Dangers in conspiracy junk mail
I am 85 years old. My wife and I are two of the many millions of people going about their business happily and in good health after being vaccinated against Covid.
I deeply resent VoicesForFreedom cluttering up my mailbox with their glossy conspiracy theory letter. How many trees had to die and other environmentally unfriendly acts happen to create this "influencer"-style mailout? How many children will lose otherwise valuable teachers who succumb to these spurious arguments?
How many new Covid cases will the pamphlet cause? We are looking forward to the day our lovely grandchildren are fully vaccinated against this scourge of a disease. Proudly wearing a mask and enjoying my freedom.
Bernhard Sporli, Epsom.
As one of 1.6 million Aucklanders keeping the rest of New Zealanders safe, given that most of the MIQ facilities are in central Auckland, and breaches cannot be eliminated, there is a large possibility that we will experience once again what happened with Delta when the new variant arrives in New Zealand.
For this reason, we need to look at a better way of isolating new arrivals coming into New Zealand. Surely it is time for a purpose-built facility that would allow Aucklanders to enjoy the same degree of freedom as the rest of the country. We have done the job of keeping the rest of New Zealand safe and for the sake of our survival mentally, physically and economically change is needed.
I do hope the Government will make a case for a different way of dealing with MIQ when we are faced with Omicron.
Robin Harrison, Takapuna.
After the recent debacle with the National Party's leadership they need parliamentarians with honesty and integrity, working for the people and the benefit of our beautiful country.
Do the nominees for National's top job have what it takes? Or does self-interest and big business play a role in their aims and objectives? They need to be clear as to where their loyalties lie if they want to succeed with the voters.
B Jessopp, Massey.
I hope that when the National Party caucus is debating who will be the new leader, they will remember Simon Bridges was an abject failure last time — and would be again. He may be a clever man, but he has no charisma and no discernible leadership qualities.
As for Chris Luxon, well he could not seem to remember what he had or had not signed as CEO of Air NZ, has limited political experience and is seemingly strongly religious — not the best proposition either.
I thought well of Judith Collins, but she lost my support when she supported Labour's totally dreadful housing proposal, sadly one of many uncharacteristic mistakes.
Geraldine Taylor, Remuera.
Nats' new face
I would place odds of 100-1 on that by tomorrow afternoon the new face of the National leadership team will look like this: Christopher Luxon as leader of the opposition, Simon Bridges riding shotgun for him and doing all the hard stuff for the first year while, back at the ranch John Key, who keeps sticking his oar in for some reason, will be mentoring the new boy until he is deemed fit to take the helm.
This deal was probably, in reality, done some time ago when Judith Collins was handed the very slippery reins as a nightwatch person so Luxon could familiarise himself with the surrounds of the halls of power in his first year before becoming eligible to ascend the National throne. It seems to me he has almost completed his apprenticeship and is ready to face the big, bad world of politics.
A bit more fine-tuning from his friend John will see him better placed to understand the rules of the game he is about to play. Will he succeed? We'll just have to wait and see.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
I see that Ali Williams and family want to build a heliport on their property in Westmere. I walk my dog along the Southdown Walkway past the police heliport. Helicopters are loud at close quarters when coming and going or on the ground while doing pre-flight checks.
These things have no place in residential areas. The police helicopter chasing criminals over my neighbourhood is bad enough.
Williams should be denied this on the grounds of an excessive carbon footprint alone. The council has declared a climate emergency and Williams and the council should, therefore, be setting an example. Williams can walk, cycle, drive a Tesla or use public transport like (almost) everyone else.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral.
Vaccine pass a fail
It really looks like the vaccine pass was a rushed job. It gives six months freedom from the date you download the app — not the last dose of vaccine. So it is possible, like me, that my six months are up and my immunity waning but the pass gives me months to come and go as I please. The pass should only be valid for six months after the last jab — and should show this date.
Dr Alan Papert, Queenstown.
I have some bad news for Bob from Glendene whose letter (NZ Herald, November 28) states "first home buyers who have found a semi-affordable older house being outbid by developers keen to demolish and build multiple units".
