For Angus, who loved life
I'm writing this to honour our son. He was 17 when he had a cardiac arrest and died at school. He didn't have a chance; he couldn't get to hospital or have surgery; there were no defibrillators at school in those days.
However, he was given a chance when he was 8 months old. As a result of heart surgery and medication, he had 17-and-a-half-years of active, normal life.
The surgery he had was very new and untested. We had to decide whether to trust the doctors. I'm so glad we signed the consent form and took a chance.
I never use his death to get something I want or attract sympathy, but I want you to consider getting vaccinated. Give yourself and those you love a chance to have a long and healthy life.
I don't want anyone to go through losing a loved one. It is a life sentence, grief never leaves you. We miss our wonderful son every day. Please please think about this with an open mind, do not use it to justify your point of view, that would be insulting.
Get jabbed for Angus who loved life (1985-2003).
Name withheld by request.
Time on, NZ
Six weeks is more than enough time to get vaccinated. The Government should announce that New Zealand will open up on December 1.
Those (few) people with a valid reason not to get the jab would have to take extra care but they will have to do this whenever New Zealand opens up.
One concern is the potential load on our health system and I am heartened by reports that the system is ready and capable.
We should support wage increases for nurses and adequate funding of our health system. It's time for Team New Zealand to be back on the field.
Rod Weir, Warkworth.
Intrusion on rights
Those that use the concept of rights to refuse Covid vaccination should heed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says that "limitations" should be only those "determined by law" to protect the rights and freedoms of others and "the general welfare in a democratic society".
This means that a refusenik's rights will intrude on my right and freedom to not be infected by that person's increased likelihood of Covid infection.
John Hancock, Freemans Bay.
Hold the carrot
It was wonderful to see the kotahitanga of groups, celebs and responsible leaders putting their mana behind the Super Saturday vaccination push – but very disappointing and frustrating to witness all the anti-vax protests around the country with propaganda being spread by those who should know better.
We are all realising that the anti-vax threads running through our communities are much larger than imagined – promoted by those who feel immune to both the virus and public opprobrium.
Sadly, owing to the authorities dragging their heels with lawbreakers and absconders, the horse of disobedience has bolted off down the streets without a mask on now.
Perhaps it is time for more stick and less carrot in our "team" of five million.
John Clark, Glen Eden.
Prince William seems to think the rich should focus on saving the planet rather than taking joyrides into space. He doesn't understand the real issues.
For decades governments have promised action on climate change and under-delivered. Countries like New Zealand talk the talk yet we are presently increasing the amount of coal we burn in a year. Governments have found that promises to do better are all that is needed to win voter support. Delivery isn't essential. Climate conferences produce a flood of words, not action.
If William is sincere about reversing climate change, he should speak sternly to his grandmother. She is Head of State of one of the under-delivering democracies. She should be doing more to embarrass her government into action.
Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
Matthew Hooton may think (NZ Herald, October 15) adopting MMP was the "worst decision NZ ever made" but omits to mention that, in the 2011 MMP referendum, the electorate took a different view and voted 57.8 per cent to 42.2 per cent to retain the system.
In its 2012 MMP report to Parliament, the Electoral Commission recommended changes to the system and has since repeated those recommendations. If enacted by Parliament, they would have significantly improved the system.
Topics for the recently announced review of electoral law include reconsideration of the commission's recommendations.
Hugh Williams, Electoral Commission chairman (2010-19) and MMP Review Panel chairman (2012).
Where MMP fails
MMP was selected as offering a more flexible structure of government more able to reflect modern social complexity. Modern problems with MMP are not due to the process of voting politicians into the House, but that political parties never released control of the process in the House.
For example, are we to believe that every Labour politician was fully in favour of the cycle lane on the Auckland Harbour Bridge? Or, that every Labour politician is fully in favour of the Three Waters Project and the reckless dismissal of democracy surrounding current management of councils?
There is no outlet for their opinions, party internal referendums are no more than forced acts of compliance. How freely do you speak out in front of the boss at work?
We need to use MMP to vote in a more complex Parliament. Then allow fully free notes in the House on the issues we face. We need wide-ranging judgment on the issues, not ideological dogma, or party compliance.
