Letter of the week: John Christiansen, Mt Albert
Imagine the Jarman family (Weekend Herald, October 10) are agents provocateurs, deliberately wanting to bring Covid-19 from Tahiti on a small yacht. Could they do it?
Firstly, you'd need to get one person infected in Tahiti where the incidence of Covid-19 is very low. Achieve that and you have one sick person on a yacht with three others.
The trick then would be trying to keep it alive for the two- to three-month trip by slowing the transmission rate as Covid needs a living host. You'd have to isolate the first person until they were almost recovered, expose the second person and then repeat for the third. So long as people didn't die or recover too quickly, you might do it.
If you did want to bring Covid-19 to New Zealand deliberately the best way is to fly large numbers of people from high-risk areas.
I have no doubt that with sufficient pressure from the public and the press the Government will relent and let the Jarmans in, if they will still have us as hosts, that is.
The biggest risk they would face would be some officious twit from the ministry would stick them into an MIQ facility, where the probability of infection will jump from vanishingly small to frighteningly real.
Once again I read, about small yachts beIng denied entry into New Zealand. What a cringe-worthy embarrassment for our country.
Could the Ministry of Health outline the their risk assessment for these yachties
compared to the planeloads of Covid-infested Air India charters? The rationale will make compelling reading.
Hamish Milne, St Heliers.
It could be noted that the Queen of England is still our head of state and, if anyone should be given some leniency regarding entry, it might be UK citizens in a time of need. At the risk of repeating what has been said by others, let me point out that all these sailors are in this position through no fault of their own; do not pose a Covid risk; will be in isolation while sailing here; will happily stay in quarantine on arrival; and will bring much needed business to New Zealand.
More importantly, in the face of the upcoming cyclone season, there is the humanitarian aspect of needing to cater to maritime safety. Many have young children aboard and their boat is their only home, but because they are not NZ citizens this runs counter to the current border restrictions. Exceptions have been made already for sports teams, including America's Cup sailors, and superyachts on the basis of money, so I say to our Government - make another, far more important, exception. Show some flexibility, compassion and basic common sense.
Peter Cooke, Whangaparāoa.
Regarding the builder's apprentice watching an operation (Weekend Herald, October 10). Trust in a doctor requires absolute confidence in their integrity. By allowing an unqualified person to attend an operation the student has demonstrated that she does not possess this attribute.
Notwithstanding the fact that she was well regarded by the medical staff and is in her final year, she should not be allowed to graduate and should be required to repay her substantial student fees
Ray Gilbert, Pāpāmoa.
Designs 'bottom line'
Bruce Cotterill (Weekend Herald, October 10) makes a good point that the design industry needs to deliver plans that comply.
Carefully prepared design information not only provides compliant documentation but also reduces risk of unexpected costs (as well as contractors having to price risk into tenders because of compliant documentation that is not necessarily sufficiently thorough).
The elephant in the room is that design fees often demanded by clients are lower than those real estate agents are able to command when acting as intermediaries in property transactions – despite the enormous professional risk associated with preparing such construction documentation.
The industry's "bottom line" approach to the provision of design services has already cost the country a fortune and this will not change until the cost of thorough and complete professional services is understood and valued by the Government, clients and the construction industry alike.
David Baird, Hillsborough.
Re: your editorial "Summer fire season is underway" (Weekend Herald, October 10). Naturally farmers and miners everywhere want to plunder environmentally sensitive land for the benefit of humanity but it's worth reading what Sir Alan Mark, emeritus professor of botany at Otago, has to say about the Ōhau fire:
"With or without stock grazing [tussock grasslands would burn]. My years on intensive research into our high country grasslands has shown that grazing animals reject the rank and dead foliage of both the native and exotic grasses, and select the actively growing green foliage, hence do not significantly reduce the fuel load."
Prior to man's footsteps, the Mackenzie Basin was a woodland. Now our power has stretched to destroying the climate that cradled civilisation itself.
Dennis N. Horne, Howick
Sitting on houses
Ashley Church wonders why more Kiwis aren't cashing in on the house price boom (Weekend Herald, October 10).
He is possibly unaware that money in the bank gathers no interest, while property continues to increase in value.
Add to this that there is no capital gains tax here and you get a very simple explanation: People are not stupid.
Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
A quick word
Of all the mindless, frivolous waste of earth's fossil fuels, in a country that is, and will suffer global warming more than most, Australia has permitted seven-hour "flights to nowhere". Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
For New Zealand to have to import immigrant workers to pick fruit on the basis of the wages being to low for New Zealanders is an absolute nonsense and an insult to all hard working taxpayers. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
How about allowing low-risk prisoners supervised leave from their current incarceration to assist in picking this year's harvest? John Roberts, Remuera.
Are the yellow poles and concrete blocks still littering Queen St a permanent feature? I have seen no explanation yet for their unlovely presence. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
If you're wealthy , you can buy your way into New Zealand ( yachts, film crews, etc, ) whereas if you're in horticulture or have a personal tragedy , MBIE will tell you to get stuffed. Tony Marks, Omaha Beach.
If this were a NZ family in the same circumstances in the UK, there would no doubt be outrage. I.M. Phillips, Muriwai Beach.
I am appalled at the damage to our international reputation that this incident has done especially as the country is admitting the very rich and their superyachts. Michael A. Smith, Waitakere.
Masks are fast becoming as psychologically necessary - if not legally necessary - as seat belts. Heidi Dobbie, Auckland Central.
All schools should be offering life skills to all children. Why do schools not have vege gardens, fruit trees, herb gardens, and basics for health welfare and where all children learn basic gardening and cooking skills? Inga Murphy, Ohakune.
If price look-up (PLU) stickers are banned, the next step by growers will be to put their product in a bag with a barcode attached, meaning more plastic anyhow. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Thousands of road cones are continuing to proliferate without check on Tāmaki Drive. Some have been in situ for so long that they have grown flags. Should we be alarmed? Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.