
Philip Lenton, Somerville.
I totally agree with Gina Goodhue (NZ Herald, July 6) regarding the preparation of food and hand hygiene. After watching the Masterchef episode when the contestants were in a very well-known (evidently) restaurant, I am afraid the chefs touching the food while plating has actually put me off eating out. The risk of catching food poisoning seems to be very high. I am sure hygiene is not carried out religiously and I do wonder why they are not wearing food gloves.
Another point I would make is that long hair on a chef is not really acceptable in my eyes. I am enjoying the programme and do feel that the judges are so much nicer than the ones I have watched in the past on Australia's Masterchef. They are much more complimentary and pleasant, which makes the watching so much more enjoyable.
Sandra Halling, Orewa.
Short & sweet
Strong marriages give positive security for children; they also ensure prolonged strength in the nation. Ian George, Howick.
So now we have another "expert" – this time a "senior lecturer in computational evolution" – spooking the country by suggesting yet another lockdown. Where do they keep finding these people? Beth O'Loughlin, Parnell.
If and when the killers of trophy hunter Riaan Naude in South Africa are found will they be charged with murder or rewarded for services to conservation? Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Hear ye, hear ye! New Zealand's now open for business. And, for tourism. And, for flu and new Covid variants. J. Livingstone, Remuera.
Last Thursday, two consecutive 670 buses were cancelled. Consecutive cancellations are especially hard on folk whose bus routes are already infrequent. Chris Kiwi, Mt Albert.
Is there anyone in this city that can fix three street lights near my house that have been out since March? I've tried the council twice, the service providers and the line company. Am I expecting too much? Brian Todd, Glendowie.
The Premium Debate
Higher wages don't work , they just raise the cost of living higher which then swallows up the extra money you earn. Mark J.
I completely agree with Dr Williamson. We need to get our economy working for the team of 5 million before we look at expanding the team to 5.2 or 6 million by 2030. Where would they live and can you imagine the pressure on roads, schools and hospitals then? Too many industries (and that includes the bloated government bureaucracy) have relied on a constant flow of new migrants for workers. It's held down wages, stifled productivity and distorted land use. John B.
What we should focus on is reasonable rates for CEOs and senior management, and correct the growing disparity between those at the top and those at the bottom. Kathryn M.
The fair pay agreements will be anything but fair and will be a disaster for this country. It is an employee market at the moment; FPAs are a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. If you think we have productivity issues in this country now, wait until they bring in the FPAs - it will be a death knell for the economy. I run a medium service company with 80 staff, I need another 15 and can't find them anymore. We are now getting rid of customers as we can't service them. Bridgit F.
Higher wages = higher production costs = higher prices = lower standard of living = higher wages = higher production costs = higher prices = customer resistance = business closes down. Geoff B.