Watch these numbers
I, or anyone else can hold and express a view on any aspect of the response, but the only important measure is how many people have died, and how many are ill.
These statistics can be viewed in absolute or relative terms, but it really doesn't make much difference; whatever way you look at it we are head and shoulders the best in the world.
That is not entirely due to actions by our government. The level of acceptance of the severity of this disease has been a big factor in the level of compliance that has given us the good outcome to date.
But acceptance and the resulting compliance is a result of the behaviour of the people fronting this calamity. Jacinda Ardern, Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Siouxsie Wiles, Prof Skegg and other voices of reason.
Large numbers have finally galvanised into getting immunised and some people might have to wait a little; so what? At least they have moved from lackadaisical complacency to seeking a level of self-preservation that will have the added benefit of helping their fellow citizens.
Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai Heads.
Here's the plan
The best Covid vaccine is the one you can get quickest. All the vaccines in use are effective.
The Pfizer vaccine provides zero protection until administered.
Our reactive response has caught us out recently.
A booster shot will be required as immunity to vaccines diminishes.
Humanity is in a war with a virus that mutates quickly and continually becomes more virulent and deadly. Speed of response is critical.
Elimination is our best strategy and will only be possible with proactive action.
An effective treatment may be a game-changer in the future.
Neil Webber, Auckland Central.
The answer to George Williams' (NZ Herald, August 30) as to why we didn't vaccinate earlier is simply a lack of available product.
This is not anyone's fault but simply a recognition of both where the vaccines were developed and of our place in the world economic hierarchy in which the US comes first, the European Union second and other wealthy Western countries such as Australia and NZ come third. That is still well ahead of most of the rest of the world.
Pfizer is headquartered in New York, Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey and BioNTech in Germany. As well as being their largest overall drug markets, the vaccines were actually developed by those companies' researchers in those countries. So they got it first until production ramped up.
Peter Jansen, Henderson.
He mahi pai
I would like to acknowledge the generosity of King Tūheitia and Te Hauora o Ngāti Hauā health providers for their outstanding and ongoing support of vaccination centres.
These opened in late July and operating in Hamilton, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui and Morrinsville, with additional community centres opening in Cambridge, Matamata, Tokoroa and Te Awamutu.
Waikato DHB created the role of Kai Manaaki to make sure people felt welcome and cared for through each step of the vaccination process. That has been the case in our small town, no matter the ethnicity of the person being vaccinated.
Thanks also to the Waikato DHB nurses on the vaccination front line.
Francesca Lowe, Morrinsville.
On behalf of us in the South Island, I want to say thank you to all of you for your service to our country by sticking to the lockdown. We know how hard this must be for you all.
Please know that most of us down here don't take it for granted that you've borne the brunt of this virus. We see you. The families struggling to put food on the table. The businesses doing it so hard.
Thank you. Love from the South Island
Kate Russell, Christchurch.
A suggestion for MIQ might work well to enable those New Zealand citizens who must travel abroad to safely quarantine at home on return without cost to the country, and without using current MIQ capacity.
They must be fully vaccinated, pay for pre- and post-travel Covid tests, pay for safe travel to their fully food- stocked home on return where they must stay, and pay for required further tests, and if they break quarantine they must be fined at least $3000. An ankle bracelet may be added for security.
My friends and family, who have elderly and/or dying relatives abroad, would happily accept this. They cannot book MIQ spots for return which appear to be permanently unavailable and they are desperate.
This strategy, carefully worked out and resourced, is a win all round, for the individuals, for tight MIQ capacity, for the embattled airlines, and for the country facing a long lockdown for the brave Covid elimination goal.
Need it be so bleak for those who must travel? They are even prepared to pay all costs in advance and have their homes inspected for safe quarantine. Surely, that is sufficient to allow safe passage and return.
Christine Keller Smith, Northcote Pt.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but all those saying we should have removed our people from Afghanistan sooner are forgetting that.
I'm sure that, if the Ministry of Defence had suggested bringing hundreds of people back from Afghanistan even three months ago, pre-Covid Delta, there would have been an outcry from all those who don't like the Labour Government.
Not only that, but those who object to foreign refugees of any sort would have been phoning talkback ad nauseum. No-one knew how quickly the Taliban would retake the country and we all must bear responsibility for the awful consequences.
Sue Rawson, Pāpāmoa Beach.
Strength in diversity
Seeing pictures of the Sikh community (NZ Herald, August 31) distributing food to people in need was a timely reminder. The tenets of Sikhism are service to humanity.