It's been happening for some time in this neighbourhood. Reasonable sized sections with lovely older homes have been demolished and made way for multiple dwellings. In one case, 16 terraced homes replaced a single family dwelling, an old villa with 12 proposed dwellings, two adjacent ROW homes on the market with plans in place for 15 dwellings.
I bought in this area for its quiet surroundings, native bush and abundance of birdlife, as did many others, not to have 12 or more neighbours on my doorstep.
Kathleen Hawkins, Red Hill.
Who gets the ticket?
Will police have to issue tickets to the driver when it is not them smoking, but another adult passenger (with children in the car)? Or does the ticket go to the smoker him/herself?
Clearly, adult smoking in a car is bad for any child passengers, so it is good that Big Sister is watching.
John Hampson, Meadowbank.
'Tis the boating season. Motorists who regularly pass me on my bike often come close enough to be one wobble away from my demise. Please be aware your boat trailer may be even wider than your car, only needing half a wobble from me.
Could I also ask that you use your indicators? I realise it takes some considerable effort and co-ordination on your part but it is often very helpful for my safety to know your intentions.
Vince West, Milford.
There have been a number of demonstrations against the Government's policies with farmers driving their tractors and utes up the main streets of many cities. Have they ever stopped to wonder how they are achieving such high prices for their products and good levels of sales to their main market, China, which enables them to be able to afford their very expensive shiny new tractors and utility vehicles?
The person mainly responsible for that is Jacinda Ardern who has, through her diplomatic skills, kept China's markets open to New Zealand's agricultural sector, and enabled New Zealand's economy to progress much better than most overseas countries.
David Mairs, Glendowie.
Speedy nasal test
Take heart. I had a Covid PCR (nasal) test on Friday at 11.16am and received the negative result at 7.02am on Saturday — less than one day later. Things aren't always as dire as we're led to believe.
Renton Brown, Pukekohe.
Dunstan Sheldon's letter (Weekend Herald, November 27) is excellent. The whingeing population of NZ is unfortunately replicated everywhere. Demonstrations in Melbourne over the freedom to buy a cup of coffee or not led the formidable Jacqui Lambie to advise protesters to be "goddamn bloody adults". Many don't understand governments are navigating their way through uncharted waters with the safety of their citizens uppermost in their decision making .
Maureen Wilson, Auckland.
Short & sweet
For months various radio experts, National MPs, businesspeople and sectors of the media have been banging on about the need to end the hopeless MIQ system. Suddenly they seem to have gone quiet. I wonder why? Murray Knight, Massey.
What worries me about Omicron coming so fast after Delta is which countries have got Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, and Theta and why are they keeping it a secret from the WHO?
Gerald Payma, Mt Albert.
Why can't the world's governments all co-operate and collaborate, like the world's scientists and musicians? Rod Matthews, Melbourne.
On Black Caps
As well as the two batsmen who suffered from "nervous nineties", it seemed the other 10 got the same. For some reason unwilling to sock the ball to the boundary. John Clements, Orewa.
On the Nats
Sensible, articulate, hard-working and disciplined: right now, Act is everything National is not. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
With the Act Party seeming to challenge National as the official opposition, I wonder if John Key now has any regrets about gifting Epsom to David Seymour. Just a thought. Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
The Premium Debate
Regardless of whether an adherent of the right or left we can't go on down the path where wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few to the detriment of everyone else. Brian H.
Very hard to do the things required to reduce inequality when you know you will get biffed out next election and any changes will be reversed. Just look at the reaction to the IRD investigation into wealthy people. Christine W.
Labour promotes themselves as helping those struggling but their policies often hurt them even more, like making life harder for landlords, meaning fewer rental properties, more people living in motels. That's not the fault of capitalism, it's the consequence of poor policy. Alan M.
Why do all those who argue for reducing inequality always suggest it can only occur by stripping the rich of their wealth and handing this over to the poor. This is not the only, nor even the best way to achieve this. Gilbert E.
Bolger is spot on. The unearned and untaxed residential property capital gains over the last 50 years or so has catapulted one generation to a position of huge financial benefit. I am one of that group, where taking a oneway bet on untaxed capital gains has produced retirement wealth far in excess of my ability as a wage and salary earner. The problem is that until the majority of the electorate are in the financially disadvantaged group, no government will change this. Gordon L.
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