Dr Graham Little, Birkenhead.
When lightning rods were first invented, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, they began to be used on church buildings.
They were then given a name by some other churches as "heretic rods" for not believing that God would protect their worshipers. A few lightning bolts eventually persuaded the worshippers that the Almighty expected the worshippers to trust the science that grounded the lightning and prevented catastrophe.
I am not sure if there still are any churches that reach into heaven without a lightning rod.
If this sounds familiar, apply it to Covid and the vaccine.
Kieran Fenn, Onehunga.
With a decisive good start and a lot of luck, we got through 2020 relatively unscathed but the Government's lack of attention to detail, inflexibility and weak enforcement has opened the floodgates.
All of its shortcomings need to be addressed because Covid is going to be around for years and also we don't know when the next new virus will turn up.
In the meantime, what we individuals need to do is help to try to achieve 99 per cent or better vaccination rates.
Bob van Ruyssevelt, Glendene.
Repay the willing
It was heart-warming to see the photos in the media of Aucklanders once again being able to enjoy their magnificent beaches.
Now with Super Saturday behind them, and given that the vast majority of Aucklanders will have already availed themselves of the Covid jab, it is now the turn of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to repay in kind with some very specific timelines. The good people of Tāmaki Makaurau deserve no less.
Kia kaha, Auckland, and thanks once again for your efforts.
Charles Jaine, Staveley.
Short & sweet
William Shatner is continuing his career in science fiction, blasting into space for 10 minutes with billionaires and claiming it will aid in saving the planet. Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Is the PM still dancing? Wendy Tighe-Umbers, Parnell.
Do areas with low vaccination rates expect Aucklanders to stay in lockdown to protect them? They can and should protect themselves by getting the jab. Rachel Lewis, Takapuna.
Labour governments are a necessary part of the election cycle, as we occasionally need to be reminded that even an average conservative government is far more preferable to what we have at present. B. Renwick, Mellons Bay.
Isn't it time National and Act formed an official, and formidable, coalition? Brent Cooper, Coatesville.
A sign at the Domain protest on Saturday read "stand 4 something or fall for nothing". Fallen for nothing - I couldn't have described the protesters better myself. Huw Dann, Mt Eden.
The need to get vaccinated reminds me of the hoary old chestnut when a man prays to God to let him win the lottery and God replies, "Please give me a sporting chance by buying a ticket." David Reid, Cockle Bay.
Why not reduce the MIQ period by half for international passengers who have been double vaccinated and test negative on arrival? The current restrictions are out of date. D. Macculloch. Remuera.
New Zealand's beauty was we did have a balance between freedom with capitalism and an appropriate controlling socialist support system for the needy. The balance is now way out of whack. Business appears to be seen as the enemy of the state. Two opposite thinking groups can never come together. Mark I.
Not only does the Government not trust businesses, but it also does not trust the general population. On top of that, it wants to be the central entity controlling Covid management, which has meant limited if any involvement from business, with its advice dominated by health professionals with no skin in the game, economically. I do hope it is watching how things transpire in NSW where restrictions have been eased at 70 per cent fully vaccinated with further restrictions being lifted at 80 per cent. Kevin S.
The Auckland lockdowns are supported by the leaders of National and Act and the polls show very, very high levels of public support. Even in the private world, sudden shutdowns when companies change direction or go bust have a ripple effect. Subcontractors especially are badly affected when larger companies "catch a cold". The risks of private business are always there and not going to go away. Hector O.
For the Government to truly understand business, then the first order of business would be having a clue how it works. It could not even order a vaccine on time. I fear that the next debacle will be the booster jab - whenever I hear the media ask about it, crickets are chirping or you hear the dreaded phrase synonymous with this lot - "We are currently looking into that." Tony M.
The Government hasn't really supported businesses in mandating the jab. Nor has it reacted quickly enough to trialling business-MIQ. Businesses can easily be punished and shut down for flouting rules so the Government has more control than with the public.
NZ is now at the same (or higher) vax rate that the UK used to go to level 0 on July 19 at 66/84 per cent for single/double dose. Could the Government perhaps at least let businesses know when the eligible unvaccinated public will no longer be waited on? Duane M.