The strength of our city is our diversity in supporting those less fortunate at this time.
B Appleby, Grafton.
Lockdowns (if we must) will become a feature of modern living and future planning must include strategies including technology to deal with that. Education could lead the way.
Teachers at the beginning of the year could log into the pupils PC's or iPads so when a lockdown is imposed the curriculum and the body of knowledge they are charged with can continue in an uninterrupted flow in homes.
Likewise those in the food and catering business could provide an upmarket "meals on wheel" experience.
Along the same lines, the industrial sector needs to come up with tasks even if it means mobilising machinery so that employees are not idle in lockdowns.
I have put the tourism sector in the too hard basket but they have already shown adaptation by providing for an upsurge in the local market.
Individual satisfaction, as it has always been, is the key and can continue in all of the above fields of endeavour via greater use of technology and a focus on meeting individuals' needs during lockdowns.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Join the queue
I turned up at my local Pak'nSave supermarket in Henderson yesterday morning and, when I asked if I could go in as a senior (75 years old), I was told no by a surly woman.
I was told to join the long queue. Have they now changed their policy? What happened to be kind to people.
P Dixson, Henderson.
With the despondency of a lockdown and general uncertainty prevailing, what better tonic than watching the incredible performances of athletes worldwide competing at the Paralympics in Tokyo?
To see the amazingly varied degrees of disability on display and how these people overcame them, is nothing short of inspirational.
A huge thank you to Japan for the magnificent facilities they have provided, an absolute credit to them under trying circumstances generally
Ted Partridge, Mangere.
Short & sweet
I hate asking this, but why are South Islanders being vaccinated while Aucklanders cannot get a booking for weeks? L Harvey, Titirangi.
It's now clear that Chris Hipkins was facing the wrong direction when he announced our country was "first" in the queue for Covid vaccinations. Ian Bradley, Titirangi.
Who decides the priority when jab numbers decrease? Lockdown day put some - in group three - seven weeks further down the queue with no consultation. Stuart Mackenzie, Ōhura.
Your editorial did a very good job (NZ Herald, August 30) balancing some of the derisive and vitriolic comments in "You say" and "The Premium Debate" on the Government's handling of the pandemic. Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
For everybody's sake, particularly the children, please wear a mask on shared walkways. Anthony Park, Kohimarama.
If the rail tunnel doesn't finish off Auckland central then the proposed congestion tax sure will. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
Is there an adult morning TV programme? One that is not submerged in trivia and inane humour? Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
The Premium Debate
Any thoughts on placing Bluetooth beacons at business locations? I always thought a cheap phone placed at the door could help with this, although it seems the app needs updating to adapt to Delta. The reality is that we need to make better use of tech for our contact tracing going forward. Infectivity windows of 24 hours, and rapid aerosol spread make this more essential than ever. Rebecca B.
So, Sam Morgan offered to help get a system up and running a year ago but got so frustrated with the Health Ministry guys, he threw his toys and gave up. Kris Faafoi said we don't need him. Now we find that the official app isn't actually working properly? Funny that. Craig W.
We've had time to prepare for Delta. This appears to be another case of not doing the hard yards in preparing the system for the differing risk status. We have a totally dysfunctional MoH, so I suppose we shouldn't expect too much, as the ministers seem to spend their time creating excuses instead of holding them to account. Andy O.
Problem with Bluetooth is it relies on close contact for phones to register contact - with only hundreds of cases so far, most within households, the odds of that happening are low. Bluetooth only has a max 10m range and can be interrupted by obstacles. An elegant technology solution that doesn't deliver. Helen H.
NZ has legendary skills around innovation, but a sure way to kill innovation is to force it through a centralised controller. Worse still is to ask a government department to build something or manage a commercial procurement process. We've seen endless great ideas binned by Wellington bureaucrats. Not invented here is the common theme. The madness of trying to build our own app rather than adapting existing proven systems is a perfect example. John A.
Nothing has been done for people without phones, or who have phones that cannot scan. Most businesses had quit with paper sign-in sheets - and they must be very time consuming for tracers to go through. Why didn't they go ahead with the Bluetooth card that was trialled? Susan B.
I have no idea why the app doesn't just use the location function already in Apple and Google phones. Both track and know where you are at all times. Ross W.
Bluetooth or not, phones or not, the prediction is 50 new cases today - a drop in a couple of weeks. Say what you like about contact tracing, but Ardern has been bang on the money every single time. Timothy T.